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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I replaced my serpentine belt on my 2006 Ridgeline this past weekend because it had begun to make noise. When I took the belt off and looked at the tensioner pulley, it looked like it had a tread-like surface. It had many raised black spots on it. I assumed it was going to be completely smooth.

If it should be smooth, does anyone have thoughts on why it is not?

Thank you.
 

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I replaced my serpentine belt on my 2006 Ridgeline this past weekend because it had begun to make noise. When I took the belt off and looked at the tensioner pulley, it looked like it had a tread-like surface. It had many raised black spots on it. I assumed it was going to be completely smooth.

If it should be smooth, does anyone have thoughts on why it is not?

Thank you.
A belt can't really make noise on its own, but the stuff it drives and the idle/tensioner can. If you replaced the belt without verifying the rolling condition of the stuff it drives (alternator/PS pump/AC compressor) you may not experience fruit from your labors.

The answer to your question is yes, the tensioner rollers/pulleys should be completely smooth (AFAIK). If there were "raised spots", they could be evidence of dragging rollers - meaning the tensioner could be bad/intermittently seizing.

Perhaps the OEM tensioner was replaced with aftermarket?
 

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Should be smooth, and the running surface is should be silver in color due to wear. If it's not smooth, I would be concerned it will inappropriately wear the new belt on the back side.

The only reason I can think of offhand for it to look as described would be a used unit that had rusted and was just painted to cover up the rust. Some unscrupulous characters do this kind of thing on used cars that have had a rebuilt engine installed, or a shade tree mechanic retained used or added old parts during a service or belt replacement.
 

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Tensioners and idlers pulleys each come in both smooth and grooved varieties depending on which side of the belt wraps around them. Smooth varieties can sometimes accumulate a buildup that results in a slightly bumpy surface. Can you take a photo?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I will post a photo soon. I suspect that the tensioner pulley is not rolling as smoothly as it should. I could turn it, but it would stop moving as soon as I let go of it.
 

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I will post a photo soon. I suspect that the tensioner pulley is not rolling as smoothly as it should. I could turn it, but it would stop moving as soon as I let go of it.
Pulleys should spin easily - quietly, and continue doing so after being spun quickly with a finger stroke - like a brand new set needle bearing skate board wheels. Or a gyro-scope. Or the space station in zero gravity. Or.... you get the idea. :grin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It definitely does not continue spinning freely after I twist it. I hear a winding noise when I accelerate, especially in 1st and 2nd gears. All along I assumed it was my transmission, but now I'm suspecting the tensioner pulley.
 

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It definitely does not continue spinning freely after I twist it. I hear a winding noise when I accelerate, especially in 1st and 2nd gears. All along I assumed it was my transmission, but now I'm suspecting the tensioner pulley.
That's not normal. Looks like the bearing in the pulley is starting to seize and rubber deposits are sloughing off onto the surface of the pulley. It sholdn't be rusty like that either. Spinning the pulley with your finger can be misleading, because you are spinning it without the load on it. You can use a mechanic's stethoscope (or screwdriver) and place it on the center bolt of the pulley with the engine running. If you hear a grinding coming through the scope or screwdriver, you know you have a bad bearing. If you aren't sure if you are hearing the grinding, put the scope on another solid object close to the pulley and the noise should diminish. Be very careful not to get the scope caught in the belt because it is moving.
 

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I think that you have ample evidence at this point that you need to replace the tensioner assembly. I wouldn't bother with just doing the pulley as the spring tensioner does wear over time and may be adding to your noise / allowing belt slip.

It isn't a terribly difficult job but its not a cake walk either. Read this thread to the end . . .
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/...2006-2014/80257-changing-serpentine-belt.html

How many miles do you have on your truck. Have you replaced the timing belt / water pump yet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
97k. I have not changed the timing belt et al. I watched a video on how to do it and realized it's above my level of comfort. Thanks for the link.
 

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You are pretty much due for the timing belt. If you can afford it, you may want to do the big 105k service now which would include a new serpentine belt and new water pump. While that is being done a new serpentine belt tensioner assembly (including pulley) could be installed.
 
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