Six Easy Steps in Adjusting the Accessory Belt Adjust Pulley
Automotive drive belts must be checked for cracks, frays, and incorrect tension every 15,000 miles or once a year. You should also check the components that work along with the belts. These include the adjust pulley, which applies and maintains constant tension on the belt as it wears out and stretches over time. Though it has limited life expectancy, not all problems with the accessory belt adjust pulley necessitate a replacement. Sometimes, what you need to do is to simply adjust the pulley, and you're good to go. Adjusting the pulley is such a simple task; with the right tools, it can be done even by a novice do-it-yourselfer.
Difficulty level: Easy
What you'll need:
- ?-inch wrench
- 3/8-inch drive ratchet
- Set of 3/8-inch drive sockets
Step 1: For your safety, wait for the engine to completely cool down before starting off with the task. Put the vehicle in park and the ignition in the "off" position. Take the key off the ignition to prevent the possibility of the engine engaging while the accessory belt pulley is being adjusted.
Step 2: Open the hood and locate the main pulley that controls the serpentine belt. Fit a 1/2-inch wrench over the tensioner bolt positioned on the outside of the pulley.
Step 3: Slowly turn the wrench to the right and watch how the belt works. Find out if the slack in the belt is decreasing or if a tight belt is getting stiffer as you tighten the tensioner. Continue rotating the bolt until the slack is gone and the belt is snug enough against the pulley wheel.
Step 4: Remove the wrench and shut the hood.
Step 5: Start the engine. If you don't experience any problem during startup, it means the serpentine belt's tension is enough to engage the alternator. If you hear a squealing sound, tighten the belt a little more.
Step 6: If needed, repeat steps one through four until the engine starts easily and seamlessly and the belt operates silently.
Do not overtighten your accessory drive belt so as not to damage the driven components' bearings.