Many of the later model engines use a serpentine belt to drive an automobile the accessories, such as the power steering pump, air compressor, and alternator. Unlike V-belts, which are tensioned by moving the brackets, a serpentine belt uses a spring-loaded tensioner so that the belt stays tight. When the belt stretches past its helpful existence, it’s too extended for the tensioner to operate. During this situation, you have to switch the belt.
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However, the tensioner isn’t protected against degeneration. It’s considered a maintenance item that should be replaced when the disappears. Should you modify the belt, it’s also wise to inspect the tensioner.
INSPECTING THE TENSIONER When inspecting the tensioner, you will find nine points to consider:
RUST AND CRACKS If you notice rust dripping within the tensioner or notice symptoms of rust relating to the tensioner arm that is base, this can be a sign the tensioner will fail quickly. Also, search for tracks, as this helps to make the tensioner to fail too.
SPRING Pressure Since the tensioner is screwed in position, use a wrench to maneuver it backward and forward. This is often simpler for people who have a tensioner wrench. If you don’t feel resistance, the spring is worn. Other possible indications of a worn spring undoubtedly are a squealing belt and components sporadically stopping.
Lever BEARINGS If you eliminate the belt, spin the tensioner lever. It has to spin easily and should not make any noise. If you see noise or the lever doesn’t spin freely, the bearings within the lever are worn. Always switch the entire tensioner, not only the lever as areas across the tensioner might be similar to worn.
WORN Lever The lever across the tensioner might be produced from steel, nylon, or plastic. According to the type of vehicle, its surface might be flat or grooved. Inspect the lever to make sure it doesn’t have dents, cracks, chips, which there’s no debris an element of the pulley’s grooves. Check to make sure the groove’s high points aren’t worn, which on plastic pulleys, the very best sidewalls aren’t damaged or cracked.
ALIGNMENT When the belt isn’t tracking correctly across the tensioner, the tensioner is misaligned or installed incorrectly. Look for correct installment the belt isn’t misaligned, that could be a consequence of another lever being from alignment. An alignment tool makes it much easier to identify.
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TENSIONER ARM Make sure the tensioner arm moves backward and forward without binding or grinding. A tensioner wrench makes this simpler if you are in a position to every so often use a box wrench.
If you see smooth, shiny streaks across the tensioner housing or possibly the arm, the belt is rubbing, along the tensioner arm may not be aligned correctly.
When the tensioner arm moves a lot of both in or both directions, the spring torque or possibly the damping technique is bad. If it is an issue, think about the alternator lever as that failure could cause this. You will have to switch the alternator along with the tensioner.
NOISE In case you hear the tensioner rattling or squeaking, either the bearings going bad or possibly the pivot area is worn.
Switch The TENSIONER If you see these issues, apart from a belt imbalance introduced by another component, you will have to switch the tensioner. Generally, a substitute is easy.
When the belt is excellent, release the tensioner and take the belt from just the tensioner lever. Eliminate the bolts holding the tensioner for that block. Think about the completely new tensioner when you arrange it to make sure there aren’t any defects. Secure it for that block. Rotate the tensioner toward the middle of the block and slide the belt on. Make sure the belt is aligned on all the pulleys.