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Power steering pulley fell off

The pulley on my 97 Lumina fell off. I am trying to figure out why.

The car has been sqeulling for a while. Today at the turn on to the highway I heard something fall off. When I investigated I found the power steering pulley had fallen off.

It seems to be made of rubber or some other material softer than metal. It slipped off a metal ring that is attached to the shaft of the power steering pump. The shaft turns freely and the power steering pump still has plenty of fluid So I don’t think the power steering pump itself is broken.

I checked other componets of the engine and everything seems to move freely. I am wondering if the pulley is the problem or the result of the problem.

One of the most common causes of pulley failure is overtightening of the drive belts. You say you had squealing prior to the pulley separating which leads me to believe that the belt may have been tightened to prevent the noise. Is that true?

You just need to replace the pulley,the bearing in it failed.

Today, most P.S. pulley’s are pressed on using a special tool…There is no “bearing” in the pulley. The serpentine belts tension is controlled automatically…You will probably have to remove the pump and install a new pulley which you may have to obtain from a dealer…A good parts store counter-man can tell you how the pulley is retained, maybe even show you…

Sorry oldschool…I can’t respond everytime I see you make a mistake. Your crystal ball must be working in order to know the exact cause of the failure. I just listed the most common cause of the pulley failure. Your opinion is worth no more than mine, maybe less. Thanks for your concern but…no thanks. Your “clique” is secure here so don’t try to drive others off.

The problem here is that your suggestion of the belt being overtightened is not possible. This car has an auto-tensioner on the accessory belt. It’s possible for them to fail, of course, but I’ve never heard of a spring suddenly becoming much tighter.

I don’t think that’s the issue. A mistake was made. I see bad responses here all of the time (and some of them have been mine). Sometimes people think they know. Sometimes they misinterpret questions. Sometimes they just make mistakes or assumptions that don’t work or whatever.

I think that the point is if people want to turn into the response police then this place will become a complete mess and won’t be worth much.

So I am supporting missileman there and have half a mind to dig up every post oldschool has ever made to start scrutinizing them for errors or bad information. Trust me - its there.

When I see what I think to be bad information I don’t “scold” anyone. I just post what I think is a more appropriate response. Caddyman did a fine job and not much more had to be said.

I can go along with that too.

In a perfect world tardis, you would be right…however, I see serpentine belts from time to time that are overtightened . Some tensioners are adjustable, the wrong belt is installed or some totally dried out belts will shrink over time. Think out of the box. Never assume anything is impossible. If you work on enough vehicles you will see everything believe me.

Here are some examples of “adjustable” tensioners to make my point: Domestic vehicles such as the Jeep Cherokee have a sliding tensioner pulley. This is located on the driver’s side of the engine under the alternator. This tensioner operates by causing the alternator to swing out to put tension on the belt. There are two bolts that are used in the adjustment process. The bracket under the alternator has a slot with which the alternator can swing. The bolt that runs through the alternator must be loosened to allow the alternator to swing. Next, the bolt under the alternator that runs through the bracket must be turned which causes the alternator to swing. Once the tension is corrected, the first bolt through the alternator must be tightened to hold it in this position. This type of tensioner is located on many of the foreign vehicles at one location or another on the front of the engine.

Another type of tensioner used on foreign and domestic vehicles is the sliding adjustable pulley type. This is an easily adjustable tensioner. It consists of an engine-mounted flat bracket with a forward facing slot. There is a long bolt running from the top of the bracket down. The pulley has a provision in the back of it for this long bolt to thread into. The bolt, when turned, raises or lowers the pulley applying tension.

But not the Lumina, I have a lot of experience on this year Lumina.If you who don’t care about steering our readers in the wrong direction want to support posting advice that does not apply to the OP’s situation, carry on.

Bluntly then, misselman your advice does not apply to the OP’s vehicle and oldtimer I agree with caddyman there is no “pully bearing”

Ok Mr. Posting Police.

Well put youself in the OP’s position (the one I am trying to help) Here he is told he tighted his belt too much but then he steps back and says,“I did not even know the belt could be tightened” and then he takes a look at the pulley looking for a bearing and comes too the conclusion that he is really losing it because he can’t even see a bearing. We are suppose too help people not add to their confusion.

Well, oldschool posted a reply and I replied and then he got flagged - again! (I did not do it). So this originally held my reply that I now deleted b/c it makes no sense.

But I will revisit my earlier post - if a trend starts toward calling people out for any mistake they make up here, these boards will become useless. This thread is turning into a small example of that. Petty baloney.

Caddyman easily clarified the issue - he corrected without making a big stink about anything. We all make mistakes. No need to belabor the point. Post better info and move on.

~ Now the reply was “unflagged” - I didn’t know that could happen - but see - this just gets silly

Yep, agree. I have high regard for most here and sure don’t want to see every post picked apart. Everyone has good intentions so let’s take it easy on each other.

The only thing I would add is that sometimes we just don’t read everything in the posts especially if they are a little long and maybe not edited well. I have had at least one “tensioner pulley” go out on me which does have a bearing. So if you just read the first part and saw pulley came off, you might be thinking tensioner pulley which is fairly common. At any rate, if it is the PS pulley, he’s gonna have to take the pump off, probably get a new pulley, and have the machine shop press it back on.

I had a mechanic replace the pulley and the belt (I got off cheap-Se habla’ espanol?) In the end it cost me about $80 parts and all.

It is now working fine. There is no more squeling. The belt had some wear on the inside (that belt was put on last year)

I still do not know why the pulley failed. Age I guess.

The squealing is back… I am thinking that the belt needs to be tightened but I have no clue how to go about it.

I have other problems anyway. Transmission is slipping, the stop lights wont work (I will post on this for help) The light that warns of low coolant is on, off, on, off, on… but the coolant isn’t low.

I’m about to give up on this car.