Periodic drive belt tensioning is not necessary, because an automatic spring-loaded tensioner is used with these belts to maintain proper adjustment at all times.
Drive Belt Routings
Although many manufacturers recommend that the drive belt(s) be inspected every 30,000 miles (48,000 km) or more, it is really a good idea to check them at least once a year, or at every major fluid change. Whichever interval you choose, the belts should be checked for wear or damage. Obviously, a damaged drive belt can cause problems should it give way while the vehicle is in operation. But, improper length belts (too short or long), as well as excessively worn belts, can also cause problems. Loose accessory drive belts can lead to poor engine cooling and diminished output from the alternator, air conditioning compressor or power steering pump. A belt that is too tight places a severe strain on the driven unit and can wear out bearings quickly.
Serpentine drive belts should be inspected for rib chunking (pieces of the ribs breaking off), severe glazing, frayed cords or other visible damage. Any belt which is missing sections of 2 or more adjacent ribs which are
in. (13mm) or longer must be replaced. You might want to note that serpentine belts do tend to form small cracks across the backing. If the only wear you find is in the form of one or more cracks are across the backing and NOT parallel to the ribs, the belt is still good and does not need to be replaced.
Removal & Installation
3.7L & 4.7L Engines
- Disconnect the negative battery cable.
- Rotate the belt tensioner until it contacts the stop.
- Remove the accessory drive belt, then slowly rotate the tensioner into the freearm position.
- Check the condition of all the pulleys.
- Install the accessory drive belt. Route the belt around all the pulleys except the idler pulley.
- Rotate the tensioner arm until it contacts the stop position.
- Route the belt around the idler and slowly let the tensioner rotate into the belt.
- Ensure the belt is seated properly onto all of the pulleys.
- Remove the air intake assembly.
- Release the belt tension by rotating the tensioner counterclockwise with a 15mm wrench on the tensioner pulley bolt. Rotate the tensioner far enough until the belt can be removed.
- Remove the belt and slowly release the tensioner.
- Position the belt over all of the pulleys except for the water pump pulley.
- Rotate the tensioner counterclockwise and install the belt over the water pump pulley.
- Gently release the tensioner.
- Install the air intake assembly.
- Ensure the belt is seated properly on all of the pulleys.