How To Change Alternator Belt

While learning basic car maintenance you will learn how to change alternator belt. Changing an alternator belt is as preventative maintenance if it appears dry rotted and cracked or out of necessity if it breaks. Alternator belts are also often changed when an alternator is changed as a precaution. These are basic step-by-step instructions. You may have to add a step or ignore depending on your vehicle.

To change an alternator belt, you will need:

  • Wrench
  • Sockets
  • New Alternator Belt
  • Paper and Pencil

Some vehicles have a separate accessory belt for the alternator. Other vehicles have a serpentine belt which  runs all of the accessories off of a single belt. Changing the alternator belt can range from simple to difficult depending on the number of pulleys the belt travels around.

  1. Find out what alternator belt fits your vehicle. Your local parts store will be able to tell you what alternator belt you need when you tell them the year, make, model, and engine size of your vehicle. 
  2. Park vehicle on level surface. Set emergency break. Pop the hood.
  3. Disconnect the negative battery cable. This is an important safety step that should not be overlooked.
  4. Locate alternator belt and draw a diagram of the belts path. Be sure to detail exactly how the belt runs to ensure that it is replaced properly.
  5. Find the tensioner pulley. Loosen the tensioner pulley until you notice slack in the belt.
  6. Remove old belt and replace with the new one. Tighten tensioner pulley.
  7. Reconnect battery cable. Close the hood.
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