The national cost for drive belt tensioner replacement is between $67 and $367 with an average of $200

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In Ashburn, people who book through CarAdvise save $61 on average for Drive Belt Tensioner Replacement. Lock in this price now.

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National average cost of a Drive Belt Tensioner Replacement
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What is a drive belt tensioner and how does it work?

The rubber drive belt on your vehicle allows the engine to provide power for a number of systems. Attached to the engine are a power steering pump, alternator, air conditioning compressor, and (in some cases) a water pump. Each of these components has a pulley on the front. Snaking around the pulleys is the drive belt, also known as a “serpentine belt”. Now, a device is in place to keep tension on the belt. This drive belt tensioner might need to be adjusted to provide a particular amount of tension, it might be spring-tensioned, or it might operate by hydraulic pressure. In any case, the job of the drive belt tensioner is to make sure that the serpentine belt does not become loose as it turns all of the pulleys.

Signs that your drive belt tensioner needs to be replaced

When a drive belt tensioner is failing, there are certain signs that might alert you to its condition. If your vehicle has a manually-adjusted tensioner, some of these signs could also suggest that it needs to be adjusted. These signs include

Squealing noise coming from the front of your engine that raises in pitch with engine RPMs

The belt comes off of its pulleys

Your battery warning light comes on

The drive belt flutters or tracks in an off-centered manner


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How is this service performed

How is a Drive Belt Tensioner Replacement done?

Drive belt tensioner replacement first requires access to the front of your vehicle's engine. That might include removing shields or guards or disconnecting engine accessories. With the belt and tensioner in clear view, a mechanic will typically do the following

  • Release any tension from the drive belt tensioner by either loosening the tension bolt or turning against the tension with a special service tool
  • Taking care to note the routing of the serpentine belt in advance, remove the belt from the engine
  • Unbolt the old tensioner and remove it from its mounting location
  • Install the new tensioner and torque the mounting bolts to the manufacturer’s specifications
  • Inspect all other related components for signs of wear
  • Reinstall drive belt and load tensioner
  • Reinstall any components that were removed for access


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