Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. How Long Does a Drive Belt Tensioner Last?

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 Long Does a Fuel Filler Neck Last?
Getting gas from the pump to your gas tank is the only way to keep a car going. The fuel filler neck is a metal tube that is welded to the...
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Flexible Clutch Hose
Common signs include difficulty shifting, low clutch fluid, and feeling no resistance at the clutch pedal.
P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222...

Related questions

Q: Q: Serpentine belt keeps shredding.

The belt will get cut or shredded by pulley alignment or seized pulley bearings. The alignment of the pulleys should be checked. The tensioner pulley is the most common one to be out of alignment or the bearing to seize...

Q: When I brake is sounds and feels like grinding metal

This is usually a sign of the brake rotors developing hot spots or becoming warped. When the brakes are applied, an enormous amount of heat is generated. As this happens and the brakes heat up and cool down repeatedly, the...

Q: Belts squeak when starting

The belts are squeaking from the belt tensioner is not strong enough or the belts are glazed and slipping. The belt would need to be checked and the tensioner checked for proper tension. The hig idle when cold may be...