How to Change a Serpentine Belt

What You'll Need
New Serpentine Belt
Pen and a pad of paper
Car's Manual and Diagrams

Knowing how to change a serpentine belt can save you some expense. Instead of taking your car into the mechanic, you can take care of this little do it yourself project on your own. It requires some mechanical know-how and an ability to read and follow directions and diagrams. Good luck!

Step 1 - Get Out Your Cars Diagram

Before you begin, make sure you have all the materials and information about your car. Pull out the diagram for your car and study it. It is important you know the different parts inside your car, where the pulley system is and what the serpentine belt looks like, acts like and functions like.

Step 2 - Turn Off Your Car and Keep It on Idle

The serpentine belt can get hot. Turn your car off and allow it to stay idle for a period of time before you begin this project. The components under the hood of your car can and do get very hot. Be careful before you touch anything.

Step 3 - Pop the Hood

Open the Hood of your car. Prop it open with the hanger attached to the car.

Step 4 - Note How the Belt Functions

Make a note on a piece of paper, about how the serpentine belt moves and turns. You need to remember which direction the belt turns when you go and replace it with a new belt

Step 5 - Relieve the Tensioner Pressure

Some cars have a tensioner on the belt. If your car has this feature, you will need to remove or release the tension by sliding the tensioner back, carefully. Remember, it is always best to wear gloves and protective eye wear when working around and on your car.

Step 6 - Slide the Belt Off the Pulley

Now that you have released the tension, you should be able to easily slide the belt off from the tensioner pulley system. This can be accomplished by using a socket wrench. If this does not work, you will need to run to your local automotive parts store and purchase a tensioner wrench, which is used specifically for this purpose.

Step 7 - Remove the Motor Mount

Again, refer to your manual, some cars will require that you remove the motor mount before the old belt will slide right off and before you can add the new belt in place.

Step 8 - Replace the Belt

Replace the serpentine belt. Tighten the tension and the bolts in place. Make sure the belt is not loose around. It needs to have the exact or similar tension as the old belt.

Step 9 - Clean Up

Clean up your work area. Open your car door and turn on the engine. Watch the serpentine belt. Make sure it is moving around freely without too much friction. Close the hood and take your car for a test drive.