Serpentine Belts & Serpentine Belt Tensioners
What is a serpentine belt tensioner and where is it located?
Most cars and trucks on the road today use a serpentine belt to transfer power from the engine’s crankshaft rotation to the multiple accessories that are bolted to the vehicle’s engine, such as the alternator, power steering pump, radiator cooling fan, and A/C compressor, among others. This drive belt needs to have just the right amount of tension applied to it to function properly, ensure long belt life and prevent excessive strain on the accessories. That’s where the serpentine belt tensioner comes in! A serpentine belt tensioner, also commonly referred to as an accessory belt tensioner or drive belt tensioner, is a spring-loaded or hydraulic automatic adjusting device that, along with pulleys, is responsible for generating and maintaining the proper amount of tension on a vehicle’s serpentine belt so that the belt can keep all of the different engine accessories that are connected to it operating smoothly and effectively.
Serpentine belt tensioner failure
Over time serpentine belt tensions may weaken causing the belt to lose tension; this may result in belt slippage, squealing and premature belt wear. A loose belt could potentially work its way off a pulley causing it to snap or even fall off completely, leaving you stranded. However, too much tension will result in an excessively tight belt which will decrease the bearing life of the accessories. This could force you to replace parts such as your alternator or water pump well before its normal service life expectancy. Another common failure point would be the tensioner pulley bearings; over time these bearings will eventually fail. Symptoms of bad pulley bearings would be wobbling or play in the pulley, usually accompanied by noises such as a squeak or squeal. It is recommended to inspect the tensioner and idler pulley every 50,000 miles, or whenever you are replacing the serpentine belt. If your vehicle is displaying any of these symptoms, you may need a replacement accessory belt tensioner assembly.
Replacing a serpentine belt tensioner
Replacing your vehicle’s serpentine belt tensioner assembly may be easier than you think, and can usually be done with basic hand tools. Some applications may require using a special serpentine belt tensioner tool for accessing the tensioner bolt to relieve belt tension, which is necessary to remove the belt. A quality repair manual for your specific vehicle will take you through the process step by step.
Need a serpentine belt tensioner replacement?
The operation of a vehicle’s serpentine belt is determined by its tension; the belt must have the correct amount of tension to effectively drive all of the engine components that are connected to it, but not so much or so little tension that the belt is in danger of breaking, falling off, etc. The serpentine belt tensioner is responsible for generating this correct amount of tension that is needed for optimal performance. If your vehicle’s drive belt tensioner assembly fails, it will be unable to give the right amount of tension needed by the serpentine belt to keep the engine accessories connected to it working, which can lead to numerous problems such as part damage and/or being left stranded on the side of the road if the belt breaks or falls off. Therefore, if you need a serpentine belt tensioner replacement it is imperative that you obtain and install one as soon as possible. Luckily for you, Autometrics in Yakima has you covered! We have quality, replacement accessory drive belt tensioners for many cars and trucks, at great prices.
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Yakima Audi owners need not worry about getting proper diagnostics performed on their vehicles. AutoMetrics has ASE and Bosch certified master technicians on staff and is equipped with factory or better Audi diagnostic tools so our technicians have the best tools to work with. Our ability to accurately diagnose the issue will save you time and money. This is what allows us to make the right repair and get you back on the road faster than any other Yakima auto repair shop.
– A proper diagnosis leads to a proper repair –
This is just a short list of some of the systems we repair on Audi vehicles: Brakes, engines, anti-lock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control systems, fuel injection, electrical systems, transmissions, clutches, power windows and door locks, heating systems, air conditioning, axles, starters, ignitions, radiators, reprogramming, water pumps, timing belts, ball joints, control arms, wheel bearings, alternators, pre buy inspections, catalytic converters, airbags, belts and hoses, fuel pumps, washer pumps, sun roofs, head lights, tail lights, transfer cases, batteries, and body control systems.
We are the Yakima experts on Audi maintenance and service. From changing oil and all other vital fluids to performing valve adjustments, 30k service, 60k service, 90k service, tune ups, timing belts, timing chains, spark plugs, filters, headlight restoration, cooling system flushes, fuel injection cleaning, power steering flushes, transmission flushes, headlight alignments, thermostats, belts, hoses, antifungal and deodorization services for air conditioning systems, etc. AutoMetrics has all the expertise and factory repair information to ensure your car is reliable and stays dependable for years to come.