How to Change a Power Steering Belt

What You'll Need
Replacement belt
Screwdriver or crowbar
Wrench
Belt dressing
Socket driver and bits

Changing a power steering belt is a lot easier than you would think. You do not have to spend a fortune paying a mechanic for something that you can do yourself. If you think your power steering failure is a result of a bad belt, here are some steps to help you through the replacement process.

Step 1 - Get the Right Belt

To successfully replace a power steering belt, getting the right type of belt is crucial. To get the right power steering belt for your car, check the part number on your old belt. A part number can help in cross referencing the type of belt appropriate for the make or model of your car. It’s also helpful if you can bring the old belt with you when you head to the auto parts store. Just remember that your belt might be stretched out and therefore be a bit longer than the replacement you buy.

Step 2 - Unbolt the Steering Pump

power steering pump

Take out the bolt of the upper mount point of the pump as well as lower mount belt. This will loosen the pump’s pulley. This will also loosen the tension of the belt, making it easier to pry the belt away. Do not totally remove the power steering pump from the engine.

Step 3 - Remove the Old Power Steering Belt

Carefully remove the belt from the pulley making sure not to cut the belt. If it becomes too difficult to remove the belt, you might need to remove another pulley in the pump. For old car models made before 1990, it would feature a V-shaped pulley while newer car models would have the serpentine type.

You can also use a ½-inch drive breaker bar by inserting it into the square opening on the belt tensioner. Rotate the tensioner counterclockwise until the power steering belt can be removed from the pulleys of the pump.

Step 4 - Replace the Old Power Steering Belt

Once you have pried off the old belt you can then replace it with the new one. Place the beveled edge of the power steering belt on the pulley groove. Using a screwdriver, pull the pump away from the mount once the power steering belt is in position to give the proper tension to the belt.

Step 5 - Replace the Bolts

When the proper tension on the power steering belt has been achieved, use a wrench to replace the upper bolt. Also use the wrench to tighten the bolt. After doing this, the lower bolt should be tightened next. Make sure that each side has a 1-inch allowance.

Step 6 - Apply Belt Dressing

belt in a car engine

If you are satisfied with the tension and the condition of the power steering belt, spray a liberal amount of belt dressing on the newly replaced power steering belt. Let this dry before closing the hood.

Step 7 - Check the New Power Steering Belt

After the belt dressing on the newly replaced power steering belt has been dried, check to see if the automobile lost any power steering fluid. If this happens, add more power steering fluid to the car.

Once everything is in order, you can then test if the newly replaced power steering belt is in place. Crank the engine and move the steering wheel. Have someone look at the engine to see if the belt on the pump is moving correctly.