Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How to Replace a Harmonic Balancer

crankshaft and engine pistons

The purpose of a harmonic balancer is to dampen the harmonic vibrations that all engines produce. On many engines, the harmonic balancer is integrated into the crank pulley. They do not fail often, but excess engine vibrations and misaligned timing marks are among the symptoms of a bad or failing crankshaft harmonic balancer

Although the steps provided below are similar for most engines, there are many different engine designs, so please refer to your vehicle’s factory service manual for detailed instructions on your particular vehicle. For this example, we will discuss how to change a harmonic balancer on a typical “V” style engine with rear wheel drive.

Part 1 of 1: Replacing a harmonic balancer

Materials Needed

vehicle placed on jack stands

Step 1: Prepare the vehicle. Jack the vehicle up high enough to obtain access to the harmonic balancer, located on the front of the motor and attached to the crankshaft.

belt tensioner being rotated to loosen it

Step 2: Remove the accessory drive belts. On many modern vehicles, there is an automatic, spring-loaded belt tensioner that can be rotated to loosen the belt.

You may need to use an open end wrench or ratchet handle, depending on the design. Older vehicles, and some newer ones, require you to loosen a mechanical tensioner.

  • Note: Use your cell phone to take a picture of the belt routing for future reference.

strap wrench used to loosen bolt

Step 3: Remove the harmonic balancer bolt. Remove the harmonic balancer bolt by using the strap wrench to hold the balancer still.

Hold it still while loosening the bolt with a socket and ratchet handle or breaker bar. It will be very tight, so pull hard.

Step 4: Remove the harmonic balancer unit. Using the gear puller, place the hooks in an area that will not easily break, like the lip of the pulley section.

threaded holes

Some vehicles have threaded bolt holes in the balancer that can be used to attach a puller. Tighten the center bolt with a ratchet handle or breaker bar until the balancer breaks free.

woodruff key and slot

  • Note: Most harmonic balancers are kept from rotating on the crankshaft by using a woodruff key. Don’t lose the woodruff key; you will need it for reassembly.

Step 5: Install the new harmonic balancer. Align the woodruff key slot in the new balancer with the woodruff key, and carefully slide the balancer onto the crankshaft.

Make sure the keyway remains in its proper position.Install the center bolt and tighten until the required torque specification is obtained.

Step 6: Install the belts. Rotate or loosen the belt tensioner to reinstall the belt.

  • Note: Refer to your previous photograph or service manual to determine the correct belt routing.

Step 7: Lower and start the vehicle. Carefully remove the jackstands and lower the vehicle, starting the vehicle to ensure proper reassembly.

If you are not comfortable doing the work yourself, have one of YourMechanic’s certified mechanics complete the crankshaft harmonic balancer replacement for you.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

P0121 OBD-II Trouble Code: TPS "A" Circuit Range Performance Problem
P0121 code definition Throttle Pedal Position Sensor/Switch (TPS) A Circuit Range Performance Problem What the P0121 code means P0121 is a generic OBD-II code which indicates that the Engine Control...
How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...


Related questions

Q: Under load on the engine we already checked the mass sensor and replaced map sensor what should i I look for now I unplugged the m

Hello. From what you describe it would appear that you are experiencing some sort of engine performance issues. Perhaps misfires, or stalling. If you changed the MAP and MAF sensors, and the issue has persisted I would then look into...

Q: Are crankshaft pulleys and harmonic balancers the same thing? I have a 1998 Buick Century custom and it is wobbling and making a loud noise.

Hi, thanks for writing in. On your vehicle, the pulley is actually manufactured into the harmonic balancer. If the pulley is wobbling, it would be best to have a certified mechanic, like those available at YourMechanic.com, take a look at...

Q: Clicking sound from inside rear passenger side

Hello. The clicking noise that you are hearing is most likely the blend door or the blend door actuator for the rear A/C. This is a part that would best be found at the dealership. It might be possible for...