how to replace serpentine belt on chevy cavalier
Hi Torres! Here's a how-to that will walk you through it. Good luck! http://autorepair.about.com/library/weekly/aa071205a.htm
For the older models there is a video on youtube that has you remove the motor mount and go in from the top. That obviously would not work on my 2005. I found another website that showed how to replace the main pulley by jacking up the car and removing the wheel. That seemed like overkill. Here's what I did. I turned the wheel all the way to the right to give me some working room. I removed all the little screws that held the plastic liner onto the inside of the wheel well and the other plastic piece that covers the belt. There were a couple of plastic clips that I could not remove easily. I just left them attached. One screw was a different size. I don't know if that's important or someone replaced the screw on a previous repair. (I also removed a clip holding a cable, but then I couldn't find it and never reconnected it. I probably didn't need to remove the cable clip.) After removing all the little screws I was able to bend the plastic out of the way and tuck it behind. Previously I had felt the belt and pulleys with my hand. You should do this. It's hard to see and you want a good mental picture of where everything is. Tip: Use an old piece of carpet instead of a creeper to get your arms under the car. The pully next to the alternator is the tensioner. On the later years there is no locking bolts. It swings on a pivot with a spring. There is a square hole for a breaker bar, but I didn't have a breaker bar. I used the scissor jack from the trunk to lift the tensioner. On the tensioner fork there is a notch. My jack handle has two pieces. The far piece has a hook on one end. I put the hook in the saddle of the jack and the other end in the notch of the tensioner. Do not put it on the pully. The handle piece needs to be vertical enough that it does not slip off the jack, but at a slight angle so there is room to remove the belt. I turned the jack screw with my fingers and the tensioner was lifted. Be careful that the handle does not slip off the jack and hit you in the face. The belt should come right off. I had to twist the jack screw just a bit more to get the new one on. Make sure the belt is seated correctly before releasing the jack. Check the belt before you completely release the jack. Check the belt after you take out the jack. Put all your little screws back in place. Do the wheel well first. For some screws it is better if you put them in loose and then go back and tighten them after you have all the other screws in place.
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