How to Replace a Serpentine Belt

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 called an s-belt deals with simplifying pumps plus sheaves operation under the hood.

This long belt deals with any motor-driven detail, comprising a water pump, alternator, a/c compressor, and 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. A serpentine belt must be substituted after every 30,000-60,000 miles run. In order to make this process easier for you, we are offering a detailed guide on the inspection and substitution of this belt.

Serpentine belt change guide

Tools needed:

General Rules of S-Belt Replacement

Experienced drivers who used to substitute fan belts may recall how traumatic and energy-consuming the 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 re-tensioning. Revise the tensioner, remove 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, 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 always be deactivated before any serious operations within an automobile. Applying a wrench or socket of the proper size weakens 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. A contingent from your automobile’s motor, the s-belt may be situated in the front part of a 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 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. A contingent from employment, your s-belt may have a tensioner established on it by a mobile bracket or an auto tensioner sheave, using an 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 for which you are free to utilize a socket. 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: Pull the belt off the nearest sheave after the tensioner is weakened. If your automobile is equipped with an alternator bracket, loosen two bolts passing through long bracket 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 an 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 the 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 to hold the belt in its place. If your automobile features no auto tensioner, input a pry bar or a piece of wood betwixt the alternator and the motor.

Place the belt over the alternator sheave. Employing a bar, extract the 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 the bearings are reliable. If bearings fail, they shriek before locking up and throwing the belt off.

A serpentine belt ensures the 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
Bando USA 6PK2170 OEM Quality Serpentine Belt
8,370 Reviews
Bando USA 6PK2170 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
No. 2
Goodyear Belts 1060842 Serpentine Belt, 6-Rib, 84.2' Length
337 Reviews
Goodyear Belts 1060842 Serpentine Belt, 6-Rib, 84.2" Length
  • Meets or Exceeds OEM Specifications; Long-life EPDM Rubber Compound
  • Proprietary rubber formulation for quiet operation
  • Synthetic tension members with balanced twist cord ensures neutral tracking when running
  • AutoCare Association recommends inspecting belts at 60,000 miles and replacing at 90,000 miles
SaleNo. 3
ban.do 6PK2210 OEM Quality Serpentine Belt
91 Reviews
ban.do 6PK2210 OEM Quality Serpentine Belt
  • 6 Ribs x 2210 mm or 6 Ribs x 87 Inch
  • Strong tensile cords carry high horsepower loads without stretching
  • Award winning OEM supplier with over 100 major quality awards from manufacturers such as GM, Toyota, Honda, VW, Nissan and many others
  • Ground rubber ribs are compounded from high strength synthetic rubber for wear resistance and long life
SaleNo. 4
ACDelco GM Original Equipment 12669858 V-Ribbed Serpentine Belt
55 Reviews
ACDelco GM Original Equipment 12669858 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
No. 5
ACDelco Gold 6K938 Standard V-Ribbed Serpentine Belt
563 Reviews
ACDelco Gold 6K938 Standard V-Ribbed Serpentine Belt
  • Drives several engine functions
  • Some ACDelco Gold parts may have formerly appeared as ACDelco Professional
  • Premium aftermarket replacement part
  • Manufactured to meet specifications for fit, form, and function for General Motors vehicles as well as most makes and models
SaleNo. 6
Continental OE Technology Series 4070609 7-Rib, 60.9' Multi-V Belt
117 Reviews
Continental OE Technology Series 4070609 7-Rib, 60.9" Multi-V Belt
  • 7-rib, 60.9" 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
No. 7
Goodyear Belts 1070410 Serpentine Belt, 7-Rib, 41' Length
43 Reviews
Goodyear Belts 1070410 Serpentine Belt, 7-Rib, 41" Length
  • Meets or Exceeds OEM Specifications; Long-life EPDM Rubber Compound
  • Proprietary rubber formulation for quiet operation
  • Synthetic tension members with balanced twist cord ensures neutral tracking when running
  • AutoCare Association recommends inspecting belts at 60,000 miles and replacing at 90,000 miles
No. 8
Goodyear Belts 1060868 Serpentine Belt, 6-Rib, 86.8' Length
89 Reviews
Goodyear Belts 1060868 Serpentine Belt, 6-Rib, 86.8" Length
  • Meets or Exceeds OEM Specifications; Long-life EPDM Rubber Compound
  • Proprietary rubber formulation for quiet operation
  • Synthetic tension members with balanced twist cord ensures neutral tracking when running
  • AutoCare Association recommends inspecting belts at 60,000 miles and replacing at 90,000 miles
SaleNo. 9
Dayco 5060950DR Serpentine Belt
115 Reviews
Dayco 5060950DR Serpentine Belt
  • package length:30.48 cm
  • package width:8.89 cm
  • package height:2.54 cm
  • product type:auto part
No. 10
Goodyear Belts 1060730 Serpentine Belt, 6-Rib, 73'' Length'
66 Reviews
Goodyear Belts 1060730 Serpentine Belt, 6-Rib, 73"" Length"
  • Meets or Exceeds OEM Specifications; Long-life EPDM Rubber Compound
  • Proprietary rubber formulation for quiet operation
  • Synthetic tension members with balanced twist cord ensures neutral tracking when running
  • AutoCare Association recommends inspecting belts at 60,000 miles and replacing at 90,000 miles
SaleNo. 11
Dayco 5060915 Serpentine Belt , Black
524 Reviews
Dayco 5060915 Serpentine Belt , Black
  • Unique engineered backing depending on the drive
  • "W" rib profile will conform to worn, high mileage vehicles
  • Aramid reinforced EPDM compound will quiet the most problem drives
  • "W" rib profile is the most innovative advancement in multi-rib belts in 25 years
No. 12
Goodyear Belts 1060825 Serpentine Belt, 6-Rib, 82.5' Length, Black
131 Reviews
Goodyear Belts 1060825 Serpentine Belt, 6-Rib, 82.5" Length, Black
  • meets or exceeds oem specifications; long-life epdm rubber compound
  • proprietary rubber formulation for quiet operation
  • synthetic tension members with balanced twist cord ensures neutral tracking when running
  • autocare association recommends inspecting belts at 60,000 miles and replacing at 90,000 miles
No. 13
ban.do 7PK1755 OEM Quality Serpentine Belt
257 Reviews
ban.do 7PK1755 OEM Quality Serpentine Belt
  • 7 Ribs x 1755 mm or 7 Ribs x 69 Inch
  • Strong tensile cords carry high horsepower loads without stretching
  • Award winning OEM supplier with over 100 major quality awards from manufacturers such as GM, Toyota, Honda, VW, Nissan and many others
  • Ground rubber ribs are compounded from high strength synthetic rubber for wear resistance and long life
SaleNo. 14
Goodyear Belts 1060710 Serpentine Belt, 6-Rib, 71' Length
112 Reviews
Goodyear Belts 1060710 Serpentine Belt, 6-Rib, 71" Length
  • Meets or Exceeds OEM Specifications; Long-life EPDM Rubber Compound
  • Proprietary rubber formulation for quiet operation
  • Synthetic tension members with balanced twist cord ensures neutral tracking when running
  • AutoCare Association recommends inspecting belts at 60,000 miles and replacing at 90,000 miles
SaleNo. 15
Gates 90K-38172 Complete Serpentine Belt Drive Component Kit
96 Reviews
Gates 90K-38172 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: 6.03 pounds

Author

The information provided in this article is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional mechanical advice. While the author has made every effort to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information in this article, we make no warranties or representations as to the accuracy, completeness, reliability, or suitability of the information provided.

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Last update on 2024-02-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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