Crankshaft Pulley – Problems, Solutions and Explanation

In an internal combustion engine, different kinds of parts make different kinds of duties. One of these parts is the crankshaft pulley. Here, you can find detailed information about the crankshaft pullet applications. And you will learn all the important details about them.

What is Crankshaft Pulley?

Crankshaft Pulley
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A crankshaft pulley is a very basic pulley that is connected to the crankshaft. On one side of the crankshaft, there is a flywheel. And on the other side, there is a crankshaft pullet. The serpentine belt is directly connected to the crankshaft pulley that transmits the rotational power to the other engine accessories such as the water pump, alternator, AC compressor, and power steering pump.

So as you understand that this part is very vital in the automotive engine.

Also, if we take a look at the structure of that part, we can see that it is a composite structure. The hub or body is made from a hard rubber material, in general, to prevent engine vibrations attain to the engine accessories. The outer section is made from hard steel material.

In some applications, there is a part called a harmonic balancer that the crankshaft pulley bolts to it. The harmonic balancer makes it possible to dampen the vibrations coming from the engine and crankshaft system.

Also, some applications have dampener systems to add additional smooth operation to the engine systems. Because the accessories that we explained must work smoothly.

Common Symptoms of Bad Crankshaft Pulley

It is a general part that provides power to the other accessories of the engine. So, if there is a problem with it, there can be different outcomes and symptoms can take place. And in most cases, if there is a problem with the crankshaft pulley applications, it is a very serious problem that you need to deal with.

These are the general symptoms that you can see;

  • Hard steering wheel: The power steering pump is directly connected to the crankshaft pulley via a serpentine belt. So, if there is a problem with the crankshaft pulley, the power steering pump will not work properly. And rotating the steering wheel can be very problematic.
  • Idle problems: Rough idle and sounds coming from the engine system can be the common problems that you can feel. Because other accessories that are vital to engine performance are not working well with the crankshaft pulley.
  • Serpentine belt damages: Also serpentine belt can be damaged by the bad crankshaft pulley. The bad alignment and hardened pulley can cause problems such as wear and tear of the belt system.
  • Problems with air conditioning: The air conditioning compressor is directly connected to the crankshaft pulley. And if there is a problem with the pulley, the compressor will not work properly.
  • Engine damage: The problems with the crankshaft pulley are serious problems. As you can see above, it can cause different kinds of possible problems with your engine. If you overlook the problem, the engine damage will be very bad.
  • Noises: You can hear strange squeaking noises coming from your engine system. This can be because of the crankshaft system that you have.
  • Vibration: If there are problems with the pulley dampener system and the other systems that you have, the engine vibrations are directly transferred to the other systems that you have. So, this can cause problems with your engine system in general.
  • Overheating: Engine overheating is another important reason that you have a problem with your crankshaft pulley system. Because the water pump and the water circulation system do not work properly as intended.
  • Battery light on: In your dashboard, the battery light can be on. Because the alternator system that charges the battery is not working properly to charge the battery. Because of this, the battery system that you have can drain.

These are the common symptoms in general.

Common Problems with Crankshaft Pulley

There can be different kinds of problems with your crankshaft pulley system. These are the common issues that we face with these systems.

  • Misalignment: The misalignment of the pulley can cause different kinds of problems such as excessive wear and tear that is connected with the other parts. And also it can cause serpentine belt wear.
  • Damage or broken pulley: Wear and tear can cause damage and the broken pulley that you need to think of. And the damaged pulley can cause belt slips. And because of the belt slips, the accessories that are connected to the pulley-belt system will not work properly.
  • Vibrations: Not balanced pulleys can cause wobbling and vibrations in general.
  • Loose pulley: Also the loose system can lead to loss of power and also the belt can slip over it.

Possible Causes of Crankshaft Pulley Failure

In most cases, crankshaft pulley applications are designed to last with the lifespan of the engine. And you will not probably have a problem with this pulley if you are not harshly running your engine.

In general, the problems generally arise due to the impact damage that the engine gets. The impacts come from road hazards and debris can cause these problems.

Also, there are some reports about damage because of overheating. Because overheating can cause some damage to the dampening mechanisms and the plastic sections.

Corrosion is another cause. If you are running your car in hazardous environments, the filth can cause corrosion.

Also wear and tear can cause problems. This generally takes place for very high mileage of the engines without maintenance.

Even some cars may have manufacturing defects that can cause these problems.

Possible Fixes

If the pulley system is misaligned, a balancing must be applied by an expert. And this will solve the problems caused by the misalignment.

And also the debris and filth can cause different kinds of problems. Cleaning and removing filth and debris will solve your different problems in general.

The loose pulley is also a very common problem that you can face. Tightening or changing the fasteners can solve the possible problem that you facing.

In most cases, the replacement of the crankshaft pulley can be the solution to the problem.

Replacement Costs of Crankshaft Pulley

Giving costs and prices for the replacement is not an easy thing. Because there are different kinds of parameters that we need to consider. One important parameter is the model and brand of your car.

But if we need to give specific ranges, the professional replacement of the crankshaft pulley can be around $250-$500 including all costs. But this price estimate is generally for the average car.


We explained the crankshaft pulley applications in detail to give general insight into these systems. We wish you had enough information that you need, and that you know which kind of action you need to take.

If you have additional questions in your mind, please leave them below in the comments.

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Uğur Uygun

Hello everyone, I am Uğur. I am a mechanical engineer who has experience in different R&D departments of HVAC companies. With my best friend, I decided to build this website to share out knowledge and experience. And also, I am interested in automotive. So, I am writing about automotive and automotive-related articles here. Sharing my knowledge and experiences on these topics is a very big pleasure for me. I am willing to answer all of the questions people have about these topics.

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