Job done! (mostly)
You may recall my earlier post that I was going to put a new tensioner pulley and belt on my 2008 Saturn Astra XE. I bought the tensioner on Amazon, a genuine GM OE part for about $30 cheaper than any local parts shop. I ordered the belt a while ago, thinking that I'd replace it first to see if the squeal/squeak stopped, but the more I read and researched, the more it became clear that the tensioner needed to be replaced, too. The Haynes manual says to replace the tensioner at 40,000 miles. I have 105,000 miles and it has never been done, so...
Here's the old one out:
The new one went in fairly easily. The main challenge was access. I removed the airbox from the engine bay, although that really only helped with letting light in. I accessed everything from under the car. However, that meant removing the passenger side wheel and part of the plastic wheel arch liner.
Once that was out, i could lie on my back under the car and access everything.
There was one problem. Either I ordered the incorrect belt or I was shipped the incorrect belt. It's a good thing that the old belt was neither cracked nor fraying. In fact, it was in pretty good nick, which confirmed to me that the squeal was most likely from the tensioner bearing and not the belt itself. Nevertheless, I am trying to return the incorrect belt and will probably get a new one that fits and install it. I kind of feel like the job is really only half done, and I'd like the peace of mind of a new belt.
So, I declare this job done (mostly)!