Duration: 1 hour
How Often: Perform As Needed
Tools Necessary for Install:
· New accessory belt
The accessory drive belt also referred to as a serpentine belt, or drive belt works to transfer power from the crank pulley to different accessories that are mounted on the vehicle’s engine. A damaged or worn-out accessory belt cannot transfer the required power, which can result in the power steering, alternator, and air conditioning malfunctions.
Getting to know the early signs of belt wear can help you save money on belt replacement. Replacing a worn or damaged belt can be a relatively easy process however, it always helps to have a basic understanding of the components within your engine. If you're new to working on your vehicle, or simply don't feel comfortable getting under the hood, It may be in your best interest to take your vehicle to your nearest automobile service center and seek help from a professional.
How much does it cost to Replace a Serpentine Belt?The average cost of a serpentine belt replacement for most vehicles is between $70 to $200. You can expect to pay around $150 for just a basic passenger car or crossover. That's a significant difference, and there's a few variables that could help narrow that price down even more. You'll need to know what kind of vehicle you drive, for example. Serpentine belts of a higher grade may be necessary for heavy-duty or high-performance vehicles. As a result, the raw materials would be much more expensive.
Before proceeding with replacing the accessory belt, take note of the following points:
· Follow all required safety precautions and guidelines.
· Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual for any specific safety instructions.
· Put on a pair of work gloves, preferably leather or some thick material.
· Wear safety glasses
· Switch off the vehicle’s engine and ensure the vehicle is on flat ground before starting work.
· Buy a good quality accessory belt that fits your vehicle’s make and model. Refer to your vehicle’s manual or reach out to our dedicated team of customer service representatives, if you are unable to find the right fit.
Step 1: Finding the Accessory Drive Belt
To access the accessory belt, you must first open the vehicle’s hood. The hood release is normally located near the driver's side door. Once you've gained access to your hood, disconnect the battery using a wrench or socket. Remove the negative terminal first and tuck them into the side of the battery.
Now, it's time to locate the accessory belt. Depending on the engine, the accessory belt can be found at the front of the engine bay or may be located along one side of your engine bay. There may be engine covers present, so be prepared to remove them, if required. It's important to note some engine covers are fastened together using plastic clips. Be sure, not to break them when removing the covers.
After locating the accessory belt, inspect it thoroughly for any signs of wear or damage. If you notice your belt is frayed, coming apart, or has marks on it that indicate it has been rubbing on something, it's time for a new accessory belt.
Determining if a belt has to be replaced is easy, as they tend to crack or lose large chunks of the belt when they start to become worn out. If the damage on the belt is due to it rubbing against another part within the engine bay, It's essential that you locate, the offending part and fix it, so that the new belt does not get damaged.
Next, it is important to determine how the accessory belt is to be routed through the pulleys on the engine. Most vehicles have a sticker or a diagrammatic representation in the engine bay showing how the routing is done. If this is missing, refer to the owner’s manual. Alternatively, you can take a picture of the existing belt and use this to help during installation.
Step 2: Relieving the tension on the belt
Most accessory belts will have tension placed on it. This could have been done either by using a movable bracket or an auto tensioner pulley. The pulley makes use of an internal spring that applies constant pressure to the belt.
To relieve the auto-tensioner, insert a wrench or place the socket over the bolt on the tensioner. Then, twist the wrench or socket away from the belt to relieve the tension on it. If your vehicle uses an alternator bracket to apply tension, you must loosen the two bolts that pass through the long eyelets on the bracket. When they are being loosened, the tension on the belt will likely move the alternator toward the engine and relieve the pressure.
Now that the tension has been relieved from the belt, pull the belt off of the pulley that has been placing tension on it. Remove the belt from around the rest of the pulleys on the engine. If you notice that the belt has been badly damaged, ensure you also remove any remaining debris, left by the belt.
Step 3: Installing the new belt
Now that you have removed the damaged belt, it is time to install your new accessory drive belt. Before you get started installing the new belt, It's critical that you first compare the old and new belts. This is to ensure they are of the same width and have the same number of horizontal ribs going across them. Note that the old belt could be a little longer than the new belt due to the constant pressure that is applied while operating your vehicle.
Now it's time to route your new belt through the engine's pulleys. To do this, run the new belt through the pulleys in the same way that the old one was. You can either refer to the belt diagram in the owner's manual or the picture of the belt you had taken before removing it for guidance. Make sure the belt is long enough to be routed around all of the pulleys except the tensioner until you relieve the pressure on it. If, after routing, the belt is still loose, then you may have installed the wrong size belt or your belt may have been routed incorrectly.
Then, you must loosen the auto tensioner and put the belt over it. To do this, you can use the same wrench used in step 2. After the belt has been properly placed, release the pressure on the tensioner so that it holds the belt in its place. In some cases, it may be difficult to apply pressure to the tensioner and route the belt on your own. In such cases, you may want to ask someone for help.
Next, increase the tension on the belt. If your vehicle does not have an auto-tensioner, you can insert a pry bar or a piece of wood between the alternator and the engine. Then, run the belt over the alternator and use the bar to force the alternator away from the engine and increase the tension on the belt. Then, tighten the bolts as you apply tension. And Viola! you've just successfully replaced your, accessory drive belt!
The Advice, How-to guides, and maintenance information featured on tascaParts.com is presented as helpful resources for general maintenance and automotive repairs. The presented guides on this site should be used at your own risk. Tascaparts.com assumes no responsibility for any physical injury that may occur to you or your vehicle while working on your vehicle. The information on this site is accurate and true to the best of Tascapart’s Knowledge, however, it is entirely possible that there may be omitted information or errors. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual or a licensed professional mechanic for vehicle-specific repair information. You may also refer to your owner’s manual for specific diagnostic, repair, and tool information for your particular vehicle.
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