Q: With engine off. Crankshaft pulley spins freely with belt on or off. 96 Taurus 3.0. What could cause that?

asked by on May 26, 2017

Power steering stopped working. Opened hood, all pulleys were not moving while engine was running. Shut off engine. Started rotating pulleys by hand with belt still on, and all pulleys move freely, including crank pulley. Pulleys did move when running and giving it fuel. Will go into gear and drive but won't charge battery, no power steering and wants to heat up quickly only reassuring me the pulleys are not spinning.

My car has 150000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

I can think of a few possible causes to this issue. 1. You are trying to replace the belt with a new one and may have got the wrong size belt. There are two different 3.0 V6 engines that are available for this vehicle so you may have got the belt for the other engine. The solution to this issue would be to swap the belt out at the parts store for the correct belt and try again.

  1. The belt is the correct size but the belt tensioner is unable to hold tension against the belt causing a lack of traction between the belt and the pulleys. This would result in the pulleys not spinning fast enough to cause any of the belt driven assesories to work properly.

  2. The crankshaft pulley bolt or woodruff key has broken causing the crankshaft pulley to be loose on the crankshaft. This can also cause a lack of tension on the belt causing the belt driven assessories not to work.

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