The timing belt is a critical part of the automotive en […]
The timing belt is a critical part of the automotive engine, if it breaks, it can cause some serious damage. The belt can break due to a number of reasons, but the most common is age. One other common problem is the belt tensioner. If the tensioner is bad, it can cause the belt to come loose or cause the pulley to seize, making the belt come off. Knowing some of the signs of a bad belt tensioner can help you to prevent serious engine damage due to a timing belt failure.
Generally speaking, the timing belt tensioner is used to keep tension on the timing belt. The timing belt is a rubber belt that runs over and through a series of pulleys and gears. Over time, due to age and heat, the belt will stretch out. As the belt stretches, it can become loose, so the tensioner needs to adjust the belt as needed to keep it tight. There are two main types of belt tensioners.
When a timing belt tensioner fails, it can result in a number of different symptoms:
1. Squealing, rattling, or chirping: When the tensioner or tensioner pulley fails, the loss of tension can cause the belt and pulleys to make high-pitched rattling or chirping noises. If the pulley bearing completely fails, it can also cause a squealing or even a grinding noise.
2. Knocking or slapping: If the tensioner is not keeping the belt tight, the belt can come loose and hit various parts inside of the timing cover, including the cover itself. This can cause a slapping or knocking noise.
3. Check engine light illuminated: Though noise is the most common symptom, a loose timing belt can also cause a check engine light. The check engine light can come on and set a code for a valve timing problem. This is because the valve timing can become out of sync due to the belt not being tight.
Then, how to solve the problem? Well, having all of the necessary materials prior to starting the job will make it go more efficiently. If you are going to replace the tensioner, it is also a good time to replace the timing belt and the related parts.
Since there are many other parts located at the front of the engine that can make similar noises to a failing tensioner, it is important to isolate the noise.
You should remove the Rubber Timing Belt and start the vehicle and see if the noise remains the same. If the noise goes away, then the noise is coming from one of the engine accessories.