Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Is it normal for the crankshaft pulley to be stuck if the car is off. The serpentine belt is removed.

asked by on

Recently my serpentine belt slipped off while driving. The car is parked and it is cold. I have removed the belt and inspected all of pulleys. I noticed that the pulley for the water pump seems to be a little bit rough, which I will replace. In addition, the camshaft pulley does not move. Would this be normal if the car is off? Or does this indicate another issue with the camshaft?

My car has 140000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: The only pulleys you should be able to turn...

The only pulleys you should be able to turn by hand when the serpentine belt is not in place are: the water pump, alternator, and power steering pump pulleys. The air conditioning compressor has a clutch on it that should spin freely as well but it will not be rotating the internals of the compressor.

The compressor internals are only spinning when you turn the A/C on. The A/C clutch is electro-magnetic. When it's energized by turning the A/C on, it will "connect" to the compressor internals and spin them to give you cold air.

The camshaft and crankshaft pulleys are directly attached to the engine (camshaft and crankshaft) and will only rotate if the engine is running or manually rotating the engine by placing a socket and breaker bar to the crankshaft pulley bolt. That you cannot rotate either cam or crankshaft pulleys by hand is completely normal. If you were able to rotate them bare handed, THEN you would have a problem.

If you'd like to have your water pump pulley replaced, consider YourMechanic, as a certified technician can come to your home or office to service the car. They can also ensure your other pulleys are working as intended as well. Good luck

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Heat in the front won't work

Hi there. The front heater core my be restricted. A cooling system flush may resolve the problem. It may be a faulty temperature blend door actuator if the blower motor is still not operational. Checking the fuse would be in...

Q: What could be my problem? My jeep is stuck in 2nd gear.

Hello there, many common faults will cause your 2004 Jeep Wrangler to become stuck in second gear. The most common would be low transmission fluid, shift solenoid, shift linkage, torque converter, or transmission pump. To avoid any unnecessary repairs, a...

Q: I have a 2003 Cadillac CTS. My engine hesitates then shuts off

Hi there: Usually when the vehicle has issues cranking over, it's not related to the serpentine belt or an ancillary drive belt. In most cases, this is a battery cranking amp issue or an ignition system issue. On the Cadillac...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.