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

How to Replace Serpentine Belt Tensioner 09-17 Toyota RAV4

Share on:

How to Replace Serpentine Belt Tensioner 09-17 Toyota RAV4

Created on: 2019-09-24

Check out this video from 1A Auto and learn how to replace the serpentine belt tensioner in your 09-17 Toyota RAV4 yourself! DIY will save you money!

Tools needed for replacement

  • General Tools


  • Ratchets & Related

    Torque Wrench


  • Sockets - Metric

    21mm Socket

    14mm Socket

    10mm Socket

  • Specialty Tools

    Serpentine Belt Removal Tool

    Plastic Fastener Remover

  • Wrenches - Metric

    12mm Wrench

Installation Video
Watch video

What's up, guys? I'm Andy from 1A Auto. In this video, I'm going to show you how to replace the serpentine belt tensioner and belt on this 2010 Toyota RAV4. If you need these parts or other parts for your vehicle, click the link in the description and head over to

All right, I raised and supported the vehicle. I'm going to remove the wheel. I'm using a 21 millimeter socket and an air gun. If you don't have an air gun, you can use a breaker bar. Just crack the lug nuts for you while the vehicle is still on the ground.

All right, now I want to take the tire off. This one's stuck on there pretty good, so I'm going to put one lug nut one, so the tire doesn't go flying. And just hit it on the backside of the tire with a hammer. Break it free. The reason you leave the lug nuts is so the tire doesn't go flying. I'm going to take the lug nut off, and pull the tire off.

I want to take this pushpin out here, here. There's one here. And normally, there's probably one here. This vehicle doesn't have that. I'm just going to use a trim tool. Pop these out, pop the center out first. You can pop those out just like that. Then we're going to take this panel off, slide it towards the back of the car.

Now I'm going to use a belt tensioner tool with a 14 millimeter bit on the end of it, or a socket. You can try to use a socket and ratchet, but there's not a lot of room in here, so a belt tensioner tool would be more ideal. So we're going to loosen this, pushing it towards the back of the vehicle, and then I'm just going to slide the belt off the water pump, and then loosen up on the tensioner, and then slide the tool out.

Now I can slide the belt off the alternator. It's kind of hard to see up there. And off the AC compressor and off the crank pulley. Pull the belt out. Now under the hood, I'm going to take this cover off. There's these pushpins right here. Just take a small screwdriver or something to push down on those push pins just a little bit, and then you can release them. Take all of those out. Now just slide this out of the way.

I'm going to use a 10 millimeter socket and an electric ratchet. If you don't have an electric one, you can use a regular one. Take this bolt off here and then also there's a bolt down here. I'm going to use an extension for the back bolt. Take that one out right there.

Now I'm going to grab the coolant reservoir, and I'm just going to slide it over to the side out of our way. Now I just want to take a 12 millimeter wrench and right on the center bolt that goes through the tensioner we're going to loosen that bolt up, right there. It's just easier to use a wrench. There's not much room in there to put a socket and a ratchet. Once you crack it free, it's not that hard to pull the bolt out by hand.

All right. The bolt's all the way out. Just going to grab the bolt and twist a little bit, add a little the tension, and it will come right off. There it is. Here's the old parts. Here's the new belt and tensioner from As you can see, the belt is the same size. It's the same as the old one. And the tensioner, tensioner looks visually the same, has the same machine surfaces, same adjuster. The backside, the pulley is the same. It's got the same alignment pin. Get yours at, you'd be ready to rock and roll.

You just take the tensioner, I'm just going to get the bolt started through the tensioner because it'll be a little bit easier. Remember, you have this alignment pin, so that's going to line up with the hole right here, and then you have the hole for the bolt. So, line those up. Get that started.

All right, so that's going to go right there. Now, I'm going to tighten that bolt up. Now I'm going to take my 12 millimeter wrench on that bolt and tighten that up, and snug that up real good. That's good. If you wanted to try to get the belt on from up top, you could try that, but it's a little bit easier to get it on from underneath. So you'd have to go around the crank, and you're probably going to need to go underneath anyway. So, around the AC compressor, around the water pump, around the alternator and then around the the tensioner. But I'm going to just put it on from underneath. So I'm going to put this other stuff back for now, right. All right. I'll put these two bolts in, one here and one here. And tighten this up.

Just use the 10 millimeter socket and a ratchet. That's good. And put this cover on, just slide this in position, just like that. All right. So, push these pushpins up so the buttons popped through like that, and then push it down, and then push the button down so it's flush. So, you've just got to reset all of these just like that. Put all those back.

So we want to install this belt pretty much the same way the old one came off. I'm going to start with the alternator up top. Just make sure you get that over the alternator. So, have this come down next to the tensioner and next to the crank pulley. We want it to go around the crank pulley, right here. Have it down from the water pump, and I'm just going to hold the excess belt right here next to the seat compressor. All right, I'm going to get the tensioner tool, put this on the belt tensioner itself and loosen the tension on the belt, and try to wrap it around the AC compressor. All right, and we're able to get that around there. Just make sure it's all around all the pulleys. Loosen up the tensioner, and just double check everything looks good.

Now, it's a good idea to just bump the starter real quick and just make sure, or start the vehicle and shut it off real quick and just make sure the belt is all set, and then you can put the cover right on.

I'll just take this panel, slide this back into position, like that. Take the push pins. Push pins back in right there, right here, right here, and then if you had that one, put that one in there, and then you can put the tire back on. Now install the tire. Take the lug nuts, install the lug nuts.

Now, I lowered the vehicle down to the ground so that the tire is just touching the ground, and I'm going to torque these with a 21 millimeter socket and a torque wrench to 76 foot pounds, and I'm going to do this in a star pattern. The reason you do it in the star pattern is so that the wheel gets tightened down evenly. And then I always like to go around again just to double check. Then you're good to go.

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.

Tools needed for replacement:

    General Tools

  • Hammer

  • Ratchets & Related

  • Torque Wrench
  • Ratchet

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 21mm Socket
  • 14mm Socket
  • 10mm Socket

  • Specialty Tools

  • Serpentine Belt Removal Tool
  • Plastic Fastener Remover

  • Wrenches - Metric

  • 12mm Wrench

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.