How to Replace the Idler Pulley on Vehicles

by Contributing Writer

The idler pulley is one of many pulleys on the engine of a Vehicles. To remove the idler pulley you need a pulley tool and a power drill. You will also need to remove the drive belt from the engine. There is a mounting nut in the middle of the idler pulley securing the pulley to the engine. Once you have removed the mounting nut the idler pulley will slide off of the engine. You will need to place the new idler pulley in the same spot as the old one and replace the mounting nut to the middle of the idler pulley.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace the Idler Pulley on a Ford 6.0

Raise the hood and plug the belt tensioner tool into the side of the serpentine belt tensioner. You can pinpoint the tensioner's location by referring to the belt routing diagram, which is printed on a sticker placed on the fan shroud. The diagram also shows the location of the idler pulley.

Move the belt tensioner aside by prying it gently with the belt tensioner tool. Move the belt off the tensioner pulley with your free hand. Let the tensioner return to its normal position once the belt is out of the pulley path.

Slip the belt off the tensioner with your hand. Remove the bolt from the center of the idler pulley with the socket set and then take the idler out of the engine well by hand.

Position the new idler pulley in place of the old one and thread the center bolt in by hand. Tighten it down with the socket set.

Slip the belt over the new idler pulley. Move the tensioner aside once more with the tensioner tool and then put the belt on the tensioner pulley before allowing the tensioner to move back to its normal position. Remove the tensioner tool and close the hood.

Items you will need

  • Belt tensioner tool

  • Socket set

 How to Replace the Idler Pulley on a Nissan

Place the pulley tool over the mounting nut in the middle pulley and connect the power drill to the pulley tool pull trigger to twist the mounting nut, loosening the pulley. Remove the drive belt from the engine.

Place the pulley tool over the mounting nut on the idler pulley. Use the power drill to remove the mounting nut and remove the idler puller from the engine.

Place the new idler pulley onto the engine and twist the mounting nut onto the new idler pulley. Use the pulley tool to tighten the mounting nut on the new idler pulley.

Replace the drive belt to all of the pulleys on the engine. Use the pulley tool to tighten the tension pulley, returning the tension to the drive belt.

Items you will need

  • Pulley tool

  • Power drill

  • New idler pulley

 How to Replace the Idler Pulley on a Ford Focus

Raise the hood and locate the belt tensioner. The tensioner is an arm with a pulley at the end of it which holds tension on the serpentine belt.

Slip the belt tensioner tool into the tensioner and pull the tool to the side, releasing the tension from the belt. Once done, reach down with your free hand and slip the belt off the tensioner pulley and release the tensioner back into place.

Locate the idler pulley and remove the bolt from the pulley’s center holding it to the engine. The bolt can be removed with the socket set. Be careful not to drop the bolt or its washer down into the engine bay.

Pull the old pulley off by hand and insert the new one. Slide the bolt and washer back into the center of the pulley if your replacement pulley does not already have a bolt and washer.

Tighten the bolt back down in reverse of removal.

Remove the pressure from the belt tensioner with the tensioner tool in the same manner you employed in Step 2 and slide the belt back over the idler and tensioner with your free hand. Release the tensioner and remove the tensioner tool when the belt is back on.

Items you will need

  • Belt tensioner tool

  • Socket set

  • Replacement idler pulley

 How to Replace an Idler Pulley On a Dodge

Open the hood and connect the wrench to the pulley's nut with the metal brace mounted to the top of it: this is the tensioner pulley. Turn the nut until the drivebelt loosens. Pull the belt off of the engine pulleys.

Connect a socket to the impact wrench. Connect the impact wrench to the air compressor. Start the air compressor and allow it to charge for 10 minutes.

Place the socket over the nut in the center of the idler pulley and hold the pulley with your other hand. Turn the nut in the opposite direction that the pulley turns with the impact wrench. Pull hard on the pulley and wiggle it until the pulley comes off of the engine.

Place the new idler pulley onto the engine. Push hard on the pulley until it is all the way onto the engine. Place the nut on the bolt in the center of the pulley. Place the socket over the nut and use the impact wrench to tighten the nut.

Replace the drivebelt onto the engine pulleys according to the diagram on the engine. Tighten the belt with the wrench to fasten the nut in the center of the tensioner pulley.

Items you will need

  • Wrench

  • Impact wrench

  • Socket

  • Air compressor

  • Replacement idler pulley