How to Change the Serpentine Belt in a 2000 Nissan Altima

by Gregory Crews
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timing belt image by Albert Lozano from

The Nissan Altima uses three separate serpentine belts for the major components along the motor. This is useful in case a weak belt breaks. You will still have use of the other components until you can get to a place to replace the broken belt. There are three layers of belts to replace. You will have the air conditioner compressor belt, the alternator and water pump belt and the power steering belt. All these belts work off the constant motion of the crankshaft and supplies power to all the components along the belts paths.

Removing the Belts

Step 1

Open the hood to access the engine compartment. Locate the idler pulley on the top right-hand side of the belt path.

Step 2

Loosen the bolt behind the idler pulley with a socket wrench. The belt will lose it's tension.

Step 3

Slide belt off the power steering pump, crankshaft and idler pulley. Pull the belt out from the engine compartment.

Step 4

Locate the idler pulley underneath the air conditioner compressor. You will need to crawl under the vehicle to locate this pulley.

Step 5

Loosen the bolt behind the the idler pulley with a socket wrench. The tension will loosen as you turn the bolt counter-clockwise. Pull the belt off the pulleys once the tension has been relieved.

Step 6

Locate the tensioner bolt above the alternator. You can access this from under the hood. Loosen with a socket wrench. Remove the belt once the tension has been relieved.

Step 7

Discard of all three belts once they have been removed.

Installing the Belts

Step 1

Place first belt around the alternator, water pump and crankshaft pulleys. Tighten the tensioner bolt until the belt is tight along the pulley. There should be no slack on the belt when you pull it with your hands.

Step 2

Place second belt along the air conditioner compressor, idler pulley and crankshaft pulley. Tighten the tensioner bolt with a socket wrench. Tighten until there is no slack in the belt.

Step 3

Place third belt along the power steering pump, idler pulley and crankshaft. Tighten the tensioner bolt until all the slack is removed from the belt.

Step 4

Start the car to observe the belts. Watch for any loose belts and to ensure all the components are working adequately.

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