How to Change the Alternator Belt on Cars

by Contributing Writer

The alternator belt on the Mitsubishi car model cars is called a serpentine belt. The serpentine belt on the Mitsubishi car not only controls the alternator but it also controls the other engine accessories as well. The crankshaft turns this serpentine belt around each of the accessory pulleys so that each one can function. The serpentine belt is held onto the accessory pulleys by an adjustable tensioner. If the serpentine belt is damaged or starts to crack, it must be replaced or it can and will break.

Under The Hood:

 How to Change the Alternator Belt on a 1997 Dodge Avenger

Removing the Old Alternator Belt

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

Tighten the upper and lower mounting bolts using the socket.

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

Lower the vehicle.

Retighten the lug nuts with the lug wrench.

Items you will need

  • Wrench set

  • Automotive jack

  • Jack stands

  • Lug wrench

  • Socket set

 How to Replace the Alternator Belt on a Stratus 2000

Drive the 2000 Dodge Stratus to a safe working location and open the hood.

Locate the small diagram that gives the routing instructions for the new serpentine belt. The diagram on 2000 Dodge Stratus model cars is stamped either on top of the fan shroud or on the underside of the hood.

Inspect the front of the engine and locate the automatic tensioner. This is the component that keeps the tension on the serpentine belt at all times. The automatic tensioner on the 2000 Stratus is below the alternator.

Pivot the automatic tensioner counterclockwise by putting a metric socket onto the bolt head in the center of the tensioner pulley and using the breaker bar to turn the tensioner counterclockwise.

Remove the belt out from around the automatic tensioner pulley with your hand, then slowly let the tensioner come back until it stops.

Pull the serpentine belt out of each accessory pulley, then pull the belt out of the engine bay.

Lower the new belt down into the engine bay. Route the new belt into each pulley by following the routing instructions on the diagram.

Pivot the automatic tensioner pulley counterclockwise with the breaker bar again. Then slide the new belt around the automatic tensioner pulley. Slowly let the automatic tensioner come back until it stops. The tensioner will tighten the belt to the proper tension. Remove the breaker bar and socket from the tensioner.

Look over the new belt to make sure that it is properly seated in the pulleys and that the belt has been routed exactly as the diagram has instructed.

Crank the 2000 Dodge Stratus and let the motor run for around fifteen seconds to completely seat the new belt inside each pulley. Turn the engine off and close the hood.

Items you will need

  • 3/8-inch drive breaker bar

  • Metric socket kit

  • Replacement belt

 How to Replace the Alternator Belt on a Dodge Neon

Place chocks behind the back wheels and engage the emergency brake. Remove the key from the engine. Raise the passenger side wheel off the ground with a jack. Place a jack stand under the pinch-weld points under the passenger door near the wheel well.

Release tension on the serpentine belt. The belts are stacked one on top of the other, with the serpentine belt on the outside. The belt must be removed to take off the alternator belt or the V-belt. You will notice a lip or notch on the top side of the tension pulley that is located top dead center of the passenger side of the engine block. Using the pry bar as a lever, push the tension pulley toward the back of the engine compartment and slide the serpentine belt free.

Remove the serpentine belt. Once free of the tension pulley, lower the serpentine belt to free it from the different pulleys. You may have to reach into the compartment to fully release the belt.

Loosen the three bolts holding the alternator to the engine. The three bolts are readily visible from beneath the engine on the back of the engine block. Loosen but do not remove the bolts unless replacing the alternator.

Loosen the tightening bolt located on top of the alternator, using a regular wrench due to limited space. This is a nut and bolt combination to keep the alternator in place. Loosen the nut substantially and then start loosening the bolt. You will see the alternator drop a little. Once all the bolts are loose, rock the alternator in place until the belt is slack and you are able to pull the belt over and off the other components.

Install the new V-belt. Route the belt over the crankshaft pulley (the large center pulley). The pulley has two spots for belts. The V-belt goes on the side closest to the engine. Route the belt over the adjusting lower pulley and the alternator.

Slide the alternator back into place, making sure the belt is sufficiently tight. You should have no more than a half-inch of play when wiggling the belt. Tighten the tightening bolt first and then lock it in place with the associated nut. Tighten the remaining bolts properly.

Reinstall the serpentine belt. Route the belt over the crankshaft pulley first and then the water and AC pumps. Using the pry bar, slide the tension pulley towards the rear of the engine and move the serpentine belt into place.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Jack stand

  • Wheel chocks

  • Pry bar

  • Socket wrench

  • Wrench

 How to Change the Alternator Belt on a Mitsubishi Lancer

Locate the two belts on the left side (passenger side) of your Mitsubishi Lancer. The outer belt is a serpentine belt, operating four pulleys and the inner belt is your alternator belt.

Follow the serpentine (outer) belt to the three pulleys lined up vertically near the front of the engine compartment. Locate the middle pulley, which is the tension pulley for the belt.

Loosen the bolt on the middle pulley with a socket wrench by turning counter-clockwise. Do not remove the bolt, just turn it a couple of times. Loosen the tensioner bolt on the side of the of the pulley, facing the front of the vehicle.

Remove the serpentine belt and then loosen the bolt on the alternator. With the alternator loose, move it forward so that the alternator belt loosens up and then remove belt from the pulleys.

Install the new alternator belt by placing it over both inside pulleys. Tighten the tension on the alternator belt by moving the alternator back and keeping tension on it by holding it back with a long screwdriver. While the alternator belt is tight, use a socket wrench to tighten up the bolt on the alternator.

Place the serpentine belt back on the pulleys and then use a socket wrench on the bolt on the front of the tension pulley. Once the serpentine belt is tight, tighten up the bolt in the middle of the tension pulley.

Start the Mitsubishi Lancer's engine to test the alternator belt and make sure it is working properly. Once you have verified it is working, turn the engine off.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench set

  • Long screwdriver

  • Alternator belt for your year and model of Mitsubishi Lancer

 How to Replace the Alternator Belt on a Lancer

Open the hood on the Mitsubishi Lancer and secure it in place.

Inspect the top of the fan shroud for the serpentine belt routing diagram. If the diagram is not posted on top of the fan shroud, look on the hood locking latch and on the underside of the hood.

Inspect the front of the engine and locate the tensioning component that keeps the serpentine belt tight. The tensioning component on the Mitsubishi Lancer is a pulley with an adjustable bolt in its end. Use the adjustable bolt to release the tension from the belt.

Loosen the locking bolt that is in the middle of the tensioning pulley with the 1/2-inch drive ratchet and a socket. Turn the bolt counterclockwise to loosen it.

Move the ratchet and socket to the side of the pulley where the adjustment bolt is and turn the adjustment bolt counterclockwise to release the tension off the serpentine belt. Once the belt is loose enough, slide the belt out from around the tensioning pulley.

Pull the belt off the remaining pulleys and out of the engine bay. Route the new belt around the crankshaft pulley.

Route the new belt around the remaining accessory pulleys by following the directions on the serpenting belt routing diagram. Leave the tensioning pulley for last.

Pull the new belt around the tensioning pulley. Turn the adjustment bolt on the side of the tensioner clockwise with the ratchet and socket to tighten the belt. To check the tension of the new belt, push down on the belt with your hand. A properly tensioned new serpentine belt will have no more than one-half inch of slack in it.

Tighten the locking bolt in the middle of the tensioning pulley with the ratchet and socket. Inspect the new belt to ensure that it is properly routed.

Crank the Mitsubishi Lancer and let the motor run for about one minute. Inspect the new belt while the motor is running to make sure that the belt does not come off the pulleys. Turn the engine off.

Items you will need

  • 1/2-inch drive ratchet

  • 1/2-inch drive socket set

 How to Replace the Alternator Belt on a 2001 Nissan Sentra

Pull the hood open on the 2001 Nissan Sentra and secure it in place.

Inspect the front of the engine and locate the alternator. The belt that is routed around the alternator pulley is also routed around the crankshaft. The alternator also has an adjustment bracket. Loosen the lock bolt on the front of the adjustment bracket with the 1/2-inch drive ratchet and a metric socket.

Turn the bolt head at the end of the alternator adjustment bracket counterclockwise with the ratchet and the metric socket until the alternator belt is loose enough to remove from both the alternator pulley and the crankshaft pulley. Pull the belt off and remove it from the engine compartment.

Route the new alternator belt around the crankshaft pulley and then the alternator pulley. Turn the alternator adjustment bolt clockwise with the ratchet and socket to tighten the belt. A properly tensioned alternator belt on the 2001 Nissan Sentra will have no more than a half-inch of slack. Check the tension by pushing down on the belt with your hand.

Tighten the locking bolt on the alternator bracket down tight with the ratchet and socket. Crank the engine and watch the belt to be sure that it will remain inside of each pulley. Turn the engine off and close the hood.

Items you will need

  • 1/2-inch drive ratchet

  • 1/2-inch drive extension

  • Metric socket set

  • New alternator belt

 How to Replace an Alternator Belt on a Toyota Celica

Open the hood on the Toyota Celica and secure it in place.

Locate the alternator on the front, driver side of the engine. Loosen the top pivot bolt on the top of the alternator bracket with the 1/2-inch drive ratchet and a socket.

Locate the lock nut on the adjustment bracket below the alternator pulley. Loosen the lock nut with the ratchet and a socket.

Locate the adjustment bolt on the end of the adjustment bracket. Loosen the adjustment bolt counterclockwise until the belt is loose.

Pull the belt out of the alternator pulley and the crankshaft pulley. Then, route the belt around the blades on the fan and out of the engine area.

Route the replacement belt around the fan blades and into the crankshaft pulley and the alternator pulley.

Turn the adjustment bolt clockwise until the replacement belt is properly tight. To check the tightness of the belt, press down on the belt with the palm of your hand. If the belt has over 1/2-inch of slack in it, it will need to be tightened more. A properly tightened drive belt should have no more than 1/2-inch of slack.

Tighten the lock nut tight on the front of the adjustment bracket with the ratchet and socket.

Tighten the top alternator bracket pivot bolt tight with the ratchet and socket.

Crank the Toyota Celica and let the engine run for 30 seconds. Shut the engine off and recheck the tension of the belt. Close the hood.

Items you will need

  • 1/2-inch drive ratchet

  • 1/2-inch drive sockets

  • Replacement belt

 How to Replace the Alternator Belt on a Ford Festiva

Pop the hood. Locate the bolts holding the alternator to the engine block. Loosen the bolts, using an open-end wrench and the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket.

Use your hand to push the alternator towards the center of the engine bay until the belt gets loose. Pull the belt off the alternator pulley, then pull it off the central pulley and away from the vehicle.

Install the replacement belt on the central pulley and the alternator pulley. Pull the alternator away from the center of the engine and tighten the alternator mounting bolts, using the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket and an open-end wrench.

Push down in the center of the belt between the alternator pulley and the central pulley. If the belt deflects more than 1/2-inch, then pull loosen the mounting bolts again and pull the alternator further away from the center point to tighten the belt up further.

Items you will need

  • Open-end wrench set

  • 3/8-inch ratchet and socket set

  • Replacement alternator belt

 How to Replace the Alternator Belt in a Ford Crown Victoria

Loosen the adjusting bolt on the top front of the alternator if it is a singular belt system. Push the alternator in toward the engine to loosen the belt. If the single belt system has the air conditioning or power steering system belt in front of it, remove these also. If it is a serpentine belt system, insert a ratchet in the tensioner pulley arm or use a wrench and apply force against the spring to move the tensioner away from the belt. This will loosen the belt.

Remove the belt. If it is a serpentine belt, just before removing it, look for a routing diagram. The diagrams can be found on the radiator or on the engine near the belt. The routing differs for different years. If there is no diagram, memorize the routing of the belt or draw yourself a diagram.

Install the new belt. On a single belt system, tighten the belt to where there is only a half-inch deflection and tighten the top bolt in the alternator. If it is a serpentine, install the belt as per the routing diagram. Leave the idler pulley until last---you won't be able to get the belt over this last pulley. This is the pulley that is attached to the front of the engine, does not turn anything and is stationary. Apply pressure to move the belt tensioner away from the belt and while holding pressure on the tensioner, slide the belt under the idler pulley. Take the tension off of the tensioner pulley and allow it to operate.

Items you will need

  • Set of 3/8-inch sockets

  • 3/8-inch ratchet

  • Set of wrenches

 How to Replace the Alternator Belt on a 1999 Mazda Protege

Raise the hood and locate the alternator on the front, right-hand side of the engine. The alternator belt is tensioned inside of the alternator pulley and the crankshaft pulley by an adjustment bracket pulley that is located on the left-hand side of the alternator.

Locate the bolt head in the center of the adjustment pulley. Loosen the bolt by turning it counterclockwise with the ratchet and a socket.

Locate the adjustable bolt at the top of the adjustment bracket. Loosen the bolt by turning it counterclockwise with the ratchet and the same socket. This will loosen the belt.

Slide the belt out from under the adjustment pulley. Then, pull the belt out of the alternator pulley and the crankshaft pulley. Remove the belt from the engine compartment.

Hold the new belt next to the old belt just to ensure that the new belt is the right size. Slide the new belt around the alternator pulley and the crankshaft pulley. Then, slide the belt underneath the adjustment pulley.

Tighten the belt by turning the adjustment bolt clockwise with the ratchet and socket. Once the belt is tight, check the tension of the belt by pushing upward on the belt between the alternator and the crankshaft pulley. If the belt has more than 1/2-inch of slack, keep tightening the belt until there is around 1/2-inch of slack in the belt.

Tighten the bolt in the middle of the adjustment pulley with the ratchet and socket. Then, look over the belt to ensure that it is properly seated inside of both accessory pulleys.

Crank the Protege and let the motor run for around 10 to 15 seconds to completely seat the belt to the inside of the pulleys. Then, turn the motor off and close the hood.

Items you will need

  • 1/2-inch drive ratchet

  • 1/2-inch drive metrics

  • New alternator belt

 How to Replace an Alternator Belt on a KIA Sephia

Disconnect the negative battery terminal by loosening the clamp bolt on the battery cable end with a wrench, then lift the cable off the terminal. Isolate the cable from the battery terminals.

Locate the serpentine belt tensioner on the front of the engine and insert a 1/2-inch drive breaker bar into the square hole in the tensioner arm. Rotate the tensioner arm counterclockwise, releasing the tension on the belt, then remove the belt from the pulleys. Pivot the tensioner back to the home position.

Install a new serpentine belt over the pulleys but leave it off the tensioner for now. Be sure you follow the proper path over the pulleys or damage will occur to the accessories and the belt.

Rotate the tensioner counterclockwise, then slide the belt onto the tensioner pulley. Slowly rotate the tensioner back to the home position, allowing it to tighten the belt to the proper tension. Remove the breaker bar from the tensioner and out of the engine compartment.

Install the negative battery cable on the negative battery terminal, then tighten the clamp bolt on the cable end with a wrench. Start the engine and visually check the belt to ensure it is not wobbling or out of alignment.

Items you will need

  • Wrench set

  • 1/2-inch drive breaker bar

 How to Replace the Alternator Belt on a 2002 KIA Spectra

Lift the car hood and disconnect the ground cable from the battery´s negative terminal. In the engine compartment, locate the alternator. On top of the alternator you will see a pivot bolt. Use a socket wrench to loosen this bolt, but do not remove it completely.

Locate the alternator belt and loosen it from its pulleys by applying pressure to the alternator and moving it in the direction of the engine. Once the alternator belt is loosened, pull it off from its pulleys.

Install the new alternator belt. It must run around the alternator pulley, the water pump pulley and the alternator pulley. With the new alternator belt in place, adjust it over the pulleys by bringing the alternator back to its original position, away from the engine. Make sure the belt is tight around the pulleys, then tighten the pivot bolt on top of the alternator.

Re-attach the ground cable to the battery and close the car hood.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Replacement alternator belt

 How to Replace the Alternator Belt in a KIA Spectra 5

Park the KIA Spectra and engage the parking brake. Open the hood.

Locate the alternator on the top driver side of the engine. The alternator has an adjustment bracket on top of the alternator and a pivot bolt on the bottom of the alternator.

Loosen the bottom alternator pivot bolt with the ratchet, extension and a socket.

Loosen the locking nut in the center of the alternator adjustment bracket with the ratchet and a socket.

Turn the adjustment bolt at the end of the alternator adjustment bracket counterclockwise with the ratchet and a socket until the belt is loose.

Pull the belt out of the alternator pulley, water pump pulley and the crankshaft pulley. Then, route the belt around each fan blade. Pull the belt out of the engine area.

Route the new alternator belt around each fan blade and into all three pulleys.

Turn the adjustment bolt clockwise with the ratchet and socket to tighten the belt. Check the tension of the belt by pushing inward on the belt. If the belt has more than one 1/2-inch of slack, keep tightening the belt until there is no more than 1/2-inch of slack in the belt.

Tighten the locking nut on the adjustment bracket tight with the ratchet and socket. Then, tighten the bottom alternator pivot bolt tight with the ratchet, extension and socket.

Crank the KIA Spectra and let the motor run for 30 seconds. Turn the motor off and recheck the tension on the belt. Close the hood.

Items you will need

  • 3/8-inch drive ratchet

  • 3/8-inch drive extension

  • 3/8-inch drive socket set

  • New alternator belt

 How to Replace an Alternator Belt on a Volvo 740 GL

Loosen the bolts that hold the alternator onto the alternator mounting bracket. The bolt on the bottom, front of the alternator requires a 13-mm socket for removal and the bolt on the bottom left of the alternator requires a 11-mm socket.

Push the alternator down to create slack on the alternator belt.

Pull the belt off the alternator pulley and off the air conditioner pulley.

Place the new belt onto the alternator pulley and the air conditioner pulley.

Place a crow bar between the radiator shroud and the alternator. Pull back on the crow bar to reduce the amount of slack on the alternator belt.

Tighten the 13-mm bolt and the 11-mm bolt with their respective sockets while you maintain pressure on the crow bar.

Items you will need

  • 12-mm socket

  • 11-mm socket

  • Ratchet

  • Crow bar