I drive a 2007 Toyota Corolla with 111,000 miles on it. I went in to have my alternator replaced on January 6, 2014. They told me that my serpentine belt looked worn and that I should probably have it replaced since I was already there. Six weeks later my car started making a loud squealing noise so I took it back into their shop and they told me it was probably the tensioner and it needed to be re-tightened. I have a self tightening tensioner so I found that odd. Before the alternator went out I only had to do routine maintenance on my car, oil changes, etc. I got to the shop at 8 a.m., and then finally after waiting for 3 hours they told me that it’s not the belt, but the bolt from the tensioner broke off inside of the motor block and they have to remove the engine mounts; lift up the engine to access the bolts; extract the broken bolt and replace the bolt with new hardware. He said it looked like someone worked on my car and did a bad job and tried to put it back together. I found this to be odd as well since they were the only people to ever do any work on my car. He told me that he would speak to the owner but could only take my word for it and agreed to split the cost of the $400.00 repair.
• How can a belt tensioner mounting bolt just break on it’s on?
• The mechanic told me that the belt tensioner mounting bolt wasn’t even touched when they made the repair. Is this true?
• Can you install a new serpentine belt without touching the belt tensioner?
• Is this going to cause any long term damage to my engine?
• Should I be responsible for any cost of the repair?
Thanks for your help!