How to Install a Focus Belt Tensioner

Written by chris moore
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How to Install a Focus Belt Tensioner
The tensioner is one of multiple pulleys on the drive belt. (timing belt image by Albert Lozano from

The drive belt on your Ford Focus, which runs multiple engine components, is kept tight by one particular pulley called the tensioner. The belt tensioner on most models can't be adjusted, so if it can't keep a new drive belt in the proper tension, you need to install a new one. The installation process can vary depending on the year of the car and its engine, but in any case, you will need to remove the drive belt to remove the old tensioner and install the new one.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • Ratchet wrench
  • Flare-nut wrench
  • Drive belt (optional)

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  1. 1

    Raise the car's front end and support it on jack stands. Remove the lower cover for the drive belt, which is secured by at least two bolts.

  2. 2

    Open the bonnet and study the drive belt. Make sure you know the exact path it follows along the pulleys, which will be different depending on the year and engine type. Locate the tensioner, which is usually attached to the right rear corner of the engine block.

  3. 3

    Place a wrench on the tensioner's centre bolt; a ratchet or breaker bar can work also. Turn the tensioner---usually clockwise---to release the drive belt's tension and slip the belt off the pulleys.

  4. 4

    Unscrew the tensioner mounting nuts with a flare-nut wrench, working from above or below the engine. Remove the tensioner.

  5. 5

    Mount the tensioner in place on the engine block and apply the mounting nuts.

  6. 6

    Install the drive belt back on the engine in the same path it originally used, loosening the tensioner with the wrench again to fit the belt in place. Use a new drive belt if the old one is stretched, frayed, soiled with fluid or missing a number of its ribs.

  7. 7

    Reinstall the drive belt's lower cover, then lower the car.

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