Do you own a late model Ford Taurus? Has a loud, squealing sound started emanating from underneath its hood? It could be the drivebelt. In my car, it’s a V-ribbed belt that’s located on the front passenger’s side of the engine. When it goes bad, it’s known to sound like a ticked off sow. I know, because I had it happen to my vehicle once. With that said, here’s how to replace one:
Start the job by obtaining your vehicle’s drivebelt part number and routing diagram. It is typically embossed onto a decal that is placed somewhere under the hood. In most instances, you’ll find it on the underside of the hood or the radiator panel. Next, take a copy of the number and diagram to your local auto parts store. Use it to purchase an identical belt. If you don’t already have a ratchet set, extensions, a flashlight and wrenches, you may want to consider grabbing those too.
Remove Old Belt
Once you’re ready to work, cut off the engine and pop open the hood. Locate the belt and examine it for cracks, glazing and other damage. If you find damage, grab your tools and use it to loosen the bolt that keeps the tensioner pulley in place. I used a 15-mm wrench for the job. Depending on your vehicle’s model, you may be able to use the same one.
Nonetheless, continue the replacement process by releasing the belt tension. It may be released by rotating the tensioner clockwise or counterclockwise. Once the tension has gone out of the belt, examine its position. Make sure that the routing matches what you have on your diagram. Then remove the belt and gently release the tensioner. While the belt is off, I’d suggest scanning the area for oil leaks or other potential problems. If you find any, go ahead and address them first.
Install New Belt
Afterward, using the diagram as a visual aid, continue the repair by placing the v-ribbed belt onto your vehicle’s auxiliary components. Then route it over your vehicle’s pulleys and double check your work. If everything looks identical to the diagram, rotate the tensioner until the new belt adjusts into place. Ideally, the new belt’s V-grooves should fit properly into your vehicle’s pulley’s grooves. If they don’t, remove the belt and try again. Once you’ve got the fit right, crank your vehicle up and inspect your handiwork. Hopefully, the squealing will be a distant and not so pleasant memory.
Source: Personal Experience
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