Question about 2006 Toyota Matrix
I own a 2006 Corolla and can give the following advice. Begin by purchasing a quality replacement belt. I highly recommend the Goodyear Gatorback serpentine belt due to it's quality and unique ribbing designed to eliminate the high pitched chirps and squeals which commonly occur with the original equipment belt on these cars. You will need a 3/8 breaker bar with a 19mm socket and a piece of pipe at least 18" long to slip over the end of the breaker bar to provide additional leverage. This will be used to remove the tension on the belt for removal and installation. You'll also need a metric socket set to aid in removal of the plastic cover that sits on top of the engine. Start the process by removing the plastic cover using a ratchet and 10mm socket on the two acorn head nuts near the front of the cover. Then remove the two plastic push-in fasteners at the rear of the cover by gently prying in an upward direction. Removal of this cover gives more room to help you work the new belt around the pulleys. Make a diagram of the pulleys and belt routing as a reference to help you when installing the new belt. Find the belt tensioner (it looks like an arm with a small piston-like device attached to one end and a smooth faced pulley on the other end.) You will see what looks like two hex shaped bolt heads cast into the metal of the tensioner arm. Place the breaker bar with 19mm socket onto the upper hex casting so that the breaker bar handle points straight up. Slip the pipe over the handle of the breaker bar and pull toward the front of the car. This will relieve the tension and allow you to remove the belt from the alternator pulley. Once the belt is free set the breaker bar aside and work the belt off all the pulleys. Installing the new belt can be a little challenging and will be extremely difficult if you start in the wrong place. Although the new belt goes over the alternator pulley last, it is in fact where you should begin the installation. You'll notice that the top path of the belt goes from a large pulley at the rear of the engine straight to the alternator pulley at the front of the engine. What you want to do is put the belt on the alternator pulley and then begin routing the lower path of the belt around all the pulleys and the pulley on the tensioner arm until it is around everything except the large pulley at the rear of the engine. Then take a piece of stiff wire and bend it into a hook on both ends so that you can gently remove the belt from the alternator pulley and use the wire hook to hold it in line with the other pulleys while allowing enough slack to work it over the last large pulley in the back. I hook mine to a convenient hose located in line with the pulleys just below the alternator. I found that the extension pipe was handy to help nudge the belt onto the lower ribbed pulleys because I couldn't get my hand into the narrow space. Once you have the belt routed and properly positioned on all the pulleys use the breaker bar and extension pipe to again relieve the tension allowing you to slip the last loop of the belt over the alternator pulley. Take a flashlight and carefully examine the belt routing to make sure it is properly positioned on all the pulleys, especially the ribbed ones. Improper installation will cause the belt to jump off and/or damage itself. Once you are satisfied with the belt installation you can replace the plastic cover on the engine. Start the engine as a final check that everything is working properly and enjoy your new quiet belt. This looks like a complicated procedure but will take less than one hour and those that are mechanically inclined should be able to get it done in 30 minutes or less. Hope this helps you.
Posted on Sep 20, 2009
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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