How Long Does a Drive Belt Tensioner Last?

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.


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Tinashe

13 years of experience
605 reviews
Tinashe
13 years of experience
Ford F-150 V8-5.0L - Drive Belt Tensioner - Clarkston, Georgia
Very friendly and very knowledgeable. Was on time and even early. He explained what he was doing every step of the way .
Mazda 6 - Drive Belt Tensioner - Decatur, Georgia
Great service! Extremely polite and informative. He is extremely reliable! He came in a day early just because he had a slot open! He showed me exactly was causing the problem in my car and how to properly fix it. I will definitely be keeping him as my mechanic!

Tony

40 years of experience
12 reviews
Tony
40 years of experience
Chrysler Pacifica V6-3.5L - Drive Belt Tensioner - Stockton, California
He was wonderful and went above and beyond he was fast and efficient as well and we want to thank him again for his professional job

Alec

15 years of experience
3 reviews
Alec
15 years of experience
Kia Optima L4-2.4L - Drive Belt Tensioner - Melville, New York
Alec was very knowledgeable and a did fantastic job. Would definitely use his services again in the future.

Luke

17 years of experience
150 reviews
Luke
17 years of experience
Ram 1500 V8-5.7L - Drive Belt Tensioner - Sandy, Texas
Fast, Easy, and Professional. Scheduled Luke again for maintenance and brake pads. Book him up, one of the best!

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