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Old 05-01-2012, 10:05 PM   #1
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Belt Tensioner Removal

2001 Saab 9-3 SE
Can you please tell me the best way to move the tensioner to remove the belt? There is a hole in it but im not sure if there is a special tool or what? Also what tools will be need to remove the tensioner? Lastly instruction on how to remove it? Is there a way to test it before removing it? I think it is what is causing my belt to squeal or it is squeal everytime i start the car. mainly after sitting for sometime.. Any ideas let me know..
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:53 AM   #2
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how to remove belt tensioner??
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i don't think a c900 has sold for 28k since the day one left the dealership new.
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:53 AM   #3
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8mm allen
it's kind of tight, but if you use the short end of an allen wrench, you'll be fine.
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:31 PM   #4
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How do pull the tensioner near the front of the car to release the belt? This is what the Chilton says.. Relieve the tension on the belt tensioner with a jointed handle and insert a 3.5 mm drill in the hole.. What are they talking about here?

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Old 05-03-2012, 07:08 PM   #5
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SSLVRNBLK - did you not click on the link provided and read the step-by-step DIY instructions?

You use a socket extension in the notch and pull the tensioner CLOCKWISE, putting a 3mm allen wrench in the hole to hold the tensioner in place. DO NOT LET THE TENSIONER SNAP FORWARD or you may break it.
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i don't think a c900 has sold for 28k since the day one left the dealership new.
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:25 PM   #6
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Thank you.. Can these cause belt squealing noise? Does it when I start the car and then goes a way.. If I turn on A/C it may make the noise for a second or two.. Do you think its my Belt tensioner pulley? Is there a way to test it?
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:43 PM   #7
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Dude, you have to test it to eliminate the problem and isolate the sound. If the squeaking comes on when you start the car, chances are it is one of your pulleys (do you start the car with the A/C off?). It could be the compressor wheel/pulley. A good way to check is to take the belt off and check the pulleys, see if there is any play, see if they are loose or worn, etc.
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i don't think a c900 has sold for 28k since the day one left the dealership new.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:11 AM   #8
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Dude, you have to test it to eliminate the problem and isolate the sound. If the squeaking comes on when you start the car, chances are it is one of your pulleys (do you start the car with the A/C off?). It could be the compressor wheel/pulley. A good way to check is to take the belt off and check the pulleys, see if there is any play, see if they are loose or worn, etc.
^ What he said

Tensioners are not a common failure. It's more likely the belt or another accessory.

Start by replacing the belt unless it's been done recently. An old belt will often slip at startup and then grip after that. You should also replace the upper idler pulley unless it's been done in the last 50K miles. They die after that with little notice. While you are doing the belt replacement, check any pulleys or accessories for excessive wobble.

Report back.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:17 AM   #9
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Double ditto on the last two comments.

The tensioner pulley can start to squeal before it fails, and when it fails, you will be stranded without a water pump to cool the engine.

It's definitely worth removing and checking to see how freely it spins.
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:22 PM   #10
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Plan on tearing it apart tomorrow will report back... Hope its not my compressor.. The AC gets very cold so it doesnt seem like it would be it.. Plus I heard they rattle a lot when they are bad???
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:26 PM   #11
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Here is what it was.. Please give me some advice? I just got a quote for my SAAB 2001 9-3SE for the waterpump, idler pully and belt tensioner they want to charge me $800.00 they said 3 1/2 hours in labor.. Does this seem like a fair price?
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:22 PM   #12
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If you were close to me, id have you buy the parts, and charge you 150 labor. Its all a really easy job.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:25 PM   #13
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If you were close to me, id have you buy the parts, and charge you 150 labor. Its all a really easy job.
I get mixed comments some people say it is hard others say it is easy... Is $800.00 too much to pay for this?
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:32 PM   #14
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I get mixed comments some people say it is hard others say it is easy... Is $800.00 too much to pay for this?
I just did this today. I bought a Goodyear short belt, Goodyear tensioner, and Goodyear upper idler pulley. The hardest part is you have to remove the engine mount (and prop up the engine from below to relieve the pressure), and taking out the tensioner requires an 8mm allen wrench and patience. All in all, it would take a novice no more than 2 hrs max to do this. I don't know what the book says for hours of time, but $800 is a lot. The parts will only cost you roughly $200, if that (with the tensioner being the most expensive piece).

If you were nearer to me, I would charge you a pizza and beer and do it.
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i don't think a c900 has sold for 28k since the day one left the dealership new.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:35 PM   #15
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I just did this today. I bought a Goodyear short belt, Goodyear tensioner, and Goodyear upper idler pulley. The hardest part is you have to remove the engine mount (and prop up the engine from below to relieve the pressure), and taking out the tensioner requires an 8mm allen wrench and patience. All in all, it would take a novice no more than 2 hrs max to do this. I don't know what the book says for hours of time, but $800 is a lot. The parts will only cost you roughly $200, if that (with the tensioner being the most expensive piece).

If you were nearer to me, I would charge you a pizza and beer and do it.
I also need the water pump replaced... Does that change anything?
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:43 PM   #16
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it adds cost to it, and time. A water pump can be cheap or run expensive. But it isn't like you tear off the engine cover to get to it like a Nissan or Toyota. For the water pump, you have to flush the coolant out and such, so I suppose the added cost and time is there. But still, we're talking no more than $400 in parts and materials. So I supposed if they are charging $150 per hour labor than it starts to add up to their quote.
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Old 05-11-2012, 07:22 PM   #17
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None of it is difficult. The tensioner pulley is literally one bolt. Same with the idler pulley. The waterpump is a little more work, since you need to remove the power steering pump, which is 4 bolts... Then the water pump is 2 bolts.(maybe 3, it's been a while) in all, it would take a poke shadetree mechanic about 3-4 hours, which Im sure is book. Any skilled mechanic would bang it out in an hour.
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:29 PM   #18
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Old 05-12-2012, 05:38 AM   #19
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None of it is difficult. The tensioner pulley is literally one bolt. Same with the idler pulley. The waterpump is a little more work, since you need to remove the power steering pump, which is 4 bolts... Then the water pump is 2 bolts.(maybe 3, it's been a while) in all, it would take a poke shadetree mechanic about 3-4 hours, which Im sure is book. Any skilled mechanic would bang it out in an hour.
This....it might take an afternoon if you're doing it carefully and for the first time....
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Old 05-19-2012, 06:26 AM   #20
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Well got it done and its working great so far... Water pump, Tensioner, and idler pulley.. Fixed Turbo and Check engine light!!! Now just need to smog it and im set!!!
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