Serpentine Belts
Ford Contour
Chevy S-10

Replacing the serpentine belt on a 1996 Ford Contour 4-cylinder with AC do you need to remove anything from the car to reach the tensioner?


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2009-03-14 22:43:12
2009-03-14 22:43:12

I just replaced the serpentine belt on my 1996 Ford Contour. I opted to remove the front passenger-side tire to gain access to the tensioner. Once I was able to get to the tensioner pulley, I had the old belt off and replaced within 10 minutes. I did have some help, though. It is much easier to have one person release the tension while another puts the new belt into place.

22:42, 14 Mar 2009 ~

No, you do not have to remove it. It is also possible to release the tensioner top-side. I once had a tensioner go bad in the parking lot at work and had to replace it there with what I had in my trunk. It is easier with the tire off, but if you have to a slim ratchet with a shallow socket should do the trick.


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Check to make sure the belt is routed around the compressor pulley. Also check the wiring connector at the compressor in case it was dislodged.

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No. The serpentine belt controls A/C, alternator, water pump, power steering pump, and that is it. And if the belt is replaced properly, it will not cause damage to anything.

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The Tensioner is spring loaded-use a long wrench on the center of the pulley 2 release tension-DON"T UNBOLT anything-IF it doesn't feel springy then find the bolt in the center of a (the) pulley that is.

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No, they usually can stretch slightly if anything but the tensioner should take up the slack if they do. If you took it off and when you go to put it back on it's too short you have routed it incorrectly.

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You don't. The serpentine belt tension is automatically maintained by the tensioner pulley, which is an idler pulley located on the passenger side of the system and looks like it doesn't drive anything. If the belt tension is incorrect, the tensioner pulley must be replaced. If the question meant 'how to release tension from the belt' (for removal, etc.), this is done by applying the correct size socket wrench to the tensioner pulley's center nut and rocking the pulley away from the belt.

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