How big a deal is a replaced idler pulley?

I’m looking at a used Impala with13,000 miles. The car looks like it’s in good shape, but the carfax shows that the idler pulley was replaced at 3,000 miles. It has Chevrolet pre owned certification.

Does that sound like a minor one off problem, or should I keep looking?


Knowing Only What You’ve Indicated, I’d Say It Is No Big Deal. My Guess Is That It Was Replaced Because A Previous Owner Or The Dealer Complained Of A Noisey Belt/Pulley.

I bought a year old “Certified Pre-Owned” Impala last year with just over 10,000 miles. Does the car you’re looking at come with an extension of the bumper-to-bumper warranty from 36/36 (36 months and 36,000 miles) to 48/48, like mine did ? It should have the balance of the 60 month / 100,000 mile drivetrain warranty, too. All warranty coverage runs from the car’s original in-service date. The dealer has that.

What model-year is it ?


Thank you for replying. It’s a 2008. It has a 12 month/12,000 bumper to bumper warranty and a 5 year/100,000 mile powertrain limited warranty.


The idler pulley is no big deal. I bought a new Toyota 4Runner back in 2003. The serpentine belt started chirping shortly after we bought the car. The dealer’s service department put on 3 new belts. One time, the technician didn’t get the belt on correctly and it pulled out the crankshaft oil seal. I finally told the dealer that he had one chance to fix it correctly and supply me with a loaner car, or he could buy it back under the lemon law. The problem was finally traced to a weak spring on the idler pulley. The problem is minor if the dealer’s service department is sharp enough to know what they are doing. In our case, once the problem was solved, I never went back to that dealer.

Very minor. About $20 but they usually last 100-200K so must have been a defect. When I was on the road, I even carried a spare in the trunk, since you lose all power accessories and cooling if it goes.

I’m wondering why a past repair is even something to think you would worry about. Its just odd.

Worry more about what doesn’t show up on a history report.

I agree that replacement of an idler at 3k miles sounds a bit strange. The odds of an idler failing at that young of an age are very remote but anything is possible.

There is one thing to possibly consider and that would be the fact this could have taken a hard front end hit in a collision, repaired with no report to CF, and it was determined later that the pulley had been damaged due to the impact. The pulley could have been reported OR more likely, replaced under warranty as being bad when in reality it was an accident caused failure.

This may not be the case at all; just pointing out a theoretical here. I’d make double sure it doesn’t have body damage.

It could have been replaced as part of a factory recall.