What is the Timing Belt Tensioner all about?
The timing belt tensioner maintains the appropriate tension on the timing belt. The timing belt, made from rubber and located at the the front of the engine, ensures that your engine's moving parts such as the valves and pistons, run synchronized. The timing belt tensioner is part of the internal combustion engine of the car. Worn out timing belt tensioners are the leading cause for timing belt failures. Wear on the tensioner is difficult to detect. Some that look OK may actually be near the end of their service life. It is most economical and efficient to replace the tensioner when the timing belt is replaced. If the belt is worn or broken, these valves and pistons lose synchronization and the car will not run and/or severe engine damage, poor engine performance, or fuel inefficiency can occur. It is critical to the life of the engine to keep this belt in good condition and maintain the appropriate tension at all times.
Keep in mind:
Timing belt tensioner is usually replaced with the timing belt. When you request this service, we replace the whole unit (tensioner, belt, pulley, water pump) and replace the coolant as well.
How it's done:
- Remove front cover to gain access to timing components.
- Remove timing belt.
- Remove the rest of timing components (tensioner, idler).
- Replace timing belt tensioner and idler.
- Replace timing belt.
- Reinstall front cover and all accessories.
- Start car and set ignition timing.
- Check for proper operation.
Consult your owner's manual for the maintenance schedule. Timing belt is usually replaced every 60,000 to 90,000 miles. It is always a good idea to replace water pump at this time and inspect the oil seals.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Timing Belt Tensioner?
- Car won't start.
- Squealing noise from the engine compartment.
- Grinding noise from the timing cover.
- Slapping or scraping noises from the engine.
- Rattling noise when starting or accelerating the car.
- Inconsistent, humming noise.
- When driving at a low speed, RPMs show big, erratic changes.