96 Saturn SC2 belt tensioner rattle at idle with AC on

Recently the original belt tensioner broke(142,000 miles) and I installed a new one. Now it rattles at idle with AC on. Other forums suggest replacing tensioner to fix rattle if all other pulleys(PS,AC,Alt,H2O pump) are OK. Could I do something to dampen the tensioner spring at the housing? Maybe a dab of RTV?

if its rattling check to ensure it is tight. it may not be the bearings, but the whole assy may be loose.

is there an idler pulley also? check that for bearing noise too.

I replaced the idler pulley also. Maybe I need to buy a better quality tensioner assy. I was hoping there was a quick fix!

Same problem here with 96 Saturn SL2. The original belt tensioner on my vehicle lasted 120,000 miles. The replacement I got from Autozone worked fine for 5,000 miles then started rattling, when you turned the AC on at idle. It turned out to be a costly repair. Are you sure you installed the part correctly? The replacement that everyone is selling is not a good match. It fatigues one of the bolt holes on the timing cover.

If you are interested in a class action, please email DavidJames@Netslinger.com. Put “Saturn Belt Tensioner Rattle” in subject line.