How do you remove tension from a serpentine belt?

Table of Contents

How do you remove tension from a serpentine belt?

How to Loosen a Belt Tensioner

  1. Park the vehicle on level ground and open the hood.
  2. Locate the belt tensioner on the front of the engine.
  3. Rotate the pulley on the belt tensioner counterclockwise to relieve the tension of the belt with the proper sized socket and ratchet.

Can you over tension a serpentine belt?

If you notice any whine or “pulsing” sound from the alternator, your belt tension is too tight and will damage the alternator. In this case, turn the adjustment screw counterclockwise to loosen the belt and recheck the tension. This is normally because your belt tension is too tight.

How do you adjust a tensioner pulley?

Turn the adjustment bolt on the side, top or bottom of the pulley counterclockwise with the ratchet and socket until the accessory belt is loose enough to remove. Tighten the tensioner pulley by turning the adjustment bolt clockwise with the ratchet and socket until the belt is tight.

How much tension should a serpentine belt have?

The required measure of tension in the serpentine belt is that it should not deflect more than ½ inch when twisted either way from the middle. If twisted more, the belt is loose, and if twisted less, the belt is too tight. Either of the positions does not work for the vehicle.

Can a tight serpentine belt cause loss of power?

If the serpentine belt completely fails and breaks, then your car will break down. In addition, you will notice a loss of power steering, the air conditioning will not work, and the engine will no longer be able to be cooled like it should be.

How do I know if my idler pulley is bad?

Signs and Symptoms of a Bad Idler Pulley

  1. Chattering, Squealing, or Chirping Sound.
  2. Corroded Surface.
  3. Excessively Loose Idler Pulley.
  4. A Bad Idler Pulley May Spin Excessively.
  5. Slow to No Spin or Binding.

How do you remove a serpentine belt from a car?

Pull the belt off of the pulleys. With the tension relieved from the belt, pull it off of the pulley that has been placing tension on it, then remove it from the around the rest of the pulleys on the engine. If the belt is severely damaged, be sure to remove any parts that may have come off of it as well.

How is the tension set on a serpentine belt?

Depending on the application, your serpentine belt will either have tension placed on it using a movable bracket or an auto tensioner pulley. This pulley uses an internal spring to apply consistent pressure to the belt at all times. If your vehicle does not have a tensioner pulley, the alternator bracket is likely how tension is set on the belt.

What happens if pulley on serpentine belt fails?

The serpentine belt is routed around pulleys that drive your vehicle’s accessories. If a pulley on one of the accessories seizes or fails to turn it will likely destroy the serpentine belt, but it’s important to consider that a belt that’s too tight will often lead to seizing pulleys.

How do you tighten the nut on a serpentine belt?

Place the socket end of the socket wrench over the wing-nut and turn clockwise to apply tension. It is likely not possible to adjust this by hand, so check your socket set for a socket that will fit snugly over the wing-nut so that you can tighten the nut, thereby applying more tension to the serpentine belt.

What is the belt tensioner on a Chevy Cavalier?

The belt tensioner on the front of the 1999 Chevy Cavalier engine is a spring-loaded component that tensions the belt as it turns around all of the accessory pulleys. When the motor is running, the belt travels around the alternator pulley, crankshaft pulley, power-steering pump pulley, air-conditioner pulley and the water pump pulley.

How do you remove a belt from a belt tensioner?

Remove the belt from the belt tensioner. Turn the belt tensioner clockwise from the bolt in the middle of the tensioner pulley with a breaker bar and socket. Slip the belt off the tensioner pulley, and release the breaker bar.

How do you hang a belt on an alternator pulley?

Turn the belt tensioner clockwise from the bolt in the middle of the tensioner pulley with a breaker bar and socket. Slip the belt off the tensioner pulley, and release the breaker bar. Hang the belt to the side of the alternator pulley with a bungee cord to prevent it from sliding out of any of the accessory pulleys.

Note: It is a very heavy spring tension, and pivoting the tensioner is often not possible with a short handled tool. Hold the tension from the belt, and slip the belt off the auto tensioner pulley to remove the belt and pulley system. Slowly release the tension to avoid damage or injury, and then remove the tool from the belt auto tensioner.

How to loosen a tensioner on a car?

How to Loosen a Tensioner 1 Open the hood and locate the drive belt (s). Either locate the serpentine belt routing diagram in the engine compartment, or refer to the repair manual. 2 Determine the type of tension applied to the belt you’re replacing. 3 Locate the belt tensioner per belt routing diagram.

How do you loosen tension on a drive belt?

There are three ways to loosen tension on a drive belt, depending on the vehicle. The most common way in today’s vehicles is an automatic belt tensioner. This application is used on serpentine belts, which connect to every pulley of the engine. Older vehicles may have drive belts that were removed by pivoting an alternator to release tension.

How can I loosen the tension on my alternator?

While holding the tool in place with the tension relieved, slip the belt off the most accessible pulley that you can reach. Loosen the two (or three) bolts on the alternator, on older vehicles that do not have an automatic belt tensioner.

Note: It is a very heavy spring tension, and pivoting the tensioner is often not possible with a short handled tool. Hold the tension from the belt, and slip the belt off the auto tensioner pulley to remove the belt and pulley system. Slowly release the tension to avoid damage or injury, and then remove the tool from the belt auto tensioner.

There are three ways to loosen tension on a drive belt, depending on the vehicle. The most common way in today’s vehicles is an automatic belt tensioner. This application is used on serpentine belts, which connect to every pulley of the engine. Older vehicles may have drive belts that were removed by pivoting an alternator to release tension.

How does a belt tensioner work on a belt?

Locate the belt tensioner per belt routing diagram. The automatic tensioner is a pulley on a pivoting bracket. To relieve the tension, a tool is inserted onto the pulley or a square drive is provided to insert a tool or ratchet. Apply the correct tool the tensioner calls for, and turn the tool counterclockwise to loosen the tension.

Where is the belt tensioner located on a car?

Where is the belt tensioner located? The single belt loops around all the different pulleys on your engine, but one pulley has a tensioner arm, which will be the only pulley the has a square, 3/8-inch hole in the center. That hole is for a 3/8-inch ratchet nub, the part that holds the socket.

Can you rent a serpentine belt removal tool?

Most auto supply stores will “rent to own” serpentine belt removal tool (the long, flat, thin breaker bar) to you at no cost, when you buy but then return it for a refund within the specified time (48 hours at some stores or a longer time at others).

What happens if you cut the tensioner on a belt?

Serious damage caution. Do “not” cut the belt: Avoid such a “short cut”, as that can cause the tensioner or where it attaches to be damaged when it springs back violently.

Why do you need an automatic belt tensioner?

An automatic belt tensioner is spring loaded in order to naturally apply the proper amount of tension to the serpentine belt, which winds through the engine pulleys and is used to power multiple peripheral devices.

When to replace serpentine belt tensioner — Ricks free?

A good belt tensioner will dampen the power pulses so much that the tensioner pulley arm barely moves. As the dampener wears the pulses cause the belt to flutter and that can be seen on the pulley arm. A belt tensioner pulley arm should not move more than 1/32”.

What does a loose belt tensioner sound like?

If the drive belt noise resembles a squeal or a squeak, it is possible that the belt tensioner is loose. This is especially the case when starting the engine first thing in the morning. Since the tensioner is not able to maintain the correct tension on the belts, it produces a squealing or squeaking sound.

What are the symptoms of a bad serpentine belt?

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Serpentine/ Drive Belt . Common signs include a squealing noise from the front of the vehicle, power steering and AC not working, engine overheating, and cracks on the belt.

What problems can a bad serpentine belt cause?

This is what you should look out for Squealing noise from the front of the vehicle. If you notice a squealing noise coming from the front of your vehicle, it could be from the serpentine belt. Power steering and AC not working. If the serpentine belt completely fails and breaks, then your car will break down. Engine overheating. Cracks and wear on the belt.

How do you know if your serpentine belt is too tight?

If you notice any whine or “pulsing” sound from the alternator, your belt tension is too tight and will damage the alternator. In this case, turn the adjustment screw counterclockwise to loosen the belt and recheck the tension. Do a final check. You can also check for continuous power from all your accessories.

How do you remove a serpentine belt?

To remove the serpentine belt, release tension off of the tensioner. Then grab the serpentine belt between the a/c compressor and alternator just pull it off. You do not need to take it far off.

How does the serpentine belt work on a Mercedes Benz?

This article applies to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and C-Class (2002-2014). The serpentine belt uses tension to turn the pulleys on the A/C compressor, power steering pump, and alternator. The serpentine belt tensioner has a built-in spring, keeping the belt at the proper tension while the engine is running.

When is the best time to replace a serpentine belt?

This is a good time to look for oil leaks, too. Oil can increase wear on serpentine belts. Most importantly, take the tensioner pulley and any idler pulleys (these are pulleys that do not drive anything, like Power Steering) and give them a spin.

How often should you replace the serpentine belt?

Serpentine belts can last for years and might only need to be changed once or twice over the life of the vehicle. The recommended industry standard is to inspect your belt at 60,000 miles for wear & tear and replace if necessary, and replace every 90,000 miles regardless of the appearance in order to reduce the chances of a breakdown.

How easy is it to change the serpentine belt?

How to Replace Your Serpentine Belt Note the placement of belt. Serpentine belts have that name for a reason. Loosen and unthread the belt. Before removing the belt, you’ll need to release the tensioner, which automatically keeps the belt taut while you’re driving. Check for damage. After removing the belt, inspect it for signs of damage. Install the new belt.

How do you change the serpentine belt?

How to Change a Serpentine Belt Step 1 – Get Out Your Cars Diagram Step 2 – Turn Off Your Car and Keep It on Idle Step 3 – Pop the Hood Step 4 – Note How the Belt Functions Step 5 – Relieve the Tensioner Pressure Step 6 – Slide the Belt Off the Pulley Step 7 – Remove the Motor Mount Step 8 – Replace the Belt Step 9 – Clean Up

How do I put on serpentine belt?

Snap a long-handled ratchet or a serpentine belt tool into the square 1/2-in.-drive or 3/8-in.-drive opening. Or use a socket on the hex-shaped protruding nut. Slowly rotate the tensioner arm as far as it will turn. Then release the tension.

How are serpentine belts used in modern cars?

Learn more… Today’s modern vehicles use a serpentine belt to drive the air conditioning system, alternator, water pump, smog pump and power steering pump. Previously, these systems used multiple belts on pulley systems with a number of ways to manually tighten the belts.

How do you reinstall a serpentine belt on an auto tensioner?

Reverse the procedure to reinstall the serpentine belt on the pulley system auto tensioner. Be careful to get the belt on the the other pulleys and aligned properly on all parts of the complicated routing, then apply the tool to allow the belt to be slipped onto the tensioner pulley.

What kind of pulley does a serpentine belt use?

Determine if there is a belt tensioner pulley. Depending on the application, your serpentine belt will either have tension placed on it using a movable bracket or an auto tensioner pulley. This pulley uses an internal spring to apply consistent pressure to the belt at all times.

Where is the belt tensioner located? The single belt loops around all the different pulleys on your engine, but one pulley has a tensioner arm, which will be the only pulley the has a square, 3/8-inch hole in the center. That hole is for a 3/8-inch ratchet nub, the part that holds the socket.

What happens when you loosen a serpentine belt?

If your vehicle uses the alternator bracket to apply tension to the belt, loosen the two bolts that pass through the long eyelets on the bracket. As you loosen the bolts, the tension on the belt will likely move the alternator toward the engine and relieve the pressure. Loosen the bolts enough to move the alternator, but don’t remove them.

What causes a serpentine belt pulley to squeak?

The serpentine belt in your car powers the accessories such as air conditioning, power steering, the alternator, and waterpump. Tensioner pulley wear will cause your pulley to squeak.

When does a drive belt tensioner need to be replaced?

There aren’t a lot of warning signs that a drive belt tensioner has hit the end of its lifespan, in fact there is really only one. Once you start to hear a grinding or squeaking sound coming from your engine, it’s time to have the drive belt tensioner looked at.

What does the pulley on a belt tensioner do?

The pulley is what allows the movement of the drive belt. The spring keeps the drive belt in its correct tension. The tensioner arm is a mechanism that allows for the adjustment or the removal of the drive belt. It delivers enough slack on the drive belt for easier adjustments. The base is what holds all the different parts together.

When do you know you need to replace your belt tensioner?

If you notice that there is resistance, roughness, or noise every time you turn the pulley, then there’s a chance that the problem is in the pulley bearings. You might think of replacing only the pulley bearings in this case. Mechanics will tell you to replace the entire belt tensioner system.

If the drive belt noise resembles a squeal or a squeak, it is possible that the belt tensioner is loose. This is especially the case when starting the engine first thing in the morning. Since the tensioner is not able to maintain the correct tension on the belts, it produces a squealing or squeaking sound.

What happens when you unscrew a belt tensioner?

The tensioner will rotate freely before it comes to a stop. When the spring-loaded arm comes to a stop, continue to turn the bolt until the bolt loosens. Once the bolt loosens from the spring-loaded arm of the tensioner, release the belt tensioner until it comes to a stop. Finish unscrewing the bolt with your fingers.

How do you remove a belt tensioner bracket?

Remove the other bracket bolts that hold the belt tensioner to the engine block. Use a ratchet and socket and turn the bracket bolts counterclockwise to loosen and remove the bolts from the belt tensioner bracket.

When do you need to loosen a tensioner pulley?

Sometimes, maintenance or repair will require tightening or loosening a tensioner pulley. Replacing a drive belt or timing belt, for example, would require you to loosen a tensioner pulley to make room for the new belt, as the new belt is smaller than the worn drive belt.

When do you need to replace serpentine belt tensioner?

If you see more, the dampening mechanism is worn and the tensioner must be replaced. If the serpentine belt tensioner arm moves more than 1/32″ while engine is running, the vibration dampener in the tensioner is worn out.

How does a serpentine belt work on a car?

A serpentine belt controls all of the accessories as well as the cooling fan and alternator on your vehicle. Because the serpentine belt is negotiated through multiple pulleys, it is important to keep the proper tension on the belt. Most serpentine belts have an auto-tensioner that automatically keeps the proper tension on the belt.

Where is the tension screw on a serpentine belt?

Step 1 Open the hood and locate the adjustment screw that controls tension on the serpentine belt. This screw is typically a wing-nut located near the alternator and is in plain view. Place the socket end of the socket wrench over the wing-nut and turn clockwise to apply tension.

What is the serpentine belt in an engine?

Serpentine Belt, as you may have heard of, is a robust rubber belt of exclusive high quality. It is a crucial part of almost every engine system. The operation and working of some of the major parts of the engines system like an air pump, water pump, air conditioning compressor, power steering pump depend on the serpentine belt.

What’s the best way to loosen a pulley belt?

Try both directions, which will require you to flip the selector on the wrench to the opposite direction (so you can loosen or tighten). The tensioner will move only in one direction, and when moved will release its grip on the belt. Make sure you study how the original belt wraps around the various pulleys.

How do you tighten the belt on a generator?

For tightening the belt, move the generator away from the engine by a hammer handle or similar tool. Loosen the screws on the pivot section and pull the belt in. Check the tension and if it is right, bolt the screws back to pivot. To loosen the belt, move the generator towards the engine by the hammer handle.

What is the average life span of a serpentine belt?

The lifespan of the serpentine belt will depend mostly on the type of material it’s made of. Older style belts generally last about 50,000 miles, while those made from EPDM can last up to 100,000 miles.