Is it Necessary to Replace the Tensioner With the Timing Belt? | YourMechanic Advice

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

Excellent Rating

(1,217)

Rating Summary
1,140
41
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1,140
41
6
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Eddie

39 years of experience
16 reviews
Eddie
39 years of experience
Honda Civic - Timing Belt Replacement - Star, Idaho
Eddie knows what he's talking about. He's gone above and beyond what is expected oh him. He didn't wash his hands off of my vehicle when it was giving him the greatest grief. He persevered through in getting my timing belt replaced.
Subaru Forester - Timing Belt - Meridian, Idaho
Upstanding job, Excellent service. Mr Eddie is very Efficient, friendly and professional . Highly recommended.

Jimmi

26 years of experience
102 reviews
Jimmi
26 years of experience
Hyundai Santa Fe - Timing Belt - Orlando, Florida
Great mechanic very knowledgeable and informative. knew how to disassemble and reassemble timing belt on Santa fe.
Hyundai Sonata - Timing Belt - Orlando, Florida
Jimmi was quite knowledgable and took great care with my vehicle! Additionally, he gave me an honest and detailed explanation of future preventative maintenance, including what was important and what needed to wait.

Victor

34 years of experience
148 reviews
Victor
34 years of experience
Honda Odyssey - Timing Belt - Albuquerque, New Mexico
He stayed beyond the appointment time to make sure my car was running they way it should. Friendly and professional.
Toyota Sienna - Timing Belt - Albuquerque, New Mexico
Victor arrived on time and finished the job ! Great service, I just made another appointment with him!

Caz

16 years of experience
27 reviews
Caz
16 years of experience
Honda Accord - Timing Belt - Atlanta, Georgia
Deven was right on time and was very professional. I think he did excellent work and I was very satisfied.
Toyota 4Runner - Timing Belt - Acworth, Georgia
Deven was very professional and completed the timing belt replacement within the scheduled time. He pointed out to me that the rear brakes did not require replacement at present. I’d schedule Deven again for future maintenance.

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