Hyundai Timing Chain Tensioner Problem – Causes And Solutions You Can Try

A Hyundai timing chain tensioner problem is a big concern. After all, this is a crucial component of your vehicle.

Thus, when it breaks, it is possible that serious damages have already occurred.

There are many reasons why it breaks. It could be age or the belt tensioner problem could have gone bad.

With all these things in mind, it is important to identify the signs of a timing chain tensioner problem to prevent failure completely. This way, you can spare yourself from massive expenses linked with a more severe issue.

hyundai timing chain tensioner problem

Identifying Signs Of A Hyundai Timing Chain Tensioner Problem

Your timing belt tensioner is important in maintaining the belt’s tension. This is a component that runs over a series of gears and pulleys in your vehicle.

But with time, heat, and other factors, the belt tends to get stretched out and eventually break. When it has become loose, a proper adjustment of the belt is essential to maintain the desired tightness.

There are many signs of the timing belt tensioner failing. Here are among them:

1. Rattling, chirping or squealing sounds.

When there is a failure in the tensioner pulley or the tensioner itself, the pulleys and belts tend to create chirping or high-pitched noises. Once failure has already occurred, you may even hear grinding or squealing noises.

2. Slapping or knocking noises.

Another sign of a Hyundai timing chain tensioner problem is a slapping or knocking noise being produced. When the belt is loose, it can be hitting many components of your timing cover. Even the cover gets hit, which creates the slapping sound.

3. Illuminated check engine light.

This is another sign to keep an eye out for. If you notice that the check engine light comes on – even without any noise present – the timing belt could have gotten loose.

Additionally, the valve timing is no longer in sync because of the loose belt. This is why you should inspect the belt once you have seen this sign.

How To Fix Hyundai Timing Chain Tensioner Problem

how to fix hyundai timing chain tensioner problem

If you have observed these signs, then it is time to get to work. You can then begin to address the issue by performing these steps.

1. Gather all your materials.

First things first – you need some tools and equipment to get the job done right. These include a timing kit if a complete job is necessary or a timing belt tensioner, if you simply need to fix the belt.

Moreover, you need your ratchet with standard sockets and metric, flashlight, and a torque wrench.

2. Check the noise.

Next up, you need to isolate the noise. It is possible that other parts can be creating these sounds, so you should define carefully which parts are really impacted. Take off the serpentine belt, then you can start the engine to check if the noise is still present. If it is no longer there, then other engine components could be having the problem.

3. Open the hood.

Once you have determined the source of the noise, turn the engine off. Search for the serpentine belt by opening the hood – you should be able to find the belt on the engine’s front portion.

4. Take the belt out.

Find out where the belt tensioner is. Loosen it by moving the belt in the appropriate direction. If you notice that the belt is already quite loose, then it should be quite easy to remove this component from the pulleys.

5. Check for the noise once again.

This time, you can start your vehicle and check if the noise is still present. If so, then it is confirmed – the problem is with the timing belt tensioner.

It is important to note that when you run the engine without the belt, the battery will not be able to charge.

6. Replace the timing belt tensioner

Once you are completely certain that the timing belt tensioner is the issue, then you can work on replacing it. Remove all engine accessories that may be in the way such as the power steering pump or the AC compressor.

In addition to these accessories, you may need to also remove other engine mounts that get in the way. Do keep in mind that proper tools or equipment to keep the engine supported are important if you are removing these engine mounts.

Other things you need to remove are the harmonic balancer, as well as the mounting bolts for the timing belt cover. Then, you can easily take the cover out.

7. Check the right tension.

Inspect the correct tension on your timing belt. Place it between your pulleys and press on your belt. The movement should not exceed 1/4 inch.

If you notice that the belt is also loose, you need to replace the tensioner. It is also the perfect time to check your timing belt and even replace it when there are signs of damage such as worn-out teeth or cracking.

8. Use tools to turn your engine.

A manual cranking over the engine comes next. Using your socket and ratchet, turn your engine until you have noticed the lining up of timing marks. Follow the manufacturer’s specifications for this.

If you need to install crankshaft or camshaft alignment tools on your engine, you can do these now, too.

9. Remove the damaged timing belt tensioner.

Check your manufacturer’s specifications for removing the tensioner. You will have to spin the pulley for the timing belt tensioner, as well as other timing pulleys manually. Be wary of noises and signs of binding or roughness.

If there are pulleys that end up making noises and fail to spin smoothly, you may replace these now, as well.

10. Install the brand new tensioner.

Install and torque your new tensioner based on specifications. You will also need to remove the locking pin to your new tensioner if it has one.

Then, you can turn the engine to the right position. Crank it manually and realign your timing marks. These should be correctly aligned to avoid any further issues.

11. Place all the other components back.

Finally, reinstall all the parts that you removed earlier such as the timing cover, crank pulley, and the serpentine belt. Place the belt around the correct pulleys and manually move your tensioner as necessary.


If you decide to replace your timing belt tensioner, you may also want to change the timing belt kit. Hence, you will have to get a new timing belt for this.

This entire process can be quite tedious. For those who require professional assistance, you may need to consult a mechanic to check and replace the timing chain tensioner and get the job done efficiently for best results.

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