DIY: Ilder/Tensioner Pulley Troubleshooting. Video tutorial on how to determine if you have a faulty or failing idler/tensioner pulley on your vehicle's engine. These pulleys do wear out over time and will need to be replaced. If you are able to catch it in the right time, this will prevent any excessive damage or unneeded down time for repairs on your vehicle. Maintenance intervals do vary depending on manufacturer and also the quality of bearing found in the pulley. When replacing, be sure to use a quality part as it will last much longer and reduce premature failure. This particular tutorial was done on a 1997 BMW 540i equipped with a 4.4L V8.
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What components can cause issues:
-no grease, therefore no lubrication which can either cause the bearing to burn out or seize up
-the bearing cage can break
-worn bearings, therefore causing play
What to look for:
-squeaking or chirping when the engine is running
-wobbling on the pulley when it is turning
Tests which can be done:
-when the engine is running, watch the pulley for any wobbling or wandering
-which the engine off, wobble the pulley by hand, sometimes this can be done with the belt on, but it's much easier when it's off
-removing the belt, spin the pulley and listen for noisy bearings
-remove the pulley and simply shake it to listen for loose bearings
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