The engine is the power machine of a car, literally converting energy, in the form of fuel, into movement, and is known as an internal combustion engine. The engine is made up of several components that all work together to enable combustion to occur and in turn the car to move. The camshaft pulley has an important part to play in the mechanical linkage which works to harness the power produced in the engine and transform it into the rotary drive required to make the vehicle move. Essentially, the camshaft pulley functions to ensure the camshaft is rotating at the right speed and enables it to smoothly spin around.
The camshaft's job is to manage the poppet valves, basically opening and closing the intake and exhaust valves in the cylinder head. The cylinder head is comprised of a series of passages that carry the air and fuel combination needed for combustion to the cylinders; the liquid coolant, needed to keep the engine cool; and harmful fumes (produced in the engine in the process of combustion) from the exhaust valves to the exhaust manifold and away from the vehicle. An integral part of the engine's timing system, the camshaft works to manage this process by making sure that the intake and exhaust valves are opening and closing at exactly the right time. The engine needs the correct amount of air and fuel flowing through it in order for the fuel to burn in the cylinders and for the engine to ignite or spark at the right time. The camshaft pulley controls how fast the camshaft rotates and enables the smooth rotation of the cylindrical camshaft. The camshaft receives power from the crankshaft, connected by the cam belt/timing belt, and as the camshaft rotates on the camshaft pulley, it opens and closes the valves. The cam shaft pulley works in conjunction with the timing belt to make sure the camshaft is rotating in synch with the crankshaft (the part that controls the engine's pistons and turns power from the pistons into the rotational power required to make the car move).
A worn, rusted, dented or damaged camshaft pulley can effect the vital timing system of the engine and will need to be replaced. Signs of a problem can be a rattling noise from the engine and vibrating. When this part fails, replacing it with a camshaft pulley will guarantee a part that's completely compatible with the make and model of your vehicle.