How to Replace a Serpentine Belt | YourMechanic Advice

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

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Serpentine/Drive Belt Replacement Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

4,117

Rating Summary
3,933
106
20
15
43
3,933
106
20
15
43

Torrieanto

11 years of experience
574 reviews
Torrieanto
11 years of experience
Toyota Camry - Serpentine/Drive Belt - St. Leo, Florida
This is my first time, at first I was a little eseptical but now I'm completely satisfied. He was awesome. He did the job with precision and fast. Excellent service. And also have affordable price.
Nissan Sentra - Serpentine/Drive Belt - Lakeland, Florida
Torrienanto was very knowledgeable and had my car fixed in a very efficiently and quickly manner. I would definitely recommend him.

Robert

14 years of experience
32 reviews
Robert
14 years of experience
Ford F-150 - Serpentine/Drive Belt - The Colony, Texas
Great mechanic. Came and had my truck done in no time. Knowledgeable and Willing to take time after he was done to talk with me about my vehicle. Would definitely recommend him to others.
Ford Fiesta - Serpentine/Drive Belt - Richardson, Texas
Robert was great. He knew what he was doing. Best of all there were no surprises or hard sells. He did a great job and we talked about upcoming service milestones and he created estimates for me on the spot so I can schedule at my convenience.

Lee

37 years of experience
132 reviews
Lee
37 years of experience
Lexus ES300 - Serpentine/Drive Belt - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Clearly expert and efficient, and also a nice fellow, which is a much-appreciated extra. Also he managed to show up a bit early, also appreciated.
Lexus RX300 - Serpentine/Drive Belt - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Lee was on time. He was friendly, and knew exactly what to do. This repair job was more than I could do. Lee knocked it out quickly. I will use his service again. I have already recommended him to other people.

Nathan

13 years of experience
3 reviews
Nathan
13 years of experience
Pontiac Grand Am - Serpentine/Drive Belt Replacement - Eugene, Oregon
Did an excellent job. Thank you for not only fixing the problem, but taking the time to inspect the vehicle and letting me know what other services needed to be done.

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