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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2010 G6 with the 2.4L motor. My serpentine belt shredded/snapped and I put a new on this weekend, but when I was putting it on it was nearly impossible to avoid getting oil on my hands and the belt due to an oil leak I have coming from the timing chain gasket which I am addressing next.

Initially when I did my first test drive it squealed for a second, then was fine, but today it was rainy and I noticed anytime I try to run my A/C while idling, the belt starts making noise again. The belt has made some noise with the A/C off but it seems very random, or only when I first take off after starting the car.

Do you think this could be from the oil I got on the belt while installing? The pulleys/alternator were also covered in oil so I tried to clean off as much as I could before reinstalling.

My other thought was that I did not adjust the tensioner correctly, I had to loosen that bolt to get the belt on since it was such a tight fit. I am somewhat worried it's the A/C compressor pulley seizing up, the A/C blows cold but this compressor is the original compressor from 2010.

Any advice? Am I safe to drive with the squeal in the meantime?
 

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Hi,

Probably is from the oil. The tensioner is spring loaded so it auto tensions. Not sure why you had to loosen a bolt as the tensioner arm has a square hole in it that you can use a ratchet to untension the idler. Can't remember which way you turn it but it's the opposite way the tensioner pushes on the belt.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I had no idea about the square hole, I was having issues getting the belt on and the only thing I could think of at the time was to try and loosen the tensioner.


The squealing was pretty bad on the way home today, as soon as I started the car it was squealing, even with the A/C off. Once I started driving for about 30 seconds it stopped. Do I just need to keep driving and burn the oil off the belt from the engine heat, or should I try to clean it somehow? The squealing did get worse when I tried to turn on the A/C so I just drove home with the windows down and it didn't squeal at all after that initial bit.
 

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If you feel along the arm you should be able to locate the square hole. A 3/8 th ratchet will fit it. Lift the tension away from the belt. there should be quite a bit of resistance and the tensioner will go back to the belt when you quit pulling.

If you have some chalk you can try to get some on the belt to dry up the oil. The kind used in snap lines will work. It's only a temporary fix, the real fix would be to fix the oil leak.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If you feel along the arm you should be able to locate the square hole. A 3/8 th ratchet will fit it. Lift the tension away from the belt. there should be quite a bit of resistance and the tensioner will go back to the belt when you quit pulling.

If you have some chalk you can try to get some on the belt to dry up the oil. The kind used in snap lines will work. It's only a temporary fix, the real fix would be to fix the oil leak.
I am trying to save up a bit to get the timing chain gasket replaced, going to get that done in the next month or two. I will try to tighten up the tensioner and see how that works with the noise on Saturday morning. Thanks for the help!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Quick question, when I tighten up the tensioner to see if that is the issue, can I start the car without putting the air box back on to make sure it's not squealing anymore, or should I hook everything back up? I know the MAF would be hanging loose so not sure if that would mess with anything.
 

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Up to 2009 you could access the tensioner from behind the right front tire. I don't think they changed this for 2010. Jack the car up, use a jack stand, and remove the tire. Remove the lower splash shield. Never did it this way so I can't say it's easier or better.

Since you've gained access to the tensioner from above you may as well continue from there.

I'm guessing you loosened the bolt that that goes through the arm into the engine or front cover. Tightening that bolt does not lock the tensioner into place, it simply holds the tensioner on the motor. The torque for the bolt is 33 ft/lbs. I don't know how much you loosened the bolt or pulled the tensioner away from the engine but if you loosened it a lot and moved the tensioner 1/2 inch or so away from the motor it is possible the locking dowel slipped out of it's hole. If that's the case then you will need to install the tensioner correctly and torque the mounting bolt to 33 ft/lbs.

The tensioner has a spring in it that keeps tension on the belt. The square hole is near the pulley end of the arm. If you put a 3/8 ratchet in the hole and rotate the tensioner counter clockwise the belt can be removed (theres no reason to loosen any bolts). You don't have to take the belt right off, just get it off at least one pulley. With the ratchet still connected to the arm let the tensioner move back clockwise. It will move clockwise until it hits the stop.

In either case the belt needs to be off the tensioner to correctly torque the bolt.

To put the belt back on, get it on as many pulleys as you can, then with the ratchet rotate the tensioner counterclockwise. Slip the belt onto the tensioner pulley or whichever one the belt isn't on and slowly let the tensioner go back clockwise.

This link is a picture of what the tension mount look like on the engine side.
https://www.autopartskart.com/pontiac-g6-2009/drive-belt-tensioner-assembly.html

Running the engine with the MAF dangling might throw an engine code but that should go away once everything is hooked up again.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Up to 2009 you could access the tensioner from behind the right front tire. I don't think they changed this for 2010. Jack the car up, use a jack stand, and remove the tire. Remove the lower splash shield. Never did it this way so I can't say it's easier or better.

Since you've gained access to the tensioner from above you may as well continue from there.

I'm guessing you loosened the bolt that that goes through the arm into the engine or front cover. Tightening that bolt does not lock the tensioner into place, it simply holds the tensioner on the motor. The torque for the bolt is 33 ft/lbs. I don't know how much you loosened the bolt or pulled the tensioner away from the engine but if you loosened it a lot and moved the tensioner 1/2 inch or so away from the motor it is possible the locking dowel slipped out of it's hole. If that's the case then you will need to install the tensioner correctly and torque the mounting bolt to 33 ft/lbs.

The tensioner has a spring in it that keeps tension on the belt. The square hole is near the pulley end of the arm. If you put a 3/8 ratchet in the hole and rotate the tensioner counter clockwise the belt can be removed (theres no reason to loosen any bolts). You don't have to take the belt right off, just get it off at least one pulley. With the ratchet still connected to the arm let the tensioner move back clockwise. It will move clockwise until it hits the stop.

In either case the belt needs to be off the tensioner to correctly torque the bolt.

To put the belt back on, get it on as many pulleys as you can, then with the ratchet rotate the tensioner counterclockwise. Slip the belt onto the tensioner pulley or whichever one the belt isn't on and slowly let the tensioner go back clockwise.

This link is a picture of what the tension mount look like on the engine side.
https://www.autopartskart.com/pontiac-g6-2009/drive-belt-tensioner-assembly.html

Running the engine with the MAF dangling might throw an engine code but that should go away once everything is hooked up again.
The tensioner I have on my car looks different, there aren't any grooves it's more of a flat surface, does that make a difference?

This looks more like the one I have now: https://www.autozone.com/external-engine/belt-tensioner/acdelco-belt-tensioner/36766_297531_24676

Also an update:

I adjusted the tensioner today, going counter clockwise loosened the belt, which made the belt loose and I was able to slip it on and off by hand, is that normal? It does want to pull back a bit but not very much. If I turn the wrench back towards the belt it pushes down on the tensioner/belt and seems to help make it tight, but it's slipping off when I run the car, and the tensioner is very noisy now, it's a loud clicking sound so I am guessing the tensioner is bad, or I did something when I was adjusting the bolt instead by mistake originally. Should I just replace the tensioner at this point? Or try to get it back on and see if I just have like what g6g mentioned with the locking pin or bolt?
 

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The smooth one you have should be the correct one. I just posted a picture of a random one so you could see the dowel.

The noise could be the bearing in the pulley or misalignment. The slipping off could also be a symptom of both also.

If I were you I would start with making sure the dowel is correctly seated in it's hole. With the belt off you are half way there anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks, I will pull the tire/splash guard so I can get a better look, it's hard to see anything from the top. When I loosened that bolt on the tensioner it allowed it to move up/down so I am guessing it popped out of the hole it should be in.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Since the tensioner has 130k miles on it, do you think it's a good time to just swap it out since I have everything apart? I don't mind spending a little bit if it helps in the long run.
 

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I've had tensioners last 300,000 km or more. If the bearing and the spring feels good keep using it. If there is any roughness or wobble in the bearing change it. With the belt off the spring should keep the arm against the stop. If it doesn't the the spring is showing signs of loosing tension.

It's entirely up to you. Things to consider is how comfortable are you with the old one, how much work to replace it?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I ended up dropping it at a mechanic this morning, going to get the oil leak fixed from the timing chain gasket and have them check out the tensioner since I don't get home from work until it's already dark out and it's I don't have a jack to access it from the wheel area.
 

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Thanks for keeping us updated. Please post back once you get your car back and let us know how you made out. the info may help others.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Update: The mechanic charged me 30 mins of labor to fix the tensioner, you were right about the dowel being out of place. They said the tensioner looks fine and doesn't recommend replacing it at this time.

The oil leak is not from my timing chain cover, but is actually from the crank seal, which he said should be cheaper and easier to fix.
 
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