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Six Steps to Replace a Drive Belt


A number of factors can cause a drive belt to wear prem […]

A number of factors can cause a drive belt to wear prematurely.

Step 1 - Loosen tension and remove belt

Locate the adjustment fastener and loosen it. This is usually on the alternator mounting or on a separate pulley wheel. Move the adjusting mechanism in far enough to allow you to remove the belt. Some vehicles use an automatic spring tension system. In that case, pull the tensioning device back so that you can remove the belt.

Step 2 – Inspect drive and drive pulleys

Check the drive and pulley wheels. Look for cracks and other forms of damage. Check that there is no sideways movement indicating worn bearings, and spin the pulley wheels by hand to check that the bearings are rotating freely.

Step 3 – Select correct replacement belt

Obtain the correct size and type of replacement belt specified in the manual, and compare it with the belt you have just removed. They should be very similar, although the old belt may have stretched in use.

Step 4 – Install V-belt

Install the new belt from, making sure that it is properly seated in the V-shape groove.

If the belt is a Serpentine type, then make sure that it is the correct width and squarely aligned in the pulley grooves. If this is not correctly aligned, the belt will be thrown off the pulley wheels.

Step 5 - Correctly tension new belt

Tension the belt using a spanner and a pry bar, and then check it with a tension gauge.

Some vehicles have an automatic spring tensioning system which saves you the time of adjusting the tension manually. Make sure you check the vehicle workshop manual before commencing the procedure.

Step 6 - Start the engine

Start the engine, and observe the Rubber Drive Belts to make sure that it is properly seated and operating correctly. Stop the engine again, and recheck the tension.