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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Recent Crankshaft Harmonic Balancer Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating


Rating Summary


23 years of experience
624 reviews
23 years of experience
Jeep Grand Cherokee V8-6.4L - Crankshaft Harmonic Balancer - San Tan Valley, Arizona
Great man came by got straight to business and even stayed after dark to get the job done no complaints. Also gave me a bunch of small pieces I was missing or just needed replacing. Will be looking for him for future repairs.
Hyundai Tiburon - Crankshaft Harmonic Balancer - Phoenix, Arizona
Omg Greg was so amazing i definitely suggested him to work on anyone in the valleys car. He showed up to my apartments on time i told him about my car issues what was going on he was very knowledgeable and understanding. my crank shaft bolt was stripped and no one was as experience as him with fixing it. He went above and beyond to make sure my car was properly fixed and running at its best. He's so good don't think twice with booking with him you won't regret it. He's Now my go to mechanic and i will be spreading the word about his amazing work !!


42 years of experience
519 reviews
42 years of experience
Buick Century V6-3.1L - Crankshaft Harmonic Balancer - Houston, Texas
This is amazing he funny fast asf....and truly reliable...I want to request him to slowly put ole besty back together...and I will...
Chevrolet Corvette - Crankshaft Harmonic Balancer - Houston, Texas
Ronald Little was awesome! Very nice and extremely knowledgeable about my Corvette. I will request him in all my future repairs.


38 years of experience
1035 reviews
38 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz C300 V6-3.0L - Crankshaft Harmonic Balancer - Wildomar, California
Jay`s great. Need other work but says your company does`nt do. Replace oil pan gasket on a 2008 C 300 Benz.
Ford Focus - Crankshaft Harmonic Balancer - Riverside, California
Jay arrived on time and quickly got to work. He explained the problem and discovered another problem He charged a fair price and I will call him to repair the next problem.


28 years of experience
672 reviews
28 years of experience
Oldsmobile Alero V6-3.4L - Crankshaft Harmonic Balancer - Queen Creek, Arizona
Michael was an absolute pleasure to have working on my daughter's car. He was down-to-earth, easy to talk to, and made my service seem like his highest priority.
Dodge Ram 1500 - Crankshaft Harmonic Balancer - Gilbert, Arizona
Mike is very nice guy, dependable and knows a lot about cars. He can get the job done. Highly recommend him to anyone needing work done on their vehicle. Thanks Mike!

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