What is the Idler Pulley all about?
An idler pulley is responsible for guiding and maintaining tension with the drive belt. The drive belt (also called the serpentine belt) connects the engine to various components of the vehicle (such as the air conditioning, power steering, and alternator). Power is transferred from the engine to these systems via the drive belt. The belt is held in place by the idler pulley, which keeps the tension on the drive belt and guides it.
Keep in mind:
When an idler pulley is replaced, it’s a good idea to replace the drive belt as well.
How it's done:
- Inspect engine for noises
- Inspect the drive belts
- Spin the pulley
- Replace the pulleys if found bad
- Check for proper operations of the belt
Any time that drive belt maintenance is performed on your vehicle, the idler pulley should be examined. Idler pulleys usually wear out with time, so it is a safe precautionary procedure to have your idler pulley replaced during any drive belt servicing.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Idler Pulley?
- Noises from the engine
- Warning lights are on
- Loss of power steering
- Car is overheating
How important is this service?
The idler pulley is responsible for keeping your drive belt aligned, and for maintaining the tension in the drive belt. The drive belt is used to transfer power from the engine to the alternator, power steering, and air conditioning, among other systems. If the driver pulley starts to degrade, the drive belt will be less efficient, and your vehicle will be liable to overheat or run poorly. If the idler pulley fully breaks, the drive belt will no longer work at all, and your car won’t run.