Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Long Does an Idler Pulley Last?

idler pulley

The drive belt that is on a car runs nearly all of the major components of the engine. Most of the newer cars on the market have a serpentine belt rather than various V-belts. In order for this belt to remain functional, it will need to have the proper amount of tension and guidance. The idler pulley that is on your car helps to guide the belt where it needs to be, while providing the tension needed to keep it circulating as it should. This belt is used each time the engine is ran and is a vital part of keeping the car running as it should.

The idler pulley is designed to last the lifespan of the car. Usually, this pulley will wear out eventually due to the use that it receives. These pulleys can be made of either metal or plastic and have a pressed bearing in the middle of them to keep it secure on the belt shaft. The sealed bearing design helps to reduce the need for regular lubrication and can provide years and years of service without showing any signs of wear. A bad idler pulley can bring your engine to a grinding halt, which is why it is so important to check it from time to time.

When checking the idler pulley, you will need to look for signs of damage on both the pulley and the bearing that is in the middle of it. In some cases, the covering on the idler pulley bearing will come off and let all of the lubrication out. This will usually lead to the bearing locking up and not allowing the pulley to spin freely.

Here are a few of the things that you may notice when it is time to replace your idler pulley:

  • Screeching and squeaking noises coming from the engine
  • There are engine warning lights on
  • The power steering will not work
  • The engine is starting to overheat on a regular basis

Having a professional to replace the idler pulley on your car is the best way to ensure that the job is done the right way. Attempting to do this type of work on your own will usually lead to a variety of additional repair issues.

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 Throttle Return Spring Last?
Not all vehicles on the road feature an electronic throttle control (ETC), which is also called drive-by-wire. For vehicles that don't offer this system, they have a throttle cable instead that...
How to Find the Keyless Code on a Ford Explorer or Mercury Mountaineer
Many Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers were manufactured with an option known as the Ford keyless entry keypad. Some models refer to it as SecuriCode as well. It...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...


Related questions

Q: Belts keeps breaking - 1992 Mercury Capri

Hello. If this all started after the alternator was replaced, then that is more than likely the problem. If the alternator is defective and has an internal bearing failure then this will occur. Also, if the alternator is not mounted...

Q: High and fluctuating idle. Tried some re-learn programs with no success.

A high an fluctuating idle is usually cause by a vacuum leak or stuck open EGR valve. Also on this vehicle I have seen the PCV valve broken where a failed attempt to remove it from the valve cover it...

Q: Regarding Car AC

The basic problem is likely that the AC compressor is putting too much load on the belt, causing it to slip, then fail. This condition could be caused by an "over-filled" AC system with too much refrigerant, creating high operating...