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Good day all,


I wonder if anyone experienced this issue. I found the drive belt auto tensioner leaking oil, and my question is, is this issue critical? I'm planning to take my car for maintenance in a few weeks. What is the worst case scenario if I didn't fix it any time sooner?
 

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Loss of dampening (which is what has probably occurred) is not an immediate disaster but puts greater wear on the bearings in all the other accessories, and eventually will lead to failures. But assuming the tensioner idler bearing is not making noise it's probably not an immediate "must-fix" issue.
 

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I thought, hmmm...traditionally, Mazda hasn't ever used a hydraulic tensioner on their drive/serpentine belts. So, I went and peeked under the hood of my 2.5l MZ3.

Indeed, still looks like they're still using a mechanical tensioner, but I see now what must be the source of your leak - a small strut on the tensioner.

I would wager the damper likely serves as a supplemental role, only prolonging the life of the tensioner and bearings on the belt circuit, or perhaps also to reduce NVH as well. Overall, I wouldn't consider it a critical component at all.

Hope these suckers aren't prone to failing.
 

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Wrong! That dampener is a critical component of the system; without it you get a lot of bounce and the load on the bearings in the components driven by that belt goes up a LOT.

Unless you like changing auxiliary components replacement dampener.
 

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For what it's worth, the tensioner pulley on my 2004 Mazda failed on the freeway and stranded me 300 miles from home...

...so I guess that's your worst case scenario.
 

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Wrong! That dampener is a critical component of the system; without it you get a lot of bounce and the load on the bearings in the components driven by that belt goes up a LOT.

Unless you like changing auxiliary components replacement dampener.
You're insinuating that accessory components on the SA engines are such that they are more vulnerable to acute failure from operational conditions which have been apart of serpentine belt systems with mechanical tensioners pre-dating dampers for many, many years.

Don't buy it. Sorry.
 

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You're insinuating that accessory components on the SA engines are such that they are more vulnerable to acute failure from operational conditions which have been apart of serpentine belt systems with mechanical tensioners pre-dating dampers for many, many years.

Don't buy it. Sorry.
I'm "insinuating" that no manufacturer adds a component (which adds cost to his or her product) that isn't necessary or doesn't (at minimum) reduce his exposure to warranty claims that he has to eat.

You're free to believe you know better than the millions of vehicles worth of experience that said manufacturers have in their databases. You're also free to suffer the unnecessary failures that may ensue from your decision to do so.
 

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I suppose it serves to say, it wasn't my intent to suggest to the OP not to repair it at all. He has a warranty. By all means, have it repaired. That's common sense.

My intentions were to suggest it isn't necessary to park the car, due to the failure of this item. There will not be any acute damage done if the damper is not functioning 100 percent. Period. End of thread.
 
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