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How to know if the alternator pulley needs to be replaced …

Designed to deliver electrical energy to the battery, the alternator is an essential part ensuring the proper functioning of the vehicle. The pulley attached to it allows the engine to start. What are the symptoms of an HS alternator pulley and how to change it?

The role of the alternator pulley

The engine is connected to the alternator by means of a belt attached to the alternator pulley. When the car starts, the latter has the function ofensure the electricity supply certain vehicle accessories, in particular:

• The fog lights ;
• The car radio;
• The air conditioning ;
• Etc.

When the pulley turns, the alternator recharges the vehicle battery. It comes in two main categories:

• The disengageable alternator pulley is designed to ensure the absorption of jolts in the transmission;
• The single alternator pulley is generally found in older cars.

What are the signs of an HS alternator pulley?

It should be noted that the life of an alternator pulley is estimated at about 100,000 km. However, it is possible that this wearing part will die sooner than expected. Thus, it is appropriate to recognize symptoms indicating that the alternator pulley is defective. A thorough check is necessary to know if it is possible to repair it or if it needs to be replaced as soon as possible. Here are the most common warning signs:

• The battery indicator lights up;
• The engine has difficulty starting;
• The intensity of the headlights weakens;
• Water pump, power steering pump or air conditioning compressor malfunction.

It is good to note that these symptoms can be associated with a battery problem. In case of doubt, it is recommended to have the car examined by a professional.

How to replace the alternator pulley?

It is possible to proceed to changing the alternator pulley oneself. However, specific tools are required to unscrew the pulley or to hold the alternator shaft in place. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Remove the plastic cover intended to cover the nets;
2. Remove the pulley (to loosen, turn anti-clockwise for the shaft with right-hand thread, and clockwise for the shaft with left-hand thread);
3. Screw the new pulley onto the shaft before installing the cover (the numbers should be facing the alternator);
4. Reinstall the belt after checking that it is still in good condition;
5. Start the engine to make sure everything is working properly.

It is recommended entrust this task to a professional and to have the condition of other essential parts checked, such as the alternator. The cost of the intervention is between 100 and 150 euros, but the price may increase depending on the type of intervention.

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