Check the condition of the drive belts and check the belt tension at least every 15,000 miles (24,000 km). 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 generally start at the inner edge of the belt and run outward. Replace the belt at the first sign of cracking or if the glazing is severe.
Belt tension does NOT refer to play or droop. By placing your thumb midway between the two pulleys, it should be possible to depress the belt 1 / 41 / 2 inch. (613mm). If any of the belts can be depressed more than this, or cannot be depressed this much, adjust the tension. While this is an inaccurate test, it provides a quick reference. Inadequate tension will always result in slippage or wear, while excessive tension will damage pulley bearings and cause belts to fray and crack. A belt should be just tight enough to perform without slipping or squealing.
It is good practice to replace all drive belts at 60,000 miles (96,000 km) regardless of their condition.
Toyota measures belt tension in pounds of force as determined by a belt tension tester. The Nippondenso and Burroughs testers are available through dealers or may be found at retail auto parts stores. The tester slips over a short section of the drive belt, and, when tightened, reads the deflection pressure on a dial. This is one of the most exact ways of setting tension and purchase of this tool or its equivalent is recommended.
Following are the belt tension specifications for the engines covered by this guide. Specifications for new belts are slightly higher than for used belts. A new belt is one that has NOT been run under tension for more than five minutes. Anything else is considered a used belt5VZ-E Engine
2RZ-FE and 3RZ-FE Engines
Belt tension adjustment is NOT necessary, as an automatic belt tensioner is used to maintain proper belt tension. However, you can check to be sure the tensioner is operating properly as follows.
- Check that the tensioner moves downward when the belt is pressed down at the locations shown in the accompanying figure, with about 22 lbs. (98 N) of force.
- Check the alignment of the belt tensioner pulley to make sure the belt will NOT slip off the pulley. If necessary, replace the belt tensioner.
- Check to be sure the arrow mark on the belt tensioner falls within area "A" of the scale, as shown in the accompanying figure. If the mark falls outside of the area indicated by the "A", you must replace the belt. However, when a new belt is installed, the mark should fall within area "B".
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
Except 2UZ-FE Engine
When buying replacement belts, remember that the fit is critical according to the length of the belt (diameter), the width of the belt, the depth of the belt and the angle or profile of the V shape. The belt shape should exactly match the shape of the pulley; belts that are NOT an exact match can cause noise, slippage and premature failure.
If a belt must be replaced, the driven unit must be loosened and moved to its extreme loosest position, generally by moving it toward the center of the motor. After removing the old belt, check the pulleys for dirt or built-up material that could affect belt contact. Carefully install the new belt, remembering that it is new and unused, so it may appear to be just a little too small to fit over the pulley flanges.
Fit the belt over the largest pulley (usually the crankshaft pulley at the bottom center of the motor) first, and then work on the smaller one(s). Gentle pressure in the direction of rotation is helpful. Some belts run around a third or idler pulley, which acts as an additional pivot in the belt's path. It may be possible to loosen the idler pulley as well as the main component, making your job much easier. Depending on which belt(s) you are changing, it may be necessary to loosen or remove other interfering belts to get at the one(s) you want.
After the new belt is installed, draw tension on it by moving the driven unit away from the motor and tighten its mounting bolts. This is sometimes a three- or four-handed job; you may find an assistant helpful. Make sure that all the bolts you loosened get re-tightened and that any other loosened belts also have the correct tension. A new belt can be expected to stretch a bit after installation so be prepared to re-adjust your new belt, if needed, within the first hundred miles/kilometers of use.
To remove the serpentine belt on the 2UZ-FE engine, position a suitable sized wrench or ratchet and socket over the belt tensioner bolt, rotate the tensioner counterclockwise to release the belt tension, then remove the belt. The pulley bolt for the tensioner has a left-hand thread.
When installing the belt, make sure it fits properly in the ribbed grooves and check to be sure the belt has NOT slipped out of the groove on the bottom of the pulley.