Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How to Buy a Good Quality Drive Belt Tensioner

Good quality belt tensioner

The drive belt – also known as a serpentine belt – keeps important components of your car’s accessory system running smoothly. The power steering, air conditioning, and sometimes even the water pump, rely upon this belt to provide them with power. The drive belt can only perform its job, however, if proper tension is maintained on it.

With time, wear and tear can have a destructive effect on the automatic tensioner, impeding its ability to keep the serpentine belt tight enough. If the belt is too loose it could come free of its pulleys, which in turn affects the operations of the parts it’s connected to. If the drive belt is too tight it could put undue strain on the water pump bearings and other vital parts under the hood, shortening their lives.

If your drive belt is creating vibration, rattles, sticks, stops working, or the tensioner shows obvious cracks or looseness, it could need replacing. There are some things to take into account when selecting a new one:

  • Consider aftermarket parts: One advantage of an aftermarket automatic tensioner is that the weaknesses of some tensioners that have failed have prompted a reverse engineering of the part in order to tweak the problems. This has resulted in tensioners that are, in some cases, actually better than OEM.

  • Look for a tensioner with corrosion protection: Rust and decay can shorten your part’s life.

  • Check with your dealer about a warranty: Sometimes drive belt tensioners are covered under the powertrain warranty, which would save you a few bucks on the repair. While the average home mechanic can handle the job of replacing the drive belt tensioner, the job does require a couple of specialized tools. If you don’t want to invest the money in a set of tools that will rarely be used, go ahead and let a professional do the task for you.

YourMechanic supplies top-quality drive belt tensioners to our certified mobile technicians. We can also install a drive belt tensioner that you've purchased. Click here to get a quote and more information on drive belt tensioner replacement.

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

Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...
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...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...


Related questions

Q: Distinguish timing belt and drive belt

The drive belt is visible when you open the hood. Some cars have multiple belts. Some have one belt that "drives" all the external engine components like the water pump, a/c compressor, alternator, and power steering pump. The timing belt...

Q: Knocking noise. Is it a problem with the belt?

Hello - No, it is incorrect to assume that you couldn't install the new tensioner even though it is of different length. Was the new tensioner longer or shorter? If shorter, there may not be adequate tension on the belt,...

Q: My car is making a clunky noise and gets louder on acceleration. The check engine and power steering light is on

Hi there, thanks for writing in. It sounds like you may have a fan belt that is failing or loose or the power steering pump is failing. I would start by checking the tightness and the condition of the belt....