How to Replace a Serpentine Belt on Chrysler Cars

by Contributing Writer

Chrysler car made the Chrysler car Dodge Chrysler car available with various powertrain packages. No matter which powertrain your Chrysler car is equipped with, the car relies on a serpentine drive belt to power the various engine accessories. The serpentine belt winds around the crankshaft pulley and then outward to the power steering, alternator, water pump, idler and serpentine belt tensioner pulleys. As the belt move across the crankshaft pulley, it turns the other pulleys in succession. If your Chrysler car belt is cracking, fraying or glazed and you possess basic auto repair skills, replace it yourself and save on the labor costs.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace a Serpentine Belt on a PT Cruiser

Open the hood and prop.

Place the square end of the ratchet into the belt tensioner and pull it upward. This will relieve tension on the belt and allow you to remove it.

Remove the belt from the engine but take care to remember the positioning of the belt and how it was routed around the various pulleys.

Pull up on the ratchet and install the new belt. If you don't remember how the belt should be routed, look for a diagram on the radiator support.

Release the tensioner to allow the belt to push firmly against all the pulleys.

Items you will need

  • 3/8-inch ratchet

  • Serpentine belt

 How to Change the Serpentine Belt on a 1998 Chrysler Sebring

Open the hood and locate the serpentine belt's automatic tensioner on the front of the Chrysler engine. It is mounted near the top of the engine, close to the alternator.

Locate the square hole in the tensioner arm. Insert a 3/8-inch drive ratchet in the square hole, and rotate the tensioner clockwise to relieve the tension from the belt.

Remove the belt from the pulleys while holding the tensioner off the belt. Once the belt is off the pulleys, slowly return the tensioner to the home position.

Install a new serpentine belt over the crankshaft and A/C compressor pulleys, then rotate the belt tensioner clockwise and out of the way. Route the belt over the alternator pulley, then return the tensioner to its home position, allowing it to tighten the belt.

Remove the ratchet from the hole in the tensioner. Start the Sebring's engine and verify that the belt is running true over the pulleys. If it is not, you must remove and reposition the belt, or damage will occur to it. Close the hood.

Items you will need

  • 3/8-inch ratchet

 How to Replace the Serpentine Belt on a 1997 Chrysler Sebring

Remove the plastic cover under the front part of the engine with a screwdriver and a ratchet and socket to access the bottom pulleys.

Pop the hood and locate the belt routing diagram on the top of the fan shroud. If there is no belt diagram, take a pen and notepad and draw out the exact routing order of the belt on the pulleys and the idlers; the belts must go back on the same way they come off.

Locate the power steering pump pulley on the left side of the engine. The belt on the power steering pump pulley is routed to the crankshaft. There is an adjustment bracket connected to the top of the power steering pump, a pivot bolt on top of the power steering bracket and a locking bolt on the bottom of the power steering bracket. Loosen both bolts just enough for the power steering pump to move. Put the 1/2-inch breaker bar into the square hole on the lower right side of the power steering bracket. Turn the breaker bar clockwise to move the power steering pump over enough for you to slide the belt off. Remove the belt.

Locate the alternator on the right side of the engine. This belt routes around the alternator pulley and the air conditioner pump pulley. You will see a idler pulley under the alternator with an adjustment bracket on the pulley. Loosen the bolt in the center of the idler pulley. Locate the adjustment bolt at the end of the adjustment bracket. Turn this bolt counterclockwise to loosen the tension for the alternator and the air conditioner compressor. Slide the belt off the pulleys and remove the belt.

Slide the new belt over the alternator pulley, the air conditioner pulley, the back side of the crankshaft pulley and the idler pulley. Turn the idler pulley adjustment bolt until the belt is tight on the alternator and the air conditioner pulley. Tighten the bolt in the center of the idler pulley. (The recommended belt tension on this belt is 30 to 60 ft-lbs. The recommended center bolt torque on the idler pulley is 40 ft-lbs.)

Slide the other new pulley over the power steering pump pulley, the crankshaft pulley and the idler pulley. Put the 1/2-inch breaker bar and move the power steering pump back over so that the you can screw the pivot bolt back in the top of the power steering pump bracket on the top and the locking bolt on the bottom of the power steering bracket. Tighten the pivot bolt and the bottom locking bolt down very tight. (The recommended torque on both power steering bolts is 30 to 60 ft-lbs.

Remove all the tools and crank the engine. Inspect the belts to make sure that each of the belts is seated into the pulleys on all of the components. Turn the engine off and recheck the belt tension on both belts. Replace the bottom plastic cover on the bottom of the engine compartment.

Items you will need

  • Flathead screwdriver

  • 1/2-inch drive breaker bar

  • Ratchet

  • Socket set

 How to Replace the Serpentine Belt in a 2000 Neon

Open the Neon's hood and support it with the hood prop rod, located on the top of the fender.

Locate the serpentine belt routing decal, adhered to the fan shroud. This will illustrate the belt routing and location of each pulley, including the tensioner.

Plug the end of the serpentine belt tensioner tool into the tensioner body. You can purchase a serpentine belt tensioner tool at most auto parts stores or professional tool vendors.

Pull the tensioner off the belt, using the tool. Push the belt to the side and slowly allow the tensioner to return to its standard position. Make sure the belt is no longer in contact with the tensioner pulley when done.

Pull the belt off the accessory pulleys, one at a time, saving the crankshaft pulley for last. You may need to go through the passenger front wheel well to access the crankshaft pulley, depending on your physical size and dexterity.

Measure the new belt against the old belt to make sure the new belt is properly sized. Belts can stretch up to ¾-inch during their service life, but any greater variation in length means you have the wrong replacement belt. If your new belt is the wrong size, take it and the old belt to your place of purchase to size up the proper replacement belt.

Wrap the new belt around the bottom of the crankshaft pulley as shown on the belt routing diagram. Route the belt around each accessory pulley, referring to the routing diagram at each stage until only the tensioner pulley remains.

Pull the tensioner aside once more with the serpentine belt tensioner tool. Move the belt onto the tensioner pulley with your other hand and then relax the tensioner back into position. Remove the tool and close the hood.

Items you will need

  • Serpentine belt tensioner tool

  • New belt