1. Grinding or squeaking noise from the belts or tensioner. The most common symptom of a bad or failing drive belt tensioner is noise from the belts or tensioner. If the tensioner is loose the belts may squeak or squeal, especially when the engine is first started.Mar 25, 2021
1. Grinding or squeaking noise from the belts or tensioner. The most common symptom of a bad or failing drive belt tensioner is noise from the belts or tensioner. If the tensioner is loose the belts may squeak or squeal, especially when the engine is first started.
Driving with a bad belt tensioner is unsafe since the tensioner is meant to guarantee ample tension that powers accessories. Wear on the belt tensioner will eventually cause the belt to slip, generate loud noise, and also create an unsafe level of heat along the accessory pulleys.
Listen for a fluttering” noise while driving or while the car is idling. This indicates the tensioner is too loose. Other noises such as squealing or whirling from the front of the engine mean the spring inside the tensioner is weakening. In this case, the belt tensioner needs to be replaced.
The drive belt tensioner can wear down over time, just due to normal wear and tear. It’s a good idea to have it inspected each time you have your belt system looked at. The goal is to replace it before it actually breaks down, and causes your vehicle to run less than perfectly.
Checking the Tensioner
Spin the pulley to see if it spins freely. If you hear grinding or the pulley doesn’t spin freely, replace the tensioner. When you replace the belt, it should take a lot of muscle power to move the tensioner. If you can move it easily, the spring tension is most likely not tight enough.
If the tensioner is worn, the belt will slip and then catch suddenly. Tensioners are more than just a spring. … The belt will slip and catch, causing noise and vibration. This can cause a change in crankshaft speed that is severe enough to cause the engine management system to think that a misfire just occurred.
When the tensioner or tensioner pulley fails, the loss of tension can cause the belt and pulleys to make high-pitched rattling or chirping noises. If the pulley bearing completely fails, it can also cause a squealing or even a grinding noise.
If the drive belt tensioner pulley has any sort of issue it can cause unusual and accelerated wear on the belt. A bad pulley can cause fraying on the edges of the belt, and in severe cases can even cause it to break. Other symptoms of a bad belt tensioner is failure of the belt driven accessories.
Tighten the tensioner pulley by turning the adjustment bolt clockwise with the ratchet and socket until the belt is tight. Tighten the bolt in the center of the pulley with the ratchet and socket.
If the tensioner pulley wobbles on its shaft, it means the interior shaft bearings have worn. This will cause a pulley misalignment. Bad bearings cause an audible growling noise. The outer ends of the serpentine belt will fray and stretch the belt.
If you suspect you’re dealing with a failing tensioner or idler, you’ll want to watch for the following symptoms: … Excessive tensioner movement – Worn-out coil springs can also cause drive belt tensioners to loosen their grip on the drive belt, resulting in excessive vibration and rattling.
There is no recommended timeframe in which to replace your tensioner, especially as the belt itself usually needs replacing before the tensioner does. However, you should inspect your tensioner each time you service your car to monitor its condition and replace it if necessary.
A general rule of thumb for the correct tightness is being able to twist a belt with a thumb and finger a 1/2 turn and feel resistance. If you can turn it more than a 1/2 turn, you do not have enough tension on the belt. If you cannot turn it a 1/2 turn, you have too much tension on the belt.
Appearance: Cycle the tensioner (mounted on the engine) through the entire range of motion (from stop to stop) by applying torque to the arm with a wrench. The tensioner arm should move smoothly and freely. Solution: If you notice a binding, sticking or grinding tensioner arm, the tensioner should be replaced.
When twisted either way from the middle, the tension in the belt must not be more than 12 inch. The belt is too tight if it is twisted more. The positions do not work for the vehicle.
A camshaft tensioner leak will usually have these symptoms: Unusual sounds: You might hear loud ticking and grinding noises. This is often due to a loose timing belt, which arises due to leaking from the tensioner. … However, if the camshaft tensioner leaks, the belt will begin fraying.
A seized tensioner cannot maintain proper belt tension. Dirt or mud can also jam the tensioner housing. A loose or worn pivot arm can allow unwanted movement; that results in belt noise and misalignment. Over time, this will increase belt wear and lead to premature belt failure.
Visual Clues of a Worn Idler Pulley
Such wear decreases tension that can cause significant belt slippage. If the pulley or bearing is noticeably damaged, cracking, breaking, seizing, or otherwise coming apart, it is an indication that it requires prompt replacement.
The most common sign of a loose drive belt is noise, and it can range from a barely audible squeak to an ear-shattering squeal. It could happen when you’re driving, or when your engine is idling.
If the tensioner is worn, the belt will slip and then catch suddenly. Tensioners are more than just a spring. … The belt will slip and catch, causing noise and vibration. This can cause a change in crankshaft speed that can be severe enough to cause the engine management system to think that a misfire just occurred.
Pilling. Appearance: Belt material wears off from the ribs and builds up in the belt grooves. Cause: There are a number of causes, including misalignment, new belt on worn pulleys, lack of tension or a combination of these factors. Pilling will occur most frequently in diesel engines, but is not isolated to them.
Fraying. Fraying at the edge of a belt typically indicates misalignment of the pulleys. When the belt is not properly on the pulleys, the scrapes on the top edge of an accessory drive pulley side as the belt feeds into it, eventually causing the belt to fray.
Poor Driving Experience
Vehicle performance issues can also indicate a problem with your vehicle’s serpentine belt because bad serpentine belt causes loss of power. … So if you have searched for answers to the question, can a bad serpentine belt cause rough idle? The answer is yes.
Shaking or vibration may be caused by many different things such as faulty spark plugs, poor fuel pressure or misfires. Other things such as a faulty idle air control valve may cause the engine idle to drop below the normal idling RPM which may also cause the motor to shake or vibrate more than normal.
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