Fig. Fig. 1 There are typically 3 types of accessory drive belts found on vehicles today
Fig. Fig. 2 An example of a healthy drive belt
Fig. Fig. 3 Deep cracks in this belt will cause flex, building up heat that will eventually lead to belt failure
Fig. Fig. 4 The cover of this belt is worn, exposing the critical reinforcing cords to excessive wear
Fig. Fig. 5 Installing too wide a belt can result in serious belt wear and/or breakage
Inspect the belts for signs of glazing or cracking. 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. After checking drive belt condition, test belt tension at the midpoint of each belt. No belt should deflect more than
in. Adjust any belt on which deflection is greater than
BELT ADJUSTMENT & REPLACEMENT
Fig. Fig. 6 Measurement points for deflection on the engine accessory drive belts
Fig. Fig. 7 To adjust the tension of, or to replace a belt, loosen the accessory's mounting bolts ...
Fig. Fig. 8 ... then, if replacing, push the accessory towards the engine and remove the belt
Fig. Fig. 9 Some accessories have a 1/2 inch square hole for a ratchet or breaker bar ...
Fig. Fig. 10 ... which allow you to tension the belt without prying on the accessory
Fig. Fig. 11 After the proper tension is achieved, tighten the adjusting bolts
Loosen all retaining nuts on the accessory bracket.
When replacing a belt, pry the accessory toward the engine and slip the belt from the pulleys.
Carefully pry the accessory out with a bar, such as a ratchet handle or broom handle, and then tighten the bracket nuts.
Do not exert too much pressure on accessories such as the alternator; it's easy to damage an aluminum housing. Use just enough force to hold the accessory in place while you tighten the bracket nuts.
Recheck the tension. It may be necessary to do this a few times before you get it right.
It's a good idea to carry spare belts in the trunk.