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How to Remove Tensioner Pulley Bolt

March 3, 2024 | Victor Lukasso

Do you want to learn how to Remove the tensioner pulley bolt to implement fixes on your car’s engine system? You’re on the right page.

If you aren’t aware, the job of the tensioner bolt is to hold the serpentine belt in the correct position with a firm grip, ensuring that the Engine functions appropriately.

However, you may want to perform fixes that’ll require you to loosen the pulley bolt, or you may want to replace the tensioner pulley bolt due to corrosion or wear-out.

While removing the tensioner pulley bolt can be removed within seconds if you have the right tool and knowledge, there may be times when it may prove challenging to remove, significantly when the bolt has been damaged.


In this article, we will go over some steps on how to remove the tensioner pulley bolt safely and efficiently.

How to Loosen a Tensioner Pulley Bolt

To loosen a tensioner pulley bolt, you’ll need to insert a socket wrench onto the bolt at the center of the tensioner and rotate it counterclockwise to remove the bolt. You may now replace just the pulley or change the whole tensioner.

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Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to remove a tensioner pulley bolt.

  • Get the necessary tools for the task. Tools include a long socket wrench and an oil or rust dissolver if the bolt is rusty.
  • Open the hood of your vehicle.
  • Locate the tensioner pulley. It’s usually in front of the engine and has a smooth surface on which the serpentine belt rotates.
  • Loosen the bolt with a socket wrench. Once you’ve located the bolt, place the socket wrench over the bolt and turn it counterclockwise while exerting little force on it. If it proves stubborn, you can employ a more extended socket, oil, and a pry bar to loosen the bolt successfully.
  • Remove other surrounding bolts. Depending on the task, you may need to remove more than one bolt,
  • Replace the new tensioner pulley with a new bolt. After repairs, you can tighten the tensioner pulley with a new bolt. Ensure to fasten the bolt tightly.
  • Test the tensioner pulley. You can start your engine and ensure the serpentine belt turns fine without slipping or making noise.
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That’s it.

While at this, remember that changing the tensioner assembly is advised if the pulley is faulty, but not necessary.

If you’re asking how to Loosen the tensioner pulley bolt without a tool, then I don’t think that is possible because you’ll surely need a tool such as a socket wrench to rotate the bolt. However, you can try achieving this using your bare hands, which we can’t guarantee.

You can contact a professional mechanic or refer to your car’s manual for specific diagnosis and repairs.


Can you replace just the pulley on the tensioner?

Yes, you can replace just the pulley on a tensioner, but automotive experts advise that you return the whole tensioner assembly if any part goes wrong.

What tool do you use to unscrew a tensioner pulley?

To unscrew a tensioner pulley, you’ll need a socket wrench and oil in case the bolt that holds it in place is corroded or Worn-out.

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Can you drive a car without a tensioner pulley?

Driving a car without a tensioner pulley is not advised, as this may result in an accident or an unresponsive engine.

Can a car run without a belt tensioner?

Yes, a car will run perfectly without a belt tensioner. Your vehicle will use the energy from the starter motor to continue running.

What causes tensioner pulley failure?

The tensioner pulley fails primarily because of the accumulation of dust and dirt on the tensioner pulley.

What happens if the tensioner pulley is loose?

If the tensioner pulley is loose, you will hear a speaking or squealing noise from the pulley compartment, especially when the engine is cranked.

Why is my belt tensioner noisy when accelerating?

If your belt tensioner is noisy while driving or accelerating, there’s no proper tension on the belt drive system. You may need to replace the tensioner belt if it’s weak or worn out or tighten the tensioner pulley.

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Meet Victor Lukasso, the owner of V. Auto Basics. Through this blog, Victor Provides Insights on the latest tips, maintenance, repair, and techniques in the automotive world.