Products suited to this guided test*
  • Pico NVH Starter diagnostic kit (in carry case)

  • *At Pico we are always looking to improve our products. The tool used in this case study may have been superseded and the product above is our latest version used to diagnose the fault documented in this case study.

Belt tension
by Barney Donohew

Any belts attached to an engine’s crankshaft pulley must be properly tensioned and aligned to ensure auxiliary and timing systems can be driven efficiently. Furthermore, incorrect belt tension can cause excessive noise and premature wear of the belt, pulleys, idlers and tensioners, as well as other issues. Therefore, checking that the belt tension is within tolerance should be an essential part of your general repair and maintenance procedures.

Belt tension test methods and calculations vary with belt manufacturer. However, their calculations usually require the belt's natural vibration frequency across a fixed part of its length.

Our NVH kit can be used with a PicoScope Automotive scope and software to measure the belt's natural frequency.

Before conducting any testing, please find, read and understand the test pre-conditions, location, data, and methods defined by the manufacturer (a selection of links to manufacturer data and methods are provided below).

Our belt tensioning guided test will tell you how to connect and set up our equipment to obtain a frequency measurement, which you can use to calculate belt tension. However, you must follow the manufacturer's guidance regarding test preparation and methods.

Our guided test can be found here:

Link to belt tension guided test.

Please find links to manufacturer's data below. This list is non-exhaustive and you may need to conduct your own research to find the test methods and data for your belt:


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