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How to Change a Serpentine Belt on a 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix

by Tim Petruccio

Replacing the serpentine belt on a 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix ensures that the major components of the engine continue to turn in synchronization. The serpentine belt of the Grand Prix encompasses many vital components of the engine, such as the alternator, power steering pump and water pump. The 2001 Grand Prix has a 3.1-liter, 3.8-liter, or 3.8-liter supercharged V6, depending on the sub-model. Replacing the serpentine belt on each of these engines is a nearly identical process. The parts and tools for this job are available at an auto parts store.

Remove the tension from the tensioner pulley on the passenger side of the engine by pushing downward on a belt removal tool attached to the tensioner pulley. Ideally, the belt removal tool is better to use, as there is a very limited amount of space between the pulleys on this engine and the inner side of the fender wall.

Remove the serpentine belt completely from the vehicle.

Install the new serpentine belt using the "Belt Routing Diagram" located on a sticker above the radiator. This is the only part where the project will differ, based on which engine size you have.

Depress the tensioner pulley again to complete the serpentine belt installation.

Visually examine the serpentine belt on every pulley of the engine. You want the serpentine belt to be sitting dead center on each pulley. Use a drop light or flash light to check the bottommost pulleys on the engine.

Tips

  • Change your serpentine belt every 36,000 to 50,000 miles to ensure that you are using a good belt. Worn or bad belts can slip, causing severe damage to the engine in your Grand Prix.
  • A bad serpentine belt will show cracks. If there is more than one crack per inch on the belt, the serpentine belt is considered bad. Check for these cracks by inspecting the belt with a flashlight about once every six months.

Warning

  • Never stick your fingers or any body part between the belt tensioner and the belt. The tensioner is rated at over 95 pounds per square inch of force. Failure to adhere to this warning can cause injury or loss of limb.

Items you will need

About the Author

Tim Petruccio is a professional writer and automotive mechanic. His writing combines more than 20 years of mechanical experience in automotive service, service management, automotive education and business ownership. He assisted in the automotive beta, which launched March 2011.

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