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The serpentine belt is also known as the 'ribbed' belt. The belt is a normal wear and tear item and will eventually need to be replaced to avoid slipping or breaking. In addition, it has been reported that a buildup of a static electric charge on the belt can interfere with some of the vehicle's sensor and cause spurious CEL codes to be recorded by the OBD system. The codes thrown typically have to do with misfires. It is believed that the belt has an anti-static coating when new, and that this can wear off. It is further believed that non-OEM belts are more likely to have issues with static buildup.

Replacement Edit

AES Engine modelsEdit

The belly pan must be removed first.

Remove one of the three bolts that mount tensioner assembly.

SerpBelt1

The bolt visible at the top of this picture has been loosened and can be removed.

SerpBelt3

Another picture of the loosened bolt. Leave the other two mounting bolts in place. The belt seen here has 97,000 miles on it.

From the top of the engine compartment, insert the borrowed bolt into the threads at the top of the tensioner.

SerpBelt2

This picture shows the same bolt from above being used here to relieve tension on the belt.

Insert the bolt only enough to relieve tension on the belt so that it can be removed, and no further. Doing so can damage the tensioner.

Some different instructions on the internet claim that this bolt has counter-clockwise threads. That isn't accurate information. The fastener holding the pulley onto the tensioner has counter-clockwise (left-hand) threads, but not the tension release discussed here.

Install the new belt onto the crankshaft first, since it has the large flywheel to be surmounted and that requires lots of slack. Install the new belt onto the water pump pulley between the crankshaft and the tensioner pulley last, since it has a smooth surface with no ridges.

When finished replacing the belt, remove the bolt from the tension release and replace it in the correct mounting position.

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