How to Replace the Alternator Belt on a 2001 Nissan Sentraby Grace Mclain
The 2001 Nissan Sentra comes equipped with two different belts on the front of the engine. These two belts control all of the engine accessories. These accessories include the alternator, air conditioner, power steering and the water pump. The alternator belt is driven around each accessory pulley by the crankshaft pulley. The belts have ribs on the inside of the belt that fit into the grooves on each accessory pulley. When these ribs begin to crack, the belt will need to be changed or the belt will break.
Pull the hood open on the 2001 Nissan Sentra and secure it in place.
Inspect the front of the engine and locate the alternator. The belt that is routed around the alternator pulley is also routed around the crankshaft. The alternator also has an adjustment bracket. Loosen the lock bolt on the front of the adjustment bracket with the 1/2-inch drive ratchet and a metric socket.
Turn the bolt head at the end of the alternator adjustment bracket counterclockwise with the ratchet and the metric socket until the alternator belt is loose enough to remove from both the alternator pulley and the crankshaft pulley. Pull the belt off and remove it from the engine compartment.
Route the new alternator belt around the crankshaft pulley and then the alternator pulley. Turn the alternator adjustment bolt clockwise with the ratchet and socket to tighten the belt. A properly tensioned alternator belt on the 2001 Nissan Sentra will have no more than a half-inch of slack. Check the tension by pushing down on the belt with your hand.
Tighten the locking bolt on the alternator bracket down tight with the ratchet and socket. Crank the engine and watch the belt to be sure that it will remain inside of each pulley. Turn the engine off and close the hood.
- "Nissan Sentra & 200SX Haynes Repair Manual for 1995 thru 2004 Covering all Models"; John Haynes; 2005
- You can also buy a belt tensioner checking tool at most auto-parts stores.
Things You'll Need
- 1/2-inch drive ratchet
- 1/2-inch drive extension
- Metric socket set
- New alternator belt
- Be sure to take the keys out of the ignition when working around the engine compartment to prevent accidental cranking by someone else.
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.