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How to Replace the Alternator Belt on a 1999 Mazda Protege

by Grace Mclain

The alternator belt on the 1999 Mazda Protege operates the alternator. The belt runs in the alternator and crankshaft pulleys. When the motor is running, the crankshaft turns the belt around the alternator pulley. Ridges on the inside of the belt travel inside the grooves on the alternator pulley, turning it. This motion spins the alternator, which creates electricity and sends the proper amount of voltage to the battery. If the belt is frayed or damaged, replace it before it breaks.

Raise the hood and locate the alternator on the front, right-hand side of the engine. The alternator belt is tensioned inside of the alternator pulley and the crankshaft pulley by an adjustment bracket pulley that is located on the left-hand side of the alternator.

Locate the bolt head in the center of the adjustment pulley. Loosen the bolt by turning it counterclockwise with the ratchet and a socket.

Locate the adjustable bolt at the top of the adjustment bracket. Loosen the bolt by turning it counterclockwise with the ratchet and the same socket. This will loosen the belt.

Slide the belt out from under the adjustment pulley. Then, pull the belt out of the alternator pulley and the crankshaft pulley. Remove the belt from the engine compartment.

Hold the new belt next to the old belt just to ensure that the new belt is the right size. Slide the new belt around the alternator pulley and the crankshaft pulley. Then, slide the belt underneath the adjustment pulley.

Tighten the belt by turning the adjustment bolt clockwise with the ratchet and socket. Once the belt is tight, check the tension of the belt by pushing upward on the belt between the alternator and the crankshaft pulley. If the belt has more than 1/2-inch of slack, keep tightening the belt until there is around 1/2-inch of slack in the belt.

Tighten the bolt in the middle of the adjustment pulley with the ratchet and socket. Then, look over the belt to ensure that it is properly seated inside of both accessory pulleys.

Crank the Protege and let the motor run for around 10 to 15 seconds to completely seat the belt to the inside of the pulleys. Then, turn the motor off and close the hood.

Tip

  • The tension of the alternator belt can also be checked with a belt tension checking tool. You can buy this tool at most auto-parts stores that also sell engine belts.

Warning

  • Keep hands and tools away from moving parts when the engine is running.

Items you will need

About the Author

Grace Mclain has been writing professionally since 1998. Her articles have appeared on eHow.com, Answerbag.com and LIVESTRONG.COM, and she specializes in automotive and business topics. McIain has a professional writing certificate from JB Hunt in Little Rock, Ark.

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