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How to Replace a Serpentine Belt in a Sable

by Christian Killian

The Mercury Sable, with its 3.0-liter engine, uses a single serpentine belt to turn the accessory pulleys on the front of the engine. Over time, the belt can wear, stretch and split causing an unsafe condition, with the possibility of belt failure. If the belt fails, the water pump will not turn and the engine will overheat. The heads can warp from the excessive heat and damage can occur to the cylinders. Replacement belts are readily available, so check the belt regularly and replace it at the first sign of damage.

Locate the negative battery cable on the negative battery terminal of your Sable. Remove the retaining bolt from the cable and terminal using a wrench, then remove the cable from the battery. Isolate the cable away from the battery while you change the belt.

Locate the belt tensioner on the front of the engine. Place a socket on the axis bolt, the one that runs through the center of the idler pulley, and turn it counterclockwise with a breaker bar. Once the belt is loose, remove it from the pulleys and discard it.

Rotate the tensioner clockwise and let it rest in the home position. Install a new belt around all the pulleys except the idler pulley on the tensioner. Follow the diagram on the radiator support for proper belt routing.

Rotate the tensioner counterclockwise with the breaker bar and socket, slide the new belt onto the idler pulley, then slowly rotate the tensioner clockwise, tightening the belt.

Install the negative battery cable on the negative terminal of the battery. Install the retaining bolt and tighten it with a wrench.

Items you will need


About the Author

Christian Killian has been a freelance journalist/photojournalist since 2006. After many years of working in auto parts and service positions, Killian decided to move into journalism full-time. He has been published in "1st Responder News" as well as in other trade magazines and newspapers in the last few years.

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