Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I came by an Altis owner who complained of a minor "knocking" sound when the car comes to standstill, with gear in "D". After checking with my stethescope, I zeroed down to the belt tensioner.

Apparently, the engine was leaking oil all over, and I advised the owner to have an engine wash to clear the dirt before anything is done. This is to prevent the dirt from contaminating the new parts. Noticed how the auto-tensioner is covered with dirt.

The oil cap appears to be the main culprit. However, it is possible that cylinders blow-by generated an abnormal pressure in the valve covers, resulting in the engine oil being forced out via the oil cap.

Apparently, the leak has been going for some time now, judging from the extend of the dirt.

The ignition elctrical connectors were disconnected and displaced slightly to facilitate the cleaning of the dirt acumulated. After the washing, all conectors were dried and flushed with WD40 to clear any water residue.

This was one part which is very disturbing. How can someone change the air filter without cleaning the outer shell first ? The auto repair business seems to be getting more competitive day-to-day. Honest work seems to be more distant than one can imagine.

This was an overall view of the engine bay prior to engine wash.

After the washing is done, the engine is raised up slightly to enable easy reach to the main bolt securing the auto-tensioner to the cyl head.

The front engine mountings were "released" first - before the engine is raised.

The old auto-tensioner is compared with the new to ensure 100% equivalent.

The new auto-tensioner is slipped in thru the front side into position. The bolt is then slotted into the hole and bolted to the cyl head.

Here is how it looks like when assembled, in a cleaned space.

The belt is held by a wire as in the photo prior to compressing the auto-tensioner for belt installation.

I used my long-reach ratcheting wrench to reach down and compress the auto-tensioner piston. The belt is installed just by slipping it over the alternator pulley. Notice the belt is still held in position by the wire.


  1. Thanks for the photos and the site .. Regards ..

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