How To Remove Water Pump Pulley Without Puller: In 10 Mins!

It is not always possible to disassemble or repair car engine parts at home. Any negligence may lead to other serious damage. Especially without the necessary tools, this seems impossible.

For example, pulleys always go with pullers, but what if you’re out and don’t have any of these with you?

This post will show you how to remove water pump pulley without puller. It’s time to learn!

How Does Water Pump Pulley Work? 

how to remove water pump pulley without puller

What Is It?

This part is connected to the timing belt by the water pump system in a car.

The timing belt controls the operation of the vehicle’s ancillary systems by encircling many pulleys in the engine compartment.

The water pump, pulley, and other important accessories may need to be replaced when it’s time to change the timing belt because they can be challenging to access.

Different makes and models come with different designs.

They typically have a fairly simple design, are convex or concave, and have mounting holes so they may be mounted on the water pump assembly.

If this part is not quite aligned, spacers can be purchased. These spacers are crucial because a belt out of alignment could fail and wear out more quickly.

It might also lead to issues with other systems connected to the timing belt.

How Does It Work?

The pulley needs to push coolant through the motor. It must rotate freely each time your automobile is started for the cooling system to function as intended.

The water pump could not perform normally if this part could not spin freely. Where the pump shaft will go is often a pressed bearing in the center of the water pump.

Hence, water pump pulley removal is not an easy feat, as it can significantly affect the whole system.

How To Remove Water Pump Pulley Without Puller

How to take a pulley off a power steering pump without a puller?

You need to wear all the required PPE, lift the car, remove the drive belt, unscrew the pulley bolts, then tighten those bolts on other unused holes to take the pulley out.

However, removing pulley from water pump without puller is not recommended. It brings many risks and can damage the related parts.

Check the next sections if you really want to do it at home!

Can You Remove The Pulley Without A Puller?

Yes. But it’s risky and could result in your pulley being shattered or bent.

You can remove the pulley from a water pump without tool, but it also depends on the kind you’re using.

Consider how much force the engine can still produce if only idling. Imagine how firmly the pulley must be fastened so that the power steering pump can maintain alignment with the belt.

Its speed and vibrations would destroy the entire system if there were even a little extra force.

So, you should be clear about how to remove a power steering pump pulley and ensure that everything is safe.

What To Prepare

  • Damp clothes to remove dirt or oil
  • Wrench

Ensure The Security

Even when you’re mastering how to remove a pulley without a puller, it’s mandatory to ensure safety before implementing:

  • Wear gloves or other protective gear if necessary.
  • Check all the tool’s quality.
  • On a smooth, flat surface, park the car. Verify that the transmission is in first gear or park (for automatic transmissions).
  • Wheel chocks should enclose the tires that will remain on the ground.
  • To lock the rear tires into place and prevent them from moving, apply the parking brake.

Remove The Water Pump Pulley

These steps can be used to remove power steering pump pulley without puller.

However, I need to emphasize that this procedure carries several risks, including potential harm to this part. As a result, you should exercise with caution.

  • Lift the vehicle at its designated jacking locations with a floor jack that is suggested for the weight of your car until the wheels are entirely off the ground.
  • To access the engine area, raise the hood. Grab a flashlight and physically inspect this part to look for any cracks or alignment issues.
  • Eliminate any obstructions to the drive or serpentine belt. You can clean the belt if it’s too dirty.
  • From the pulleys, remove the belt.
  • One by one, remove the screws holding your pulley in place. If they get stuck, put in some grease or heat the screws using a blow torch.
  • Put the screws that were taken out in the pulley’s other empty holes.
  • Tighten the screws firmly until you find the pulley coming out.
  • If you have a wrench, you can use it to remove the nuts on your power steering pulley. Turn the screws counterclockwise to remove them.

How To Insert A New Water Pump Pulley?

diy power steering pulley puller

After you’ve learned how to remove the pulley on a water pump, inserting or replacing water pump pulley is easier.

Remove The Old One

Refer to the step above to take out the old pulley. Of course, if you have a puller on hand, you can do the task a lot easier.

Instead of loosening and tightening the screws, you just need to place the puller or other removal tools in place and exert a sufficient force to remove the pulley.

Install The New Water Pump Pulley

  • Connect the water pump shaft with the new pulley.
  • The center bolts that hold it to the water pump must be unbolted. After that, you can remove the old one.
  • Tighten the pulley bolts to the recommended specs (normally 20 ft-lbs + ⅛ turn).
  • Reassemble any flex fan or clutch fan (if you have removed them).
  • Change any worn-out belts.

Lower Your Car And Start To Test

  • Tidy up the workspace. All equipment and tools should be gathered and put in a safe location.
  • Take the jack stands off.
  • Lift the vehicle with your floor jack at the designated jacking positions until the wheels are entirely free of the jack stands.
  • The jack stands should be taken off and moved away from the car.
  • Lower it until all the wheels are on the ground.
  • You can also take off the rear tires’ wheel chocks at this time and set them aside.
  • Take a test drive. As you drive, keep an ear out for any odd noises the replacement part might make.
  • When the test drive is complete, use a flashlight to inspect the new pulley. Make sure it is not damaged or deformed by inspecting it. 
  • Verify that the serpentine or drive belt has been adjusted correctly.

What Are The Alternatives For A Puller?

water pump pulley removal

You can use various tools as an alternative for the puller. While these tools can help you complete the task, they will not be as effective.

  • Pickle fork-type pulley remover
  • Jaw-style pulley remover
  • Bolt-type or threaded rod pulley remover

Most removers can generally be adjusted, making them compatible with various sizes and types.

However, before utilizing your impact tool, consider testing the part if it only functions with a specific shape.

One problem with this part is that they are easily ruined if they are pulled improperly or with inappropriate removal tools.

Utilizing various tools is frequently necessary when removing a heavy steel pulley from a shaft.


Can You Adjust The Water Pump Pulley By Hand?

Yes, but it’s quite rare. So how to remove the power steering pulley by hand?

You can do it if your hand has extremely great strength. We all know that a pulley is securely fitted with tools and equipment.

It should be tightened for safe driving and the best performance, so taking it out or adjusting it is not easy.

What Are The Common Issues With Water Pump Pulley?

You may have to face common issues with this part: 

  • Bad seal: Coolant doesn’t leak out of the engine thanks to the seal between the engine block and the water pump housing. If placed incorrectly or the car is not used for days or weeks, this seal may not function properly.
  • Loose drive pulley: Another problem that might cause its bearings to wear out and eventually fail is a swaying or loose pulley. This finally results in pump failure by reducing pump efficiency.
  • Broken or bad belt: When you see a cracked, worn-out, or slipping belt, the water pump might cease to operate. The belt should be properly tightened.
  • Corrosion: Corrosion frequently results from improper fluid maintenance or replacing the fluid with a tap water mixture.

When To Replace The Water Pump Pulley?

Your engine drive belt moves a pulley, which rotates a pump. The drive belt may separate from this part, which will stop the water pump from functioning if it is harmed, deformed, or seized.

The engine will overheat in that case.

Some of the warning indicators that your water pump pulley may be having issues are listed below:

  • The car’s drive belt has started to show symptoms of wear suddenly.
  • When the engine is running, there is a screeching sound.
  • The pulley is missing pieces.


You’ve learned how to remove water pump pulley without puller and how to install a new one.

However, as I have always mentioned  above, this is not recommended because it can cause severe damage to other components.

Therefore, you should still ask for the help of skilled mechanics to ensure safety and limit risks.

If you have to DIY, make sure to equip yourself with enough PPE and do the task on an even ground.

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