Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Long Does a Drive Belt Tensioner Last?

Drive Belt Tensioner

In order to keep the proper tension on your vehicle's serpentine belt, a drive belt tensioner is used. This is a pulley that is either mounted to an adjustable pivot point or a spring mechanism. If you open up the hood of your car, you'll see that the serpentine belt is on the front of your engine. It is the long one. The pulley itself is found on the outside of the belt, which is how it adds tension or pressure.

The problem with the drive belt tensioner is that once it goes, it usually means replacing the pulleys and sometimes the drive belt itself. It’s not usually a one-part replacement job. While there is no set lifespan for the drive belt tensioner, it is suggested that you have it inspected each time you perform the regular routine maintenance of your drive belt system. This is a good way to detect early warning signs of any possible problems. It should be noted that the drive belt itself will most likely need replacing before the tensioner does. Drive belts typically last anywhere between 40,000 and 70,000 miles.

There aren't a lot of warning signs that a drive belt tensioner has hit the end of its lifespan, in fact there is really only one.

  • Once you start to hear a grinding or squeaking sound coming from your engine, it's time to have the drive belt tensioner looked at. It will get to the point that you hear this sound every single time you turn on the engine.

  • As the drive belt tensioner continues to break down, a variety of aspects of your vehicle will start to suffer. It can affect your alternator, power steering, and your air conditioning since they are all powered through the drive belt. These issues will just become more and more pronounced.

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.

If you’re experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms and suspect your drive belt tensioner is in need of replacement, get a diagnostic or book a drive belt tensioner replacement service with a professional mechanic.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...
How to Get a Louisiana Driver's Permit
s licensing program. The first step in this program is to obtain...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...


Related questions

Q: Timing belt tensioner

There is a belt tensioner for the timing belt, and there is a belt tensioner for the serpentine belt. They are both important and at 15000 miles, you may want to replace both. However, the timing belt tensioner is critical...

Q: Like rumble noise on pulley system side

I would recommend checking all of the idler pulleys to be sure the bearings are freely spinning on them as these can sometimes wear badly when they are subjected to dirt and debris or severe weather conditions.

Q: Drum brakes not working

Hi. On older vehicles such as yours brakes are crucial due to the mass of the car. Drum brakes are known to last longer than disc brakes but do not hold the same stopping power and cooling ability. Wheel cycling...