The Honda Timing Belt Tensioner is one of the many components inside of your engine that the owner will become aware of its failure by the noise it is making. It is not actually the timing belt tensioner that will be making the noise, but the timing belt as it is slapping against the time belt housing that is generating the noise from your Honda engine.
The purpose of the timing belt tensioner on the inside of your Honda engine is to keep the timing belt tight against the two gears it is connected too. These gears are on the ends of the crankshaft and the camshaft. These two moving components in your engine must remain in sync with each other at all time for the engine to operate.
In the use of the Honda engine, the polymer timing belt will stretch out in time. It is the sole purpose of the timing belt tensioner to take in this expansion of the belt and keep it tight against the gears in the engine. This ability to pick up the slack in the timing belt is only so much before there are no more adjustments that it can make. Once the Honda timing belt tensioner is at its maximum the timing belt will begin to slap at not only the timing belt housing but against the tensioner itself. This will damage the spring that makes it possible for the tensioner to provide its ability to compensate for the slack and expansion of the timing belt. The longer this condition persist, the more damage is done to the timing belt tensioner and its spring making the need for it to be replace a requirement to remedy the problem inside of your engine.