How to Purchase a Dependable Timing Belt Idler Bearing
The timing belt idler bearing is part of your timing belt that ensures its tension is correct. To be more specific, the idler bearing slackens the belt so that the tensioner bearing (which is responsible for tightening it) doesn't over-tighten the belt. Meanwhile, the timing belt (also known as cam belt) is part of your internal combustion engine that's responsible for the synchronized rotation of the camshaft and crankshaft so that the valves of your engine closes and opens at the right time after every intake.
Shopping Tips to Remember
- When to Shop for a New Timing Belt Idler Bearing: When your timing belt malfunctions, the problem could be with the belt itself or with the tensioner and its idler bearing. You might need replacing these parts when you hear rattling coming from the cover area or if you could feel by hand free or slackened movement on the idler pulleys. Contact your mechanic for more details regarding this.
- Structure and Functions to Look Out For: Your timing belt idler bearing consists of basic components like grease and seal, retainer, outer ring, and inner ring. Its rotation ratio may be adjusted with the addition of a pulley. A bracket, meanwhile, adds tension and adjusts its location better. The idler bearing is placed at the tight side while the tensioner bearing is placed on the slack side.
- Hallmarks of an Excellent Timing Belt Idler Bearing: The idler bearing you've bought should have perfect fitment, optimal clearance, grease selection for extended, high temperature use, low torque engineering for excessive seal friction reduction, and optimal material selection (steel or heat-resistant plastic construction) for use in high-temperature environments. It's also there to minimize belt layout space and prevent belt slippage.
- Buying a Timing Belt Kit: Searching for a specific timing belt idler bearing might be more of a hassle to do than to buy a timing belt kit altogether so that you could replace the part that's missing without having to scour far and wide the Internet to find it. A kit typically consists of the idler bearing, the timing belt, water pump, water pump gasket, water pump rubber isolator, thermostat gasket, idler pulleys, and tensioner.
- Buying the Standalone Idler Bearing: As per usual, be aware of the make, model, and year of your car before searching for an idler bearing online. However, on top of that, you should also have the original timing belt idler bearing's product or part number for easy reference. This will allow you to get OEM parts or at least OEM-standard parts based on the original component. The idler bearing, by the way, is also known as the belt tensioner pulley.
Buying a kit spares you the trouble of having to hunt down a timing belt idler bearing for your specific make and model of car, plus it gives you various other spare parts and replacement components in case any other portion of your timing belt setup were to fail. On the other hand, if you're well-versed enough in installation and replacement, you might feel like a kit is a waste of money and would rather hunt for the idler bearing alone. Don't forget to check the specs on the materials to ensure long-lasting durability against heat, shock and corrosion.