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2005 Belt Tensioner



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Well, I have taken our 2005 Corolla into the stealership twice now for a faulty belt tensioner and twice they swear that there is nothing wrong with it. This time, it is leaking around the rubber boot. The belt squeals when the engine is cold and when you tighten the tensioner by hand, the noise subsides. The dealer replaced the belt...which was perfectly fine.

This is getting quite old.

Does anyone know the torque that the tensioner should provide when functioning properly? Maybe I can prove to them that it is faulty by providing the proper torque specs and showing that it is not meeting that specification.

How many of you also have this problem?

Took a quick peek at my 2005 FSM - didn't see any hard specs for the tensioner. Since the unit is leaking - that would be good grounds to replace the tensioner assembly. I'd have them replace it, while the car is still under warranty, if they drag their feet - escalate this to the next level (management, dealership owner, Toyota Corporate, etc.)

My 8th gen Corolla is fine - almost 150K miles and still on original tensioner, third belt. My 2003 Matrix is starting to squeal on me - looking at a new belt (~65K miles on the clock) at the very least, tensioner seems OK, we'll see.

Well, I have taken our 2005 Corolla into the stealership twice now for a faulty belt tensioner and twice they swear that there is nothing wrong with it. This time, it is leaking around the rubber boot. The belt squeals when the engine is cold and when you tighten the tensioner by hand, the noise subsides. The dealer replaced the belt...which was perfectly fine.

This is getting quite old.

Does anyone know the torque that the tensioner should provide when functioning properly? Maybe I can prove to them that it is faulty by providing the proper torque specs and showing that it is not meeting that specification.

How many of you also have this problem?

I don't have the problem, but I wouldn't take it back to the same dealer. If they can't fix it on the first attempt, that isn't acceptable. If they can't fix it after attempting to do it twice, they are either incompetent or don't care about servicing cars. Go to another dealer and contact regional representation.

It's not that they can't fix it, it's that they won't fix it...or even admit that it is a problem. Hell, my wife could replace the tensioner. I think there are only two bolts that hold the thing in place.

It is quite obvious, to the most casual observer, that the thing is leaking, but their mechanic denies the problem and replaced the belt (which showed almost no signs of wear and no cracking).

This problem is getting quite frustrating as this is the only dealership in our area and it is difficult for us to get her car in for service.

Does anyone know of a Toyota dealership rating website? I searched, but found nothing.

Fish, is that FSM on CD or hardback? Where did you find a copy?

Thanks!

Yeah, I have them both ways. Some I picked up with the cars when I bought them, others were from previous eBay purchases, many I get from my buddy at the dealership. Files are way too big to post - but I scan a few here and there and post them when I can.

That's cool.

I figured that e-bay would be my best bet. I like being able to work with the FSM on my other vehicles and they owner manual for this car gives only minimal information.

Well, I just got back from the dealer.

I explained to them how the new, unstretched belt would temporarily solve the problem...until the end of the drive back to my house when the belt is now a little larger in diameter. I also asked to speak with the service manager and took him out to the car and wiped my finger along the top of the shock tensioner...then showed him my greasy finger. He was kind about the situation and asked to keep the car another day. Hopefully this time they will take care of the problem that I have been pointing out to them.

This dealership should really listen to their customers more. Sometimes, we aren't all clueless about our vehicles.

I also have had a belt tensioner problem. I haven't noticed mine leaking, but the belt sqeaks horribly. The dealership replaced only the belt at 30,000 miles under warranty. Then it started sounding really bad again at 61,000 miles. The dealership checked the belt and said it looked fine. But if we wanted to replace it they would charge us around $200.00 That seemed really high, so I just left it alone. Sometimes is doen't make a sound, and other times it sounds like it is going to break. I am at a loss as what the proper thing to do would be. My car is officially out of warranty even though I was experiencing problems before the warranty ran out.

A serpentine belt wouldn't cost $200 to install - belt itself costs about $30-$40 and takes less than 10 minutes to slip off and back on. If the belt tensioner looks OK and doesn't seem like it is rattling on you, the replacing the belt with something like a GoodYear Gatorback Poly V-belt or something a bit better than the OEM Bando one can help.

I'm trying to find a video link on a MR2 that has a bad belt tensioner - someone stuck a bullt camera under the hood to catch it in the act. Might help everyone to see what causes this squeaking/rattling issue that some people have.

I also have had a belt tensioner problem. I haven't noticed mine leaking, but the belt sqeaks horribly. The dealership replaced only the belt at 30,000 miles under warranty. Then it started sounding really bad again at 61,000 miles. The dealership checked the belt and said it looked fine. But if we wanted to replace it they would charge us around $200.00 That seemed really high, so I just left it alone. Sometimes is doen't make a sound, and other times it sounds like it is going to break. I am at a loss as what the proper thing to do would be. My car is officially out of warranty even though I was experiencing problems before the warranty ran out.

I had the same problem- I touched a bar of Ivory soap to the outer top edges of the belt with the engine idling - doesn't take much but WATCH THE FINGERS!! Not a squeak since.

Well, the dealership replaced the tensioner. Not sure if it was to shut me up or if it was actually bad. We'll see if that solves the problem.

BTW, before I decided to take it to the dealership, I purchased a new belt. It was $32. You should only need one socket (19mm IIRC) and wrench to do the job. Just remember to draw the belt diagram on a piece of paper before removing the old belt.

Those belt dressings are only a temporary fix. If the belt is cracked or in bad condition, it should be replaced.

Well, the dealership replaced the tensioner. Not sure if it was to shut me up or if it was actually bad. We'll see if that solves the problem.

BTW, before I decided to take it to the dealership, I purchased a new belt. It was $32. You should only need one socket (19mm IIRC) and wrench to do the job. Just remember to draw the belt diagram on a piece of paper before removing the old belt.

Those belt dressings are only a temporary fix. If the belt is cracked or in bad condition, it should be replaced.

They probably did it because you showed them it was leaking. When you do that, they have to assume that you know something about cars and you aren't going to buy the bullsnip that they give most customers. They didn't want to deal with someone who knew about cars, and they didn't want to see someone who knew about cars back telling them that their work didn't fix the problem.

They probably also knew that if they didn't take care of it that you would definitely go to regional or heaven forbid, corporate and complain. Toyota doesn't look kindly on dismissive dealers that provide poor customer service and they didn't want that scrutiny, because who knows how many other complaints they had against them. I can tell you this, dealers that get too many complaints concerning poor customer service get their contracts to sell cars revoked. Ford has done this to two dealerships I know of.

It's not that they can't fix it, it's that they won't fix it...or even admit that it is a problem. Hell, my wife could replace the tensioner. I think there are only two bolts that hold the thing in place.

I said that not being able to fix it the first time really wasn't acceptable (I'm saying this because you seem to know exactly what is wrong with it, and they should have no problem fixing a problem that a customer correctly identifies).

I also said not being able to fix it the second time meant they were incompetent or didn't care about customer service. Them trying to fix it and not being able to would mean they are incompetent. Them not even trying to fix it means they don't care about customer service. Neither is acceptable because it doesn't get your car fixed.

I guess the confusion is that I used the term "not being able to" when what I meant was for "whatever reason didn't fix".

Sorry for the confusion.

They probably also knew that if they didn't take care of it that you would definitely go to regional or heaven forbid, corporate and complain. Toyota doesn't look kindly on dismissive dealers that provide poor customer service and they didn't want that scrutiny, because who knows how many other complaints they had against them. I can tell you this, dealers that get too many complaints concerning poor customer service get their contracts to sell cars revoked. Ford has done this to two dealerships I know of.

HaHa. It is funny that you say this...because as I type this message, I still have a window open from yesterday that is the Toyota complaint line...directly to the manufacturer. Since they solved my problem and eventually listened to me, I will not submit anything. It concerns me that others just get railroaded into believing whatever the service writers tell them. I hope something like this doesn't happen to my Grandmother....who wouldn't think twice about questioning the service writer.

 

I doubt the service department was incompetent when it comes to fixing the tensioner as it is an easy repair, it just seems to me like they wanted to get off as cheap as possible....which makes no sense, since Toyota pays them for warranty repairs.

My wife is about to make a long road trip across Texas this weekend, so we'll see how it holds up!

I doubt the service department was incompetent when it comes to fixing the tensioner as it is an easy repair, it just seems to me like they wanted to get off as cheap as possible....which makes no sense, since Toyota pays them for warranty repairs.

I doubt they are incompetent to make a simple repair like that either, I was just throwing the possibility out there.

As for trying to get off cheap, that is the case a lot of the time. Toyota pays them for warranty repairs, but they only pay for the parts and an amount of labor that Toyota says the job should be able to be done in. If the dealer can't finish the job in the amount of time Toyota says it should take, they don't get paid for any of the extra time and that means lost revenue.

You will find a lot of small town dealers who will not attempt large or complicated repairs, not because they can't do it, but because they aren't trained well enough to do it with the speed that Toyota wants it done with and they end up losing money. When the car is out of warranty and the customer is paying they're happy to fix it because they're getting paid for every hour they work. I bet if you took the car to the dealer out of warranty with the same problem that they would have replaced the tensioner and the belt both the first time you took it in.

Yep, you are correct. And that principle is how good mechanics make money and bad mechanics get the boot.

BTW, I just picked up the car and it seems that Toyota changed the design of the tensioner shock. It has full metal canister and completely enclosed as opposed to the rubber boot on one end. I wonder if that is the result of a bad design of the former tensioner.

Well, the dealership replaced the tensioner. Not sure if it was to shut me up or if it was actually bad. We'll see if that solves the problem.

BTW, before I decided to take it to the dealership, I purchased a new belt. It was $32. You should only need one socket (19mm IIRC) and wrench to do the job. Just remember to draw the belt diagram on a piece of paper before removing the old belt.

I can't believe this many people are all having the same problem and Toyota hasn't recalled the tensioner. I guess nobody has died from it. I have the same exact problem on my 2004 and my parents had the same problem and paid the $412 to have it replaced. My sisters 2005 also just started having the problem. I refuse to pay for the repair of a faulty part and am trying to get Toyota to do it at no charge. The dealership I go to In Carlsbad already has a class action suit against them, maybe another would help the process along.

I've also started having my brakes squeak and grind. Toyota says there is still 70% pad left and they just cleaned out all the dust expecting that to fix it. Didn't do a thing. So I'm adding that to the list. I wouldn't ever buy another Toyota again.

Those belt dressings are only a temporary fix. If the belt is cracked or in bad condition, it should be replaced.

They probably did it because you showed them it was leaking. When you do that, they have to assume that you know something about cars and you aren't going to buy the bullsnip that they give most customers. They didn't want to deal with someone who knew about cars, and they didn't want to see someone who knew about cars back telling them that their work didn't fix the problem.

They probably also knew that if they didn't take care of it that you would definitely go to regional or heaven forbid, corporate and complain. Toyota doesn't look kindly on dismissive dealers that provide poor customer service and they didn't want that scrutiny, because who knows how many other complaints they had against them. I can tell you this, dealers that get too many complaints concerning poor customer service get their contracts to sell cars revoked. Ford has done this to two dealerships I know of.

BTW, I just picked up the car and it seems that Toyota changed the design of the tensioner shock. It has full metal canister and completely enclosed as opposed to the rubber boot on one end. I wonder if that is the result of a bad design of the former tensioner.

 

Yes. there was a TSB but only free under 3/36 warranty.

I hate to put it this way ,but some dealerships have mechanics who hate to admit they are wrong, do not get paid well for warranty work ,and do not get paid at all for screw ups.

Sometimes On a simple job as this they let Timmy the parts changer do the job.You know, the 20 year old kid who gets paid $10/hour and just came in from oil change school. he is supposed to be working under the master tech ,but the master does not want the kid taking his book time jobs so he lets the kid founder a bit. That is how you got just a belt change until someone in charge took over. i have heard about it happening too many times . This is why warranty work does not get fixed properly.