Question about 1990 Mercury Topaz

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Alternator pulley gets hot and starts smoking after running only a couple minutes

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Check to make sure idler pulleys are turning,find out what's not turning. AC , WATER PUMP, ALT ,
AIR PUMP . etc

Posted on Feb 03, 2010

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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I started my 2005 Taurus, heard a high pitched whining sound and saw smoke rising from under the hood. Haven't started it since, and am going to have it towed to a dealership. I'm not a mechanic...


  • Hi, I can help.

  • Sounds to me like the "whining" was a stuck pulley and the smoke was from the serpentine belt smoking. The alternator, AC compressor, Power Steering Pump, Water Pump and the Tentioner are all pulleys that are driven by the serpentine belt. When one of the em pulleys lock up the belt is still pulled by all the other pulleys and smokes out on the stuck pulley.

  • This video here will give you the best visual on how to remove your serpentine belt (simple really)

  • Once you remove the serpentine belt start turning pulleys. They should spin free with no hangups. If the belt smoked then one of the pulleys is probably really stuck and won't move at all. When you find the stuck pulley that part will need to be replaced as a whole. In other words if your alternator pulley locked up then the alternator will need replaced.

  • This would be the first thing I would look at, given what you explained as to what happened.

  • If you have any comments please feel free to leave them here.
  • Hope this helps and thank you for using FixYa.

Regards, Tony

Sep 25, 2011 | 2005 Ford Taurus

1 Answer

My car runs good till it gets warm then shuts off when you let off the gas then takes a couple of minutes till it will start again then does the same thing.


Crank sensor failure when hot, it is down by the bottom engine pulley, next to it or behind there, cheap and easy to change. Classic fault.

Nov 06, 2009 | 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier

2 Answers

On my 91 capri non turbo, the alternator is sqealing


Could be the belt or tensioner(if so equipped) was too tight and then it may have warped the pulley or ruined the alternator. The belt smoking could definately be overtensioned or the bearings are shot in the alternator and creating the friction in your belt. Check the tension specs for most vehicles is usually between 1-1/2 to 2 inches of play. Thats how far your belt can be moved up and down by hand after tensioned. Too tight and you risk burning up bearings in other places or too loose and you hear squeeking and the vehicle may not charge properly or even overheat from water pump not turning well enough.

Oct 17, 2009 | 1991 Mercury Capri

2 Answers

Belts squealing


is your belt slipping? You may have a bad tensioner pulley. Check all pulleys make sure they will spin and not lock up, if they feel really tight or after rotating them around several times they get tight replace

Sep 16, 2009 | 2000 Mazda Protege

1 Answer

2001 Jetta 1.8T, 100K miles. Smokes when hot.


Ouch! you've got engine coolant in the exhaust from a leak somewhere...DO NOT run this engine until you get someone (dealer is best in this instance) to diagnose ($50-125)

Jun 14, 2009 | 2002 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

1 Answer

Guages stop and irratic idle with dimming lights


what probley happened the alternator started to heat up alittle to much and caused the belt to spin on the pulley i would go ahead and get the alternator replaaced as soon as possible. as for the lights dimming and the gauges not working you was running off your battery making the vehicle mess up i would also get your battery checked while your at it.

Jun 09, 2009 | 1999 Mercury Cougar

2 Answers

Mercury Topaz loses power while driving, and stalls out


Check fuel pressure. Sounds like a bad pump or plugged fuel filter.

Mar 19, 2009 | 1989 Mercury Topaz

1 Answer

Mercury capri alternator getting very hot


its the alternator pulley thats defective and in order to pull the alternator you a have to take off the piece with the hoses on it above the alternator and you can wiggle it out

Dec 09, 2008 | 1992 Mercury Capri

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