2013~2016 Belt Tensioner - Shouldn't this be a warranty item?

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13' CX-5 and 16' Mazda6 both Touring w/Tech/Bose
I think most people are using creepers with casters (rollers) but I am not. This would also affect your leverage as well. My way of going underneath the vehicle 100% of the time is using a "magic creeper" and this allows me to not only be flat against the floor but I also don't need to jack the vehicle that high to access anything.

My Body Position (Example)
View attachment 228199


Inner/Outer Splash Shield + Wheel Splash Shield Removed
View attachment 228200

Tensioner: I crouched in wheel well to simply relieve its tension and replace serpentine belt.

Water pump belt: I used a creeper and kept rolling away lol. I must've used a towel to keep creeper in place. Laying on creeper gave me leverage to be able to push the belt into pulley. Did you use a tool or simply pushed it in with your hand?

Removing entire wheel well shroud sure gave extra space.
 
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16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
Tensioner: I crouched in wheel well to simply relieve its tension and replace serpentine belt.

Water pump belt: I used a creeper and kept rolling away lol. I must've used a towel to keep creeper in place. Laying on creeper gave me leverage to be able to push the belt into pulley. Did you use a tool or simply pushed it in with your hand?

Removing entire wheel well shroud sure gave extra space.

I used my bare fingers to push the belt onto the pulley. I was considering using a tool but I didn't wanna damage it. Yeah, having it roll around isn't fun, but I'm glad it worked out for you though :D
 
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16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
How hard is it to remove the wheel well?

It looks like a lot of fasteners and work.

It's not really difficult but there's definitely a lot of rivets to take off. Just be observant because they're hiding in almost every corner including the bottom of fender molding. In addition, there's 4-8 screws you would need to remove in order to fully disconnect the splash shield competely from the vehicle. The annoying part is the underbody covers that are in the way otherwise it's only 2 screws.

I mean you probably don't have to take all of the shields off if you have enough room to work with but that would really depend on your set up and experience.
 
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16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
I went to several auto parts stores with a plastic rivet to find a match.

Not easy.

Let me know if you have any other questions but here are the things that you need to remove and the steps:
  1. Fender
  2. Inner Splash Shield
  3. Wheel Well Splash Shield
1. Fender: This part is pretty easy to take off. All you need to do is pry off these rivets (see red) securing this fender using a tool. Afterwards, you choose a corner and start prying it towards you using your hands and they will come off, no tool required. The corner with the red arrows was the easiest for me to start.
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2. Inner Splash Shield: For this one you just need to pop off (4) rivets and it comes off.

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3. Wheel Well Splash Shield: This whole thing is pretty much held on by rivets and two bolts. I think it was 8 mm. You should start off with the portion that I highlighted in red first because that portion is blocked by the underbody covers that are held on by (1 - 2) rivets + a few 10 mm bolts. Once you have that part highlighted in red removed, just work on the bigger portion and the whole thing comes off.

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yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Mazda uses several different kind of plastic clips and rivets. In fender liner area they have:

#8: Body C-Pillar Trim Panel Clip - Mazda (p/n: GJ21-68-885B-02)

#11: Splash Shield Rivet - Mazda (p/n: L33X-13-209)

#16: ?

p/n L33X-13-209 rivet is used the most on CX-5 and the one Digbicks1234 got should be compatible to this OEM rivet.
0A212356-A1F7-4B93-AB1B-2CABD76FD0B0.jpeg
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Let me know if you have any other questions but here are the things that you need to remove and the steps:
  1. Fender
  2. Inner Splash Shield
  3. Wheel Well Splash Shield
1. Fender: This part is pretty easy to take off. All you need to do is pry off these rivets (see red) securing this fender using a tool. Afterwards, you choose a corner and start prying it towards you using your hands and they will come off, no tool required. The corner with the red arrows was the easiest for me to start.
View attachment 228473

2. Inner Splash Shield: For this one you just need to pop off (4) rivets and it comes off.

View attachment 228467
View attachment 228474

3. Wheel Well Splash Shield: This whole thing is pretty much held on by rivets and two bolts. I think it was 8 mm. You should start off with the portion that I highlighted in red first because that portion is blocked by the underbody covers that are held on by (1 - 2) rivets + a few 10 mm bolts. Once you have that part highlighted in red removed, just work on the bigger portion and the whole thing comes off.

View attachment 228475
View attachment 228476
One added benefit by taking the entire fender liner out is we can clean up all the leaves and debris accumulated inside of the liner falling from the cowl area.
 
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16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
Mazda uses several different kind of plastic clips and rivets. In fender liner area they have:

#8: Body C-Pillar Trim Panel Clip - Mazda (p/n: GJ21-68-885B-02)

#11: Splash Shield Rivet - Mazda (p/n: L33X-13-209)

#16: ?

p/n L33X-13-209 rivet is used the most on CX-5 and the one Digbicks1234 got should be compatible to this OEM rivet.
View attachment 228478

When I took out all of the rivets for the (3) splash shield items, all of the rivets looked the exact same to me aside from the Fender rivets which did not break at all. I don't think the other rivets in that diagram are applicable. I wish I took a picture of my tray but I forgot to. You guys will just need to take my word for it I guess :D

One added benefit by taking the entire fender liner out is we can clean up all the leaves and debris accumulated inside of the liner falling from the cowl area.

Yes, you're right about that. I had so much crap stuck on that corner where I highlighted with the red circle. Lots of leaves, dust, debris and sand in there. Only problem is that every time you take apart the fender, you risk breaking a rivet.

Also, I have the fender rivets on hand as well. I don't know if they're compatible or not, but they look similar with the foam insert in the center and these could probably be used interchangeably if you broke some door rivets.

AUTEX 30pcs Car Retainer Clips Nylon Bumper Fender Liner Fastener Rivet Push Type Clips Auto Body Retainer Clamps Replacement for Mazda 3 5 6 CX-9 Speed6 Miata

1603400851516.png
 
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2014 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech
So after reading all of this and why I had so much trouble with the water pump belt, here's my theory. From the pics, Dig used the OEM Mazda belt. I did not, using a Dayco "stretch" belt which is designed to be stretched into place and then it will stay snug. When I compared it to my old belt, it seemed to be significantly shorter which I attributed to the fact that the old belt was already stretched. But my theory is that the OEM Mazda belt is just slightly larger than the Dayco and requires less stretching to fit on the pulley. As much as I tried to put the Dayco belt on the pulley, it just didn't have enough length to grab onto the pulley and it kept getting pushed off just by the shape of the pulley itself (fatter in the center than at the edges. So I'm curious to know of those who were successful in replacing this belt, did you use the OEM Mazda belt or another one?

Oh, and Dig, for the record I was perpendicular to the vehicle with my feet sticking straight out the side! :)
 
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2013 Mazda CX-5 Sport FWD Auto
So after reading all of this and why I had so much trouble with the water pump belt, here's my theory. From the pics, Dig used the OEM Mazda belt. I did not, using a Dayco "stretch" belt which is designed to be stretched into place and then it will stay snug. When I compared it to my old belt, it seemed to be significantly shorter which I attributed to the fact that the old belt was already stretched. But my theory is that the OEM Mazda belt is just slightly larger than the Dayco and requires less stretching to fit on the pulley. As much as I tried to put the Dayco belt on the pulley, it just didn't have enough length to grab onto the pulley and it kept getting pushed off just by the shape of the pulley itself (fatter in the center than at the edges. So I'm curious to know of those who were successful in replacing this belt, did you use the OEM Mazda belt or another one?

Oh, and Dig, for the record I was perpendicular to the vehicle with my feet sticking straight out the side! :)
OEM belt
 
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16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
So after reading all of this and why I had so much trouble with the water pump belt, here's my theory. From the pics, Dig used the OEM Mazda belt. I did not, using a Dayco "stretch" belt which is designed to be stretched into place and then it will stay snug. When I compared it to my old belt, it seemed to be significantly shorter which I attributed to the fact that the old belt was already stretched. But my theory is that the OEM Mazda belt is just slightly larger than the Dayco and requires less stretching to fit on the pulley. As much as I tried to put the Dayco belt on the pulley, it just didn't have enough length to grab onto the pulley and it kept getting pushed off just by the shape of the pulley itself (fatter in the center than at the edges. So I'm curious to know of those who were successful in replacing this belt, did you use the OEM Mazda belt or another one?

Oh, and Dig, for the record I was perpendicular to the vehicle with my feet sticking straight out the side! :)

To be quite honest, it wasn't really that easy getting the OEM water pump belt onto the pulley as well. I had to finagle it onto the corner by pushing the upper and lower parts in so that it would slightly hold in place. It did come off a few times but after I found the right angle, it was fine afterwards.
 
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16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
So after spending a few days with the new belt tensioner in my car, I noticed a few things about the new tensioner:
  1. Definitely a lot more noisy during idling, especially in park. I feel there are definitely more vibrations noticeable that wasn't there prior to the belt tensioner replacement.
  2. Acceleration doesn't seem as quick/peppy anymore. Feel like it's a bit slower than before when I mash my foot onto the pedal.
Not sure if anyone else who has a GATES tensioner can comment as well but so far this is my experience. I'm thinking if I should get a OEM one to compare the difference but then I would have an extra tensioner for no reason.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
So after spending a few days with the new belt tensioner in my car, I noticed a few things about the new tensioner:
  1. Definitely a lot more noisy during idling, especially in park. I feel there are definitely more vibrations noticeable that wasn't there prior to the belt tensioner replacement.
  2. Acceleration doesn't seem as quick/peppy anymore. Feel like it's a bit slower than before when I mash my foot onto the pedal.
Not sure if anyone else who has a GATES tensioner can comment as well but so far this is my experience. I'm thinking if I should get a OEM one to compare the difference but then I would have an extra tensioner for no reason.
Dig used the OEM Mazda belt. I did not, using a Dayco "stretch" belt which is designed to be stretched into place and then it will stay snug. When I compared it to my old belt, it seemed to be significantly shorter which I attributed to the fact that the old belt was already stretched. But my theory is that the OEM Mazda belt is just slightly larger than the Dayco and requires less stretching to fit on the pulley. As much as I tried to put the Dayco belt on the pulley, it just didn't have enough length to grab onto the pulley and it kept getting pushed off just by the shape of the pulley itself (fatter in the center than at the edges. So I'm curious to know of those who were successful in replacing this belt, did you use the OEM Mazda belt or another one?
With both of your experiences using after-market Gate belt tensioner and Dayco "stretch" water pump belt, my believe of using more expensive OEM parts whenever possible to avoid any possible fit problems and ill-effects when I DIY is still legit to me.

Digbicks1234, you have compared a used OEM belt tensioner and a new Gate tensioner, and which one is better is obvious other than the used OEM one has leaked. ;)
 
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16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
With both of your experiences using after-market Gate belt tensioner and Dayco "stretch" water pump belt, my believe of using more expensive OEM parts whenever possible to avoid any possible fit problems and ill-effects when I DIY is still legit to me.

Digbicks1234, you have compared a used OEM belt tensioner and a new Gate tensioner, and which one is better is obvious other than the used OEM one has leaked. ;)

Yeah, I do agree OEM is usually better but the fact that Mazda can't seem to get their stuff together and doing a swap of the belt tensioner model # every other month doesn't instill confidence that they can be trusted. That's the really annoying part otherwise I would've went with the OEM one without any hesitation. Tough choice....
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Yeah, I do agree OEM is usually better but the fact that Mazda can't seem to get their stuff together and doing a swap of the belt tensioner model # every other month doesn't instill confidence that they can be trusted. That's the really annoying part otherwise I would've went with the OEM one without any hesitation. Tough choice....
I agree. That’s why I have wait-and-see attitude and postpone the leaky belt tensioner replacement at this time.

I actually stopped by my Mazda dealer checking out the OEM belt tensioner while I was gettin a new OEM battery. The parts guy whom I know well showed me the current part number for belt tensioner from Mazda parts screen and surprisingly it’s PE03-15-980C with the MSRP still at $147.86. Based on the system PET2-15-980 has been superseded by PE03-15-980C months ago, and PE03-15-980C tensioner is the one they’re getting currently from Mazda. He brought both tensioners out and the serial number on older PET2-15-980 tensioner is F-569897.13 which indicates it’s a revised version. But the serial number on newer PE03-15-980C tensioner is F-569897.10, which is unrevised version based on the TSB! They looked exactly the same as far as I can tell, and I didn’t see different shapes on tensioner damper like the TSB stated. What a mess!
 
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13' CX-5 and 16' Mazda6 both Touring w/Tech/Bose
So after spending a few days with the new belt tensioner in my car, I noticed a few things about the new tensioner:
  1. Definitely a lot more noisy during idling, especially in park. I feel there are definitely more vibrations noticeable that wasn't there prior to the belt tensioner replacement.
  2. Acceleration doesn't seem as quick/peppy anymore. Feel like it's a bit slower than before when I mash my foot onto the pedal.
Not sure if anyone else who has a GATES tensioner can comment as well but so far this is my experience. I'm thinking if I should get a OEM one to compare the difference but then I would have an extra tensioner for no reason.

You think its the placebo affect since you recently installed the parts and are listening "extremely" close to any variances?

I have the Gates waterpump stretch belt, Gates serpentine, and Gates water pump in my Mazda6. I cannot tell the difference.

Did you remember to bleed the tensioner...not sure if that would make a difference though.
 
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16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
To be honest, I would've expected there to be no noise if any at all if it was the placebo. However, it seems like I can hear the tensioner wheel rolling every now and then and some more rattles/vibrations occurring near the passenger cabin area which I haven't heard before prior to installing this new tensioner.

What year is your Mazda6? Just wondering if they use the same sound proofing material and whatnot or maybe I'm just more sensitive/susceptible to these small nuances? No idea.

I did bleed it by going very slowly compressing it, then very slowly letting it decompress so I don't think that should be the issue.

I'm thinking though, could there possibly be a break in period for either the (1) belt(s) or (2) the tensioner itself?
 
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