BMW crankshaft pulley replacement, made easy

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Our expert insights into crankshaft pulley replacement

What does a crankshaft pulley do?

The crankshaft pulley is mounted on the end of the crankshaft. Its purpose is to transmit mechanical power and torque through the pulley system to turn the drive belts that operate the engine accessories (alternator, air conditioning compressor, etc.).

What are the symptoms of a bad crankshaft pulley?

Below are the top three symptoms that could indicate you need to replace your crankshaft pulley:

  • Engine vibrations

  • Alternator failure - flickering headlights, car struggles to start

  • Rough engine idle

What happens when we do a crankshaft pulley replacement on your car?

Our certified mechanics will:

  • Check the condition of the crankshaft pulley.

  • If necessary, they will replace the crankshaft pulley.

  • Advise if any other related parts need to be replaced.

  • Test drive the car to check everything has been fitted correctly.

Daniel, from LondonDaniel, from London

Hey Fixter, what are the signs of a failing crankshaft pulley?

You may notice that your engine is vibrating more than usual, your car is rough when idle, struggles to start or stalls frequently.

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Want to learn more about BMW crankshaft pulley replacement?

What does a crankshaft pulley do?

The crankshaft pulley is positioned on the end of the crankshaft. It transmits mechanical power and torque through the pulley system which then operates the engine's accessories (alternator, air conditioning compressor, etc.) through the use of a rubber belt or system of belts.

The crankshaft pulley is also essential in ensuring other engine components operate in unison to allow the vehicle to run smoothly. Doubling up as an internal dampener, crankshaft pulleys also reduce the risk of damage to certain engine components as they reduce the vibrations caused as the engine runs.

The car crankshaft pulley may seem like a minor part in a vehicle, but it is actually a very important part and is vital in the smooth operation of a healthy car.

BMW

BMW AG is a German automobile and motorcycle manufacturer that was established over 100 years ago in March 1916. They also own Mini and Rolls Royce, after taking over the two British marques in 2000 and 1998 respectively.

BMW makes luxury vehicles and is possibly most famous for its sports saloon models. In 2018, BMW had 1.9m vehicles on the roads in the UK, a number that has been steadily increasing each year for the past decade.

As one of the ‘big 3’ German marques, along with Audi and Mercedes, BMW carries a strong reputation for making high-quality stylish vehicles, and have captured a large section of the UK market.

Luxury family and business models for every driver

Probably most popular for the 3 Series and 5 Series saloon models, BMW has got every possible angle covered for the more discerning drivers.

The full range includes everything from the 1 Series city car to the full-size saloons and sports coupes of the 7 and 8 Series models.

To provide everything you’d ever need for family motoring there’s a seven-seat MPV, their range of X model SUVs, and since 2014, the introduction of their plug-in electric i models. Top it all off with their M model high-performance supercars, the Z4 convertible and the i8 Roadster—and you’ve got the full package.

BMW: High performance on and off the track

BMW has a successful history in a range of motorsports.

They have been significant performers in touring car racing and rally driving, enjoyed success in Formula One with the BMW Sauber team, and BMW cars have been regular competitors and winners at Le Mans since the race’s early years.

BMW’s reliability and reputation

BMW ranked 16th place out of 30 car brands in the What Car? Reliability Survey in 2018. BMW hasn’t always had the best reputation for reliability but to rank alongside marques such as Honda, Volkswagen and Fiat they’re holding their own alongside plenty of the other big names.

How often should a crankshaft pulley need replacing?

A crankshaft pulley can last the lifetime of your car without failing, however unexpected issues can occur which may lead to your pulley needing to be replaced. In general, crankshaft pulleys are not part of regular maintenance so shouldn’t have to be repaired or replaced often

The car crankshaft pulley may seem like a minor part in a vehicle, but it is actually a very important component and is vital in the smooth operation of a healthy car. Therefore if you experience any of the symptoms above you should have your car inspected by a mechanic.

What happens during a crankshaft pulley repair?

Our certified mechanics will:

  • Check the condition of the crankshaft pulley.

  • If necessary, they will replace the crankshaft pulley.

  • Advise if any other related parts need to be replaced.

  • Test drive the car to check everything has been fitted correctly.

What causes a crankshaft pulley to break?

When an engine has a bearing failure, this can cause issues for the crankshaft and the pulley tension. Similarly, if the belt tension is too tight or the auxiliary equipment has failed the pulley will also fail.

Most crankshaft pulleys also have a rubber element that is prone to deterioration as it is exposed to continuously changing conditions. If this wears out a replacement pulley will need to be fitted.

What are the symptoms of a failing crankshaft pulley?

Usually, there a few signs you can look for:

  • Engine vibrations

  • Alternator failure - flickering headlights, car struggles to start

  • Rough engine idle

  • Difficulty moving the steering wheel

  • Difficulty changing gears due to gearbox damage

How often should you replace your crankshaft pulley?

Generally a crankshaft pulley should last the lifetime of the vehicle, however wear and tear does occur so occasionally one may need to be replaced.

What happens during a crankshaft pulley repair?

Our certified mechanics will:

  • Check the condition of the crankshaft pulley.

  • If necessary, they will replace the crankshaft pulley.

  • Advise if any other related parts need to be replaced.

  • Test drive the car to check everything has been fitted correctly.

What is the average life of a crankshaft pulley?

A crankshaft pulley can last the lifetime of your car without failing, however unexpected issues can occur which may lead to your pulley needing to be replaced. In general, crankshaft pulleys are not part of regular maintenance so shouldn’t cause you too many issues.

Can you drive with a broken crankshaft pulley?

You should avoid driving with a failing crankshaft pulley as it can cause serious and expensive damage to your engine. If the pulley breaks and the engine continues to run, serious damage could be done to the crankshaft, which would be a very extensive and costly repair. Other belts and components riding on the pulley could also break or become damaged.

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