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What Happens if the Alternator Pulley Breaks on Your Engine



What Happens if the Alternator Belt Pulley Breaks on Your Engine

Before determining the consequences of an alternator pulley breaking, it is essential to first determine the symptoms of the same. A wrecked or seized engine pulley can rapidly prompt a torn belt, or in less genuine cases, the belt tumbling off of the motor.

Furthermore a motor without a belt can immediately run into issues like overheating and slowing down, as it’s the drive belt that permits the motor accomplices to work

This will help you to get an indication that the alternator pulley is in dire need of repair.


1. Pulleys that are visibly worn

Visible wear on the idler pulley is one of the earliest signs of a problem with the pulley. Both the pulley and the belt will ultimately wear down as the pulley spins against the belt. As a result of contact with the belt, visible scoring lines on the surface of the pulley may appear. The pulley and belt will eventually wear down to the point where tension is reduced, causing the belt to slip.

2. Squealing of the belt

Squealing from the engine belts is another typical indicator of a suspected idler pulley problem. The motor belt may scream when it rubs against the surface of the idler pulley if the surface of the pulley wears down, or if the pulley seizes or binds. When the engine is initially started, a faulty pulley may bind or slide, causing the belt to screech. As the pulley wears down, the problem will become worse.

3. Worn-out bearings or pulleys

A broken bearing or pulley is another, more obvious, indicator of an idler pulley problem. In more severe circumstances, the bearing or pulley may wear down to the point of fracturing or splitting, and then falling apart or seizing. This can throw the belt’s rotation off and cause a slew of issues. A seized or damaged pulley can swiftly result in a ripped belt or, in less catastrophic circumstances, the motor belt sliding off. Because the drive belt permits the engine accessories to work, an engine without a belt might soon experience troubles such as overheating and stalling.

Idler pulleys are a typical component found on most road cars that will need to be replaced at some point, especially in cars with a lot of miles on them. The serpentine belt and pulleys allow the engine to run effectively after it has been started, hence any of the engine pulleys are critical to the general performance of the engine. If you suspect an issue with your idler pulley, get your car evaluated by a mechanic.

Replacing Alternator Pulley

Step 1: Disconnect the negative battery cable

Because your automobile’s alternator is part of the electrical system, you should disconnect the negative battery wire from the terminal post of a car battery. This will prevent you from being shocked or injuring yourself while working on your automobile.

Step 2 – Remove the Alternator Belt by loosening it.

To begin, find your vehicle’s alternator. It is usually found in the front of the engine compartment, near the radiator fan. You’ll also see a rubber belt connected to the alternator and pulley. Loosen the strain on the belt with an appropriate size wrench or socket. The alternator belt should then be removed from the pulley and alternator.

Step 3: Remove the Pulley Bolts

Attach the pulley to the alternator using the bolts or nuts that keep it in place. Because the bolts on alternator pulleys may be obstinate and difficult to remove, you may wish to grease them with a penetrating spray like WD-40 to make them simpler to spin. After using the penetrating spray, remove the bolts with the appropriate size wrench or socket.

Step 4: Dispose of the Old Pulley

After you’ve successfully removed the bolts, carefully pound the back of the pulley with the pry bar and hammer. This will aid in the removal of the pulley from the alternator by loosening it. Simply lay aside or destroy the old pulley after it has been removed.

Step 5: Replace the alternator pulley.

Place the new alternator pulley on top of the alternator and align the bolt holes with the holes on the alternator. The bolts should then be inserted into the holes. Using a socket wrench or torque wrench, tighten them. If you’re not sure how much torque to apply to the alternator pulley bolts, consult your vehicle’s owner’s handbook.

Step 6: Alternator Belt Tightening

Reinstall the alternator belt on the pulley and the alternator. Then tighten the alternator belt using a socket wrench after pulling the belt tensioner tight.

Step 7:Replacing the Negative Battery Cable

Connect your car’s negative battery wire to the terminal post on the battery.


The above symptoms and the replacement procedure will provide the users with a fair idea about the problem related to breaking of the alternator pulley and how to replace it. Moreover, you can also use an override alternator pulley to avoid the possibility of such situation in the future.

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