How to Change the Alternator Belt on a 1997 Dodge Avenger

by Jeffrey Caldwell

The alternator belt on your 1997 Dodge Avenger connects the alternator to the crankshaft as well as other engine accessories. The belt provides mechanical power to the alternator. A maintenance schedule for when to replace the alternator belt is listed in the owner's manual, and the belt should be replaced regularly. Failure to do so could damage the engine or leave you stranded.

Removing the Old Alternator Belt

Step 1

Note the routing of the old belt by drawing a picture of it with a pencil and paper. You must route the new belt in the same way.

Step 2

Loosen, but do not remove, the top alternator using a wrench. This bolt will be located near the timing cover.

Step 3

Raise the front of the vehicle using an automotive jack. Support it with jack stands placed underneath the front sub-frame.

Step 4

Unscrew the lug nuts on the passenger side front wheel with a lug wrench. Lift the wheel off the hub and move it out of the way.

Step 5

Loosen, but do not remove, the bolt on the bottom of the alternator using a socket. This bolt will be accessible from underneath the vehicle.

Locate the tensioning bolt on the upper alternator bracket. Loosen the tensioning bolt by turning it counterclockwise with a socket. Loosen the bolt until you can pull the drive belt off the alternator pulley. Pull the belt off the pulleys and remove it from the vehicle.

Installing the New Alternator Belt

Step 1

Route the new belt over the engine pulleys. Be sure the new belt follows the same route as the old one. Refer to your sketch if necessary.

Step 2

Tighten the drive belt by rotating the tensioning bolt with a socket.

Step 3

Lay a straight edge or ruler on two of the pulleys at the longest run of the belt. Press down on the belt with your hand.

Step 4

Measure how far you are able to push on the belt. It should be between 1/2 to 1/4 of an inch. Adjust the tensioning belt if necessary.

Step 5

Tighten the upper and lower mounting bolts using the socket.

Step 6

Lift the passenger side front wheel onto the hub and screw on the lug nuts with the lug wrench.

Step 7

Lower the vehicle.

Retighten the lug nuts with the lug wrench.


  • Keep an extra drive belt in your trunk; that way, if your belt breaks, you won't be stranded.

Items you will need

  • Wrench set
  • Automotive jack
  • Jack stands
  • Lug wrench
  • Socket set

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