Asked by: Raminta Yatzenko
automotive road side assistance

How do I adjust my drive belt?

Last Updated: 21st March, 2020

23
Insert the pry bar above the alternator pulley. Apply gentle pressure upwards so that it adds tension to the drive belt. Once the drive belt is moved into its desired tension, tighten the adjustment bolt to lock the belt in place. Then, torque the adjustment bolt to the manufacturer's specifications.

Click to see full answer.

In this regard, how tight should my drive belt be?

The required measure of tension in the serpentine belt is that it should not deflect more than ½ inch when twisted either way from the middle. If twisted more, the belt is loose, and if twisted less, the belt is too tight. Either of the positions does not work for the vehicle.

Beside above, can you tighten alternator belt too much? If your belt is too tight, you could shear the bolts of the pulleys, or the belt itself might break off while you are driving. You will need to adjust an alternator belt whenever it has been removed from the car.

Correspondingly, how do you test a drive belt?

Here are tips for inspecting belts:

  1. Look for cracks, fraying, or splits on the top cover.
  2. Look for signs of glazing on the belt's sides. Glazed or slick belts can slip, overheat or crack.
  3. Twist a serpentine belt to look for separating layers, cracks, or missing chunks of the grooves on the underside.

How do I adjust the tension on my alternator belt?

Method 1 Tightening the Drive Belt with the Alternator

  1. Disconnect the battery.
  2. Loosen the bolts attaching the alternator to the bracket.
  3. Use a piece of wood as a pry bar to increase the tension on the belt.
  4. Tighten the alternator bolts in the new location.
  5. Check the belt tension.
  6. Reconnect the battery.

Related Question Answers

Guiying Linnhoff

Professional

How do you check a belt and pulley alignment?

Belt tension on the pulley pulls the shaft off center, which puts that pulley out of alignment with the other pulleys. Pulley alignment can be checked with a straightedge. Place the straightedge across two pulley faces. The straightedge should lie flat across them.

Khadim Alesanco

Professional

What does the idler pulley do?

Idler pulleys are engine pulleys that are responsible for guiding and tensioning the engine drive belts. The engine drive belts are routed in a specific manner around the various engine accessories, such as the alternator, water pump, power steering pump, and AC compressor.

Adilia Krautter

Explainer

How do I know if my serpentine belt is loose?

The symptoms of a loose serpentine belt include a loud squealing noise when the engine is started or when the steering is turned all the way to one side. A serpentine belt that keeps slipping off the pulley is another symptom of a bad tensioner.

Godspower Judochkin

Explainer

How much is a belt tensioner?

The average cost for a drive belt tensioner replacement is between $211 and $239. Labor costs are estimated between $73 and $93 while parts are priced between $138 and $146. Estimate does not include taxes and fees. When would you like to drop off your car?

Iñigo Castañ

Explainer

When should I replace my belt tensioner?

It should be noted that the drive belt itself will most likely need replacing before the tensioner does. Drive belts typically last anywhere between 40,000 and 70,000 miles. There aren't a lot of warning signs that a drive belt tensioner has hit the end of its lifespan, in fact there is really only one.

Ezzahraa Mombiela

Pundit

How do you tighten a pulley?

Turn the adjustment bolt on the side, top or bottom of the pulley counterclockwise with the ratchet and socket until the accessory belt is loose enough to remove. Tighten the tensioner pulley by turning the adjustment bolt clockwise with the ratchet and socket until the belt is tight.

Ederson Morde

Pundit

How does a belt tensioner work?

The pulley is what facilitates movement of the belt. The tensioner arm is found on the bottom of the tensioner, and if you press on it, it will work against the spring, delivering enough slack so that you can adjust or remove the belt.

Deja Makhortov

Pundit

What are the 3 belts in a car?

Here's a brief discussion of the standard belts in a car and how they work.
  • Timing Belts. Car engine with timing belt. Also known as a Gilmer belt and camshaft drive belt, the job of a timing belt is to help crankshaft turning the camshaft.
  • V-belts. V-belt.
  • Serpentine Belts. A serpentine belt.

Jagdeep De Guerra

Pundit

What is the life of a serpentine belt?

60,000 to 100,000 miles

Xabier Soroeta

Teacher

How do you know when a belt is bad?

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Serpentine/Drive Belt
  1. Squealing noise from the front of the vehicle. If you notice a squealing noise coming from the front of your vehicle, it could be from the serpentine belt.
  2. Power steering and AC not working. If the serpentine belt completely fails and breaks, then your car will break down.
  3. Engine overheating.
  4. Cracks and wear on the belt.

Malinka Aramburu

Teacher

Is a drive belt the same as a timing belt?

A drive belt (also can be called accessory drive belt, serpentine belt, alternator belt, or fan belt) is a rubber belt that powers the engines accessories. The timing belt drives the cam shafts of the engine and thus, the valves and timing of the engine. Some cars use a timing chain instead of a timing belt.

Atif Weissgerber

Teacher

Is a serpentine belt the same as a timing belt?

A serpentine belt does more work than a timing belt. Timing belts synchronize the movement of the crankshaft and the camshaft while the serpentine belt transmits mechanical power which drives the air conditioner, water pump, alternator, etc. A timing belt needs more work to be replaced because it is covered.

Tibor Widemann

Teacher

What does a loose belt in a car sound like?

A loose drive belt will often be noisy, squeaking a bit, or emitting a high-pitched squeal. The most obvious sign of a loose drive belt, though, is in its appearance and tension. A loose belt, simply stated, looks and feels loose. They are the v-belt and serpentine belt.

Nikolas Abaidulin

Reviewer

Why does my car squeal on cold start?

The sound of a squeaking belt in a car's engine can be caused by weather conditions, leaking fluids, maintenance issues or wear and tear. The magnitude of sound can range from a soft squeak to a loud and noisy squeal and it may occur while starting a cold engine or during normal vehicle operation.

Sobia Luddeckens

Reviewer

Can a loose belt cause alternator not to charge?

While it is the work of the battery to power the electrical components in the car it cannot do this alone. Loose serpentine belts, worn out bearings and faulty diodes can all contribute to your alternator not functioning as it should.