How to Replace a Timing Belt on Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

A timing belt is an important component of your vehicle so replacing it in due time is a top priority. The engine crankshaft uses a drive sprocket via a timing belt to connect to the larger camshaft so it is necessary to always check if the timing belt is worn out and needed to be replaced. This is one component of your Hyundai car that needs to be replaced entirely when damaged and not just repaired by keeping it together.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace a Timing Belt on a Chevy HHR

Place your vehicle on lifts. You are going to access the underside of the vehicle and the additional working space is helpful.

Remove the power cables on the top of the Chevy HHR's battery, than take off the distributor cap.

Twist the crankshaft bolt on the side of the engine until the small timing mark on the crankshaft aligns with the zero degree mark on the timing belt cover.

Take off the bolts around the timing cover plate. This plate is used to protect the timing belt. Once the bolts are off, slide the cover plate out.

Apply your torque wrench to the timing belt tensioner and loosen the connection. You don't want to completely remove the tensioner, so do not remove the bolt completely. Repeat the same process with the mounting bolt next to the tensioner bolt. With the mounting bolt lose, pry the tensioner off the timing belt, then tighten the mounting bolt. You are now able to slide off the old timing belt from your Chevy HHR.

Slide the replacement timing belt into position and loosen the holding bolt. You can then slide the new timing belt into position. Tighten the holding bolt and the tensioner. Place the timing belt cover back onto the vehicle and secure all the bolts you removed from the vehicle.

Items you will need

  • Torque wrench

  • Owners manual

 How to Change the Timing Belt on a Pathfinder

Jack the vehicle up and support it with jack stands. Remove the splash guard, the radiator, cooling fan, accessory belts, thermostat water hose, water pump pulley, distributor cover and the air intake tube on the valve cover.

Remove the crankshaft pulley bolt and the crankshaft pulley. Remove the top and bottom timing belt covers. Once the covers are removed, screw the crankshaft pulley bolt back in. Turn the crankshaft until the Number 1 cylinder is on top dead center. The timing marks should be lined up. Timing marks are located on the camshaft pulleys and the crankshaft.

Loosen the timing belt tensioner nut. Turn the tensioner clockwise with an Allen wrench. Tighten the tensioner nut---this will keep the tensioner out of your way while you are removing and replacing the timing belt. Remove the timing belt.

Check to see that the timing marks are still properly lined up. Starting at the crankshaft sprocket and moving counterclockwise, wrap the timing belt around the camshafts. Make sure the timing belt is tight between the sprockets on the opposite side of the tensioner.

Loosen the tensioner nut. Use an Allen wrench to keep the tensioner from moving while you loosen the nut. Turn the tensioner clockwise about 70 degrees and temporarily tighten the tensioner nut. Turn the crankshaft clockwise two complete turns. At the end of the second turn, the timing marks should line up again. If not, remove the belt and repeat Steps 4 and 5.

Put 22 pounds of pressure (with your hand) on the timing belt by pushing in on it at the half-way point between the tensioner and the left camshaft pulley. Hold the tensioner with an Allen wrench and loosen the tensioner nut. Insert a feeler gauge between the tensioner pulley and the belt. If your vehicle year is 1997 or older, the space between the belt and the pulley should be 0.014 ins thick by 0.5 ins. wide. If your vehicle is a 1998 or newer, the space should be 0.020 ins. thick by 0.5 ins. wide.

Turn the crankshaft clockwise (slowly) until the feeler gauge moves up to the 1 o'clock position of the tensioner pulley. It will be between the pulley and the belt. Hold the tensioner with the Allen wrench, then torque the tensioner nut to the following specifications:

32-43 foot pounds of torque: 3.3 engines 32-43 foot pounds of torque: 3.0 engines up to 1996 58 to 65 foot pounds of torque: 3.0 engines from 1997 and on

Turn the crankshaft (slowly) clockwise to remove the feeler gauge. Remove the feeler gauge and turn the crankshaft until Number 1 cylinder is at top dead center and the timing marks line up. Use your hand to put pressure on the timing belt between the two camshaft sprockets. The belt should move 0.50 to 0.60 inches. If not, repeat Steps 6, 7 and 8.

Remove the crankshaft pulley bolt. Reinstall all of the components in the order you removed them. Replace the crankshaft pulley bolt when you replace the pulley. Torque the crankshaft pulley bolt to 95 foot pounds of torque if the year of your vehicle is 1993 or older. Torque the crankshaft pulley bolt to 150 foot pounds of torque if the year of your vehicle is 1994 or newer. Refill the radiator.

Items you will need

  • Set of 3/8-inch sockets 3/8-inch ratchet 3/8-inch air gun Set of ½-inch sockets ½-inch ratchet ½-inch air gun Set of ¼-inch sockets ¼-inch ratchet ¼-inch air gun Extensions of various lengths in all three sizes Common screwdriver Phillips screwdriver Set of metric wrenches Set of Allen wrenches

 How to Replace the Timing Belt on a Chevy Aveo

Detach the negative battery cable from the battery of your Chevy Aveo with an open-end wrench and move the cable out of the way, so that it does not touch any other metal parts.

Raise the vehicle up with a floor jack on the right front side, so that you can slide a jack stand under the front axle under the passenger side, and then lower the vehicle down until the axle is sitting on the jack stand.

Unfasten the air mass plug from the air cleaner by pulling it straight out, and then remove the air cleaner from the engine by undoing the wing nut on the top of the cleaner.

Detach the upper timing belt cover by using a socket wrench to remove the bolts, then pull the cover away from the engine.

Remove the right front passenger tire by using a lug wrench and undoing the lug nuts, then lay the tire and lug nuts aside.

Detach the plastic wheel well cover by pulling it back and unfastening the clips holding it to the vehicle.

Remove the lower timing belt cover by unfastening the bolts with a socket wrench and pulling the cover away from the engine.

Use the belt removal tool on one of the camshaft sprockets and turn it clockwise to loosen the timing belt, then slide it off the sprocket.

Detach the vibration/damper pulley located between the camshafts and crankshaft with a socket wrench, and then set it aside.

Turn the crankshaft with a socket wrench by turning the bolt in the center of the sprocket clockwise until the marks on the sprocket are pointed vertically downward and the marks on the camshaft sprockets are pointed horizontally toward each other.

Lock the camshafts into place by positioning the locking tool between the two camshafts, then loosen the tensioner pulley with the socket wrench and remove the timing belt.

Position the new timing belt over the crankshaft and attach a new tensioner pulley to the engine block with a socket wrench; adjust the tension using the Torx bolt provided with the pulley.

Remove the fastening bolt on the new tensioner pulley and tighten the tension to 20 to 22 foot pounds with a torque wrench.

Loop the timing belt over the two camshafts and reattach the vibration dampener pulley; use a torque wrench to tighten the pulley to 20 foot pounds.

Reattach the lower timing cover over the timing belt case with bolts and then slide the top cover over the timing belt and secure it with bolts.

Fasten the air cleaner back over the Chevy Aveo engine and then attach the air mass plug to the side of the air cleaner.

Reattach the plastic wheel well cover under the right front tire area by snapping the pins into place.

Put the right front tire back on the car and attach the lug nuts with the lug wrench, then reattach the negative battery cable.

Start the engine and verify that the timing belt is operating correctly, then shut the engine off.

Items you will need

  • Open-end wrench

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stand

  • Socket wrench set

  • Lug wrench

  • Belt adjustment tool J42492-A

  • Locking tool

  • Torx bolt

  • Torque wrench

 How to Change a Timing Belt in a Hyundai Sonata

Check the condition of your timing belt by removing the top dust or safety cover of your vehicle. You may need to unscrew a few bolts to gain access to the timing belt. Ensure that your engine is not running when performing this condition check.

Use a flashlight to inspect your timing belt for cracks, especially at the drive teeth base. Make sure you check it thoroughly for signs of wear and replace it as soon as possible.

Read your car repair manual thoroughly to understand and learn how to remove and replace the timing belt. If you are not confident replacing the timing belt yourself, take it to your auto mechanic shop without delay for immediate replacement.

Remove all obstructions from engine front and remove upper and lower timing belt covers to gain access. Then loosen or remove timing belt tensioner to release the timing belt.

Remove timing belt and clean all debris from area and utilize a timing belt diagram to time the connection between the crankshaft and the camshaft.

Replace timing belt with tensioner, as necessary. Re-install or re-assemble timing belt only if you determine that it is still in good working condition and replacement is not necessary.

Items you will need

  • Vehicle's manual

 How to Replace the Timing Belt on a 2003 Hyundai Tiburon

Raise the passenger side of the car with the jack. Position the jack so that it is under the front axle.

Place the jack stand under the car and lower it. Remove the jack.

Loosen the lug nuts on the front passenger side tire. Take off the lug nuts and the tire and put them aside.

Unfasten the bolts holding the engine splash shield located underneath the engine.

Turn the bolt on the center of the timing belt tensioner pulley clockwise with a socket wrench.

Take the old timing belt off of the alternator pulley. Keep the tensioner pulley turned clockwise until the belt is off. Then let the tensioner slowly move back into place.

Place the new timing belt around the alternator pulley. Hold it tight against the pulley.

Move the tensioner pulley forward again by turning it clockwise with a socket wrench.

Let go of the tensioner pulley once you are sure the timing belt is securely in place.

Check that the timing belt is tight and then replace the engine splash shield.

Replace the tire and remove the jack stand.

Items you will need

  • Repair manual

  • Socket wrench

  • Jack stand

  • Car jack

  • Replacement timing belt

 How to Replace a Timing Belt on a 2001 Hyundai Santa Fe


Remove the rear seat cushion in the vehicle and unscrew and open the cover for the fuel pump module. Disconnect the fuel pump's electrical connector, then run the engine until it stalls, depressurizing the fuel system.

Disconnect the vehicle's negative battery cable.

Disconnect the electrical connectors to the ignition coils to disable the ignition system.

Raise the car's front end and support it on jack stands, making sure the vehicle is in park and the parking brake is on. Remove the front wheel and the splash shields for the engine and the fender well--the splash shields should require a Torx wrench.

Unscrew and remove the engine cover.


Loosen the tension on the drive belt using a breaker bar and socket on the tensioner, and remove the drive belt. Unbolt and remove the pulleys for the power steering pump, tensioner and idler using a wrench.

Unscrew and remove the bolt on the crankshaft using the breaker bar, while keeping the crankshaft from turning with a strap wrench. Remove the crankshaft pulley with a puller that bolts onto the crankshaft hub.

Unscrew and remove both timing belt covers.

Remove the number one spark plug, pulling out its wire and unscrewing it with a wrench and spark plug socket. Insert a pressure gauge in its place.

Turn the crankshaft clockwise using the breaker bar and socket until pressure is read on the gauge, and then until the notch on the crankshaft pulley lines up with the 0 mark on the timing plate.

Unbolt and remove the timing belt tensioner assembly with the belt.


Compress the timing belt tensioner's push rod very slowly with a vise, and insert a metal pin, Allen wrench or drill bit into the push rod's holes, then remove the tensioner from the vise.

Connect the timing belt tensioner and, using a torque wench, tighten the tensioner's fixed bolt to 20 foot pounds, the arm bolt to 40 and the pulley bolt to 40.

Align all the timing marks on the sprockets and install the timing belt. Place the belt on the crankshaft first, followed by the idler, the left camshaft, the water pump, the rear camshaft and tensioner.

Pull the pin out of the tensioner after double-checking to see if all the marks are still aligned, thus causing the tensioner to snap into position.

Turn the crankshaft clockwise two full turns with your breaker bar, and check the timing marks again.

Wait five minutes and then check the tensioner rod's position. It needs to protrude by .27 to .31 inch.

Reinstall the timing belt covers, then reconnect the crankshaft pulley with its bolt and the strap wrench.

Install the pulleys for the power steering pump, drive belt idler and tensioner. Rotate the tensioner, slip the drive belt back on the pulleys and slowly release the tensioner.

Reconnect the engine cover and the front wheel and lower the vehicle off the jack stands. Connect the electrical connectors for the ignition coils and fuel pump along with the negative battery cable.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

  • Wrench

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Breaker bar and socket

  • Strap wench

  • Spark plug socket

  • Pressure gauge

  • Metal pin

  • Torque wrench

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.