How to Tighten the Serpentine Belt of a Maxima

by Allen Moore
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The Nissan Maxima is equipped with a serpentine drive system that transfers torque from the crankshaft pulley to the various engine accessories such as the alternator, power steering pump and air-conditioning compressor. The belt that transfers this energy must be held in place with a belt tensioner, a moveable device with an idler pulley that pushes the belt into place, holding it taut so that it does not fly off the engine. The tensioner on the Maxima is tightened or loosened with a set of 14mm bolts on the side of the unit.

Step 1

Raise the hood and use the flashlight to locate the tensioner. It is near the rear exhaust manifold and has two bolt heads below the pulley.

Step 2

Loosen the locking nut using the 14mm socket, universal socket adapter, extension and wrench. The locking nut faces the same direction as the pulley. Do not remove the nut completely or you will spend the next few days trying to reinstall it.

Step 3

Turn the adjuster bolt counter-clockwise with the same tools you used in Step 2. The belt should be tight enough to deflect one inch, no more or less. The adjuster bolt head is perpendicular to the pulley.

Tighten the locking nut back down using the same tools you used to loosen it in Step 2.

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