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How to Replace the Serpentine Belt in a Toyota Tacoma

by Contributor

A drive belt is called a serpentine belt when it snakes around various components such as the alternator, water pump or power steering pump in an engine assembly. This information refers to the model year range of 1995-2004 for the Toyota Tacoma. Although these trucks generally have similar drive belt setups, check your owner's documentation for specific tools, methods and belts for your Tacoma.

Locate the belt's main component. For a Toyota Tacoma, each belt has a component that holds tension on the belt. To adjust tension on the belt, you'll need to actually move this component closer to the engine.

Make a detailed routing diagram, recording the way the belt is set up so you'll know how to install the new belt.

Use a wrench to loosen the adjustment bolt for the component. Loosen the pivot bolt for the component.

Move the component toward the engine to release tension on the belt and slip the belt off the component pulley. For older models, you may need to pry the component in the direction you want it to go.

Take the old belt off of its pulleys and use your routing diagram to install the new one.

Re-locate the component to regain tension on the belt and tighten the pivot and adjustment bolts.

Run the engine and check for shimmying, squealing or other signs of incorrect installation.

Warning

  • Toyota recommends checking these belts every 15,000 miles or 12 months for replacement due to normal wear and tear.

Items you will need

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