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What does the strain pulley do?
A drive belt tensioner is a pulley mounted on a spring system or adjustable pivot point that is utilized to keep tension on the engine belts. … Both are being used to keeptension on the engine serpentine belts so that they can travel the various engine accessories.

How do you modify a tensioner pulley?
Turn the adjustment bolt on the side, top or bottom level of the pulley counterclockwise with the ratchet and socket before item belt is loose enough to remove. Tighten the tensioner pulley by turning the adjustment bolt clockwise with the ratchet and socket until the belt is tight.
How do I know

A tensioner pulley guides the belt around the tensioner and allows the belt to spin while the tensioner maintains pressure against it. A failing tensioner pulley could cause power loss and damage to your belt-driven systems. You may have a failing tensioner pulley if you hear any squeaking or squealing under the hood. Bearings on the pulley can wear out, causing noise and heat. Pulleys are usually manufactured from either plastic or metallic, so check the pulley itself for just about any damage aswell. At O’Reilly Car Parts, we have tensioner pulleys available for many vehicle models.

The automatic pulley tensioner has an internal spring-loaded mechanism that keeps the serpentine belt under continuous tension. Its design enables it to keep the serpentine belt taut, so that the other equipment pulleys rotate at the same rpm (revolutions each and every minute) while under the same secure pressure. Tensioner pulleys may also absorb moderate shock loads that happen when the air conditioner cuts on and off. As a frequently rotating component, the pulley tensioner can give off some warning signs before failure.

Rust and Corrosion
The pulley tensioner sits exposed to the elements at the front of the engine. Subjected to puddled water “splash-up,” with time the tensioner arm and pulley device can rust. Rust can freeze the programmed tensioner device or rot the shaft bearings, that will cause a frozen job in the adjustment pressure. Without the proper tension, the belt can slide.
Debris Contamination
Rocks, gravel and other highway debris could be thrown up into the tensioner pulley grooves and jam the device. This can permit the serpentine belt to slide on the tensioner pulley and burn up. Overheated pulley temp results, and finally the serpentine belt will melt and snap off.
Pulley Tensioner Spring
The pulley tensioner spring inside the housing may become weak from age and repeated contact with heat. This causes the belt to flutter and skip instead of maintaining a constant pressure on the pulley. Symptoms of a poor spring show as glazing on the underside of the serpentine belt, with an occasional flickering of the dashboard’s charging lumination indicator. Squealing or squeaking will become heard at the belt area.
Pulley Wobble
If the tensioner pulley wobbles on its shaft, it means the interior shaft bearings have worn. This will cause a pulley misalignment. Terrible bearings cause an audible growling noises. The external ends of the serpentine belt will fray and extend the belt. Ultimately the rubberized belt grooves flatten out and trigger main slippage. An excessively wobbling pulley can toss the belt off, triggering all the components to quit functioning.
Lever Arm Freeplay
Some tensioner pulleys have markings on the housing that indicate the utmost selection that the pulley can travel. If the lever arm of the tensioner rides under or higher the designated mark, it indicates a stretched belt or a lever arm that has jammed in one position.
Pulley Misaligment
The tensioner pulley face must match up to the other accessory pulleys with a parallel alignment. Placing a long, straightedge ruler against the face of the tensioner pulley, and flushing it against another item pulley, can gauge the angle. Any off-angle measurement indicates donned shaft bearings in the pulley casing.
Serpentine Belt Noise
A moderately worn serpentine belt gives off a constant squeaking noises during engine idle. Belts that have worn severely project a loud chirping or squealing sound. The cause factors to a glazed, put on or cracked belt. Dried out or partially frozen tensioner pulley bearings can cause such noises by wearing out the belt prematurely.
Lever Arm Oscillation
A lever arm that repeatedly oscillates back and forth during idle or more speeds means the the inside damper mechanism in the tensioner pulley has weakened or broken. This triggers sporadic tension strain on the belt and will manifest itself with intermittent chirping noises.