The serpentine or accessory belt is the driving force behind many components in your vehicle. In fact, your steering system, A/C assembly, cooling system, and other parts will not work well if the accessory belt malfunctions. Simply put, the belt drives important parts. Together with the accessory belt tensioner, the serpentine belt keeps parts and systems at their top operating condition. The tensioner is the component behind the efficiency of the belt. The operation of the belt is determined by its tension, so that tension should always be maintained at the correct level. And, it's the tensioner which maintains that.
The belt tensioner is made up of different parts that work together to maintain correct belt tension. The most important of these are the tension spring, pulley, and arm. The spring is the part of the tensioner that provides the force that tensions the accessory belt. It is connected to the pulley, which is equipped with a bearing, the component that allows the pulley to move. The said part should be lubricated for proper pulley movement. Meanwhile, the part that connects the spring and the pulley is the tensioner arm.
Other than the three main tensioner components mentioned above, there are other smaller parts that make up the belt tensioner. The damping ring is one. It's the part designed to reduce the vibrations in the tensioner, which can cause problems in its operation. A dust shield is also incorporated in the device to provide protection from damaging elements. And of course, there is some sort of housing in the tensioner, which attaches it to the engine.
All the parts of the tensioner have to be maintained in top shape to ensure that the accessory belt will remain properly tensioned at all times. This will also guarantee that the parts operated by the belt will be functioning properly. When doing an inspection, some of the things that you need to check are the condition of the belt (it should show no sign of slipping) and the pulley (it must be properly aligned). It is especially important to detect any tensioner problem early on as damage in the tensioner can also lead to premature damage in the belt. Plus, you must pay attention to the presence of any unwanted noise-such as a squeal-which might indicate failure among the tensioner parts.
In case you discover that the tensioner is already failing and a replacement is already needed, you can turn to Parts Train for a new accessory belt tensioner. We have a complete catalog of auto parts, all of which are accessible 24/7. If you need any replacement, feel free to check our selection anytime. With just a few mouse clicks, you're sure to find the right part.