Identifying Problems on the Ford Ranger AC Idler Pulley
The AC idler pulley is a part of your vehicle's belt system that works to put a constant pressure on the belt guide. Unlike all the other pulleys on the Ford Ranger, the idler pulley does not actually transfer power to a certain mechanical device on the truck. What it does is to prevent slippage, and also reverse the flow of power transmission and change torque at times. That being said, your Ford Ranger AC idler pulley plays an essential role in the overall function of your truck. And when it gets busted, there might be certain complications on the vehicle's serpentine belt. It's a good thing that there are noticeable manifestations when the idler pulley is getting defective. Here are some of the problems you might encounter:
Corrosion is one of the most common problems of an AC idler pulley. Over time, you will notice that the metallic parts of your vehicle get rusty because of too much friction. Also, extreme heat can affect the pulley, and could cause corrosion on the system. When this happens, it becomes extra difficult for the pulley to function continuously. If you notice any sign of corrosion on the pulley, remove it right away. But if the corrosion has affected the pulley significantly, it would be better to have it checked by a trusted mechanic for a quick repair or replacement.
Presence of debris
Like all the other fully functional pulleys on your Ford Ranger, there is also a huge possibility for debris to contaminate your idler pulley. And when this happens, it is very likely for the system to get affected. Worse, it might be damaged totally. If you notice some major changes on the performance of your serpentine belt and there are no problems on the other pulleys, the troubles might be caused by the idler pulley. Although it does not take part in power transmission, it can still affect the process, which is why it is very important for you to make sure that it is not damaged.
You may also notice a constant whirring sound from underneath the truck. When the idler pulley or the serpentine belt, in general, is damaged, there is an annoying sound that persists as you drive the vehicle. While the noise may be caused by other parts and systems on the truck, there is also a huge possibility that it is caused by the idler pulley. If you hear some kind of noise on the truck, have it checked immediately.