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Signs of a bad or failed pulley

The main purpose of the idler pulley is to create tension and guide the drive belt in the machine. This belt wraps around the engine parts including the alternator, pump, power steering and water pump. If your vehicle’s idler pulley is not working properly, you will end up with a very frustrating and expensive repair unless you take timely action. Let’s take a look at the top signs of a bad idler pulley.
Visual Evidence of Idle Pulleys Each idle pulley ages over time simply as it rotates along the belt, eroding every piece. This wear reduces tension that can cause significant belt slippage. If the pulley or bearing is visibly damaged, cracked, broken, torn, or loose, this is an indication that it needs immediate replacement. Such damage will be a problem if not treated in time as it will prevent the belt from turning as designed, causing many additional problems. The last thing you need is a damaged or broken pulley causing the belt to break or possibly causing the belt to disengage completely from the engine.

Listen carefully Lazy may make a sound when it starts to fail. For example, if you hear the sound of the idler pulley or the drive belt area, this is an indication that the idler may not run longer. It is possible for the drive belt to make a squeaking sound as the idler pulley gradually wears out. This noise is generated during friction of the drive belt along the surface of the idler pulley. It is important to address this issue in time as it will only get worse with time.

Watch the pulley move. Take a closer look at the belt as it moves through the pulley. Careful observation will help you determine if the pulley is faulty. It is very possible that the hardware inside the pulley has been damaged. A hole in the coil may have stretched, causing the coil to vibrate or fail to move as smoothly as it should. In addition, it is possible for the pulley to work loosely during operation. When in doubt, be careful about replacing a loose, damaged, or problematic idler pulley with a new one.

A frozen idler pulley requires replacing the bearings inside the pulley, making it difficult or even impossible to turn. You can determine if the pulley is stuck or slightly blocked by turning it manually. If you find it difficult to rotate the spool manually, replace it immediately. Be careful when removing the belt from the pulley. The engine must be off and the ignition key must not be in the ignition while performing this DIY analysis.

Pay attention to the pulley bracket. It is possible that the bracket holding the pulley in place is loose or bent. If the bracket is loose or has other defects, the pulley will wobble or it may push the belt out of the pulley path. The pulley is held in position by this mounting bracket which is also connected to the motor. Luckily, replacing this stand is a fairly quick and easy DIY project that you can easily do without professional guidance.