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Drive Belt Replacement

All You Need to Know About Drive Belt Replacement Service

The modern car engine is a work of art. It is an intricate system of moving parts and mechanisms that powers your car and allows you to travel around. One of those moving parts that is crucial to the engine process is the drive belt tensioner.

Without a functioning drive belt tensioner, a lot can go wrong. Keep on reading to learn more about the tensioner, and how to monitor and replace it when necessary.

What Is the Drive Belt Tensioner?

The name pretty much says it all. The drive belt tensioner is essentially a system that is responsible for keeping tension on the engine belts, such as the timing belt. There are two types of drive belt tension systems:

  • Spring Tensioners: designed to create tension automatically
  • Pivot Tensioners: can be adjusted manually

What Does the Tensioner Do?

Whether your engine utilizes a spring or an adjustable pivot tensioner, both are used to keep tension on the serpentine belts. Without proper tension, the belts fail to do their jobs and power various engine accessories.

3 Signs You Might Need Tensioner Replacement Service

When the drive bet tensioner has an issue, and is not operating correctly, it will affect how the rest of the engine functions and performs. When this happens, you may notice a few things.

Engine Noise

Strange noises coming from your engine are normally the first sign that something is wrong. In the case of a drive belt tensioner issue, you may hear squealing or squeaking coming from under the hood, especially when the car starts.

If the bearings or the pulley system itself need replacement, you may also hear a grinding nose.

Atypical Belt Wear

Drive belts should wear down evenly over time. If there is unusual or accelerated wear and tear on your drive belt, there could be an issue with the tensioner.

Tensioners that are not operating correctly can cause the belt to fray around the edges. When it gets terrible, the belt itself may even break over time.

Failure of Drive-Belt Accessories

The worst-case scenario is when the engine accessories begin to fail. Without proper tension on your engine belts, certain functions are no longer reliable.

The engine belts and tensioner are responsible for things like:

  • The alternator
  • Power steering
  • Air conditioning

With a seized or loose tensioner, the engine belts won’t perform like they should, and therefore, the accessories related to the engine belts will fail. This could result in:

  • Overheating
  • Electrical system and battery failure
  • Disabled AC system

Our Maintenance Recommendation

The drive belt tensioner should be looked at every time you have your car go in for auto repair or maintenance. Most times, the tensioner will normally outlast the drive belts itself.

So as long as your mechanic inspects and replaces the tensioner when the engine belts are replaced, then you should have no problems, and your engine will remain in tip-top shape.

But remember, if you start to hear or see any of the signs from above, don’t hesitate to take your car in for service even if you’re outside your normal service schedule.

Contact Prieto Automotive
If you have any other auto repair curiosities or need guidance on buying or selling of used vehicles, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Whether you want to buy, sell or just talk about cars, we here at Prieto Automotive are here to help!

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Drive Belt Replacement