How to Replace a Harmonic Balancer

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.

Next Step

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27 years of experience
849 reviews
27 years of experience
Ford Explorer V6-4.0L - Crankshaft Harmonic Balancer Replacement - Pearland, Texas
John was very professional, knowledgeable, and personable. He got the repair done even faster than estimated and everything worked perfectly. Would highly recommend and will request him for my next issue or service. Thank you.
Mercedes-Benz GLK350 - Crankshaft Harmonic Balancer - Dickinson, Texas
John is very knowledgeable and professional. He does great work and is the reason we keep coming back to Your Mechanic!


4 years of experience
142 reviews
4 years of experience
Saturn SC2 L4-1.9L - Crankshaft Harmonic Balancer - Indianapolis, Indiana
Awesome Experience! Michael did such a great Job, I recommend him for anything. Definitely will be using him again if anymore issues arise with my car. He was professional and showed compassion for his work.
Ford Mustang - Crankshaft Harmonic Balancer - Indianapolis, Indiana
This guys is hands down the best! He showed up last minute after the other guy they sent didn't. He figured out what was up and knocked out the job like a boss. He's going to be my go to guy from now on.


32 years of experience
52 reviews
32 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala V6-3.4L - Crankshaft Harmonic Balancer - Denver, Colorado
Did a great job. Appreciate all your hard work!! Looking to do business with you in the future! Thanks a lot!
Chrysler 300M - Crankshaft Harmonic Balancer - Denver, Colorado
What a descent mechanic very professional and respectful guy..would refer to anyone. Thank you again..


38 years of experience
162 reviews
38 years of experience
Pontiac Grand Am V6-3.4L - Crankshaft Harmonic Balancer - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
He's an amazing mechanic!!! We'll put the icing on the cake he knew of Simmons Auto only a real mechanic knows about Simon's Auto. Just saying!!! overall awesome awesome

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