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

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Hesitation/stalling when engine gets warm.

It sound like the fuel pump is stopping after it gets hot. A problem with the pumps starts when it begins to stall intermittently and get worse and worse over time. It may start up and go for a while...

Q: crankshaft position sensor problem

I would definitely recommend using the exact replacement part when changing your CKP sensor. It's a high priority sensor for several engine management functions.

Q: What Are the Common Signs Your Drive Belt Needs Replacing?

Some signs that your drive belt should be replaced as soon as possible are: the drive belt wearing unevenly, several missing teeth in succession, or has been contaminated by oil. A faulty belt will usually emit squeaks or squeals. A...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
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...