The cam belt system is made up of the cam belt, timing cam belt tensioner, and cam belt pulleys. The cam belt is a long piece of rubber which coils through a series of pulleys which contain bearings, usually operating with a spring mechanism. The pulleys function to enable the cam belt to smoothly spin around, allowing the cam belt to propel or drive various components in the engine compartment, such as the alternator, air pump and power steering pump. The timing cam belt tensioner works to ensure the cam belt is kept securely in position when the car is in motion, while also functioning to apply the right amount of steady pressure to the cam belt. It's vital that the correct tension is applied continuously to the cam belt while it's working. Incorrect pressure on the cam belt can cause extra stress to the components it's functioning, which can cause these parts to underperform and deteriorate.
Situated in the engine compartment, the timing cam belt tensioner assembly is a metal structure housed in a casing, mounted on a bracket and primarily consists of a coil spring, which allows for the precise amount of pressure to be applied to the cam belt to keep it in place, and a pulley. The pulley mechanism allows the cam belt to run along the inside of the tensioner, which enables it to apply tension to the belt as it spins around its path of pulleys and generates the mechanism and power needed to drive the components it serves. While primarily functioning to apply a steady pressure to the cam belt, the timing cam belt tensioner also helps to prolong the life of the parts driven by the cam belt, such as the air conditioning compressor and water pump, by taking some of the strain away from these parts which allows them to provide optimum performance as well as a longer working life.
If the timing cam belt tensioner is not applying enough pressure to the cam belt then the belt can become loose and deviate from its position. A sure sign of a loose cam belt is a nasty screeching noise. A slipped cam belt will lead to extremes of temperature as the belt struggles, eventually leading to a damaged cam belt. A slipped cam belt can also affect the proper performance of the components powered by the cam belt. Often the cause of a slipped cam belt is that the spring inside the tensioner has become worn and is unable to apply the right amount of tension to the cam belt. If too much pressure is applied to the cam belt by the timing cam belt tensioner this can add undue stress to the parts driven by the cam belt which ultimately leads to premature wear and tear of these parts. To avoid having to replace expensive parts such as the alternator, ensure the timing cam belt tensioner is fitted correctly, functioning properly and changed regularly to ensure perfect performance. General rule of thumb is to replace the timing cam belt tensioner when you replace the cam belt. It is advisable to change the entire cam belt system at the same time which can help to ensure the system lasts longer and works at its best. The tensioner can suffer from damage and should be replaced if worn by rust; cracked; chipped; or dented. The <model timing cam belt tensioner is the ideal replacement part when the tensioner has failed. Specifically designed and manufactured for the make and model of your vehicle, this part will be completely compatible.