An aftermarket timing belt tensioner found in a Salt Lake City apartment prompted a visit from the bomb squad this week after it was mistaken for a potential explosive device. Police partially evacuated the apartment complex in which it was found “out of an abundance of caution” and called in their Hazardous Devices Unit (HDU) to isolate and remove the unattended, unclaimed car part from the unit where it was found.
This morning, we investigated a suspicious item that resembled a possible explosive device. Our bomb squad responded and safely removed the object. For more information, click the link below.
— Salt Lake City Police (@slcpd)
June 29, 2022
Per The Drive, car enthusiasts spotted the department’s tweet and took to social media to assure everybody (in a totally dunk-free fashion, we’re certain) that the device in question was a perfectly harmless aftermarket replacement tensioner for VW/Audi turbo engines. The pin on the device means it’s understandable that someone would confuse it with a grenade; the pin apparently gets pulled after the tensioner is installed in a car. It’s not to be confused with seatbelt pretensioners, which employ small explosive charges akin to those found in airbag deployment mechanisms, hydraulic timing belt tensioners have a lot more in common with a coil-over strut assembly.
A police spokesperson told The Drive, “We approach every suspicious package/device call with the highest regard for safety. We have to for the well-being of our officers and our community members, we never let our guard down in these situations even if the object may appear harmless.”
And the department in its release on the matter reminded us all that if you see something, say something.