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Can you drive with a broken tensioner pulley?

No, you should not drive with a broken tensioner pulley. Driving with a broken tensioner pulley can lead to major engine damage and create a dangerous situation for you and anyone around you due to tensioner parts becoming lodged in the engine or being flung off and serious engine failure.

For the sake of your car’s health, it is important to diagnose and repair any issues related to your car’s tensioner pulley as soon as possible. Replacing a tensioner pulley is a relatively easy and affordable repair, and it is much cheaper than replacing an engine damaged by prolonged issues caused by a broken tensioner pulley.

What happens when a tensioner pulley fails?

When a tensioner pulley fails, it can cause the belt that it controls to begin slipping, which can create a number of problems. The most obvious of these is a screeching sound coming from the belt when the engine is running, which can be caused by the belt not being tight enough due to the tensioner pulley failing.

Other problems that can arise include decreased power output from the engine as the belt doesn’t have a proper grip on the pulleys, or the belt itself becoming frayed or damaged from the slipping issue.

In the worst cases, the belt can snap due to the tensioner pulley failing, which can lead to the engine running poorly or even stalling entirely in some cases. Fortunately, a tensioner pulley can be easily replaced in most cases, and should be done as soon as the issue is noticed to prevent further damage from occurring.

How much does it cost to fix a tensioner pulley?

The cost of repairing or replacing a tensioner pulley can vary depending on the make, model, and year of your vehicle. Generally, you can expect to spend anywhere between $125 and $350 to replace the pulley and associated tensioner assembly, depending on the vehicle and the labor involved.

Factors such as the labor rates at the repair shop, the quality of the tensioner pulley, and any additional components required for the repair can also affect the total cost. Additionally, if you need to purchase a special tool to access the tensioner, this can add to the expense.

How many miles does a tensioner pulley last?

The amount of miles a tensioner pulley can last depends on various factors, such as the quality of the pulley and the condition of the vehicle it is installed in. Generally speaking, a high-quality tensioner pulley should last around 50,000-60,000 miles.

However, if the vehicle the pulley is installed on is not well maintained, the pulley could fail much sooner. It is important to regularly inspect the pulley and lubricate it with a suitable oil to ensure that it functions correctly and lasts a long time.

Additionally, if the tensioner pulley exhibits signs of wear or damage, it is important to replace it as soon as possible.

Should I replace the tensioner or just the pulley?

Whether you should replace the tensioner or just the pulley will depend on the condition of the tensioner as well as the amount of wear and tear on your pulley. If the tensioner is in good condition and the pulley is the only component that is showing significant wear and tear, then you may just need to replace the pulley.

However, if the tensioner is also showing signs of wear and tear, then it may be best to replace both the tensioner and the pulley. Additionally you’ll need to take into account the expense associated with replacing the tensioner or pulley.

It may be more cost effective to replace both if they’re both showing signs of wear. Ultimately it’s up to you to decide which route is best for your particular situation.

How do I know if my tensioner or pulley is bad?

If you hear a loud squeaking or squealing sound coming from your engine when the car is running, this may be an indication that the tensioner or its pulley is bad. Additionally, if you see that the belt that is attached to your tensioner is looking or feeling worn, or if there is excessive slack in the belt, it is likely that the tensioner or its pulley have gone bad.

You can also check the tensioner or pulley for signs of wear and tear, such as scouring or scoring on the surface, or signs of a broken or cracked part. If the tensioner is leaking oil or other fluids, or if it is feeling warm to the touch, this may indicate that it has gone bad.

Lastly, if you are getting poor fuel economy or feeling unexpected vibrations coming from the engine compartment, this may be a sign that your tensioner or pulley is bad and should be inspected.

Can a bad tensioner pulley cause a car not to start?

Yes, a bad tensioner pulley can cause a car not to start. The tensioner pulley is responsible for keeping the serpentine belt taut, so that the multiple components that it drives, such as the alternator, power steering pump, water pump, and the cooling fan, can operate properly.

When the tensioner pulley fails, these components won’t work, and can lead to a litany of issues, including an engine that won’t start. Other signs of a damaged tensioner pulley include squealing, chirping, or grinding noises from under the hood, as well as a belt that continues to slip and slip off of the pulley.

If you suspect that your car isn’t starting due to a faulty tensioner pulley, it’s important to take it to a technician for inspection and repair as soon as possible, to avoid the risk of more serious and expensive damage.

How often should a tensioner pulley be replaced?

It is recommended to replace the tensioner pulley every 75,000 miles of regular driving. However, depending on the make and model of the vehicle, and the type of driving you do (heavy loads, frequent stop-starting, etc) the tensioner pulley can need replacing sooner.

If you have any doubts over the condition of the pulley, a mechanic should be consulted for further advice. Furthermore, if you are carrying out any work on the vehicle, such as replacing a timing belt or head gasket, it is strongly recommended to replace the tensioner pulley at the same time to avoid potential issues further down the line.

What are symptoms of a worn pulley?

A worn pulley can have a few different symptoms, depending on the type of pulley and the amount of wear that has occurred. Generally, a worn pulley can cause decreased tension or slippage between the belt and the pulley, as well as increased vibration and noise, or some combination of these.

Additionally, the pulley may become hot to the touch due to increased friction between the pulley and the belt. In extreme cases, the bearing in the pulley may completely fail, resulting in catastrophic belt failure, decreased part functionality, and costly repairs.

Wear on the pulley should be diagnosed and repaired as soon as possible to prevent more damage from occurring.

What causes a pulley to break?

A pulley can break for several reasons. Generally, the most common cause of a broken pulley is excessive wear and tear over time, as the pulley becomes increasingly stressed due to its use. In addition, improper maintenance and lubrication can cause the plunger to become stuck or break down, while other weak components may break due to pressure, such as the shaft, Bushing, and bearing.

Excessive loading can also cause the pulley to break, typically due to its inability to turn a heavy load or being overloaded by excess weight. In addition, metal fatigue or surface damage such as cracks can lead to metal shearing or piston rod failure.

Finally, improper installation can also contribute to breakage, as too much tension put on the pulley can cause it to come apart, or metal warping or weakening of shafts, bearing, and other components can lead to pulley breakage.

It is important to ensure that all components are regularly inspected and components such as the shaft, bearing, and Bushing are replaced regularly – in addition to regular lubrication – in order to minimize the risk of pulley breakage.

Can a pulley be repaired?

Yes, a pulley can be repaired. Depending on the type of pulley and the extent of damage, there may be a variety of options for repairing the pulley. For example, if the pulley has a bent or broken shaft, it may need to be replaced entirely.

If the bearing has become worn out, it may need to be replaced. If the belt tension is not working properly, it may need to be adjusted or replaced. Finally, if the pulley has sustained cosmetic damage, it can be sanded and repainted.

In general, if the damage is minor, it’s relatively straightforward to repair a pulley. That said, it’s always recommended to consult a certified pulley repair expert, who can assess and recommend the appropriate repair solution.

How do you stop a pulley from squeaking?

The primary method is to make sure it is kept clean and lubricated. This can be done by regularly cleaning the pulley and surrounding area with a damp cloth or compressed air then lubricating it with a silicone-based lubricant such as WD-40.

Additionally, make sure all screws, bolts, and other fittings are tight to prevent any wobbling. If the pulley is heavily worn or has deep grooves, it may need to be replaced. Another option is to use a nylon or graphite impregnated tape to cushion the pulley and prevent vibration and noise.

Finally, if the pulley is made of metal and the noise continues, you can dampen it with a rubber cover or rubber stripes applied around the pulley. With these solutions, you should be able to prevent the pulley from squeaking.

Is the idler pulley the same as a timing belt?

No, an idler pulley and a timing belt are not the same. An idler pulley is a small wheel with a bearing or bushing that is used to change the direction of a belt or cable, or to provide a tensioning function for a drive belt.

It is typically used to help stabilize and guide a belt between two or more components. A timing belt, on the other hand, is a flexible belt that synchronizes the rotation of two or more pulleys or sprockets.

It is most commonly used to drive the camshafts in internal combustion engines, and ensures that the valves open and close at the right times during each cylinder’s intake and exhaust stroke.