Land Rover is the chameleon of the motoring world. It is able to be a great utilitarian and off-road vehicle, but also remains classy and elegant. Land Rovers are able to blend into any setting for any driver.
While they may be perfect at adapting to multiple purposes and challenges, Land Rovers are not immune from developing parts failures. There are a few issues that are synonymous with the brand. A common problem that Land Rover drivers face is idler pulley failure, which can quickly spiral into more serious issues if not resolved swiftly.
In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at this part and understand why it may fail and what you should do about it if it does.
The idler pulley is an integral part of your Land Rover. For your Land Rover to function correctly, it needs to be kept in perfect working order. The idler pulley is part of your engine and is needed to reduce slack in the engine’s drive belt. The drive belt, also known as the serpentine belt, is an essential feature of all engines.
When the belt rotates, it gives power to key systems such as the water pump, air conditioning compressor, alternator, and power steering pump. Without this, none of these systems would receive power. When the idler pulley fails, the drive belt is allowed to slacken, which greatly increases the risk of failure through misalignment, uneven wear, and even sudden snapping. Any of those can cause severe engine damage.
Like most car parts, when the idler pulley fails, it will alert the driver through a series of symptoms that will manifest. In the case of the idler pulley, there are five warning signs which indicate that failure has occurred. Let’s take a closer look at these:
Strange noises emanating from under the hood of your car are never good to hear. This is why you should always be mindful of the sounds that your engine makes. Of course, every engine is different, and the sounds your car makes are likely to be a bit different than anyone else’s, which is why it’s good to establish your own baseline of what is normal and what is not. Squealing or even sometimes chirping noises tend to indicate idler pulley failure.
Every driver dreads engine trouble, and the idler pulley can be the root cause of a variety of worrying issues. A failed pulley tends to damage the drive belt, which in turn results in problems with temperature control, leading to stalling and overheating.
Sometimes the idler pulley can become stuck. You can check for this at home. Pop your hood and carefully remove the drive belt. Try spinning the pulley. If it won’t spin, then it is likely frozen and will need either repair or replacement.
Sometimes problems just come down to age. Driving your car means that many of its hardest working parts take a beating day in and day out. Over months and years, this can leave them worn out and unable to function. In the case of the idler pulley, scoring marks can indicate that it’s time for a fresh part.
As mentioned, the whole purpose of the idler pulley is to keep the drive belt taut. Therefore, if you’re dealing with a slack drive belt your first point of investigation should be the idler pulley.
Idler pulley failure can put your entire engine at risk. Overheating can contribute to catastrophic engine failure, and should your drive belt suddenly snap because of pulley failure, it will send shards of rubber throughout your engine like shrapnel. So, at the first sign of a problem, stop by at our shop and get the problem fixed.
At Rowlett Motorwerks, we believe the drivers of Garland, Rockwall, Sachse, Wylie, and Rowlett, TX deserve nothing but the best in automotive care, maintenance, and servicing, which is why we strive to be the best at everything we do. Our expert technicians are friendly and passionate about all auto servicing. To book your first appointment, call our friendly customer service team today.