Tensioner pulley question

2000 Accord. I replaced the serpantine belt and started the car. Then found out the pulley had seized up. I got a new one and replaced it and got the belt on again.

Because the lifting up of the pulley by the 14mm bolt tightens up the bolt and therefore the pulley the pulley doesn’t go around. Now that the belt is on do I need to loosen the bolt up so the pulley will be freed up to move?


The bolt should be tight and it should not clamp the idler pulley such that it can’t turn.

It’s called an automatic tensioner.

Once the tensioner goes against the belt, and the bolt is tightened, the tension on the belt is automatic.


nbtp - How do achieve both? Thanks.

Something’s not set up right or the wrong size.
If you leave the bolt loose use some kind of thread lock locking compound or glue to keep it from coming out.

did you change this? easy to do. if your real talented you can press out the bearing and reuse the steel pulley. the bearing is about $8.

You are doing something wrong and I’m trying to figure out what that is. Along with all the drive pulleys, you have a tensioner and maybe an idler pulley in the mix. The tensioner pulley has a bolt through the bearing and it either uses the inner race as a spacer or it has a separate spacer, but it should not seize when you tighten it down.

If it uses a separate spacer, possibly someone in the past has taken it out for some reason and lost it and then just left the bolt loose, which would be why you are going through belts and tensioners.

The tensioner has a second hex head on it. It is not a bolt. When you replace the belt, you put your wrench on this hex head and then pull the tensioner away from the belt so that you can get it off and the new one one. If you are loosening a bolt, you are not doing it right.

Edit: Some tensioners have a square hole in them that fits either a 1/2" or 3/8" drive breaker bar instead of a hex head.

Like Keith, I was trying to figure out what the error might be. I cannot. But perhaps the attached will offer some insight.

Forgot to update this and tell what happened. The old pulley had seized up so I went and got a new one. When I put the new one on I used a plate from the old one which had been used to protect the old one from dirt and was made in a way that when the bolt was tightened would still allow the pulley to spin. So I put the plate on, tightened the bolt, and it wouldn’t spin. Ultimately I figured it out that it was because the the plate was pressing against the pulley when the bolt was tightened.

So the new pulley wasn’t configured to use the plate off of the old one but just used a much smaller washer…which they didn’t give to me at the store. They couldn’t find one at the store so I just bought one at the hardware store that covers the bearings and still allows the pulley to spin. Works now. Thanks.


thanks for the update . . . and congratultions!

Just curious. The tensioner, did you buy a Honda part, or aftermarket?

Got it from O’Reilly’s.

I’m glad you got it solved and thank you sincerely for the followup post. What you describe does occasionally happen with aftermarket parts.

Sincere best.