The national cost for a crankshaft pulley replacement with CarAdvise in 2024 is between $141 and $415 with an average of $273.

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What is a crankshaft pulley and how does it work?

A crankshaft pulley is an engine component that serves to drive a number of other components by way of the drive belt. The pulley is fastened to the end of the crankshaft where the shaft protrudes through the lower front wall of your engine.

Your engine houses a number of pistons that pedal the crankshaft like your legs pedal a bicycle. As each piston rises in its cylinder to compress a mixture of air and fuel, a spark plug ignites that mixture and causes combustion inside the cylinder. The rapidly-expanding gases that result propel the piston downward against an offset protrusion on the crankshaft, the rod bearing journal. Each piston does its job in a series of upward and downward motions to turn the crankshaft and produce power.

As the crankshaft turns, the pulley attached to the end drives a belt to operate components such as the alternator, AC compressor, power steering pump, and sometimes the water pump. On some engines, the crankshaft pulley is integrated with a harmonic balancer that serves to balance the rotation of the crankshaft.


How is a a Crankshaft Pulley Replacement done?

To replace a crankshaft pulley, a technician will have to remove the drive belt from the front of your engine. On some engines, the pulley can be accessed from above, while others need to be accessed from below. If from below, the technician must raise and support your vehicle for access to the pulley. Shields and guards will need to be removed from the underbody. On some vehicle makes and models, it might be necessary to remove the cooling fan assembly or even drain and remove the radiator as well.

From there, with access available to the lower face of your engine, a technician will need to remove the large crankshaft bolt that holds the pulley in place. A special pulling tool is needed to unseat the pulley from the crankshaft. This tool can differ from one engine to the next, and attention must be paid to prevent damage to the harmonic balancer if your engine is so equipped.

Once the pulley has been removed, the new pulley is installed in its place, complete with a new crankshaft bolt torqued to manufacturer’s specifications.

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National average cost of a a Crankshaft Pulley Replacement
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How do I know if my vehicle needs a crankshaft pulley replaced?

If the crankshaft pulley fails, any one or more of the accessories that are driven by the crankshaft and drive belt might not function properly. If it fails completely, your engine will not run. Signs of a bad crankshaft pulley include:

A squealing or knocking noise when the engine is running

The AC system does not work

Your steering wheel becomes difficult to turn

Your headlights become dim

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Other questions customers ask

Can you drive a vehicle with a broken crankshaft pulley?
The crankshaft pulley is the only thing that drives the serpentine drive belt. Therefore, the pulley is essential for the operation of your alternator to run the electrical system and recharge the battery, the power steering pump, the AC compressor, and even the water pump on some engines. Without these, your vehicle will not run, at least not for long.
What causes a crankshaft pulley to fail?
Improper drive belt tension can cause the crankshaft pulley to fail. Improper torque of the crankshaft bolt can also damage the pulley. Otherwise, physical damage resulting from an impact can lead to crankshaft pulley damage.
Is the crankshaft pulley on the timing belt?
The crankshaft pulley and the timing belt pulley are both driven by the crankshaft. However, they are not the same device. The timing belt pulley is located behind the timing cover. It is a toothed metal wheel that articulates with the ribs or teeth of the timing belt. The crankshaft pulley, on the other hand, is exposed on the outside of the engine. It drives the serpentine drive belt to run the engine accessories.

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