When Should You Replace the Belt Tensioner of Your Mercedesby Mechanics Direct September 21, 2021
Your Mercedes-Benz is one of the most stylish and reliable luxury cars on the market today. Yet, even reliable parts can break down over time. Whether from neglect or repetitive use, nothing receives quite as much abuse as your vehicle. It doesn’t matter if you’re commuting from work or driving the highway to your favorite vacation spot; your car can break down for any reason. For example, let’s say that your Mercedes is operating fine. Then, you leave the house one day in a rush on your way to work, and suddenly your car jerks and stops driving. You perform a little inspection, start the car, and it runs, but only for a few minutes. However, no matter how much you press the accelerator, the car won’t budge. You realize you won’t be getting to work on time, but you also notice something else. Chances are your belt tensioner has failed, and until you get it fixed, you won’t be driving your car anywhere.
The Belt Tensioner
The belt tensioner works with the drive belt, also called the serpentine belt, to keep the engine parts in motion. The drive belt connects many of your Mercedes systems via a grooved rubber loop attached to pulleys. While the engine is running, the rubber loop keeps the pulleys of the air conditioning compressor, water pump, alternator, and power steering pump moving. The belt transfers the power generated by the engine to these systems with the assistance of the belt tensioner.
It’s common for the belt tensioner to be a pulley mounted to a bracket of a specific shape for the vehicle. The part applies tension to the pulleys so that the engine parts are operating as designed.
The belt tensioner is usually spring-loaded, which allows it to stretch or contract as needed. With any belt, the correct amount of pressure is crucial to the proper operation of your engine. Over time, the belt tensioner will lose its capacity to apply tension to the serpentine belt. Sometimes, the mechanism will weaken or seize up from repetitive use. Other times, the pulley itself can warp, crack, or throw a bearing. This often results in a noticeable squeaking noise from the front of the engine.
When this happens, the belt can slip, which will cause damage or weaken it much faster. If your serpentine belt slips off multiple pulleys, it can cause extensive damage to your engine. The belt and belt tensioner makes it possible for your car to generate enough torque to keep your Mercedes running. Without it, you won’t get very far.
When to Replace Your Belt Tensioner
It is critical to know when the belt tensioner requires replacement. Several signs indicate your belt tensioner might be failing. It should go without saying that the higher the mileage is in your Mercedes, the more likely you will need to replace the belt tensioner.
You should expect to replace your belt tensioner in the 40,000-70,000 mile range. It is also customary to swap more than one part simultaneously, usually a worn-out pulley from other systems and even the serpentine belt itself.
Here are some common signs to watch out for when deciding if your belt tensioner needs to be inspected by a professional.
- Usually, a grinding or loud squeaking noise comes from the engine when the belt is loose, and the tensioner is no longer applying enough tension to the pulleys.
- Other systems fail because of a lousy tensioner, like the air conditioning or the alternator not keeping your battery charged.
- Upon inspection, your mechanic notices extra wear and tear or cracked pulleys on your other engine parts. The drive belt could snap from the lack of tension.
- If your drive belt is constantly slipping off the belt tensioner, this could indicate a failing part.
Mechanics Direct for your Mercedes Service
At Mechanics Direct, our dedicated staff of ASE-certified technicians recognizes that Mercedes-Benzs means a certain caliber of luxury and performance. We understand that you expect a lot from your vehicle and rely on it every day. We are so confident in our work that we warranty our service for 3 Years/36,000 miles on parts and labor.
Our goal at Mechanics Direct is to get you back on the road safely, but our jobs don’t stop there. We intend to work with our customers and build long-lasting relationships that are beneficial for everyone.
Give us a call and schedule your Mercedes for service and inspection by our qualified staff. If you would like to visit us at our shop, stop in at 1375 Middlesex Street in Lowell, MA. We proudly service the clients in Chelmsford, Dracut, Tyngsborough, Westford, Lowell, and North Chelmsford, MA areas, and we look forward to working with you.