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How to Replace the Serpentine Belt in a Pontiac Grand Am

by Contributor

The main drive belt of a vehicle is often called a serpentine belt, because it weaves around different pulleys in the engine to drive different components. A Pontiac Grand Am may have one or more belts according to the engine model. For optimal maintenance, check belts every 7,500 miles or 12 months for wear.

Find the belt tensioner. The Pontiac Grand Am has an auto-adjusting belt tensioner pulley that you will loosen to be able to take the old serpentine belt off. The tensioner will be down below some of the components, but above the crankshaft and accessible from above, though some mechanics say it can be hard to reach without a customized thin tool.

Rotate the belt tensioner bolt counter-clockwise with your breaker bar or ratchet tool to loosen tension on the belt, and slip the belt off of all of the pulleys.

Use the belt routing diagram provided by the manufacturer to install the new belt on each pulley. You can find the belt routing diagram on the Pontiac Grand Am on the power steering pump reservoir, on the belt guard--if applicable--or on a decal on the engine. If you can't find the manufacturer's belt routing diagram, use the Dayco belt and parts site to find the diagram for your Pontiac Grand Am by make, model and year.

Rotate the tensioner again to allow the belt to fully seat on all pulleys, then let the tensioner self-adjust to regain tension on the belt. Make sure the belt is correctly seated on all pulleys.

Run the engine and observe to make sure the belt is properly installed.

Warning

  • This guide covers a limited range of model years from 1985-1998. Check the owner's manual and documentation for newer Pontiac Grand Am models.

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