The belts, which drive the engine accessories such as the alternator, the air pump, power steering pump, air conditioning compressor and water pump, are of serpentine belt design. Older style belts show wear and damage readily, since their basic design was a belt with a rubber casing. As the casing wore, cracks and fibers were readily apparent. Newer design, caseless belts do not show wear as readily, and many untrained people cannot distinguish between a good, serviceable belt and one that is worn to the point of failure. It is a good idea, therefore, to visually inspect the belt regularly and replace it, routinely, every two to three years.
A single belt is used to drive all of the engine accessories formerly driven by multiple drive belts. The single belt is referred to a serpentine belt. All the belt driven accessories are rigidly mounted with belt tension maintained by a spring-loaded tensioner. Because of the belt tensioner, no adjustment is necessary.
Removal & Installation
See Figures 1 through 6
- Many applications will have a belt shield for protection. This will have to be removed first to access the serpentine belt.
- To remove the drive belt on a 3.1 L, or a 3.4L engine, use a 3 / 8 in. ratchet or breaker bar to unload the tensioner and remove the belt. On the 3.8L engine use an 18mm wrench is used to unload the tension.
- Installation is the reverse of removal. Be sure to install the belt using the proper routing.