How to Replace a Serpentine Belt


how to replace a serpentine belt

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A serpentine belt is one of the key elements providing your motor’s steady functioning. And we are going to provide you with all the necessary information about its examination plus substitution. A serpentine also referred as s-belt, deals with a simplification of pumps plus sheaves operation under the hood.

Actually, this long belt deals with any motor-driven detail, comprising water pump, alternator, a/c compressor plus power steering pump.

As so many motor’s internal parts heavily depend on it, it’s crucial to examine your s-belt periodically for possible weariness, cracking or glazing. Basically, a serpentine belt must be substituted after every 30,000-60,000 miles are run. In order to make this process easier for you, we are offering a detailed guide on inspection and substitution of this belt.

Serpentine belt change guide

Tools needed:

how to replace a serpentine beltGeneral Rules of S-Belt Replacement

Experienced drivers who used to substitute fan belts may recall how traumatic and energy-consuming process it was. Moreover, as a rule, it was necessary to substitute two or even three belts.

Today, contemporary automobiles employ one wider, multi rifled serpentine belt in lieu of the ones for each internal detail. A curious fact: the belt got its name for the manner it snakes around various sheaves.

Serp belt substitution is pretty easy due to contemporary automatical drive belt tensioners eliminating the necessity of loosening bolts or prying elements into disposition for retensioning. Just revolve the tensioner, take off the old belt and mount a fresh one. The tensioner can be released after belt ribs take their positions into the sheave grooves.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: To reach the motor’s front part, move away from motor covers plus shrouds or plastic guards which may prevent you from seeing the work area well. Having opened the automobile’s hood, you will get access to the serp belt.

Step 2: Deactivate the battery. Actually, the battery must be always deactivated before any serious operations within an automobile. Applying a wrench or socket of the proper size, weaken the nut carrying a black grounding cable on the negative battery terminal.

  • Slip the cable off from the terminal and thrust it to the batteries’ side.
  • The positive terminal may stay connected.

Step 3: Localize the belt tensioner situated under spring tension to keep the pressure on the belt that protects it. Contingent from your automobile’s motor, the s-belt may be situated in the front part of motor or may go along its side. If there are any motor covers on a way, move them away.

Step 4: Localize the serpentine belt routing diagram. Many automobiles are supplied with a sticker in the motor bay demonstrating how the s-belt is expected to pass through different motor’s sheaves. If your automobile has no sticker, you will have to memorize the belt’s routes.

  • Consult the owner’s manual for your automobile model to create a diagram.
  • Another way is to take a photo of how the existing belt is placed and follow the scheme while installing a fresh one.

Step 5. Loosen the tensioner employing a wrench. Just push it on the opposite side of the spring tension. Contingent from employment, your s-belt may have a tensioner established on it by a mobile bracket or an auto tensioner sheave, using internal spring for employment of persistent pressure to the belt.

  • If your automobile features no tensioner sheave, tension is set on the belt by an alternator bracket.
  • If you have any doubts, consult your automobile’s service manual to find out what tensioner it keeps.

Auto tensioners feature a port for a ½ inch drive ratchet or a bolt you are free to utilize a socket for. Inset a wrench or set a socket over the bolt on the tensioner. Twirl it away from the belt to loosen the tension.

Step 6: After the tensioner is weakened, pull the belt off the nearest sheave. If your automobile is equipped with an alternator bracket, loosen two bolts passing through long bracket’s slots. After that, the belt’s pressure will most probably shift the alternator to motor, relieving the pressure.

Step 7: Now, feel free to take off the belt. Remove it from the bottom sheave plus all idler sheaves plus accessories.

Step 8: Make sure that a fresh belt looks similar to the old one. They must have the same width as well as identical number of ribs, covering the belt horizontally. Note that the old belt may be a bit longer as it stretches a bit after being utilized for a long time.

  • If the belts have different width, don’t install the new one as it’s wrong.
  • Make certain that a fresh belt has no damages or flaws. Otherwise, it may tear soon after its installation.

Step 9: Having examined the fresh belt, mount it onto the sheaves.

  • The s-belt must be long enough to cover all the sheaves excluding the tensioner until you revive its pressure.
  • In case the belt lies too loosely, it signifies that you have a wrong size belt. The other reason for that is that you have placed it incorrectly.

Step 10: After placing the belt on the motor sheaves, activate the tensioner for the belt mounting finalization.

Step 11: Having revived pressure on the auto tensioner, place the belt over it. Employ the same wrench to weaken the auto-tensioner sheave, then drag the belt over it. As soon as the belt is set, release the tensioner’s pressure for holding the belt in its place. If your automobile features no auto tensioner, input a pry bar or a piece of wood betwixt alternator and motor.

Place the belt over alternator sheave. Employing a bar, extract alternator from motor and then, release pressure on the belt. Clench bolts one more time after applying tension.

Step 12: Having finished the belt installation, take a flashlight to check if the belt placement on the sheaves aligns with the belts’ riffles.

Serpentine Belt Replacement Tips

  • Belt sheave grooves are cleaned better by wire brushes.
  • Always employ the belt of the correct size for maintenance of the normal tension level.
  • Avoid applying “belt dressing” or anti noise sprays. Though they can be a temporary solution of the problem, they may cause belt failure due to the contaminated sheave system.
  • When you remove the belt, twirl the sheaves to make certain that bearings are reliable. If bearings fail, they shriek before locking up and throwing the belt off.

A serpentine belt ensures steady functioning of air conditioner compressor, power steering pump plus the alternator. It may fail or crack after being utilized for some time, and that leads to some systems failure. Steering will become complicated due to the car battery’s diminished charge caused by non-operational power assist. Though belt placing is quite a complicated task, you will easily cope with it by drawing a diagram or making a photo.

Best serpentine belts for the money

Bestseller No. 1
ban.do 6PK2415 OEM Quality Serpentine Belt
7,341 Reviews
ban.do 6PK2415 OEM Quality Serpentine Belt
  • Proprietary “Run Quiet” technology for better grip, less slip resulting in a quieter operation.
  • Strong tensile cords carry high horsepower loads without stretching
  • Ground rubber ribs are compounded from high strength synthetic rubber for wear resistance and long life.
  • Fit type: Vehicle Specific
Bestseller No. 2
Gates 90K-38285 Complete Serpentine Kit, 1 Pack
41 Reviews
Gates 90K-38285 Complete Serpentine Kit, 1 Pack
  • It make easy to service the entire serpentine belt drive system
  • It provide customers a time-saving convenient way to purchase all the premium parts needed in one pre-packaged kit to completely restore
  • Components are sealed and packed securely to maintain outstanding quality and condition during shipping
  • Country of Origin : United States
  • Fit type: Vehicle Specific
Bestseller No. 3
Continental OE Technology Series 4060882 6-Rib, 88.2' Multi-V Belt
318 Reviews
Continental OE Technology Series 4060882 6-Rib, 88.2" Multi-V Belt
  • 6-rib, 88.2" Multi-V / Serpentine belt
  • Straight-ribbed construction widely recognized by professional repair technicians
  • New construction and compounding improves durability for a longer lasting, quieter ride
  • The aftermarket multi-v belt that's precision engineered for perfect fit, form and function with a true OE pedigree
  • Continental is the OE supplier on millions of domestic and import vehicles
Bestseller No. 4
ban.do 7PK2480 OEM Quality Serpentine Belt
2,048 Reviews
ban.do 7PK2480 OEM Quality Serpentine Belt
  • Proprietary “Run Quiet” technology for better grip, less slip resulting in a quieter operation.
  • Strong tensile cords carry high horsepower loads without stretching
  • Ground rubber ribs are compounded from high strength synthetic rubber for wear resistance and long life.
  • Fit type: Vehicle Specific
Bestseller No. 5
OEMTOOLS 25149 Serpentine Belt Tool, 13, 15, 16, & 18 mm Sockets, 1/2 & 3/8 Inch Drive | Remove & Install Serpentine Belts | Long Handle Provides Unparalleled Clearance & Leverage
390 Reviews
Bestseller No. 6
Continental OE Technology Series 4070722 7-Rib, 72.2' Multi-V Belt
26 Reviews
Continental OE Technology Series 4070722 7-Rib, 72.2" Multi-V Belt
  • 7-rib, 72.2" Multi-V / Serpentine belt
  • Straight-ribbed construction widely recognized by professional repair technicians
  • New construction and compounding improves durability for a longer lasting, quieter ride
  • The aftermarket multi-v belt that's precision engineered for perfect fit, form and function with a true OE pedigree
  • Continental is the OE supplier on millions of domestic and import vehicles
SaleBestseller No. 7
Motorcraft JK81227 V-Ribbed Belt
60 Reviews
Motorcraft JK81227 V-Ribbed Belt
  • Manufactured from premium quality material
  • Minimizes slippage
  • Resists stretching
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Durable
SaleBestseller No. 8
Dayco 5060868 Serpentine Belt
43 Reviews
Dayco 5060868 Serpentine Belt
  • Package length:34.29 cm
  • Package width:13.716 cm
  • Package height:2.54 cm
  • Product Type:AUTO PART
Bestseller No. 9
Gates 90K-38274A Complete Serpentine Kit, 1 Pack
33 Reviews
Gates 90K-38274A Complete Serpentine Kit, 1 Pack
  • It make easy to service the entire serpentine belt drive system
  • It provide customers a time-saving convenient way to purchase all the premium parts needed in one pre-packaged kit to completely restore
  • Components are sealed and packed securely to maintain outstanding quality and condition during shipping
  • Country of Origin : United States
  • Fit type: Vehicle Specific
SaleBestseller No. 10
Gates K070750 Serpentine Belt
66 Reviews
Gates K070750 Serpentine Belt
  • Fit Type: Vehicle Specific
  • Country of Origin : China
  • The Package Height of the Product is 0.9 inches
  • The Package Length of the Product is 18.8 inches
Bestseller No. 11
Gates 90K-38386 Complete Serpentine Kit, 1 Pack
2 Reviews
Gates 90K-38386 Complete Serpentine Kit, 1 Pack
  • Complete Serpentine Kits make it easy to service the entire serpentine belt drive system
  • Our Complete Serpentine Kits provide customers a time-saving convenient way to purchase all the premium parts needed in one pre-packaged kit to completely restore their serpentine belt drive system
  • Components of the Complete Serpentine Kit are sealed and packed securely to maintain outstanding quality and condition during shipping
  • Package weight: 4.39 pounds
Bestseller No. 12
MICHELIN Serpentine Drive Belt SMAMV6PK2555
2 Reviews
MICHELIN Serpentine Drive Belt SMAMV6PK2555
  • Optimize Costs and Reduce CO2 Emissions - Our serpentine drive belts are high-performance components able to withstand difficult engine environments with high speed, high temperatures, and wet conditions, making them especially durable and wear-resistant. Increased flexibility and reduced weight optimize costs and reduce CO2 emissions.
  • Built-In Tension and Product Warranty - MICHELIN belts are available with polyamide cord, which allows the belt to automatically maintain the right belt tension over time. This provides compact, low-noise drive solutions with low maintenance and higher cost-effectiveness. Also includes a one-year product warranty for defects in material and workmanship under normal use and service.
  • This product is designed to fit specific vehicles per the OEM design and requirements.  Please confirm with your vehicles owner’s manual or OEM specification to ensure correct part specification before purchasing this component.  Note that engine size, accessory options and other options can impact the product size and design.  If further assistance is needed contact the seller directly for additional product information and availability.
  • Replaces 5061005, 6PK2555, K061005 OE part numbers.
  • 6 Ribs 100.6 In.x0.82 In. - 2555 mmx20.828 mm
Bestseller No. 13
Gates 90K-39185 Complete Serpentine Kit, 1 Pack
18 Reviews
Gates 90K-39185 Complete Serpentine Kit, 1 Pack
  • Fit Type: Vehicle Specific
  • Gates Complete Serpentine Kits make it easy to service the entire serpentine belt drive system
  • Components are sealed and packed securely to maintain outstanding quality and condition during shipping
  • This provide customers a time-saving convenient way to purchase all the premium parts needed in one pre-packaged kit to completely restore
Bestseller No. 14
MICHELIN Serpentine Drive Belt SMAMV4PK960S
13 Reviews
MICHELIN Serpentine Drive Belt SMAMV4PK960S
  • Optimize Costs and Reduce CO2 Emissions - Our serpentine drive belts are high-performance components able to withstand difficult engine environments with high speed, high temperatures, and wet conditions, making them especially durable and wear-resistant. Increased flexibility and reduced weight optimize costs and reduce CO2 emissions.
  • Built-In Tension and Product Warranty - MICHELIN belts are available with polyamide cord, which allows the belt to automatically maintain the right belt tension over time. This provides compact, low-noise drive solutions with low maintenance and higher cost-effectiveness. Also includes a one-year product warranty for defects in material and workmanship under normal use and service.
  • This product is designed to fit specific vehicles per the OEM design and requirements.  Please confirm with your vehicles owner’s manual or OEM specification to ensure correct part specification before purchasing this component.  Note that engine size, accessory options and other options can impact the product size and design.  If further assistance is needed contact the seller directly for additional product information and availability.
  • Replaces 5040378, 4PK0960, K040378 OE part numbers.
  • 4 Ribs 37.8 In.x0.54 In. - 960 mmx13.716 mm
Bestseller No. 15
ACDelco K081264HD Specialty Heavy Duty V-Ribbed Serpentine Belt
85 Reviews
ACDelco K081264HD Specialty Heavy Duty V-Ribbed Serpentine Belt
  • Patented material helps provide peak performance at extreme, prolonged operating temperatures
  • Heavy duty construction helps resist cracking and wear
  • Oil and heat resistant
  • Unique undercord notch pattern offers increased flexibility for smaller diameter pulleys

Last update on 2020-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dan Hoffman

Dan is a co-founder of Engineswork. He knows everything about internal combustion engines. Ask your questions in comments down below this article - he will be glad to help you anytime.

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