Question about Pontiac Grand Am
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
This is a fairly straightforward mechanical procedure. If you will allow me to provide a little perspective first, just so we start on the same page.
Since you ask only for the procedure for replacement, I do not want to jump over the diagnostic element of this process. If you are holding a broken belt in your hand you can skip directly past this paragraph. The serpentine belt, referred to as the engine drivebelt does what fan belts did in the "old days". This belt is by the crankshaft and in turn spins the alternator, the water pump and the pump for the power steering and the air conditioner compressor. This belt is a wear item and should be examined once per year. The belt is smooth on one side and has ribs running long ways on the other side. Using a flashlight check for shiny areas, cracks of any kind or fluid on the belt. Any of these, change the belt.
Now we need to get our navigational landmarks in sync. The engine in most front-wheel drive vehicles is mounted transversely (sideways). So front and back of the engine become left (front of engine) and right (rear of engine). The drivebelt is on the front of the engine, so to your left as you raise the hood and peer inside.
There should be a drivebelt routing decal on the upper radiator panel (between the engine and the front of the car). I recommend at this point that you also take a few pictures of the drivebelt with your cell phone or digital camera. Detail its path around all accessory components. I know that this is belt and suspenders but it will help greatly with replacement. Now look for the belt tensioner under the power steering pump. The power steering pump is at 12:00 o'clock on the front of the engine. Read the sticker on the square power steering reservoir at the top front of the engine to ensure you are in the right place. The tensioner is the round pulley that looks like it it isn't attached to anything and therefore has no purpose. Put the appropriate wrench on the nut on the front of the tensioner and turn counterclockwise (push toward the back of the car). A long handled ratchet works best here since you will need to get some leverage to turn the tensioner. This will loosen tension on the belt. While holding the belt tensioner remove the belt from all of the pulleys and pull it out. When you release the belt tensioner, it will swing down out of the way. Now again rotate the belt tensioner and route the new belt onto the engine. This should do it. If you are going to be doing this intermediate level of repair and maintenance I recommend you get a hard-copy repair manual for your vehicle or subscribe to one of the many excellent repair on-line service. Good luck!
Posted on Oct 08, 2008
SOURCE: serpentine belt
When you open the hood there is a diagram on a sticker that shows exactly how to do this. Should be on the front lip or the side of the engine compartment. You have to make sure you get it lined back up right and remember to check it once the engine has been started and make sure it running on all the pulleys correctly.
Here is a good diagram that should be able to help in case your sticker was damaged or removed. Good luck!
Posted on Nov 11, 2008
Check this link & scroll down to your engine. Click on picture to expand.
Posted on Feb 03, 2009
I had the same problem when trying to replace the serpentine belt on my 2001 Trooper. The Maintenance book was very vague and I couldn't tell exactly how the tension was taken off the belt, but it did clearly identify the tensioner pulley. I first removed the pulley and looked for some kind of slot that would give me the adjustment I needed, but no slotted adjustment is present on the 01 Trooper. I had to do some research so I pulled of the tensioner assembly and found that there is a spring coil which keeps tension on the belt constant, and eliminates any belt alignment problems.
The Litens style tensioner uses a spring to apply pressure towards the serpentine belt. The way to relax the spring is to use your 14mm socket and ratchet and force the pulley down by driving the pulley nut in the clockwise direction. This forces the spring to compress and the pulley to drop giving the needed clearance to get your new belt in place.
Posted on May 09, 2009
Tips for a great answer:
Park the Pontiac in a safe work area and open the hood.
Inspect the top of the black plastic cover that surrounds the fan for the serpentine belt routing diagram. This diagram has the instructions for installing the new serpentine belt around the accessory pulleys.
Inspect the front of the engine and locate the automatic belt tensioner. The tensioner on the 1999 Pontiac model vehicles is located between the alternator and the crankshaft pulley. The tensioner has a pulley on one end with a bolt head in the center of the pulley. Use the bolt head to rotate the tensioner.
Turn the tensioner counterclockwise with the breaker bar and a metric socket. Pull the belt out from under the tensioner pulley with your other hand. Then, slowly let the tensioner retract until it stops.
Pull the belt out of the other remaining pulleys. Then, pull the belt out of the engine bay and lay it on the ground.
Route the new belt around the crankshaft pulley. Then, route the new belt around the other remaining pullleys by using the serpentine belt routing diagram for instructions.
Rotate the tensioner pulley counterclockwise with the breaker bar and socket. Then, slide the new belt under the tensioner pulley. Slowly let the tensioner retract until it stops. The tensioner pulls all of the slack out of the belt and brings the new belt to the proper tension. Remove the breaker bar and socket from the tensioner pulley.
Inspect the new belt to ensure that it is seated inside of all the accessory pulleys as directed by the diagram. Then, crank the engine and allow it to run for about 15 seconds. Turn the engine off. Inspect the belt again once more to ensure that
the belt is still around each pulley. Close the hood.
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