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.

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
  • Home
  • Questions
  • Is it normal for the crankshaft pulley to be stuck if the car is off. The serpentine belt is removed.

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: Unsuccessful dealership repairs for stereo/navigation system

Thanks for writing in about your 2001 Mercedes-Benz E430. If the issue is only on the left side and both the amplifier and head unit have been exchanged, the issue is most likely in the wiring between the amplifier and...

Q: No fuel or spark getting to engine

If the engine was running prior to replacing the sensors then you may have a faulty sensor. It is common for this to occur. If it was running the same prior to this then you may have another problem. The...

Q: Need a reliable brand for the belt tensioner.

Hello and thank you for contacting YourMechanic. Shopping around for parts can be frustrating when it comes to specific brands. Some brands are not as good as other brands, however, a low quality belt and a high quality belt should...

Related articles

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...
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...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.