How to Replace Belts on Chevrolet Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

The Chevrolet car model vehicles come equipped with a multi-ribbed accessory belt that operates the front engine accessories. These accessories include the power steering pump, air conditioner compressor, cooling fan and the alternator. The belt is designed to fit around all of the accessories at the same time so that the accessories can operate from the same belt instead of multiple belts. The crankshaft pulley turns the belt around each of the accessory pulleys when the engine is running. If the belt gets damaged in anyway, change it out as soon as possible before it breaks.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace Belts on a Chevy HHR

Raise the hood on the HHR, and set the hood prop to support the hood for the duration of this project. Maneuver your body so that you are able to access the passenger side of the HHR engine, as this is the side that the pulleys and serpentine belt are on.

Visually inspect and locate the tensioner assembly on the pulley side of the engine. The tensioner assembly resembles a metal "teardrop", with a pulley mounted at the point of the teardrop end. Install a 3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket onto the tensioner pulley. Maneuver the pulley so that the tensioner releases the tension from the serpentine belt. Use a tube over the handle of the ratchet if you need further extension to depress the tensioner. Remove the serpentine belt completely from the HHR.

Install the new serpentine belt by hand, using the "Belt Routing Diagram" over the radiator as a visual guide. Make sure you route the belt exactly as the diagram shows you. Make your belt installation so that the tensioner is the last part of the installation. Hold the serpentine belt taut with one hand when you are ready to install the belt over the tensioner pulley. Do not place your fingers between a pulley and the belt during any portion of the installation, as injury can occur if the tensioner slips out of your control (see Warnings).

Depress the tensioner pulley with the 3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket. Loop the serpentine belt over the tensioner pulley and release the tensioner very slowly. Do not let the tensioner snap back to tension mode. Visually inspect your work, to ensure that you have the serpentine belt lined up center on every pulley. If adjustments are needed, simply depress the tensioner only halfway and slide belt into proper position.

Items you will need

  • 3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket set

  • Ratchet handle extension tube

  • New serpentine belt

 How to Change the Belt on an Aveo

Park the Chevrolet Aveo, and open the hood. Turn the steering wheel to the far right, and turn the engine off. This will give you enough room to access the belt tensioner pulley from the front passenger side wheel well. Set the parking brake.

Locate the belt routing diagram on the top of the fan shroud. You will use the routing instructions from this diagram to route the new belt around all of the engine accessories. Lower the hood.

Jack the front end of the Chevrolet Aveo up, and slide the jack stands under the proper front jacking points. Lower the car onto the top of the stands.

Move to the front passenger side wheel well. Remove the plastic guard from the back of the wheel well by removing the 10-mm bolts and nuts with a ratchet and a 10-mm socket. Pull the guard out of the wheel well, and place it on the ground.

Locate the belt tensioner near the bottom center of the engine. The tensioner has a pulley attached to the bottom of the tensioner arm. Use a breaker bar and a 14-mm socket to turn the tensioner.

Rotate the tensioner clockwise from the bolt head in the middle of the tensioner pulley with a breaker bar and a 14-mm socket. Once the tension is off of the belt, slide the belt off of the tensioner pulley and the other accessory pulleys. Pull the belt out through the wheel well.

Route the new belt through the wheel well and around each of the engine accessories as directed by the belt routing diagram.

Rotate the tensioner clockwise with the breaker bar and 14-mm socket again. Slide the new belt around the tensioner pulley, and release the breaker bar. Pull the breaker bar and socket off of the tensioner and out through the wheel well. Inspect the belt to ensure it is inside of each pulley.

Crank the engine, and inspect the new belt to make sure that it stays seated inside of each pulley. Turn the engine off. Reinstall the guard to the back of the wheel well, and tighten the bolt and nuts with the ratchet and 10-mm socket.

Jack the Chevrolet Aveo back up and remove the jack stands. Lower the car to the ground and remove the jack.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • 3/8-inch drive ratchet

  • Metric socket set

  • 3/8-inch drive breaker bar

 How Do I Replace the Belt on a 94 Chevy Van 350 Engine?

Pull the hood latch and open the hood. Locate the serpentine belt routing diagram near the hood latch, on top of the fan shroud. Refer to this diagram for the proper routing instructions when routing the new belt around the accessory pulleys.

Locate the automatic belt tensioner that is mounted to the front-center of the engine. The tensioner is between the alternator and the air conditioner compressor. The tensioner has a roller pulley on one end, which is mounted to the tensioner arm by a bolt. Use the head of the roller pulley bolt to turn the tensioner.

Turn the tensioner from the bolt head counterclockwise with the breaker bar and a socket; pull the belt out from under the roller pulley and release the tensioner.

Pull the belt out of each accessory pulley; turn the fan blades with your hands, until one of the fan blades is at the top of the engine. Slide the belt around the fan blade at the top of the engine. After the belt is around the first fan blade, keep turning the fan blades to the top of the engine. Slide the belt around each fan blade, then pull the belt out of the engine compartment and match it to the new belt to ensure that the new belt is the proper size.

Slide the new belt around each fan blade and around each accessory pulley by referring to the belt routing diagram for the proper routing method. Always start with the crankshaft pulley and end with the roller pulley that is attached to the tensioner.

Turn the tensioner from the roller pulley bolt head counterclockwise again with the breaker bar and socket; slide the new belt underneath the roller pulley. Release the tensioner and inspect the new belt, to ensure that it is centered under the roller pulley and that it is seated inside all of the pulleys.

Crank the Chevy van's engine and let it run for about 10 seconds to completely seat the new belt inside the accessory pulleys. Turn the engine off and shut the hood of the vehicle.

Items you will need

  • 3/8-inch-drive breaker bar

  • Metric socket kit

  • New belt

 How to Change a Belt on a Chevy Tracker

Open the hood of the Chevy Tracker and inspect the flat surface of the fan shroud for the accessory belt routing diagram. Refer to the routing instructions from this diagram to install the new belt.

Look on the front of the engine and locate the automatic belt tensioner behind the fan blades. Use the pulley that is attached to the end of the tensioner to release the tension from the belt.

Position a 14 mm socket and a breaker bar onto the bolt head in the center of the tensioner pulley. Pull the breaker bar in a clockwise direction to release the tension from the belt. Slide the belt off of the tensioner pulley and slowly release the breaker bar.

Unwrap the belt from the remaining accessory pulleys. Pull the belt around each fan blade and up out of the engine well.

Route the new belt around each of the fan blades and around each engine accessory exactly as directed by the belt routing diagram.

Pull the tensioner in a clockwise direction with the breaker bar and 14 mm socket again. Slide the new belt onto the tensioner pulley and slowly release the breaker bar. Pull the breaker bar and socket off of the tensioner pulley.

Crank the Chevy Tracker engine for five to ten seconds to completely seat the ribs of the belt into the grooves of each accessory pulley. Turn the engine off.

Items you will need

  • 3/8-inch drive breaker bar

  • 14 mm socket

 How to Replace Belts on the 1995 Geo Prism

Raise the hood and prop it in place to prevent it from falling.

Inspect the black plastic cover over the radiator and locate the serpentine belt routing diagram. Route the new belt around each pulley by using the routing directions from this diagram.

Locate the belt tensioner on the front of the engine. Rotate the tensioner from the square hole on the front side of the tensioner.

Insert the square end of the breaker bar into the square opening of the tensioner. Pull the breaker bar in a clockwise direction to loosen the tension from the belt. Hold the breaker bar in the clockwise position and remove the belt off of the tensioner pulley. Slowly release the breaker bar.

Unwrap the belt out from around all of the accessory pulleys. Pull the belt out of the engine well.

Route the new serpentine belt around all of the accessory pulleys exactly as directed by the belt routing diagram. Leave the tensioner pulley for last.

Pull the tensioner in a clockwise direction with the breaker bar again and slide the new belt onto the tensioner pulley. Slowly release the breaker bar and remove it from the tensioner.

Crank the 1995 Geo Prism for about ten seconds to completely seat the ribs of the new belt to the grooves of each accessory pulley. Turn the engine off.

Items you will need

  • 3/8-inch drive breaker bar

About the Author

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