How to Remove the Bolt From a Tensioner Pulley

by Cayden Conor

The tensioner pulley is on the end of a spring-loaded tensioner. The accessory drive belt rides on the pulley while the spring-loaded portion of the assembly puts tension on the accessory drive belt to keep it tight enough so that it doesn't slip on the rest of the pulleys. More often than not, just the pulley goes bad on the tensioner, not the whole tensioner, and for most vehicles, you can purchase and replace the pulley instead of the tensioner itself. The pulley should be replaced if it has a lot of resistance when you spin it.

Step 1

Open the hood of your vehicle.

Step 2

Locate the tensioner pulley. The tensioner pulley has a smooth surface that the top of the belt -- the side with no grooves -- rides on.

Put a socket on the bolt and turn the bolt counterclockwise to break it loose. If it will not break loose because the tensioner wants to move, keep the tensioner from moving by holding it in place with a pry bar; then you will be able to loosen the bolt in the pulley.


  • Though this particular bolt doesn't usually seem to have problems, sometimes it can rust or have some other issue, causing the bolt to not come out easily. If this is the case, spray it with lubricant and allow it to set for a few minutes to give the lubricant time to work down the threads of the bolt.

Items you will need

  • Set of sockets
  • Pry bar
  • Lubricant (Optional)

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