Don't go turning any nuts...Locate the Tensioner Assembly(Metal Plate with the Tension Pulley) just below the Pulley should be a 3/8" Square Hole. Take a 3/8" Drive Breaker Bar (May have to use a 2" Extension), and Engage that Hole. Push towards the Rear/Up of the Vehicle, slide the Belt off...
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Look closely as there should be a square one half inch or three eighths inch hole in the tensioner. Place the proper sized ratchet or breaker bar in the hole and turn which ever way loosens the belt. When replacing the belt be sure the belt is properly settled in all the pulleys as if it's off by one spline on any pulley it will quickly damage the belt. Please rate this answer, thanks.
This may not work for all engines but should work for most. Most engines are the same when it comes to a serpentine belt. There is a series of pulleys. Some are ribbed and some are flat. The belt will go on to match. The ribbed side of the belt will pass across the ribbed pulleys and the flat side against the flat pulleys. It is fairly easy to figure out the outermost pulleys which the belt must go around. Once you have done this you can assess which ones to put the flat side of the belt against.
One of the pulleys is the tension pulley. It is generally on a moving arm and has a spring tensioner. When the belt is off, the arm should move.
When a belt is on the engine you have to release the tension to remove it. This generally requires a fairly large breaker bar or a socket wrench with a cheater pipe to generate enough force to release the tension. There is generally a nut that holds the tension pulley on. If you are loosening the nut when you pull with the breaker bar you are pulling the wrong direction. It takes a good amount of force to loosen the tension on the belt. If you removed the tension pulley as a means of removing the belt you will have to reattach the pulley and then make sure you pull in the correct direction to allow the belt to go over the tension pulley to reinstall.
If you are replacing a broken belt you have to move the tension pulley to allow the belt to slip onto it. Pull the breaker bar to move the pulley. Pulling it far enough allows the belt to easily slip on. Again, if the nut is loosening or you aren't moving the pulley and arm you are pulling the wrong way. It takes quite a force to move the pulley.
Once the belt is on the tension pulley, make sure it is properly sitting on all pulleys and the grooves in the belt match the grooves on the pulleys.
Be careful not to pinch any fingers.
And make sure you don't leave any sockets attached when starting the engine.
look for small pulley with a square hole in it then you will have to install a 3/8 ratchet into it and pull in either direction until you see the belt loosen its a spring loaded tensioner so it will return once pressure is relieved, be careful these tensioners are very strong. in some cases they use a bolt and you will have to use a socket to release the tension most tensioners are located towards the center of the belt routing.
Click on the following free, direct Link. It has all the Serpentine Belt Diagrams you will need for the 1.9L 4-Cylinder Engine and various Engine Options (AC/No AC etc.), complete with Instructional and Directional Diagrams.
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"HOW TO": Standard Rules to Removal the Serpentine Belt with an Automatic Tensioner: 1. Find the Tensioner(s). (See Diagrams on Link) 2. Using a Serpentine Belt Tensioner Tool, Or Wrench OR Ratchet, Rotate/Move the Tensioner USING THE AVAILABLE NUT (on the Pulley or Arm Base) OR the OPENING (3/8ths or 1/2 inch square opening) rotating the Tensioner Pulley/Arm - moving it away from contact with the belt and towards the area where the belt is not in contact with the Tensioner Pulley. The Tensioner is spring loaded, and is hard to rotate/move. 3. Remove the loosened belt off one of the other more easily accessed Pulleys. 4. DO NOT quickly release the Tensioner, but gently allow the Tensioner to rest in its closed position.
Standard Rules for Installing the Serpentine Belt with an Automatic Tensioner: a. Pick a Pulley that is most easily accessed. This will usually be on top. This will be the last Pulley that the belt will go on. b. Using the Diagram: Install the new Serpentine Belt on the remainder of the Pulleys....over, under, left right. c. Using a Serpentine Belt Tensioner Tool or Wrench or Ratchet Tool: Rotate/Move the Tensioner Pulley/Arm "away" from Belt contact area on the Tensioner. This spring is pretty hard and with a new belt, it will be even harder to install. Rotate/Move this to as-close to the maximum allowed inorder to have enough slack in the belt to get it up and over the last pulley. d. Using your other hand - Pull the Belt up and over the Last remaining Pulley. e. Before releasing the pressure on the Tensioner, visually inspect the remainder Pulleys and the Belts' Positioning on them.
The 96 Riviera has a motor mount that interferes with the removal and replacement of the serpentine belt. The motor mount must be loosened and the engine need to be lifted slightly to accomplish the replacement. Not good engineering on this model year.
buy a new tensioner assembley and idler pully and might as well get a new belt while your at it. you will need a 3/8 ratchet a 15 mm socket and a 13 mm socket there is one bolt holding on tensioner remove it discard old tensioner put new tensioner in place and tight bolt. second remove bolt from idler pulley discard old pulley put inton place and tighen bolt. next install belt fallow belt routing digram put head of 3/8 rattachet into hole on tensioner or on bolt head of tensioner pulley depending on style of tensioner and pull or push to create slack in belt push belt into groves on all pulleys and release tensioner