Belt rattle/ticking noise: serious issue?

:neutral_face: It’s been a while since we’ve seen common_sense_answer — their last post was in Mar '19.


I know if my car did that I’d get it fixed ASAP. I wouldn’t drive it like that. I can’t tell for sure from the video and I get no audio, but it looks like the harmonic balancer needs to be replaced. A live inspection by a mechanic can confirm that.

First off, with your fingers, try to twist the belt upside down and tell us how easy or stiff it is, it should take some finger-strength to do this, if it’s not hard to do, either your belt is stretched out and needs replacing or the tensioner needs to be adjusted (if this model has a tensioner), I’d suspect the belt first, never had a car I didn’t have to change out the serpentine belt every 4-5 years…ignore the terminology since it looks like there are separate individual belts on this, not one big long serpentine belt as in bigger block motors like my V8. Should you drive it? Sure, drive it to the local mechanic since when these belts do actually break, they can get wrapped up elsewhere and a $50 belt change becomes a $1,000 repair. But seriously, we can’t see the vibration clearly in the vid (and your audio didn’t record here), but if it’s really bad, you’d hear a squeal which is the belt slipping on the pulley, I don’t see that and we cant hear it. Use common sense here, is the belt squealing? Can you move the belt more than 1/2 inch of play? If so, take it in ASAP, if you don’t note these, see if this has a tensioner and ask a mechanic to tighten it…you can drive it if you don’t have reason to believe it’s about to break. Oh, and examine the belt for cracks.

Looks like that to me. Has the timing belt been changed? That balancer has to come off and be reinstalled to do a timing belt change. It’s held on by a big bolt with a very high torque. It’s possible it was reinstalled and the bolt not tightened enough, so it’s wobbling on the end of the crankshaft. I can also imagine ways it could be damaged in the removal process. Some special tools facilitate the job and without them problems like this can happen.