Your Mercedes is a reliable vehicle that will take you where you need to go in the most stylish way. There will be times when parts of your Mercedes need to be replaced, namely, the belt tensioner. If it breaks, you will find that you will not be able to drive your Mercedes until the belt tensioner has been replaced.
The Function of the Belt Tensioner
The belt tensioner of your Mercedes, also called the serpentine belt, is made of rubber. This rubber is in the shape of a long loop. The belt tensioner is smooth on one side and grooved on the other. It is located in the engine.
The belt tensioner’s primary function is to transfer power to the water pump, the alternator, the air conditioning, and the power steering. In order to connect to the parts above, it acts like an elastic rubber band with enough stretch to reach each of the parts it is responsible for operating.
Belt Tensioner vs. Timing Belt
When you open up the hood of your Mercedes, you will find the belt tensioner on the side of the engine. Be careful not to get the belt tensioner confused with the timing belt. Although the belt tensioner is a key part of the overall function of the timing belt, the timing belt is located underneath protective covers and is responsible for the engine’s camshafts.
When to Replace the Belt Tensioner
As you can see, the belt tensioner plays an important part in your Mercedes. Knowing the signs of when it needs to be replaced is crucial. You can expect to replace the belt tensioner once you are in the range of 40,000 to 70,000 miles.
You should also know that when it is time for a replacement, it will usually be more than one part that needs to be replaced. It could be a series of pulleys that need replacing or one pulley and the belt itself. The more parts that need to be replaced, the more expensive it will be. So looking out for the signs that indicate replacement will be beneficial for you in the long run.
The first sign that there is an issue with the belt tensioner is if you hear grinding or squeaking sounds coming from the engine. These sounds will occur if the belt tensioner is loose. If this is left unaddressed, it will get to the point where you hear these sounds every time you drive your Mercedes.
Another warning is malfunctioning of the connecting parts to the belt tensioner. This means you could see issues begin to pop up in regards to the air conditioning or the alternator. If you live in a hot and humid climate, you do not want to risk being without your air conditioner. The larger issue would be the alternator. The alternator in your Mercedes is responsible for generating the electric power your vehicle needs to run, and it also charges the battery. If this part were to fail because of the belt tensioner, you may not be able to drive your Mercedes at all.
One last signal that will indicate to you that the belt tensioner of your Mercedes needs to be replaced is if there are issues with the pulleys. The pulleys could have visible cracks due to natural wear and tear. If the belt tensioner continues to run on pulleys that are damaged, the belt could rip or snap completely. This could lead to catastrophic engine problems if the belt tensioner is rotating free within the engine compartment.
Trusting your Mechanic
When you become aware that there is an issue with the belt tensioner, it is time to bring your Mercedes in to be inspected by your trusted mechanics. Here at Germany’s Best Inc., each of our technicians is certified and has over 15 years of experience.
We are conveniently accessible from the areas of Berkeley, Emeryville, Piedmont, and Oakland, CA. You can easily make an appointment with us for your Mercedes. We use the latest and most up-to-date tools to diagnose and replace your belt tensioner. Once we have completed our repairs, you will be happy and satisfied with the service we have provided for your Mercedes.