How to Fix Nissan Altima Belt Tensioner Noise

It could be annoying when you want to enjoy a silent drive or listen to the radio, then all of a sudden you begin to hear a strange noise from your vehicle’s good. Unusual noise from your Nissan Altima belt tensioner could mean something isn’t right with your car.

In this article, we will help you understand the reasons behind your Nissan Altima tensioner noise, the various sounds it produces, and how to fix the belt tensioner noise problem.

Having a belt tensioner noise problem can be disturbing, but these approaches will help you overcome the noise. Replace your belt tensioner and also tighten and adjust loose belt tensioners.

What is a Belt Tensioner?

The belt tensioner helps provide tension for the serpentine belt and prevents the belt from slipping out or coming off. The belt tensioner is responsible for controlling the amount of pressure needed for the pulleys to spin effectively. The pulleys include the power steering pump, water pump, and alternator. 

When you begin to hear a squealing noise from your vehicle’s hood, then such noise is induced by the belt tensioner.  The noise occurs as a result of the belt slipping against the pulley. 

Causes and symptoms of Nissan Altima Belt Tensioner Noise 

Spillage of Fluid on the Belt 

If you start hearing belt tensioner noise recently, then all you need to do is to use a dry cloth to wipe around the belt. when you want to try this approach make sure the engine is off. If you realize the cloth has absorbed a lot of liquid then a liquid has spilled on it.  It is this spillage on the belt that causes it to slip against the pulley, hence creating that squealing noise.

The spilled oil could get to the belt by chance. It could happen when you were replenishing the power steering fluid or the motor oil. It could also be that there is a leakage along the components of the engine.

Also Read:

How to fix car seat noise

Misalignment of the Pulleys

Chirping belt noise from your vehicle’s hood may be an indication that some components of the drive or the pulley are not in proper alignment. The pulleys that are out of alignment to a small extent can create the belt chirping noise as the ribs of the belt slip by the groove of the pulley. 

Misalignment of the Tensioner Arm

When the belt becomes abnormally tracked on the pulley.The contact between the metals and the arm of the spring housing resort to the misalignment of the tensioner arm.

Wear out of the Pulley Bearings

The bearings within the pulley can be damaged or worn out. Check this out off the engine and remove the belt. Take out the pulley and put your finger on the hole of the pulley and roll it. If you hear grinding noise while rolling it then it means the bearings are worn out.

Rust and Cracks Around the Pulley

The metal parts of the belt tensioner may be rusted. The rust usually occurs within the internal components of the pulley. Cracks on the tensioner stop and the mounting bolt can cause harm to the housing and bracket of the belt tensioner. 

Using a Tight or Loose Belt

When you inspect the belt and there is no fluid on it, then is possible the noise is brought about as a result of the belt being too loose or too tight. When this happens they will slip against the pulley and create a squealing noise. To confirm this simply pour water all over the belt at the motor is running. When you do this and the noise stops then it means the belt needs to tighten. 

When you realize the noise is a result of the belt being too tight or too loose, then you should tighten it. Usually, the belt needs to be about ¾off of play so that the belt tensioner can be adjusted to return to normal. In some cases the belt may be too old and worn out, in this case, you have to replace a new belt. 

Simple Steps to Stop Your Nissan Altima Belt Tensioner from Making Noise

Use a Spray-Dressing Compound

The spray-dressing compound approach is one of the simplest and easiest ways to stop your Nissan Altima belt tensioner noise. But the only disadvantage of this approach is that it is a temporary solution. Simply apply the spray-dressing compound on the entire belt while the engine is still running. Ensure the spray touches all metal parts around the pulley. After doing this you will realize the squealing noise stops at once. This will stop belt tensioner noise for the moment but it won’t solve any underlying problems that might have caused the noise.

Wash and Dry the Belt

If the belt tensioner noise is a result of the fluid Spillage on the belt. The best way to solve this problem is to wash the tensioner belt rinse and dry it. The washing will take away the oil and give it that rough-sledding effect to remain inside the tensioner groove. Replace the belt after it has completely dried. This helps stop the noise. 

Replace a New Belt Tensioner

In a situation where your belt tensioner is old and worn out then you will need to replace a new one  A worn-out belt tensioner can’t be tightened or adjusted to the normal limit to allow it to function properly. 

Steps to replace a belt tensioner 

To replace a belt tensioner, you will need these items; a ratchet, a fifteen-millimeter socket, and a new pully. Below are the steps to follow.

  • Use the long ratchet to relieve tension from the belt. use the long ratchet tool on the bolt of the pulley and pull it down in a clockwise direction. 
  • Fit the fifteen-millimeter socket on the ratchet 
  • Fix the ratchet on the pulley bolt, and pill it up and down to see where the pulley goes.
  • Remove the bolt and pull the pulley off
  • Pull out the new pulley, and compare it with the old one to see if they are the same. 
  • Put the new pulley in the exact place that the old one was.
  • Tighten the bolt attached to the pulley back.  Use the ratchet with the fifteen-millimeter socket to tighten it properly. 
  • Get the belt back around that pulley. 
  • Use the ratchet to relieve tension from the other pulled ys, and pull the ratchet down attached to the bolt. Manipulate the belt under the alternator. 
  • Now pull the ratchet up to tighten the belt tensioner.
  • You are done, start the engine to check out if the noise stops.


Hearing noise from the hood of your vehicle can irritating. You should always pay attention to any unusual noise from your car. Most of the noise could be avoided if you keep your check regularly. So it is better to tackle the minor issues before they become bigger ones. This will help prevent huge repair costs when your vehicle eventually breaks down.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *