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How to Change the Belts on Nissan Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Taking care of a vehicle requires very specialized knowledge for larger parts like the engine internals and transmission. Very few car owners have this specific knowledge. However, some things can be taken care of by an owner with very little knowledge or expertise, like checking the fluids and keeping the fuel system clean. Other tasks such as replacement or repair of belts and hoses also require little to no expertise. While procedures are similar for all cars, certain cars like the Nissan car have very specific procedures for maintenance tasks like belt replacement.

Under The Hood:

 How to Change the Belts on a 1995 Nissan Pickup

Replacing the Serpentine Belt

Open the hood and make note of the serpentine belt routing diagram. This diagram holds the instructions for how the serpentine belt is routed around each pulley. Use this diagram to properly route the new belt around the pulleys.

locate the serpentine belt on the front of the engine. The serpentine belt is a single belt with ribs on the inside of the belt that travel inside of the pulleys. The serpentine belt is tightened by a spring loaded tensioner on the front left hand side of the engine. Use the bolt head that secures the pulley to the bottom of the tensioner to relieve the tension from the belt.

Position a metric socket and a breaker bar onto the tensioner pulley bolt. Turn the breaker bar counter-clockwise to release the tension from the belt. Slide the belt off of the tensioner pulley and release the breaker bar.

Pull the serpentine belt out of the other accessory pulleys and out of the engine bay. Route the new serpentine belt around the same pulleys as described by the belt routing diagram. Put the breaker bar and socket back onto the tensioner pulley bolt. Rotate the breaker bar counter-clockwise and slide the new belt around the tensioner pulley. Release the breaker bar and remove it from the engine bay.

Replacing the V-Belt

Locate the v-belt that is routed around the remaining accessory pulleys. The v-belt is tightened by an adjustment bracket on top of the alternator. Loosen the bolt in the middle of the adjustment bracket with a ratchet and a metric socket.

Loosen the top alternator mounting bolt with the ratchet and socket.

Turn the adjustment bolt at the end of the adjustment bracket counter-clockwise until the belt is loose. Pull the belt out of the accessory pulleys and out of the engine bay.

Route the new v-belt around the accessory pulleys. Tighten the belt by turning the adjustment bolt clockwise with the ratchet and socket. Check the tension of the belt by pushing inward on the belt with your hand. The belt should have no more than a half-inch of slack. Adjust the belt as needed to get a half-inch of tension in the belt. Tighten the bolt in the middle of the adjustment bracket and the top alternator mounting bolt with the ratchet and socket.

Crank the engine for fifteen to twenty seconds. Turn the engine off and inspect the belts. Make sure that the serpentine belt is properly inside of each pulley. Make sure that the v-belt is inside of each pulley and also recheck the tension of the v-belt with your hand. Close the hood.

Items you will need

  • 3/8-inch drive breaker bar

  • Metric socket set

  • 3/8-inch drive ratchet

  • New belts

 How to Replace Belts on a Nissan Altima

Locate the belt routing diagram in the engine compartment of the vehicle. The Altima's diagram is normally located on the passenger side of the engine back by the firewall.

Locate the belt tensioner pulley. This pulley is located below the water pump pulley on the front (passenger side) of the engine. When looking down the front of the engine, it is located in the middle.

Attach the socket and ratchet to the nut in the middle of the tensioner pulley. Make sure the ratchet handle is located in an area where it can be pulled toward the front of the vehicle. Make sure the ratchet is set to tighten.

Pull the ratchet handle toward the front of the vehicle. The belt will loosen around the alternator.

Slip the belt off the alternator.

Slowly let the ratchet handle release toward the back of the vehicle. Do not let go of the ratchet.

Remove the old belt from all the pulleys.

Loop the new belt around the bottom of both the bottom pulleys. These are the crank shaft and A/C pulleys. If the vehicle does not have A/C, then just loop the belt around the single bottom pulley.

Loop the left side of the belt around the tensioner pulley from bottom to top, counterclockwise. Hold the right side of the belt without moving. It may be necessary to allow the belt to slide to go around the pulleys.

Loop the left side of the belt around the power steering pulley from bottom to top, clockwise.

Loop the left side of the belt around the water pump pulley from bottom to top, clockwise. At this point the belt should be too short to go around the alternator.

Hold the belt with one hand, and pull the ratchet handle toward the front of the vehicle until the belt can be looped over the alternator pulley.

Slowly release the ratchet toward the back of the vehicle. It will not go as far back with the belt on the vehicle.

Remove the ratchet and socket.

Check the belt to make sure it is properly aligned on all the pulleys. Proper alignment means the belt is centered in the ribs of the pulleys with no part of the belt off the pulleys.

Items you will need

  • Long-handled ratchet

  • 15-mm socket

  • New belt

 How to Change the Belt on a Nissan Patrol Turbo Diesel

Turn the engine off, allowing it enough time to cool. This will save you the trouble of receiving burns while working under the hood.

Pop the hood of the car and locate the fan belt attached to the side of the engine.

Loosen the nuts that create tension on the connecting pulleys. To do this, press your wrench into the grooves of the nut to get a firm grip, and turn it hard to the left. The nut rotates with each counterclockwise turn. Loosen nuts one by one; do not to remove them.

Pull the old belt off of the engine so that you can replace it with a new one.

Fit the new belt in place at the points of connection. Keep the belt tight; do not allow any slack.

Turn the wrench clockwise to re-tighten the nuts. The nuts must be tight so that the belt stays in place.

Close the hood of the car and clean up your work place.

Items you will need

  • Fan belt

  • Wrench

 How to Change the Belt on a Nissan Frontier

Check the belt routing diagram, which should be printed on or near the radiator shroud. This will show you the exact routing path needed for each individual drive belt.

Loosen the idler pulley for the individual belt using a wrench or breaker bar on the pulley nut and slide the belt off all the pulleys. If there is no idler, loosen the bolts for the belt's engine component and move the component within its bracket.

Slip the replacement belt onto all of the pulleys, making sure you follow the correct path, and either tighten the idler pulley or the component's position to tighten the drive belt.

Push down on the belt with your thumb at a center point between two pulleys. If the pulleys are between 7-11 inches apart, the belt should deflect by a quarter inch. It should deflect no more than a half-inch if the distance id 12-16 inches.

Adjust the tension of the belt if needed using the idler pulley or component.

Items you will need

  • Wrench/breaker bar

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

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