Engine pulleys, also known as idler pulleys, are essential for your Saab’s engine drive belts. The engine drive belts must be steered and tensioned by them. The alternator, water pump, power steering pump, and AC compressor are just a few of the several engine accessories specifically run by engine drive belts.
The idler pulley offers the engine belt yet another smoothly moving point to loop around to achieve the necessary routing. Most engines, like the one found in Saab automobiles, employ one tensioner pulley and one idler pulley.
Symptoms of a Bad Idler Pulley
Idler pulleys eventually deteriorate and need to be replaced over time. However, a faulty or failing idler pulley typically exhibits a few indications that can alert the driver to a problem.
- Engine noise from the belt: The engine belts may begin to screech. The engine belt may squeak against a worn-out or seized pulley’s surface because there is not enough motion coming from the pulley to prevent this from happening. Additionally, the engine belt will produce a screeching sound when you turn the key. Drivers should never disregard a new and unusual sound from their Saab, because it indicates a problem.
- Wearing out of the surface: You should inspect the idler pulley for any wear when you first hear squealing sounds. One of the symptoms of a malfunctioning idler pulley is the presence of scoring marks. The idler pulley surface ages over time from continuous spinning. To stop the engine belt from slipping and losing tension, you should have it replaced by a Saab specialist.
- Bearing or pulley failure: If the idler pulley or bearing has severe damage to the point where they might separate or split, you will be able to see the damage. This failure is fairly obvious and could impair the engine’s performance. Additionally, if the belt fails, the entire engine could overheat or stall out.
- Excessive spin: Check the idler pulley for obvious damage. After a few rotations, an idler pulley in proper working order will halt. If the pulley keeps spinning, this is a defective idler pulley and points to a bearing issue. Even at regular RPMs, you might hear a noise.
- Idler pulley either spins slowly or not at all: An idler pulley in good working order rotates freely. A faulty idler pulley won’t turn. It may even bind up. If you can see this happening when you open the hood to check it, this needs to be replaced as soon as possible.
The idler pulley’s performance and lifespan may be extended by maintaining the engine. Only choose quality replacement parts for your Saab’s engine, as low-quality components wear out more quickly, which may impair how well other engine components work and last.
Is driving with a poor idler pulley safe?
With a defective idler pulley, you may drive your Saab to a shop on a less-busy roadway, but you could also lose control of your car if the engine belt slips. It is not recommended to drive if you suspect or see any problems with your engine.
The idler pulley is essential to the engine’s operation. In addition, the idler pulley and the drive belts are necessary to operate numerous engine parts. Therefore, if your Saab displays any defective idler pulley symptoms, bring it to our auto repair shop as soon as possible.
Austin’s Trusted Mechanics for Saab and Imports
There are many reasons why people opt for luxury European vehicles like Saabs. Drivers know what to anticipate from their automobile every time they step behind the wheel, from enhanced performance to improved reliability and interior comforts and luxuries. However, it takes dedication to follow the recommended service schedule for your Saab model to preserve these features and the driving experience. At Swedish Auto Service, our commitment is to partnering with you to ensure that your Saab receives the high-quality maintenance it requires at all times.
Swedish Auto Service, a locally owned business in Austin, is pleased to be the preferred independent mechanic for motorists in Cedar Park, Round Rock, and Leander. Call us or stop by our shop immediately if you have any questions or to make an appointment.