Your Land Rover has several components that are powered by the drive belt. For a drive belt to operate correctly, it must be positioned just right. This is done by the idler pulley. The pulley allows the tension on the drive belt to be loosened for correct positioning and then re-engaged to keep the tension on the belt and keep it in the proper position during operation.
When an idler pulley malfunctions, it can cause problems with any of the components that are operated by the drive belt. We’ve put together this article to provide several tips to help you discover if your idler pulley is malfunctioning and needs to be repaired, adjusted, or replaced.
Idler Pulley Malfunctioning: Signs and Symptoms
The most commonly-reported sign of trouble with an idler pulley is a chirp or squeaking sound. This is the result of metal grinding against metal as the pulley rotates. The sound may come and go at first. However, it will always come back. Once an idler pulley begins to catch, it will eventually occur again.
Over time, as an idler pulley wears down, your drive belt may begin to slip. This can result in issues with several engine components, including the air conditioning, power steering, and fan. While you may be tempted to wait to get it fixed, please seek repairs immediately. We may consider air conditioning and even power steering simply luxuries. However, if your fan stops working, it will quickly cause your engine to overheat, which leads to all kinds of problems up to and including a blown engine.
Trouble starting your car or keeping your car running may be another sign that your idler pulley may be in trouble. This occurs on models that have a single belt which also operates the alternator. The alternator is what helps to transfer the charge from your battery to the engine and helps to increase the life of your battery by holding that power. When an engine is running, the power is actually coming from the alternator, not the battery. Therefore, when an idler pulley is causing a disruption in the alternator, you will quickly see it affecting the ability of your car to stay running.
What to Do About a Bad Idler Pulley
If you even slightly suspect that your idler pulley is bad, get your Land Rover in for an inspection immediately. We would suggest that you consider not even driving your Land Rover since the signs can become a total failure at any moment. You will not be safe to drive it in.
When to Replace an Idler Pulley
Idler pulleys are an integral part of your engine. As such, they are designed to last for some time. In most cases, you can expect an idler pulley to operate well past 100,000 miles before needing to be replaced. However, this can be affected by the type of driving and the conditions in which the Land Rover is driven. For example, it is not uncommon for individuals who go off-road to experience more wear on this type of engine components.
How Autobahn Automotive Can Help
If you are located in or around San Antonio or Longhorn, Texas, the best place to take your Land Rover is Autobahn Automotive. Our ASE certified technicians have been serving the area for over 40 years. We stake our name and reputation on providing the best, affordable, and knowledgeable service to all of our customers. In addition to Land Rovers, we specialize in providing top of the line service for owners of all popular luxury brands including Audi, Porsche, Mercedes, and more.
Long gone are the days when a service technician can work on any model of vehicle with only basic knowledge. Today’s computerized and electronically-driven vehicles require a level of expertise that you cannot find just anywhere. All of our technicians have been dealer and factory-trained to provide the right service for your Land Rover based on real, up-to-date knowledge and expert training.