Serpentine Belts
Chevy Corsica
Buick Rendezvous
1995-2005 Chevy Cavaliers

How do you change the belt tensioner on a 96 Corsica?

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2015-07-15 20:58:11
2015-07-15 20:58:11

I don't know if your 96 is the same as mine, but I just did this job on a 95 Corsica with 3.1 V6. On mine, I had to lower the engine to get at the bolt holding the tensioner on the engine.

Required tools:

  • Hydraulic Service Jack (3-ton minimum recommended)
  • 2 jack stands
  • 2 tire chocks
  • wrench or bar capable of releiving pressure on belt tensioner

(I used 15mm open ended wrench)

  • 2'long 2x4
  • 6"x10"x3/4" piece of plywood.
  • standard metric socket/wratchet set for small fender bolts (<8mm)

all the way up to 15 mmm engine mounting bolts.

1. Set rear brake and chock rear tires

2. Loosen lug nuts on passenger side front tire.

3. Lift and support front of car on jack stands. I recommend placing them beneath front tires, under the jack notches, at the lowest heights.

4. Remove tire and mud guard(s) to expose the lower pulley assembly. You should be able to see the front crank shaft pulley wheel with the tensioner assembly located to the left.

5. Loosen the serpentine belt and slip it off of the alternator. Leave the belt on the car unless it absolutely needs replacement (A separate job that possibly requires removing a different set of bolts and mounts than what is described in step 9).

6. Use hydraulic service jack with sufficient lift (despite the fact that the car is already on jacks) and support to reach the oil pan, raise the engine 1-2 inches, and, most importantly, support the engine while you lower it in step 10. I used a $70 3-ton service jack from Wal-Mart. Anything lighter and cheaper probably won't work.

7. Place plywood between the jack head and the oil pan and raise the engine 1-2 inches in order to relieve pressure of engine mounting bolts.

8. Wedge a wood 2x4 (approx. 2' long) behind the alternater. This will allow better access to the tensioner bolt by keeping the engine from rolling towards the firewall during step 10, and it can be used as a pry bar to help realine the these bolt holes during reassembly.

9. Remove the three 15 mm bolts from the engine mounting bracket closest to the pulley assembly. On mine car there were two in back and one in front.

10. Slowly unscrew service jack handle and watch the passenger side of the engine lower. Let it down very slowley until you can see/get to the tensioner bolt. Retighten the jack handle. If you are not going to block the engine at this heigth and will only rely upon the jack to hold the engine while you replace the tensioner, DO NOT GET UNDER THE ENGINE FOR ANY REASON (you should not need to anyway).

11. You should now be able to see the tensioner bolt. I used standard socket with ratchet and 4" extender. If angle is extreme, you might need to use a swivle. Also, you might also need to unclip the coolant hose from its fender brackets and lower it or pull it back to improve access the the bolt.

12. Remove and replace tensioner.

13. Reroute serpentine belt around the tensioner and all other other pulleys except for the alternator.

14. Do reverse of steps 10 - 1. JOB COMPLETE.

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i assume you mean new belt you need to remove upper motor mount to remove belt and pull tensioner up to release tension

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Do you have diagram of 96 olds 98 putting a belt on an alternator.

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on a 96 (3.1 V6) it's a side mount it is on the passenger side of the car on the side of the engine, very close to the fender. the tensioner wheel will accept either an open end wrench or a 1/2 inch or larger pull bar. You will need a pull bar to change the tensioner or the belt, you can rent them from many autoparts stores.

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Use a 15mm closed end wrench on the tensioner pulley bolt and rotate the tensioner arm away from the drive belt. Remove the old belt and release the tensioner slowly so that it will not snap back and ruin it.

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If you're certain that the sound is from the serpentine belt you should check the belt tensioner. A weak tensioner spring will result in slipping and a noisy belt.

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