How to Replace a Serpentine Belt

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The serpentine belt is connected to and moved by the engine crankshaft pulley. In turn, the belt drives all of the front-mounted engine accessories including the power steering pump, alternator, water pump and smog pump if equipped.

Over time, serpentine belts that are wearing out will become cracked and brittle, indicating it is time for replacement. Serpentine belts are extremely important because if they break, the engine will eventually stop running and you will lose power steering. In addition, a broken belt can cause engine damage if the water pump is belt driven and the engine is allowed to overheat.

Part 1 of 2: Remove the serpentine belt

Materials Needed

  • Free repair manuals - Autozone provides free online repair manuals for certain makes and models
  • Protective gloves
  • Ratchet
  • Repair manuals (optional)
  • Safety glasses
  • Serpentine belt tool (optional)

How to Replace a Serpentine Belt 2

Step 1: Locate the serpentine belt routing diagram. Locate the serpentine belt routing diagram before removing the belt. This diagram will ensure that you know how to reinstall the belt. Most of the time, the diagram is mounted somewhere in the engine compartment. If not, you’ll need to consult the factory repair information or take a picture of the belt routing prior to removal.

How to Replace a Serpentine Belt 3

Step 2: Move the tensioner. Use a ratchet or dedicated serpentine belt tool to push on the tensioner and move it away from the belt.

How to Replace a Serpentine Belt 4

  • Note: Some tensioners have a slot to insert a square ratchet head end into. Others have a traditional bolt head that you can install a socket onto.

How to Replace a Serpentine Belt 5

Step 3: Remove the belt. While still holding the tensioner away from the belt, slide the belt off the pulleys.

Part 2 of 2: Install the new serpentine belt

How to Replace a Serpentine Belt 6

Step 4: Determine how to route the belt. Look at the belt routing diagram or the picture you took to determine how to install the new belt.

How to Replace a Serpentine Belt 7

Step 5: Move the tensioner. Use a ratchet or serpentine belt tool to push on the tensioner and move it away from the belt, so the new belt can be installed on the pulleys.

How to Replace a Serpentine Belt 8

Step 6: Install the new belt. Position the new belt on the pulleys. Once the belt is in place, let go of the tensioner. Double check the belt installation against the routing diagram or the picture you took to ensure it is routed properly.

If this seems like a job you’d rather leave to a professional, YourMechanic offers expert serpentine belt replacement at a time and place of your choice.


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Recent Serpentine/Drive Belt Replacement reviews

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YourMechanic Serpentine/Drive Belt Replacement Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

3,726

Rating Summary
3,555
100
18
15
38
3,555
100
18
15
38

Matthew

31 years of experience
659 reviews
Matthew
31 years of experience
Jeep Liberty - Serpentine/Drive Belt Replacement - Hampton, Virginia
Always explains and answers any question may have. Matthew is a great mechanic and always on time or early. Just a blessing to have met.
Saturn SL1 - Serpentine/Drive Belt - Hampton, Virginia
I live in Hampton, VA, and my mechanic was Matt. He was absolutely amazing. He was more competent and knowledgeable than any local shop that I've used to date. The prices are more than fair. In future, I will ALWAYS use this service unless it is a repair they don't offer. Thank you, YourMechanic and Matt, for an experience that was above and beyond my expectations.

Kevin

22 years of experience
257 reviews
Kevin
22 years of experience
Ford Fusion - Serpentine/Drive Belt Replacement - Lawrenceville, Georgia
On time, quality work done, diagnoses of a particular issue that I'm now having addressed with you guys...Had I been dissatisfied, I wouldn't have continued to use you...!!

Richard

10 years of experience
37 reviews
Richard
10 years of experience
BMW 528i - Serpentine/Drive Belt - Tucson, Arizona
Awesome service. He walked me through the repair and gave advice about what my next steps would be. Quite possibly the most pleasurable and quick mechanical service I've ever had. The car runs even better now and has nicer power steering feel even. He was on time and very efficient. I actually already had a belt for the repair, so after the service he docked off 30 or so dollars. Highly recommend Richard. I will likely be booking him personally next time I needs a convenient repair done.

Alexander

18 years of experience
67 reviews
Alexander
18 years of experience
Toyota Corolla - Serpentine/Drive Belt Replacement - Casselberry, Florida
I've used Alex twice on my 200.000 mile Toyota (new radiator, thermostat, hose and fluid and serpentine belt replacement) and each time he's been great and the price is right. He's thorough, quick and generous with advice. Alex looks for little extras which others might ignore and takes care of them. Will definitely use Alex and Your Mechanic for future service needs

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