How to Change a Serpentine Belt on Hyundai Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Changing the serpentine belt on your Hyundai car is an important part of maintaining the engine. If the belts become damaged or worn, it can fail or break while you are driving the car. Since the belt turns the alternator, water pump and power steering in your car, failure of the belt can cause the engine to overheat, be hard to steer and allow the battery to discharge very rapidly. Inspect the belt often. Every time you change the oil you should check it.

Under The Hood:

 How to Change a Serpentine Belt on a Hyundai

Locate the tensioner pulley on the front of your engine. The tensioner looks like the other pulleys but is mounted on a spring loaded arm.

Place a socket and ratchet on the bolt in the center of the tensioner pulley and move the ratchet counterclockwise to relieve the tension on the belt. Slide the old belt off the pulleys and slowly let the tension back on the tensioner.

Position a new belt on the pulleys making sure that you follow the same path with the new belt that the old one followed. If the serpentine belt gets reversed on the pulleys, the accessories will spin the wrong direction and can be damaged.

Move the ratchet on the belt tensioner counterclockwise again and slide the belt onto the tensioner. Slowly move the ratchet clockwise to release the tensioner and tighten the belt.

Start the engine and watch the belt. Visually verify that the belt is running true across all the pulleys.

Items you will need

  • Socket set w/ratchet

 How to Replace the Serpentine Belt on a 2001 Hyundai Santa Fe

Open the hood of your Santa Fe and locate the negative battery cable at the battery. Loosen the retaining bolt that secures the cable end to the battery terminal using a wrench, and then remove the battery cable from the terminal.

Position yourself in front of the truck and look at the front of the engine just behind the radiator, in the center of the engine. The serpentine-belt tensioner sits on the engine just below the power-steering pump.

Place a socket and breaker bar on the bolt in the center of the idler pulley on the belt tensioner. Rotate the tensioner clockwise, releasing the tension from the belt. Remove the belt and discard it, then rotate the tensioner counterclockwise to the free arm position.

Install a new belt over the pulleys on the front of the engine, leaving it off the tensioner for now. Rotate the tensioner clockwise, then slide the belt onto the idler pulley on the tensioner and rotate the tensioner counterclockwise, allowing the tensioner to tighten the belt.

Remove the socket and breaker bar from the tensioner, then move back to the battery. Install the negative battery cable onto the negative terminal and tighten the retaining bolt with a wrench. Close the hood.

Items you will need

  • Wrench set

  • Socket set

  • Breaker bar

 How to Replace a Serpentine Belt on a 2004 Hyundai

Removing Old Belt

Remove the engine cover using a socket wrench and then set aside. Make note of the belt routing. Check for a belt diagram routing sticker within the engine compartment or the owner's manual. If no diagram exists, draw your own detailed diagram before you remove the belt.

Insert the serpentine belt tool into the square hole of the tensioner pulley. Standing in front of the engine compartment, grab the handle of the tool and push or pull as required, releasing tension from the tensioner pulley. While holding the tension off the belt, grasp the serpentine belt and remove it from one pulley. Then release the tension from the tensioner pulley.

Grab the loose serpentine belt from around other pulleys and remove it from engine compartment.

Installing New Belt

Compare the new belt length against the old belt. The new belt should not be longer. It may be slightly shorter as the old belt has stretched over time.

Install the new belt following belt diagram. Starting with the lowest pulley, route the belt up and around the pulleys until the belt slack is gone. Grab the serpentine belt tool and push or pull as required to release tension from the tensioner pulley. Then finish routing the belt around the remaining pulleys.

Check for proper installation of the serpentine belt. Verify the routing of the belt against the routing diagram. Remove the serpentine belt tool. Verify the belt lays centered on each pulley. Check for belt tension by grabbing and pulling on the belt between two pulleys.

Perform operational test. Reinstall the engine cover and start the engine. Listen for abnormal sounds or vibrations.

Items you will need

  • Serpentine Belt Tool: #OEM27115

  • Socket wrench set

 How to Replace the Serpentine Belt in a Hyundai Sonata

Find the tensioner. The serpentine belt tensioner is what holds the belt in place with the correct tension: it is held to the engine by two bolts. Some describe the Hyundai Sonata tensioner pulley as attached to a teardrop shape, with the bolts holding the structure to the engine.

Remove the two bolts near the tensioner with your wrench (bolt size may vary by model). Take off the tensioner and the belt.

Use a belt routing diagram or your own sketches to replace the serpentine belt. This is helpful for some models: from the power steering pump, the belt goes to the left of the idler pulley, then over and around the right side of the air conditioner compressor pulley, around the left side of the crank pulley, to the right of the tensioner pulley, and down to the alternator.

Replace the tensioner and the new belt together. Mechanics recommend seating the belt on the tensioner before replacing the tensioner onto the engine rather than trying to pry the belt over the pulley.

Tighten the two lock bolts that hold the tensioner.

Check to see that the belt is seated correctly on all of the pulleys. Run the engine and observe to check for proper installation.

Items you will need

  • Replacement belt

  • Wrench Set (with variable wrench sizes for different models)

About the Author

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