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

No. 1
Infiniti 11720-EY00B, Serpentine Belt
8 Reviews
Infiniti 11720-EY00B, Serpentine Belt
  • Genuine Infiniti OEM product
No. 2
ACDelco GM Original Equipment 12636139 V-Ribbed Serpentine Belt
  • Allows for the operation of various pulleys, and drive belt accessories, with the use of a single belt
  • Creates a secure point of contact with the pulley, which allows for traction
  • Some ACDelco GM Original Equipment parts may have formerly appeared as GM Genuine Parts (OE) or ACDelco Professional
  • GM engineers design and validate OE parts specifically for your Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, or Cadillac vehicle
  • Original equipment parts are designed to work with your GM vehicle safety systems -- aftermarket replacement parts may not meet the same OE safety regulations, depending on the part type
SaleNo. 3
Gates 90K-39120 Complete Serpentine Belt Drive Component Kit
10 Reviews
Gates 90K-39120 Complete Serpentine Belt Drive Component Kit
  • the package length of the product is 14.2 centimeters
  • the package width of the product is 24.0 centimeters
  • the package height of the product is 26.4 centimeters
  • item package weight: 1.489 kilograms
  • Fit type: Vehicle Specific
SaleNo. 4
Dayco 5050551 Serpentine Belt
32 Reviews
Dayco 5050551 Serpentine Belt
  • Country Of Origin: China
  • Model Number: 5050551
  • Item Package Dimension: 55.0" L x 9.214" W x 1.203" H
  • Item Package Weight: 1.389 lb
No. 5
Dayco 5070610 Serpentine Belt
83 Reviews
Dayco 5070610 Serpentine Belt
  • Package length:35.56 cm
  • Package width:13.97 cm
  • Package height:2.54 cm
  • Product Type:AUTO PART
No. 6
ACDelco Professional ACK060960 Serpentine Drive Belt Tensioner Kit
56 Reviews
ACDelco Professional ACK060960 Serpentine Drive Belt Tensioner Kit
  • Does the job right the first time and reduces comebacks by always replacing the serpentine belt, idlers, and tensioners at the same time
  • Has a lineup of parts that include 78 kits covering more than 1,300 vehicle applications for both import and domestic applications
  • Includes a serpentine belt, idler(s), tensioner(s), and supporting hardware with detailed installation instructions
  • Professional, premium aftermarket replacement
  • Provides the performance and dependability you expect from ACDelco
SaleNo. 7
Dayco 5060890 Serpentine Belt
34 Reviews
Dayco 5060890 Serpentine Belt
  • Package length:38.1 cm
  • Package width:9.652 cm
  • Package height:1.524 cm
  • Product Type:AUTO PART
No. 8
ContiTech PK060900 Serpentine Belt
4 Reviews
ContiTech PK060900 Serpentine Belt
  • Product Type:Auto Part
  • Fit Type: Vehicle Specific
  • Country Of Origin: France
  • Package Dimensions: 2.032 L X 36.576 H X 13.208 W (Centimeters)
No. 9
Gates 90K-38251 Complete Serpentine Belt Drive Component Kit
  • Save money and prevent premature vehicle breakdowns by making the choice to fix your vehicle right the first time
  • Neglecting to replace the tensioner and pulley(s), at the same time you replace the belt, can not only shorten the life of the belt as well as other front end accessory drive components, but can leave you or your customer stranded on the side of the road
  • Gates understands the importance of getting your vehicle up and running with as little hassle as possible
  • 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
  • Plus, they're backed by our lifetime parts and labor warranty when installed by a certified shop
SaleNo. 10
ACDelco Professional 6K950 Standard V-Ribbed Serpentine Belt
151 Reviews
ACDelco Professional 6K950 Standard V-Ribbed Serpentine Belt
  • Made with temperature and crack resistant EPDM rubber for a long life and quiet, dependable performance
  • Is the belt of choice by professional technicians, lasting 50% to 60% longer than retail belts (low priced belts sold at car part stores)
  • Its precision dimension control of rib profile transmits load efficiently throughout the accessory belt drive systems (ABDS) allowing components to operate at optimum levels
  • Able to operate and accept misalignment in the accessory belt drive systems (ABDS) far greater than other serpentine belts
  • Its flexible construction allows the belt to withstand billions of topside and backside bends resulting in a long belt life
No. 11
ACDelco Professional 6K730 Standard V-Ribbed Serpentine Belt
7 Reviews
ACDelco Professional 6K730 Standard V-Ribbed Serpentine Belt
  • Made with temperature and crack resistant EPDM rubber for a long life and quiet, dependable performance
  • Is the belt of choice by professional technicians, lasting 50% to 60% longer than retail belts (low priced belts sold at car part stores)
  • Its precision dimension control of rib profile transmits load efficiently throughout the accessory belt drive systems (ABDS) allowing components to operate at optimum levels
  • Able to operate and accept misalignment in the accessory belt drive systems (ABDS) far greater than other serpentine belts
  • Its flexible construction allows the belt to withstand billions of topside and backside bends resulting in a long belt life
No. 12
ContiTech PK060825 Serpentine Belt
12 Reviews
ContiTech PK060825 Serpentine Belt
  • Product Type :Auto Part
  • Package Dimensions :2.54 cm L X8.89 cm W X33.02 cm H
  • Country Of Origin :Wales
  • Package Weight :0.46lbs
No. 13
ACDelco Professional 6K913 Standard V-Ribbed Serpentine Belt
38 Reviews
ACDelco Professional 6K913 Standard V-Ribbed Serpentine Belt
  • Designed to deliver trouble-free, consistent performance
  • Right for your vehicle and lifestyle
  • Made from high-quality materials for ultimate durability
  • Manufactured to meet or exceed strict quality requirements
  • If you have any questions or need fitment information for your vehicle, please contact with us
SaleNo. 14
Gates 90K-38485 Complete Serpentine Belt Drive Component Kit
7 Reviews
Gates 90K-38485 Complete Serpentine Belt Drive Component Kit
  • 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: 2.54 pounds
  • Fit type: Vehicle Specific
SaleNo. 15
ACDelco Professional 7K685 Standard V-Ribbed Serpentine Belt
4 Reviews
ACDelco Professional 7K685 Standard V-Ribbed Serpentine Belt
  • Made with temperature and crack resistant EPDM rubber for a long life and quiet, dependable performance
  • Is the belt of choice by professional technicians, lasting 50% to 60% longer than retail belts (low priced belts sold at car part stores)
  • Its precision dimension control of rib profile transmits load efficiently throughout the accessory belt drive systems (ABDS) allowing components to operate at optimum levels
  • Able to operate and accept misalignment in the accessory belt drive systems (ABDS) far greater than other serpentine belts
  • Its flexible construction allows the belt to withstand billions of topside and backside bends resulting in a long belt life

Last update on 2021-07-09 / 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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