A Timing Belt Idler Pulley Replacement cost in Crystal Lake in 2023

The average cost for a timing belt idler pulley replacement with CarAdvise is $32 and the range is generally between $24 and $193.

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A Timing Belt Idler Pulley Replacement costs by shop in Crystal Lake.

CarAdvise Customers save an average of $6 on A Timing Belt Idler Pulley Replacement.


Average cost of A Timing Belt Idler Pulley Replacement for popular vehicle models in Crystal Lake:

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THE IMPORTANCE OF A Timing Belt Idler Pulley Replacement

What is a timing belt idler pulley and how does it work?

A timing belt idler pulley is a device that holds the timing belt in proper alignment in your engine.

In order for your engine to function properly, all of the moving parts inside must be synchronized. In other words, they need to move at just the right time in relationship to one another, not unlike the instruments in an orchestra. The timing belt acts like the conductor, serving to coordinate movement of the crankshaft, camshaft(s), intake and exhaust valves, and more.

The timing belt idler pulley is a stationary metal wheel with a smooth exterior surface upon which the timing belt rides. The pulley ensures that the belt is routed to all the necessary timing components.


How do I know if my vehicle needs a new timing belt idler pulley?

The most likely problem with a timing belt idler pulley is a failed bearing. To turn smoothly, the pulley spins on a set of bearings. If those bearings go bad, the timing belt will no longer function properly. In time, a bad timing belt idler pulley could cause the belt to come loose or break, leading to potentially serious engine failure.

When a timing belt idler pulley is failing, it will sometimes make a chirping noise. You will hear it coming from the front of your engine. Other signs that the pulley is going bad might include the following:

Your engine runs roughly or misfires

The engine stalls suddenly or fails to start

The check engine light comes on, and a diagnostic scan reveals a trouble code related to an engine misfire, camshaft position sensor, or crankshaft position sensor

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How does a technician perform A Timing Belt Idler Pulley Replacement ?

Replacement of a timing belt idler pulley is a similar procedure to that of other timing components, such as the timing belt tensioner. It is a fairly extensive process, one that requires a significant amount of tools and training. The procedure can lead to engine damage if performed improperly.

To replace a timing belt idler pulley, a technician needs to gain access to the front of the engine. This often requires lifting and supporting the vehicle in the air. Shields, guards, covers, ducts, drive belt, and even the radiator might need to be removed as well.

With those items out of the way, a typical timing belt idler pulley replacement involves the following general steps (the procedure differs from one vehicle make and model to the next):

  • Remove the water pump (on some models)
  • Detach the drive pulley on the crankshaft
  • Remove any engine accessories (AC compressor, alternator, power steering pump, etc.) that are in the way of the timing cover
  • Remove the valve cover(s) (on some models)
  • Unbolt and remove the timing cover from the front of the engine
  • Synchronize the timing marks on the camshaft and crankshaft pulleys and align to top dead center
  • Remove the timing belt idler pulley (s)
  • Dislodge the crankshaft pulley and timing belt
  • Install a new belt - usually done in tandem with the idler pulley - taking care to align to the timing marks
  • Reinstall all components and add fluids as necessary
  • This abbreviated list of steps does not account for differences between engines, whether your has single or dual camshafts and other variables. It is common to replace not only the idler pulley(s), but also the timing belt and even the other pulleys on which the belt rides. If your engine has a water pump that is driven by the timing belt, that too will be recommended for replacement. The procedure is similar if your engine has a timing chain rather than a belt. If the procedure is not done properly, your engine could fail to run, run poorly, or suffer severe internal damage.


Should you replace the idler pulley with the timing belt?
The timing belt idler pulley is made to last the lifetime of your engine’s timing belt. Vehicle manufacturers usually recommend replacing the idler pulley along with the timing belt, somewhere between 60K and 100K miles or so. They also recommend replacing the timing belt tensioner and (in some cases) the water pump at the same time.
What is the difference between an idler pulley and a tensioner pulley?
Whether they are used for a timing belt or a serpentine drive belt, an idler pulley and a tensioner pulley fill similar but different roles. Both are pulleys over which a belt rides, and both help keep the belt stable.. The idler pulley is a smooth, stationary pulley designed to route the belt in such a way that the belt can reach all of the other pulleys it must ride over. The tensioner pulley, on the other hand, serves to apply spring tension to the belt to keep it taught.
Will a broken timing belt destroy my engine?
Whether or not a broken timing belt will destroy your engine depends on the engine design. There are many engines which, if the belt breaks, will simply stall and/or fail to start. Now, that is no small problem if it happens when you are in a remote area, or while you are pulling through an intersection. But there are a good many engines known as “interference engines” that can suffer extensive (sometimes catastrophic) damage if the belt breaks with the engine running. That is because some of the internal components occupy the same space, albeit at different times. When the belt breaks, the pistons collide with the valves at high speeds.

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