Serpentine Belt Tensioner Idler Pulley Advice
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Cadillac CTS First Generation Forum - 2003 - 2007 Discussion, Serpentine Belt Tensioner Idler Pulley Advice in Cadillac CTS Coupe, Sport Sedan and Sport Wagon Forums; I post this here today to hopefully prevent anybody from suffering the misfortune I have experienced. 2004 CTS, 3.2L 5 ...
  1. #1
    RTRT is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 2004 CTS V6 5-speed manual
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    47
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    Serpentine Belt Tensioner Idler Pulley Advice

    I post this here today to hopefully prevent anybody from suffering the misfortune I have experienced.

    2004 CTS, 3.2L 5 speed manual. Beautiful car, my baby. 114,900 miles. Died last week.

    For about 1 week before, I had heard a rumbling noise upon startup, and the engine began to be a bit noisy at idle.
    I found that the serpentine belt idler pulley bearing was going bad. No problem, I thought. 2 bolts, and I can change it easy next weekend in my garage. We never made it to next weekend. And the sequence of events killed the engine.

    When the bearing seized, the pulley sheared off, cutting into the plastic timing belt cover. The timing belt is located immediately behind the plastic cover. The plastic cover cut into the timing belt, shearing it, and breaking it. Needless to say, this is an interference engine, compression was lost, metallic noises were heard during cranking. Engine is toast. I am not paying for a new engine.

    Don't let this happen to you. Any serpentine belt tensioner pulley noises, replace it IMMEDIATELY.

    Why was the timing belt cover made of thin plastic, when this type of problem could potentially happen?
    I am a big fan of American cars, but many of my coworkers, family and friends are now saying, "Told You So".
    It is a shame.
    I will never own a foreign car, as I am 46 and this is the only time I have ever experienced a problem like this.

    I loved my CTS, but I am going back to Ford. My previous 1995 Mercury Mystique V6, 5 speed manual went 347,000 miles with nothing but routine maintenance.

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  3. #2
    jran0823's Avatar
    jran0823 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 2003 CTS 1SC Luxury Sport
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    Apr 2011
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    May I ask if you had the timing belt done at 100k? If not the timing belt may have broken and taken everything else with it. By the way the 3.2 engine is NOT American, it's German. So indirectly you have owned a foreign car.

  4. #3
    Argent1's Avatar
    Argent1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): '07 CTS 3.6
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    Re: Serpentine Belt Tensioner Idler Pulley Advice

    Perfect opportunity to upgrade to a 3.6.,.......................... or do the V treatment !

  5. #4
    RTRT is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 2004 CTS V6 5-speed manual
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    47
    Posts
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    Re: Serpentine Belt Tensioner Idler Pulley Advice

    The timing belt had been replaced before 100K. This problem was a direct result of the pulley digging into the plastic timing belt cover, and in turn, cutting into the timing belt.

  6. #5
    MrCookie is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 03 CTS
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Mesa AZ
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    23

    Re: Serpentine Belt Tensioner Idler Pulley Advice

    That's how I got my CTS for 2k, I put another $1000 in to it to get it running again. I could have turned around and sold it for 6k, but I like the car and I'm enjoying it. You might want to look in to the motor and see how bad the valves are. I got my heads rebuilt for just under $500. It does help that I work in a shop, but it could have been done in the driveway with jacks and stands.

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