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How to Replace the Serpentine Belt on Ford Escort

by Dan Ferrell; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Floor jack, if you have a 2.0L engine model

  • 2 jack stands, if you have a 2.0L engine model

  • 3/8-inch drive ratchet/breaker bar or 13mm socket and ratchet, if you have a 2.0L engine model

It is suggested by the vehicle manufacturer to replace the belt on a Ford Escort every 60,000 miles, based on an average of 12,000 driving miles per year. Serpentine belts have better construction and last longer than conventional drive belts. However, these belts tend to wear from the inside out, and tears, splits and cuts are not readily noticeable. Closely inspect the belt on your Escort every six months or sooner and if you see any signs of wear, replace it--even it's before the recommended 60,000 miles.

Removing the Serpentine Belt

Park your car in a safe place away from traffic. If you have an Escort with a 2.0L DOHC engine model, choose a level surface as well to prevent your car from rolling. You will need to raise the front of your vehicle to reach the belt tensioner from underneath.

Open the hood and locate the belt diagram on the upper radiator support and compare the belt routing to the actual routing of the installed belt. Make sure it is the same. If it is different or there is no label on your car, make a quick sketch on a piece of paper of how the belt runs around the pulleys. You can use it as a reference during installation.

Raise the front of your vehicle using a floor jack and place two jack stands under the frame for support, if you have a 2.0L DOHC engine model.

Insert a 3/8-inch drive ratchet or breaker bar into the tab’s square hole of the belt automatic tensioner. From under the vehicle, insert a 13mm socket and ratchet on the center bolt of the tensioner pulley, if you have a 2.0L DOHC engine model.

Rotate the automatic tensioner toward the front of the vehicle using the ratchet or breaker bar to release the belt tension. If you have a 2.0L DOHC engine model, rotate the tensioner pulley clockwise.

Slip the serpentine belt off the belt tensioner pulley by hand as you hold the automatic tensioner in the release position.

Let the automatic tensioner carefully rotate back into position.

Remove the serpentine belt from the rest of the pulleys and the engine compartment.

Installing the New Serpentine Belt

Compare the new serpentine belt with the old one. The new belt might be slightly shorter than your old belt but both should have the same configuration.

Run the new belt through the pulleys, except the tensioner pulley. Use the diagram on your vehicle or your notes as a reference, if necessary.

Insert the ratchet or breaker bar into the tab’s square hole of the belt automatic tensioner. From under the vehicle, insert the socket and ratchet on the center bolt of the tensioner pulley, if you have a 2.0L DOHC engine model.

Rotate the tensioner toward the front of the vehicle. If you have a 2.0L DOHC engine model, rotate the tensioner pulley clockwise.

Slip the new serpentine belt over the tensioner pulley.

Let the automatic tensioner carefully rotate back into position.

Lower your vehicle using the floor jack, if you have a 2.0L DOHC engine model.

Run your fingers around the belt pulleys to make sure the belt is properly seating.

Start the engine and let it idle for a few minutes to verify the belt is operating properly.

References

About the Author

Since 2003 Dan Ferrell has contributed general and consumer-oriented news to television and the Web. His work has appeared in Texas, New Mexico and Miami and on various websites. Ferrell is a certified automation and control technician from the Advanced Technology Center in El Paso, Texas.

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