Q: Belt problem, maybe a pulley problem?

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Last year while I was driving my 2007 Ford Fusion, a belt broke under the hood and I had to get the car towed to a shop to replace it along with the idler pulley. Just recently, the same exact thing happened! I can’t keep replacing both parts every year, so how can I prevent this from happening again?

Nothing ruins a nice drive down a scenic road, or worse yet, a rush hour commute, like the serpentine belt deciding to make a run for it. Matters are further complicated when the problem goes further than the belt. There’s good news and bad news, so let’s start with the bad news and end on a high note. The bad news is you are one of MANY Fusion owners to experience the same frustration with your idler pulley. It seems the threaded mount for the idler pulley wasn’t given enough rigidity to hold the idler pulley bolt as firmly as necessary. This leads to the threads becoming wallowed out, and eventually, bolt failure. Now, the good news is after many failures, some intrepid technician somewhere discovered a suitable fix. By using a longer bolt and a nut, rather than relying on the threads in the block, the bolt maintains the proper dimension with the engine and does not break under load. I would advise having a technician inspect the threads in the block. If in fact the threads are damaged, this technique may mean the difference between repeated repairs and a lasting relationship between your idler pulley bolt and you.

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