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How to Change the Belt Tensioner on a Dodge Caravan

by Carl Pruit

The belt tensioner of the Dodge Caravan can wear out occasionally from usage and prevent the parts that are operated by the serpentine belt from working properly. The serpentine belt runs the Dodge Caravans' alternator, power steering and other systems, requiring that the belt tensioner keep the proper tension on the belt. The belt tensioner is attached to the engine with a bolt and can be changed in less than an hour.

Locate the Dodge Caravan belt tensioner on the passenger side of the engine compartment just below the alternator and place a socket wrench over the bolt in the center of the tensioner pulley. Turn the socket wrench clockwise to relieve the tension and remove the serpentine belt from the pulleys.

Turn the socket wrench counterclockwise to loosen the bolt holding the belt tensioner on the engine and remove the belt tensioner assembly from the engine compartment.

Attach the new belt tensioner assembly to the engine with the bolt and tighten the bolt with the socket wrench.

Thread the serpentine belt of the Dodge Caravan around the pulleys the same way it came off and move the socket wrench clockwise on the belt tensioner bolt to fit the belt around the tensioner.

Place the serpentine belt around the tensioner pulley and let the tensioner move back into position to tighten the belt.

Tip

  • Make a note of how the serpentine belt winds around the pulleys before taking it off to make it quicker to reattach.

Warning

  • To prevent burns, let the Dodge Caravan motor cool down before attempting to change the belt tensioner.

Items you will need

About the Author

Carl Pruit has been a freelance writer since 2005, specializing in service journalism and travel. His work has appeared on various websites. Born and raised in California, Pruit attended Contra Costa Community College in San Pablo, Calif. and received an associate degree in the administration of justice.

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