How to Replace the Fan Belt in Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Does the fan belt on your Vehicles look like a snake that is winding its way around the front of your motor? If you are intimidated by all the twists and turns in your fan belt, don't worry. It is actually much easier to replace the fan belt from your Vehicles than it looks. The belt was designed to turn several of your engine parts with one belt, making it a much simpler design. With just a few turns of a socket wrench, you will remove your fan belt and be able to replace it with little effort.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace the Fan Belt in a Nissan Truck

Belt Removal

Disconnect the negative battery cable from the vehicle battery.

Locate the alternator on the left, front of the engine block.

Loosen the alternator pivot bolt using a box-end wrench, turning the bolt counterclockwise. Do not remove the pivot bolt.

Push the alternator assembly by hand toward the center of the engine block. This will create slack in the serpentine belt.

Pull the serpentine belt away from the engine block and off the alternator pulley, fan pulley and crankshaft pulley.

Belt Installation

Install the new serpentine belt clockwise around the alternator pulley, fan pulley and crankshaft pulley. Make sure the serpentine belt is fully seated in each pulley assembly.

Pull the alternator assembly away from the center of the engine block. This will create tension in the serpentine belt.

Hold the alternator in place, keeping tension on the serpentine belt.

Tighten the alternator pivot bolt using a box-end wrench, turning the bolt clockwise until the alternator is secure and will not move.

Connect the negative battery cable to the vehicle battery

Items you will need

  • Box-end wrench

 How to Replace Fan Belt on a Dodge RAM 1500

How to Replace the Fan Belt on a Dodge Ram 1500

Remove the battery cables from the battery of your Dodge Ram 1500 with a crescent wrench and socket wrench, and move them to a safe place. Find the tensioner pulley for the fan belt. It is usually located beneath the air conditioner compressor pulley in front of the engine and has a bolt on the side of the pulley.

Examine the way the fan belt is looped around each engine part so that you will remember how to put it back on when you are installing the new belt. Loosen the tension on the fan belt by moving the tensioner pulley with a pry bar or socket wrench.

Slip the fan belt off the tensioner pulley and allow the pulley to return to its regular position. Remove the belt from the rest of the engine pulleys.

Install the new fan belt around each of the engine pulleys, leaving the tensioner pulley for last. Check with your Dodge Ram 1500 repair manual for directions on how the belt is to loop around the pulleys.

Release the pressure on the tensioner pulley with a crowbar, and slip the fan belt over the pulley. Slowly remove the pry bar, and let the pulley move back into position.

Place the battery cables back on the battery, and tighten with a socket wrench and crescent wrench. Turn the vehicle engine on and observe the belt to make sure it is running properly.

Items you will need

  • Pliers

  • Crescent wrench

  • Screwdriver

  • Socket wrench set

  • Pry bar

  • New fan belt

  • Dodge Ram 1500 repair manual

 How to Replace the Fan Belt on a 1995 Nissan Pickup

Open the hood and locate the alternator on the front left-hand side of the engine. The alternator has an adjustment bracket on top of it that keeps the belt inside of the alternator pulley and the fan pulley.

Loosen the lock bolt in the middle of the alternator bracket with the ratchet and a socket.

Turn the adjustment bolt on the end of the alternator bracket counterclockwise with the ratchet and socket to loosen the belt from both accessory pulleys. Pull the belt out of both pulleys and out from around the crankshaft pulley. Pull the belt out of the engine compartment.

Slide the new belt around the fan pulley, alternator pulley and the crankshaft pulley. 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. Make sure that the belt exhibits no more than 1/2-inch of slack.

Tighten the lock bolt in the middle of the adjustment bracket tightly with the ratchet and socket. Inspect the belt and make sure that it is situated inside all three pulleys.

Crank the Nissan for about 15 seconds to completely seat the new belt to all three pulleys. Turn off the engine and recheck the tension of the belt. Close the hood.

Items you will need

  • 1/2-inch drive ratchet

  • Metric socket set

  • New fan belt

 How to Change a Fan Belt on a Toyota Avensis

Open the hood and locate the tension pulley in the center of the pulley system on the front of the engine. It will be a small pulley with a nut welded to the end of it, sitting in the center of the pulley. The pulley will not appear to be driving any vehicle component.

Turn the pulley clockwise with a socket wrench to remove tension on the pulley. On the Avensis, the nut requires a 19mm socket. You may need to slide a break over bar over the end of the socket wrench to get leverage to remove tension on the pulley.

Slide the belt off the tension pulley.

Remove the belt from the pulley system. This will take the belt off the Avensis fan, which is driven off the water pump.

Install the new belt according to the belt path stamped onto the underside of the Avensis hood. The specific belt path must be followed, or the pulley system and the vehicle's components will not function properly and you could end up damaging several critical engine components.

Orient the belt so that there is slack near the tension pulley. Turn the pulley clockwise again to allow the belt to slide over the pulley. Once the fan belt is over the pulley, release the tensioner and apply tension to the belt. The tensioner will automatically apply the correct tension.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Socket set

  • New serpentine fan belt

  • Break over bar

 How to Change a Fan Belt on a Ford E-150 4.6

Remove the plastic radiator fan shroud. This is the plastic hood that covers the radiator fan. Use a 3/8-inch drive ratchet to remove the shroud.

Press downward on the tensioner to release the belt tension, using a 3/8-inch drive ratchet in the allocated hole on the front of the tensioner.

Remove the belt completely from the engine, and slide it in front of the cooling fan to remove it from the engine compartment.

Loop the new belt around the cooling fan and back onto the engine pulleys. Use the "Belt Routing Diagram" located on top of the radiator to correctly align the new belt with the proper pulleys.

Release the tension in the tensioner to slide the serpentine belt into its final position. Let the tensioner return to its natural position.

Tap the ignition key into the starting position two times without actually starting the engine. This will let the engine pulleys spin and center align the belt on the pulleys automatically. Visually inspect the serpentine belt to ensure that it is not hanging off center of any pulleys.

Reinstall the radiator shroud.

Items you will need

  • 3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket set

  • New serpentine belt

 How to Change a Fan Belt on a Chevrolet 1500

Open the hood of your Chevy 1500 pickup and locate the negative battery cable. Using a wrench, remove the retaining bolt from the negative battery cable end, then remove the cable from the battery. Isolate the cable end away from the battery to avoid the vehicle being started while your hands are in the engine.

Locate the serpentine belt tensioner on the front of the engine. This is a metal arm with a small metal or plastic pulley on the end and a square hole in the far end of the arm. Place the square drive on the end of a 3/8-inch drive ratchet into the square hole in the arm and rotate it counterclockwise, loosening the belt.

Slide the belt off the pulleys while holding the tensioner away from the belt. Slowly rotate the tensioner back to its home position and let it rest there. Install a new serpentine belt over all the pulleys except the tensioner pulley, then rotate the tensioner counterclockwise using the ratchet and install the belt under the tensioner.

Slowly rotate the tensioner clockwise, so it tightens the belt as you go. Make sure the belt seats properly on the pulleys, then remove the ratchet from the tensioner.

Connect the negative battery cable to the negative battery terminal and install the retaining bolt. Tighten the bolt with a wrench. Start the engine and visually verify that the belt is running over the pulleys properly.

Items you will need

  • Wrench set

  • 3/8-inch drive ratchet

 How to Change a Fan Belt in a Lincoln Navigator

Open the hood. Disconnect the negative (black) battery cable.

Inspect the fan shroud for the accessory belt routing diagram. If the diagram is missing or illegible, use a pen and paper to draw your own diagram before removing the belt. The new belt must be routed around the pulleys exactly as the old one was.

Locate the spring loaded belt tensioner on the front of the engine. There is a small pulley attached to the bottom of the tensioner arm.

Slide the square end of the breaker bar into the square hole in front of the tensioner pulley. Rotate the breaker bar counterclockwise and the entire tensioner will move enough to relieve the tension from the belt. Pull the belt out from under the pulley and slowly let the breaker bar retract.

Remove the accessory belt from each pulley with your hands. Rotate one of the fan blades to the top side of the engine with your hand and pull the belt around it. Repeat this process until the belt is around all of the fan blades. Pull the belt out of the engine compartment.

Route the new belt carefully around each fan blade. Wrap the belt around the crankshaft pulley to begin the belt routing process. Refer back to the belt routing diagram instructions to properly route the new belt around the accessory pulleys.

Turn the tensioner counterclockwise again with the breaker bar. Position the new belt evenly under the tensioner pulley. Allow the tensioner pulley to tighten against the belt. Pull the breaker bar out of the tensioner.

Reconnect the negative battery cable.

Start the engine for five to ten seconds to seat the new belt. Turn the engine off. Visually check that the belt is properly seated around all pulleys.

Items you will need

  • 3/8-inch drive breaker bar

  • New accessory belt

 How to Change the Fan Belt on a Pajero

Open the hood of the Pajero, and turn the bolt on the center of the tension pulley with a socket wrench two full rotations. The tension pulley is the pulley directly behind the fan in the upper portion of the front of the engine.

Loosen the adjuster bolt on the tension pulley bracket. This bolt is on the left-hand side, situated in a long horizontal groove.

Slip the fan belt off of the engine. Draw a diagram of the path of the fan belt if the factory printed sticker diagram is no longer in the front of your engine on your Pajero.

Insert the new fan belt, winding it through the various pulleys according to your diagram. Put it on the tensioner pulley last.

Place the tension belt tool on the tension pulley bolt and pull until the slack in the belt is gone. When there is no slack, keep the pressure on the pulley, and tighten the adjuster bolt with the wrench. Tighten the lock bolt on the pulley.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Tension belt tool

 How do I Change the Fan Belt on a Case 580C Tractor?

Make sure the tractor's engine is off and has not been running recently. The engine heats up quickly and can burn you, making it difficult to complete this task.

Open the hood of the tractor so you can access the belt.

Find your tractor's belt by looking to the side of the engine.

Begin loosening the belt toward the front of the engine. Take the lug nut wrench and loosen each in the series. This will loosen the hold on the belt by each pulley, allowing you to remove the belt. Loosen the nuts enough to alleviate tension while not actually removing the nut itself.

Pull the belt apart from the series by slipping it away from each connection. Remember the pattern so you can slide the new belt into place using the same route.

Install the belt by placing it over each connecting point, pulling it over tight enough to create tension. Complete the loop over each point until the new belt is completely attached.

Screw each lug nut back into place so the belt is held steady.

Close the hood of the tractor and clean up your work space.

Items you will need

  • Lug nut wrench

  • Suitable fan belt

 How to Change the Fan Belt in a Nissan 350Z

Remove the coolant reservoir. Detach the two tubes that attach to the reservoir by pulling them straight off. Remove the two bolts that attach the reservoir to the engine compartment, and lift the reservoir out of the car.

Check to ensure that there is a belt diagram present somewhere in the engine compartment. It's usually found on the inside of the hood or on top of the grille, near the hood latch. If you can't find a diagram, sketch one for yourself so you will be able to properly reroute the serpentine belt.

Place a pulley spinner tool into the center hole of the auto tensioner pulley. This can be a special tool acquired from Nissan, or any similar too that will fit into the square slot of the tensioner pulley. Rotate the pulley counterclockwise to relieve tension on the serpentine belt.

Slip the belt off the auto tensioner pulley, while maintaining pressure on the pulley. An assistant will make this easier. Once the belt is off the pulley, you can let off pressure and remove the tool. Continue to remove the belt from the other pulleys.

Route the new belt over the pulleys, according to the diagram. Once the belt is in place on all the pulleys, reinsert the tool into the tensioner and apply counterclockwise force, so you can slip the belt over the auto tensioner pulley. Release tension, and remove the tool.

Rotate the crankshaft pulley clockwise several times. This is to equalize tension among all the pulleys. Further adjustment is not needed. The auto tensioner will take care of adjusting the belt when you start the vehicle.

Replace the coolant reservoir. Insert and tighten the two mounting screws. Slide the two tubes back into place over their nozzles. Refill the reservoir to the "Full" mark with coolant, if necessary.

Items you will need

  • Socket set

  • Pulley spinner tool (or equivalent)

About the Author

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