Silverado Idler Pulley Noise! (Solved)

We know very well that Chevy Silverado pickup trucks have gained a lot of popularity for their great performance. However, there are some problems with these trucks, the most notable of which is related to the idler pulley. 

Users have complained that the idler pulley is making bad noises while driving the truck. Each vehicle’s engine has a drive belt, also called a serpentine. It handles other parts associated with the engine such as power steering and water pumps, alternators, AC compressors, etc. 

The idler pulley plays an important role in the proper operation of those belts. This ensures proper alignment of the belts and smooth rotation. 

However, in this article, we are going to find out why the Silverado idler pulley makes noise. Besides, we will know how much it will cost or how to replace the idler pulley if you want to replace it.

Why Does the Idler Tensioner Pulley Generate Noise?

An important question is why the Silverado idler pulley makes bad noise. If we do not know the reasons then we will not be able to come up with a solution. So let’s find out what causes Silverado idler pulley noise while driving a truck.

Idler Pulley’s Slippage Issue

The idler pulley is worn out by friction with the motor belt. Then a variety of problems arise, including strange squeaking sounds. The depth of the damage can be determined depending on the volume of sound produced by the idler pulley. 

At one point the pulley slips from its root. As a result, there will be no proper tension and friction and the motor belt system will fail. If the time is extended, the other parts attached to the drive belt will also be faulty.

Dilapidated and Rusty Idler Pulley

The idler pulley is no doubt an essential part of a vehicle’s drive system. It rotates against the serpentine belt with constant motion. As it rotates continuously, the pulleys and belts are eroded. 

The problem can be solved and if it can be solved quickly then further damage can be avoided. Various marks and marks can be seen on the surface of the worn idler pulley. In this case, you may not be able to hear the noise. 

But as time goes on, the noise will increase. Noise will increase so much that you will feel annoyed. If you do not pay attention, maybe at some point it will slip from its root and become detached.

Various Complicated Flaw to the Idler Pulley

There are some vehicle problems that you do not need a special degree to detect, such as the strange noise from the engine. Components like an idler pulley must be checked regularly. If it is too late to check, there may be an error in your subconscious. 

In this case, if the problems are not dealt with efficiently, a lot of money can be spent. The idler pulley works with the engine’s motor belt system. Severe damage to the AC systems or the serpentine belt can result if the pulley defect becomes serious without your knowledge.

Cost of Replacing the Silverado Idler Pulley

Before replacing the idler pulley, you should know how much it costs. It can usually cost from $ 90 to $ 210 to complete the whole thing. However, partial replacement can cost around $ 40 to $ 90. 

With this, you have to bear the cost of labor if you want to replace the idler pulley with a mechanic. In that case, you’ll need to spend another 40 to $ 110. 

It seems that replacing a pulley is not that expensive. Keep in mind, however, that these costs may vary from place to place and from vehicle to vehicle.

How to Replace the Silverado Idler Pulley?

Now let’s find out how you can replace your Chevy Silverado idler pulley on your own. Below are some simple steps to follow carefully.

steps to Replace the Silverado Idler Pulley

Step: 1

First, locate the belt routing graph located anywhere around the radiator.

Step: 2

Then disconnect your truck’s battery.

Step: 3

Now you need to discard the tensioner pulley. Use a 3/8th drive ratchet handle for this. Push the belt down with it. Here, what happened was that the tension of the belt was lost. Eliminate the belt.

Step: 4

Remove the truck’s idler pulley with a 13mm wrench.

Step: 5

There is a locking washer that you need to remove. To do this, first, open the transfer spacer using a screwdriver. Then place the spacer on the new tensioner pulley. When done, replace the locking washer.

Step: 6

Replace the idler pulley again with a 13mm wrench. Move the pulley to 20-25 ft-lbs to make it tight enough.

Step: 7

Use a 15mm wrench to loosen the serpentine tensioner pulley. See if there are any cracks, breaks, or problems. If there is an error, replace the old one with a new one. In this case, you can use a wrench. Tighten the tension pulley as before.

Step: 8

Double-check all the pulleys to make sure everything is connected properly.

Step: 9

Reconnect the truck’s battery.

Step: 10

Now start the engine. Listen carefully to see if there are any noises or problems. However, if an error persists, contact a licensed local dealership.

Is It Safe to Drive With a Damaged and Faulty Idler Tensioner Pulley?

Since it is possible to drive a truck with a bad idler pulley, you are probably driving the truck without much importance. NO, don’t do it at all. This can cause serious damage to your truck, such as engine failure. 

When there is a problem with the idler pulley, the engine overheats, or there happens a problem with the power steering. The problem can be costly if the right steps are not taken at the right time.

The idler pulley is so important to a vehicle that when it is assembled, it is held in such a way that it fits snugly together without breaking under the pressure of tension belts or other types of equipment. 

In some cases, the exact fault of this part of the vehicle could not be found. Then you have to take the help of a pro. This requires proper care of the idler pulley. Only then will your Silverado truck be properly operational and long-lasting.


By reading this article, you must have understood how important an idler pulley is for a vehicle. If you want to increase the lifetime of your Chevy Silverado and its engine performance, you need to take care of the idler pulley.

Above we know what causes idler pulley noise. We also learned how to do it or how much it would cost if someone wanted to replace it. Now we believe that if you want you can complete the task by following the steps above.

Leave a Comment

Written By

Photo of author

William Baldwin

This Is William Baldwin, The Founder & Managing Editor of this website. Me and my team share automotive tips, tricks, and news

Fact Checked And Mechanically Reviewed By


Talha Atta

Talha Atta, a Mechanical Engineer and experienced technical content writer and editor at with a passion for the automotive industry.