1A Auto Video Library
Our how-to videos have helped repair over 100 million vehicles.

Changing Your Car Trucks Serpentine Belt Check These 6 Things Too

Share on:

Changing Your Car Trucks Serpentine Belt Check These 6 Things Too

Created on: 2020-07-25

This video shows you other things you should check when you replace a serpentine belt.

Installation Video
Watch video

Woah, that's not good. In this video, we're gonna go over some of the other things you may need when replacing your serpentine belt. Now, if you have some belt noise like that, one of the first things you want to check is if you have automatic tensioners or manual adjusting tensioners. This vehicle has manually adjusting tensioners, and if the belts aren't that old, all you have to do is tighten them up. We'll loosen up this nut right here and adjust the bolt right there and you can tighten them or loosen them accordingly. Most newer vehicles have automatic tensioners.

Now, if you have an automatic tensioner and the belt is fairly new, chances are it's weak. It needs to be replaced. So the belt tensioner is something you definitely don't want to overlook before you even replace the serpentine belt in the first place, you definitely want to check to make sure there's no excessive play or check the tension on it. Make sure it moves smoothly. Make sure it's not bound up or very loose. If you go to put a serpentine belt tool on it and it's very easy to move, chances are the spring is weak and that's gonna give you more problems in the future.

Now let's talk about pulleys. Now, if you take the belt off and you spin the pulley and you hear a lot of grinding noise, that pulley is gonna be bad. The bearing's not good. This one, although you can hear it, the pulley's not bad on this one, or you can grab the pulley and try to spin it and it won't even move if its seized up. If you can't move it at all, it's got to be replaced.

Now, if you look at the surface of the pulley, not only the idler pulley, but also the tensioner pulley, if this was metal and you see excessive rust in there, you're definitely going to want to replace that. That's definitely gonna need to be addressed. If you have rust buildup on here or even the water pump pulley on the outside, it's gonna get on the outside of the belt and it's gonna cause it to squeal or squeak a lot sooner.

Another thing to check is your alternator. Just spin the pulley on that. Just make sure you don't hear any squealing or major squeaks. If you hear a little bit of squeak, sometimes they squeak a little bit, but, as long as you don't hear any major grinding, it should be okay.

Also the water pump. You want to check the pulley on the water pump. Not every water pump or every vehicle has a water pump that's driven by the serpentine belt, but most of them are. So, just grab the pulley, give it a shake. And that looks pretty good, there's nothing wrong with that. Give it a spin, and it sounds okay.

And the power steering pump, some vehicles have electric power steering, so you don't even have this, but some vehicles do. And just spin that and make sure that looks like that's good. Its spinning properly. There's not too much rust on it. You can give a shake. Sometimes there will be a little bit of play if you go in and out a little bit and that's normal. That one looks good. And also consider the harmonic balancer or the crank pulley.

Now there is a rubber ring in here in most vehicles. They're all pretty much the same, but if you're having a belt squeal issue, this could actually be separated. And when you start the vehicle, just, this is spinning and the belt is holding still. Someone would have to watch this while you start the vehicle to see that, or if you have the belt off, you can just grab it and just try to rock it back and forth. I personally have seen this problem and the only way to fix it is to replace the crank pulley.

Now, if your vehicle's running, you need to be careful if you hear a grinding type noise in the bearings. You may think it might be an alternator, but it could actually be the pulley right next to it. The sound might resonate to the alternator, so, even if you're checking it with a stethoscope, be careful. Definitely want to check that by taking the belt off and spinning it. It's more likely the idler pulley, but it could always be the alternator as well.

You want to think about pulley alignment as well. That can cause a squeak. If these pulleys aren't lined up properly, if the water pump or power steering pump was replaced and the pulley wasn't pushed on all the way, or it's hanging off a little bit. If the belt's not lined up right, it's gonna squeak.

Or if there's any type of fluid that has leaked onto the belt, whether it's power steering fluid, coolant, or oil, you're gonna have to fix those leaks and replace that belt. You don't want to put a new belt on and have the same thing happen and have to replace a new belt.

And one last thing you might want to replace when you're doing your serpentine belt is your air filter. I know it may not seem related, but most vehicles, you have to take the snorkel off anyway to get to it and it's pretty easy to just pull the air box off. Check it, if it's dirty, replace it. I hope you enjoyed this video. If you have, make sure you subscribe to our channel. Ring that bell and turn on all notifications so you don't miss any of our videos.

Thanks for watching. Visit for quality auto parts shipped to your door, the place for DIY auto repair. And if you enjoyed this video, please click the subscribe button.

How to Perform Wheel Alignment by Yourself

How to Perform Wheel Alignment by Yourself

Learn how to perform a wheel alignment by yourself with this helpful video from 1A Auto!

Search Videos
Go To Top

Same Day Shipping

Need your part faster? Choose expedited shipping at checkout.

Guaranteed To Fit

Highest quality, direct fit replacement auto parts enforced to the strictest product standards.

USA Customer Support

Exceeding customers' expectations, our team of passionate auto enthusiasts are here to help.

Instructional Video Library

Thousands of how-to auto repair videos to guide you step-by-step through your repair.