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Can a Bad Timing Belt Tensioner Cause Rough Idle?

The timing belt tensioner puts pressure on the belt to run smoothly by keeping the belt tight. When the tensioner cannot work correctly, the belt cannot work properly. So, the smoothness of the vehicle falls because of a bad timing belt tensioner. Can it cause rough idle? Let’s find out.

Can a bad timing belt tensioner cause rough idle?

The tensioner pulls the timing belt tightly so that the belt can swing smoothly in the engine. The engine valve opens and closes slickly for the timing belt. If the engine valve cannot work properly, the engine will lose power. And it will cause rough idle as the engine cannot provide proper energy.

The engine is the powerhouse for the vehicle. Some active parts work like the human heart to pump fuel in a fuel engine, and some synchronized valve movement is always ongoing. Engine efficiency directly lies in how fast and efficiently the engine is producing power and creating thrust for the vehicle to move further.

Any highly efficient engine will never lose a single portion of energy in vain. If any bad parts are running inside an engine, there will be consequences. A tensioner is directly related to a belt related to many engine components to drive smoothly.

Tensioners are used to keep the pressure on the belt so that it doesn’t displace from the assigned place and doesn’t bother the engine efficiency. The bad tensioner will lose the belt, which will start some rattling sound in the engine box.

It will cause the engine to work insufficiently. It will cause the engine to face many problems such as the engine will not turn over, oil leakages, exhaust problems etc. 

Moreover, driving with a bad tensioner is unsafe as the tensioner belt may create some overheating issues and loud sounds.

What can a bad belt tensioner cause?

A timing belt is a crucial element for your vehicle to run smoothly. These belt helps revolve engine components such as cam and crankshaft to work in sync. And the synchronization helps the other components like the cylinder to work appropriately. 

A bad tensioner can be a headache to the driver of the vehicle. A bad belt tensioner will open the gates for thousands of other problems inside the engine.

Rattling Sound from the Engine:

A rattling or ticking sound from your engine is caused by a bad timing belt tensioner. The timing belt is attached with crucial engine parts directly related to the crank and camshaft. 

Here crankshaft helps the engine by transferring the power to the piston inside the combustion chamber. The combustion chamber is the heart of the engine. 

So, a bad belt can cause a rattling sound inside the engine, indicating the engine is not working correctly.

Engine Turn Over Issues:

When there are bad belt issues, the engine will not turn over perfectly. When the driver pulls the keys, it will cause the motor to roll but will not deliver enough power to the combustion chamber due to a bad belt failing to roll the crankshaft.

Oil Leakage Issues:

Oil leakage can happen in the motor area. When there are extra oils in your engine area, it is quite sure to have a leakage inside your engine. 

The timing belt cover generally causes oil leakage near the motor. Moreover, the leak can happen near the engine block’s gasket due to a cracked timing cover.

Rough Idle Problem:

The timing belt has good access to engine components rotation, and it grips the gears. The old and exhausted belt sometimes falls inside the gear, which causes the rough idle problem.

Valves Malfunction:

Valves malfunction is one of the worst-case scenarios when the belt is completely torn apart, causing the shafts to work inappropriately. It causes the valves or pistons to come in contact and causes the whole system to shut down.

Can a bad tensioner pulley cause rough idle?

The tensioner pulley maintains the required tension on the belt to work properly inside the engine. A tensioner pulley pulls the belt adequately. That’s how the engine shafts work smoothly. 

So, when the tensioner doesn’t work, the worst thing is that the vehicle might stop or may not start at all. If not treated earlier, this rough idle problem can cause a huge sunk of money. 

Also, fuel efficiency will drastically fall. At the end of the day, the engine might perform well in the long run.

Is it safe to drive with a bad timing belt tensioner?

It is entirely unsafe to drive with a bad timing belt tensioner. As the tensioner constantly pulls the belt. But if the belt is not in good shape, it can tear apart or wear out from the area.

Then the vehicle might stop midway, and many other problems such as smoke and overheating might happen. When the vehicle’s engine doesn’t turn over properly, the rattling sound comes over and over from the engine. Then check the engine before it is too late.

What happens if you drive with a bad belt tensioner?

It is suggested not to drive a vehicle with a bad belt tensioner. A belt tensioner constantly pulls the belt to keep it in good shape.

For that reason, the cam and crankshaft work perfectly so does the valves and piston inside the engine. If anyone drives a vehicle with a bad belt tensioner, they might blow the engine in a worst-case scenario.

How much does it cost to fix or replace a broken timing belt?

Almost all the timing belts should be replaced after 60000 miles to 90000 miles of driving. It is recommended not to wait for the breakage of the belt. If one takes too much time to change the belt, it might cause irreparable damage to the engine. 

It takes $300 to $500 to change a belt and a smooth driving experience. But if the vehicle owner bothers to buy a new belt, they might have to lose their vehicle’s engine.

Final thoughts

A bad timing belt tensioner can be a headache for the vehicle owner. Before it is too late, one should change or repair the belt and the tensioner. A bad timing belt tensioner can cause rough idle and severely damage the vehicle’s engine. It is not safe to drive with a bad timing belt.