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How To Replace Your Serpentine Belt, Fan, Alternator or Water Pump Belt

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Do You Need to Replace Your Belts?
Typical serpentine belt location

Is it time to replace your serpentine belt?

photo by John Lake, 2011
There are lots of pulleys spinning around under your hood. Engine designers are ingenious in the number of accessories they have managed to bolt onto the front of the engine, drawing their energy from the incredible power of that spinning crankshaft. Everything from the water pump to the air conditioning. But let's not get too poetic about it. All of those pulleys need belts to transfer the energy from the crank pulley, and those belts wear out with all of their spinning, heating, cooling, stretching and shrinking. It's important to inspect your belts every season to be sure you don't have any worn, frayed or stretched belts. It may be tempting to wait until your belt wears completely out before you spend the time and money to replace it, but that belt failure will never come at a good time. It would be great if your belt broke as you were pulling into your driveway on a Saturday and had all weekend to fix it, but it won't happen that way. You'll be late to work on a morning that you are supposed to be covering for somebody and "snap." You're stranded on the side of the road.

If your serpentine belt is worn, it's a fairly straightforward and easy replacement. Count on spending a few hours because there are a number of things that probably need to be disconnected or removed on your vehicle before you can get to the belts and pulleys. Most belts can be replaced without having to do things like drain your coolant or remove any hoses. Read on for some easy tips and photos of the various steps involved in replacing your belts.

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  5. How to Install a New Serpentine Belt

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