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The belt near the front of your engine allows a lot of moving parts to work together. The tensioner keeps that belt taut, ensuring that all the parts are kept moving like they should be while the vehicle is in operation. If the tensioner goes out, then your belt is going be loose or fall off, and your engine won’t work as it should.
To get the belt tensioner replaced, you will pay anywhere from $140 to almost $400. The price of parts and labor varies from one car to the next, with most labor costs coming in at about $70 or $80. It should only take about an hour of work for the replacement, but sometimes it can be more, which can drive up the labor costs, and that varies from one car to the next.
Belt Tensioner Replacement Cost Comparison
|Parts & Labour||12 months||$104-$403|
|Parts & Labour||12 months||$110-$461|
|Parts & Labour||12 months||$145-$591|
|Parts & Labour||24 months||$101-$419|
What Is Belt Tensioner Replacement?
For most cars, this will be a fairly simple process. The tensioner may not be the only part needing to be replaced. The belt may have been damaged as well, and other parts of the engine could have been damaged, if the tensioner was malfunctioning for a long time before you had it looked at. The tensioner is usually replaced along with the pulley, as they tend to go bad at the same time, so expect to pay for both parts at once.
You can expect to spend an hour or two getting this problem fixed, but if you have it looked at as soon as the tensioner goes bad, you may not have to pay too much for repairs.
Benefits of Belt Tensioner Replacement
Having the tensioner replaced means that your engine belt is going work as it should and your engine will work properly as well. That’s important if you want to smooth driving experience and if you want to preserve your vehicle. Driving very long with this issue can cause serious problems for your car, so the sooner you get it taken care of the better.
What Is Done during Belt Tensioner Replacement?
The mechanic will need to suspect the car first, looking for any damage the broken tensioner may have caused. The technician will check for strange engine noises while the engine is running to try to pinpoint the problem and ensure that the tensioner is the only issue.
The technician will also check the drive belt, the tensioner, and its pulleys. Then he will take out the damaged parts and replace them with new ones. It’s typically a quick and easy process, but some cars have more complicated setups and require more tools and more labor.
Once the new parts are in, the mechanic will test out the car, listen to the engine and possibly perform a road test to check for issues.
When to Get Belt Tensioner Replacement
This is one of those car problems you need to get fixed right away. If you wait to have it taken care of, then you will end up with a damaged engine for sure. The tensioner should be examined whenever the drive belt is being serviced, and if you take your car for regular checkups, you should catch this problem early on.
You also want to listen for odd sounds coming from the engine, as well as problems starting the car. If the tensioner is going bad, then you may hear a grinding or squeaking sound coming from the engine when you start up the car.
How to Save Money on Belt Tensioner Replacement
If you want to cut your costs and do the work your self, this is a pretty easy job to do, most the time. Some cars will be more complicated than others, but for the most part, it’s a simple task. The only real problem with doing it yourself is that you may not know how to check all the affected parts. Yes, you may fix the tensioner and solve some of the problems, but how will you know if there are more extensive issues at work? If you are not an experienced mechanic, it’s best to have your work looked over by someone who is.
Another way to save money that doesn’t carry as much risk is to compare the rates of the various mechanics in your area. We recommend this for any repair, but you also have to take into account that the vehicle may be need to be towed, and it could be worth your while to choose a close mechanic who charges a bit more. Just be sure they are someone you trust, as tensioner problems can affect the whole of the engine, and you want to choose a mechanic who will inspect your vehicle carefully.
Sample Belt Tensioner Replacement Costs
|Ford F-Series||$62 – $103||$91 – $91||$153 – $194|
|Chevrolet Silverado||$53 – $68||$65 – $75||$118 – $143|
|Ford Focus||$62 – $103||$91 – $91||$153 – $194|
|Toyota Camry||$116 – $149||$211 – $211||$327 – $360|
|Toyota Corolla||$116 – $149||$211 – $211||$327 – $360|
|Nissan Altima||$44 – $80||$79 – $79||$123 – $159|
|Honda CR-V||$80 – $103||$131 – $152||$211 – $255|
|Honda Civic||$80 – $103||$131 – $152||$211 – $255|
|Honda Accord||$80 – $103||$131 – $152||$211 – $255|
|Ford Fusion||$62 – $103||$91 – $91||$153 – $194|