Q: What is the correct procedure for tightening the belt tensioner on a 2001 Chevy Monte Carlo? We put the new belt on.

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The serpentine belt was worn & shredding. We got the correct replacement belt and installed it. I cranked the car over and turned it off after about 30 seconds, just to test it. I went out next morning and looked at the belt - there was about 4'' of slack. We tried again. I started it and turned the wheels to back out of the parking space. Steering froze. We tried again. Home from work, I popped the hood and peeked at the belt. It was on, it was properly tight, but I observed that the tensioner ''pulley'' was not aligned with the lower pulley, the belt was a little sideways across the path that it should take around it. Naturally, when I turned the key it started, immediately shrieked like an angry bobcat, and I turned it off instantly. Looked again, belt was off the tensioner and the lower pulley. How does one properly align and tighten the tensioner?('We' is my husband and myself. We are both over 60.) Thank you for your time it is appreciated. Diane Ruderman

My car has 170000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The belt tensioner on your vehicle should have an automatic tensioner, however, some models have the manual tensioner. Tighten the tensioner to where the belt is tight but loose in the middle length area as about the width of the belt. This ensures that the drive belt is tight and not pulling too much on any accessory pulley. If you need further assistance with your drive belt replacement, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

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