The power steering pump is what allows you to turn the steering wheel turn effortlessly and have better control over the vehicle. The pump is driven by the turning of the engine, with the energy carried over the serpentine belt to the pump’s pulley. When the pulley wears out, the pump will not be able to rotate and you will start to lose power steering.
To fix this problem, you’ll have to take the pulley off the pump and install a new one. In this guide, we’ll go through the steps of replacing the power steering pump pulley, and whether it’s possible to do without a specialized puller.
Can You Remove the Power Steering Pump Pulley Without a Puller?
Technically you can do it, but you shouldn’t attempt it under any circumstances.
Think about just how much force is produced by the engine, even when it’s idling. Now imagine how tightly the pulley has to be secured to the power steering pump to keep up with the belt. If there’s a minuscule amount of giving, the speed at which the pully spins and the vibrations would tear the whole system apart.
To attempt to remove the pulley with anything but the special puller can cause damage to the pulley and the pump, making the replacements far more expensive than the tool. If you’re adamant that you want to do it without the puller tool, here’s how:
- With the pump taken off the vehicle, place it in a vice and use a piece of metal pipe and a hammer to tap the wedge between the pulley and the pump.
- Heat the center of the pulley with the blowtorch and pull it off.
- Use a hammer to hit it from the back and dislodge it.
I cannot stress enough how easily can things go wrong if you use any of these methods. In the next section, I’ll take you through the steps of taking the pulley using a $20 puller that will make the task so much easier.
How to Remove Power Steering Pump Pulley With a Puller
To take the pulley off, you’ll need some space to maneuver in front of the steering pump. Depending on the engine layout, check if the task can be done with the steering pump still attached to the engine, or if you’ll have to take it off. Apart from some basic tools and a power screwdriver, you’ll also need a puller and installer tool kit.
- Take the threaded bolt (top left of the box) and connect it with the small lug below it. Take the two halves of the rin and the threaded nut (bottom left of the box).
- With the nut attached to the bolt, you want to thread it into the pulley so that the two halves of the ring can grip on both the pulley and the nut. This will connect the two and allow you to take the pulley off. Slide the ring cover over the top to keep everything in place.
- Take a wrench of appropriate size (it should be a 13/16″ wrench) and use it to hold the nut and prevent it from spinning.
- The back of the bolt has been shaped to accept a socket. You can use a manual socket wrench or an electric power wrench to unscrew the pulley by pulling it off the power steering pump.
As an electric power wrench requires more room to maneuver, you might be able to get away with taking the pulley off inside the engine bay with a ratcheting wrench. The process should only take a few minutes, excluding the time necessary to take the power steering pump off, if that’s necessary.
How to Attach Power Steering Pump Pulley With a Puller
Putting the pulley back on is a bit more challenging, but if you managed to take it off, I’m certain you’ll be able to do this as well.
- Find the threaded bolt of the right size (top left of the box) that can thread into the steering pump hole.
- After threading it in for a few turns, attach the thicker disassembly bolt to it.
- Slot the pulley over the bolt as far as it can go, making sure it faces the correct direction.
- Place the bigger washer first, followed by the smaller one, then thread the nut all the way forward.
- Use a wrench to manually rotate the nut, while applying some pressure on the pulley to keep it from moving out of place. You’re now doing the step from the disassembly in reverse, so you’ll need to hold the bolt down using a socket wrench.
- Work the nut patiently and check the gap to see how much progress you’ve made. If you end up hitting the end of the thread, remove the bolts, and attach just the one used for disassembly. Slide the washers back on, followed by the nut, then continue with the wrench.
- Check the alignment of the pulley, and if it’s in the right spot, you can remove the puller tools and reattach the serpentine belt.
This process is also explained in the video guide posted in the disassembly section, and I’d advise you to see it to create a visual image of what to do.
How do you use a Gearwrench power steering pulley puller?
Using the Gearwrench pulley puller and installer set is no different from the one referenced in this guide. It’s a more expensive option better suited for mechanics, but if you want to add another high-quality tool to your garage, it’s a great option.
How much is a power steering pulley puller?
The puller will set you back between $20 and $60, depending on the manufacturer. Considering the cost of labor exceeds the price of the tool, it’s a great way to save some cash, provided you’re up to the task.
What does a bad power steering pulley sound like?
When the power steering pump pulley turns loose, it will create a rattling sound. You might also experience a loss of power steering, as the pump loses the power to force the hydraulic fluid. You can also press on the serpentine belt and check if it has gone loose.
Should the power steering pulley spin freely?
Like all the other driven pullies, the power steering pulley should freely. There might be some resistance, but nothing that will stop you from spinning it by hand when the serpentine belt is off.
What spins the power steering pump?
The power steering pump is a part of the serpentine belt system, which is rotated by the crankshaft pulley. As the belt moves, it powers all of the satellite systems, including the alternator, air conditioning compressor, water pump, radiator fan, and even supercharger.
How much does a power steering pulley cost?
The price of the pulley ranges wildly and goes from $15 to $160 depending on the engine. The cost of labor is estimated at $150-250, so replacing the part yourself could save you a lot of money.
Taking off the power steering pump pulley without the right tools is a task you should never attempt. For only a few dollars, you can get a tool fit for the job and replace the pulley yourself. If this article has helped you through the process, let us know, and browse our website for the best auto-tips on the web!