How To: Replace Serpentine Belt
You should inspect your serpentine belt between 75,000 miles and 100,000 miles for any cracking or wear. If you haven't checked your belt in a while and you start to smell burning rubber, stop the car immediately and check your belt. A few signs that your belt has broken are: your power steering goes out, your battery light comes on or your temperature gauge starts going up. In this case, pull over immediately. Either tow your vehicle or drive carefully to a place you can replace the belt, pulling over every so often as soon as the temp gauge starts going past the center hash mark.
Materials: jack, tire iron, 19mm or 3/4in socket, new serpentine belt, flashlight (optional). Not pictured- adjustable wrench/pliers, flathead screwdriver/paint can opener, and DON'T FORGET A FRIEND. It could be anyone, as long as they can reach over the engine bay.
First, find level ground to jack your car up on. Every tc should come with a jack underneath the trunk mat and you should find an arrow below your passenger door that tells you where to place the jack. The jack also has a picture of where it needs to go.
After you remove the front passenger side wheel, it should look something like this. You now need to remove this plastic covering. Using your adjustable wrench or pliers, twist off these little screws I'm pointing at. To the right and left of these screws will be clips.
*NOTE: My fender liners were recently ripped off in an accident so you might have to navigate around your fender liner.
I was able to pop the clip on the right out pretty easily, but i had to use a paint can opener to pop the clip to the left out. You can use a flathead as well.
It should look something like this after you remove the plastic covering, depending on if your belt is on or not. In my case it was not on because it broke.
Pop your hood and peek down the left side of the engine to locate the serpentine belt. Here is the belt diagram. Ignore the black Special Service Tool label. This is the order in which I wrapped my belt. It's pretty simple to figure out from the diagram how the belt wraps around the pulleys, just remove number 6 last if you're installing the new belt and first if you're removing the old belt. Whether you're removing your old belt or installing the new one, you need to find the belt tensioner bolt. It's a pretty noticeable bolt, just shine a flashlight through there if you can't find it. Place your 19mm or 3/4in socket wrench around the tensioner bolt and stick the smallest fitment on your tire iron around the end of your wrench like an extention for the best leverage.
Find this little hydrolic by sticking your head underneath the wheel well.
Here it is up close. When the belt is off, you will see the chrome piston sticking out of the hydrolic. When you have your friend turn the tensioner bolt clockwise, the hydrolic looks like this and pulley number 6 moves in the direction I have illustrated in the diagram. Now you're ready to remove/install your belt.
After you've successfully wrapped the new belt around the pulleys, inspect it very closely with a flashlight! Look at the diagram one last time to make sure you wrapped it correctly. Start your engine to check your work, then replace the plastic covering, your wheel, and your finished!
*If your old belt broke while the car was running, check your coolant reservoir and fill if necessary.
I spy a new oil pan...great write up though, may come in handy for me later
Sorry to bring this topic up from the dead. I just installed a bando 7PK1920 belt on my 08 Scion TC (not supercharged) and installed is not completely accurate. I cannot get this belt on for the life of me. I verified and reverified the placement of the belt and I know I have that down 100%. I also was able to fully depress the belt tensioner and I'm about a cm away from sliding the belt on #6 on the diagram. I have tried to slide it around the alternator and no luck either. I have had help also. I do not know what else to do and am extremely frustrated. Took an hour to get the old one off and the new one and 5 hours trying to force the new one on completely. Ridiculous. I have quite a bit of car experience and this isnt my first rodeo.
I'm not sure if this is possible and before I do anything drastic to my car (like drop the engine) but after 3 hrs of trying to place on the new belt in my 09 I snapped the tensioner bolt off depressing it too much. I have purchased a replacement part but while trying to pull the broken part off but the bolt is too long horizontally to pull out without dropping the engine. Please help! or is there another option to release the tension besides the bolt?
so if anyone can confirm, the tensioner bolt is the one at the end of the piston?
Rockauto lists 7PK1940; it's about 20mm longer... so maybe it's just too short.
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