Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Need a reliable brand for the belt tensioner.

asked by on

I replaced the belt tensioner with a new AC Delco unit in June and it failed last week. I attempted to get two replacements (still brand new AC Delco) but they were both DOA when I pulled them out of the box, meaning they had zero tension on them. I think it's likely a poor design, but is there another brand that is considered reliable for this part? I wouldn't worry about it so much except that coolant has to be drained and dealt with because of how GM decided to route the heater inlet and outlet through the freaking thing. That makes changing it frequently extra special and something I'd rather avoid if possible.

My car has 95000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hello and thank you for contacting YourMech...

Hello and thank you for contacting YourMechanic. Shopping around for parts can be frustrating when it comes to specific brands. Some brands are not as good as other brands, however, a low quality belt and a high quality belt should not wear out less than 6 months.

If you have a serpentine belt on the engine, remove the belt and check all of the pulleys for any wobble and make sure that they are in good shape. Put the belt on, or a new belt, and then pull on the belt. If the belt was really tight to get on and won’t move much when installed, then the belt is the wrong size for that engine setup. You would need to be able to move the belt at least 1/4 inch on the tensioner to have the right amount of pressure.

I suggest Napa brand belts or go to the dealership for the OEM belt to keep the vehicle running correctly. If you need assistance with the belt, then seek out a professional, preferably a professional from YourMechanic to help you with a proper replacement of your belt tensioner at your home or office.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Hello,my name is Sandra, I have a'05 Pontiac G6,it has a sunroof and water is leaking on the floorboards on both sides,of back. I'

Water is like electricity. It follows the path of least resistance. Manufacturers have learned to make water flow over or through the car easily to keep it from getting to the interior. Hearing water sloshing inside any of the doors...

Q: Squealing noise?!

Hey there. You have a binding accessory on the engine like the A/C compressor or pulley, power steering pump, or an idler pulley. You should first test the computer to see if the power steering pressure switch is activating by...

Q: Overheating engine and coolant leak steam under hood

This suggests you may have a cooling system problem. This can be caused by a faulty thermostat, a bad cooling fan relay, a failing water pump, a clogged radiator, or potentially even a blown head gasket. If you need help...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...