Water pump pulley stuck

I replaced the water pump in my 2011 Traverse. I put the first pulley bolt in hand tight and tried to spin to the next hole on the top. Pulley was hard to spin but I figured it was because i didn’t have the opposite bolt in yet. Long story short all 4 bolts are in (hand tight) but the pulley doesn’t spin. What am I doing wrong??

Does the water pump turn by hand before you put the pulley on it? If the water pump doesn’t turn by hand, you have a bad pump or it is the wrong pump for the engine.

Is the pulley on in the right direction (facing out not in)? Are you using the same bolts, or are they a longer?


Pump turned freely before the pulley went on, and I’m using the original bolts on the pulley

Then look to the pulley. Itself. What is it hitting? Look at the old water pump, what is different? There is where you will find your answer.


Make sure you didn’t leave out a spacer off the old one…

1 Like

I didn’t have a spacer on the old one… There are a couple dimples in the backside that I assume serve as a spacer?

No offense, but you didn’t, by accident, put the outside of the pulley inside?

1 Like

I thought the same thing.

Then I looked on RockAuto and found this.



I wonder if he put the serpentine belt back on correctly.

The serpentine belt isn’t even on.

He can’t rotate the pulley with the pulley bolts finger tight.

Didn’t you read the post?


yeah, just occurred to me a minute ago and I was going to edit my post.

In that case I would remove the pulley again and try to see if the pump spins.

1 Like

It’s on the right way, haha. And no offense taken. The only thing I can think to do is torque them to the recommended 89 in/lb in a cross pattern and see if that makes a difference

Is the hub flange the same thickness? I’m betting the fasteners are protruding further out the backside of the flange and hitting the pump body. If that’s true, tightening won’t help. Why not try loosening all of them until it turns to see how much interference your getting? Another possibility is the pulley is rubbing on the body. What replacement pump did you buy?

Is the hub on the new pump the same thickness as the hub on the old pump? Just wondering if it is a bit thinner and that is allowing the bolts to protrude further than normal.

As others have noted, it does feel like there’s something wrong or different with the replacement water pump that you installed.

Can you post the brand name and the part number for the pump, and where you bought it from?

It won’t make a difference. If it won;t turn finger tight, it surely won’t turn when torqued.

1 Like

It’s a Duralast from Autozone AWP-9361

if you still have your old pump, take it to Autozone and compare it with one they sold you.

1 Like

There is only one water pump for all models of Traverse for that year, from both Autozone, and from the Chevy dealer.

If it were me, my next step would be to remove the new pump from the engine and:

  1. Match the old pump up with the new pump, in every dimension
  2. Bolt the pulley on to the old and new pumps (hand tigthen is enough) to visually inspect the pulley and bolt clearance on each pump.
1 Like