Accessory Belt Idler Pulley
Is your car's accessory belt idler pulley starting to squeak for attention? Then you better take a look at it before it causes the entire serpentine or accessory belt assembly to fail. Keep in mind that a lot of automotive systems rely on this pulley.the AC compressor, power pump, and alternator to name a few. In some cases, you might just need to pump some oil into the pulley to stop the squeaking. But if the squeaking won't stop despite putting on a generous amount of oil, it's time to replace it. Here's how:
Step 1: Familiarize yourself with the accessory or serpentine belt system.
Depending on your car's year and make, you either have separate accessory belts (found in really old cars) or a single serpentine belt (used in most cars today) under the hood. Before you start to take things apart, take a look at your car's belt system, making note of the locations and positions of every part that's connected to the belt. It's best to make a diagram of the belt route so you won't have a hard time putting parts back together after the installation. Don't forget to also mark the locations of the idler pulley and belt tensioner.
Step 2: Unload the tensioner and remove the belt.
Before you could remove the pulley, you need to unload the tensioner first and uninstall the belt. Grab a wrench and turn the bolt that holds the tensioner in place in a clockwise direction. Keep on turning until you could feel that the tensioner is unloading. Once this part is unloaded, you'll be able to pull off the belt.
Step 3: Remove the accessory belt idler pulley.
To remove the belt pulley, locate the bolt that holds the pulley in place. Use a wrench to unscrew it. Keep on turning the wrench clockwise until you can easily pull off the bolt and the pulley.
Step 4: Install the new accessory belt idler pulley.
If your new pulley comes with a bolt, simply use this new bolt and attach it in place by using the old washer. Then place the new accessory belt idler pulley in position, and bolt it in place by using the wrench.
Step 5: Reinstall the tensioner and belt.
Using a wrench, bolt the tensioner in place and re-route the belt, making sure that you follow the diagram. Once everything is reinstalled, turn on the engine to see if the accessory belt idler pulley has been properly attached.
- During the installation, check the belt and tensioner for any signs of damage. If the tensioner is cracked, warped, or if the belt is starting to fray, it's time to replace these parts too. And what better time to do the replacement than when doing a pulley installation?
- Make sure you have your car's manual with you especially if this is your first time to uninstall parts from the accessory belt. The belt route can get confusing, so it's best if you have the manufacturer's diagram with you.
- It's best to have someone assist you when unloading a tensioner since this part can get tricky.