Belts are the easiest thing to replace with a wrench, and a prybar.
If you have a serpentine type belt, use a 1/2" breaker bar to relieve tension on the belt, noting the routing of the belt.
If you have a v-belt, there will be an accessory such as an alternator that has adjustment bolts on it to tighten or loosen the belt.
- Loosen the tension adjustment and mounting bolts.
- Move the pump toward or away from the engine so the belt deflects 1⁄4 – 1⁄2 in. (6–13mm) midway between the idler pulley and the pump pulley under moderate thumb pressure.
- Tighten the bolts and recheck the tension adjustment.
The following describes varioius types of belts and their inspection:
Check the drive belts for glazing, cracks, fraying, wear and tension every 6,000 miles (9,662 km). A glazed belt will be perfectly smooth from slippage, while a good belt will have a slight texture of fabric visible. Cracks will usually start at the inner edge of the belt and run outward. All worn or damaged drive belts should be replaced immediately. It is best to replace all drive belts at one time, as a preventive maintenance measure, during this service operation. It is recommended that the belts be replaced every 24 months or 24,000 miles (38,647 km). Belt deflection at the midpoint of the longest span between pulleys should not be more than 7⁄16
in. (11mm) with 22 lbs. (10 kg) of pressure applied to the belt when engine is cold.
Fig. 1: There are typically 3 types of accessory drive belts found on vehicles today
Fig. 2: An example of a healthy drive belt
Fig. 3: Deep cracks in this belt will cause flex, building up heat that will eventually lead to belt failure
Fig. 4: The cover of this belt is worn, exposing the critical reinforcing cords to excessive wear
Fig. 5: Installing too wide a belt can result in serious belt wear and/or breakage