Water pump replacement is a good starter project. It is pretty straightforward, there are no special tools required and there shouldn’t be any rusty fasteners to deal with. Often a failing water pump makes a clattering noise or rattling noise. In addition, sometimes a failing pump will have noticeable play in the pulley (with the serpentine belt removed) or may start leaking. The following document has a step-by-step write-up on my experience replacing the water pump:
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