Is it Necessary to Replace the Tensioner With the Timing Belt?

Is it necessary to replace the tensioner with the timing belt?

A faulty timing belt has to be replaced, and the sooner the better. The best course of action is also to replace the tensioner at the same time.

What causes a timing belt to fail?

Timing belts can become damaged due to excessive wear as a result of old age, or because of contamination from water or oil leaks. If a new belt is over-tightened, it could fail prematurely, or even break. When that happens, the broken timing belt can also cause neighboring components to fail.

Additionally, the timing belt’s teeth can develop stress cracks, or even detach. If the belt looks worn or damaged, it needs to be replaced.

Full timing belt change

When the timing belt is replaced, other parts, including the tensioner, should be replaced at the same time. This is because these components wear out at essentially the same rate as the belt. For instance, the tensioner bearings could dry out or even seize. It would be a shame if you had the timing belt replaced, only to have a tensioner seize and throw the belt off its pulleys. There’s no good outcome here – you could end up with bent valves, or even holes in the pistons.

Prevention

Even if your timing belt isn’t looking all that bad, it should still be replaced approximately every 60,000 miles. Sometimes, signs of wear aren’t immediately apparent. When you replace the timing belt and tensioner, your mechanic may also recommend replacing the idlers and the water pump. Because the water pump is likely the same age as the belt, and is usually hidden behind it, it’s best not to wait. You could replace the belt and tensioner, only to have the water pump go shortly afterward. Then the belt and tensioner are going to have to be removed to get at the water pump, and that can be more costly than simply replacing it at the same time as the belt.

To reiterate, have the timing tensioner replaced at the same time as the timing belt. And also have any other parts replaced that are associated with the timing belt. That way, you can be assured of many more miles of worry-free driving.


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Recent Timing Belt Replacement reviews

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Chris

22 years of experience
2223 reviews
Chris
22 years of experience
Toyota 4Runner V6-3.4L - Timing Belt - Anaheim, California
Chriss was really great. I appreciated his knowledge of my vehicle. He shared maintenance tips. Oh and he did a really good job with a difficult ask. New timing belt, drive belt, Radiator. Thank you!
Honda Odyssey - Timing Belt - Murrieta, California
We always use Chris for our auto repairs when he is available. He is very reliable and does a good job.

William

34 years of experience
517 reviews
William
34 years of experience
Ford Ranger L4-2.3L - Timing Belt - Phoenix, Arizona
I was scammed out of 2300 dollars by another mobile mechanic who said I needed a new engine. William came out and replaced the timing belt and water pump. He explained everything to me and was honest when asked certain questions. I will use this service again because William is now my mechanic. Great service.
Honda Pilot - Timing Belt - Phoenix, Arizona
Awesome person, friendly and did a great job. Had my timing belt done with the pulleys, water pump and thermostat. Defenitly knowledgeable in his field of work and will be using him again in my future repairs.

James

30 years of experience
873 reviews
James
30 years of experience
Honda Pilot V6-3.5L - Timing Belt - Kissimmee, Florida
This was a great first experience with YourMechanic. James was professional and worked diligently to get the job done. Highly recommend and will be using him again. Thanks!
Chrysler Sebring - Timing Belt - Orlando, Florida
James kept in touch with me the day of the repairs. Hard-working guy! Stay and finished job till late evening. Timing belt, new water pump and valve cover. So far so good! Thank you James!!

Jermaine

24 years of experience
244 reviews
Jermaine
24 years of experience
Lexus GX470 V8-4.7L - Timing Belt - Clarksville, Maryland
Jermaine always does a great job. He has worked on three of my cars, and done efficient and flawless work. He's a great guy too.
Honda Ridgeline - Timing Belt - Rockville, Maryland
I want to thank Jermaine for the quick, professional service on my 06 Honda Ridgeline. Outstanding. I didn't know what to expect, but after he completed the work and was explaining what he inspected afterward, I was very pleased. He was very professional and was able to help diagnose another potential issue. This is the first time I used "yourmechanic.com" and from the estimate I received (both timeframe and money), compared to the auto shops around town, I couldn't believe what could be done outside my home. After this experience, I will be a returning customer.

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