How do you change a serpentine belt on a Toyota Highlander?

Asked By: Danute ViƱado | Last Updated: 18th June, 2020
Category: automotive auto parts
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How to Change a Serpentine Belt in a Toyota Highlander
  1. Park the vehicle in the well lighted work space and open the hood.
  2. Remove cover from over the alternator with your adjustable wrench.
  3. Locate the hexagon bolt in the middle of the alternator.
  4. Pull the belt off of the alternator and continue removing it from around the other pulleys.

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Also to know is, where is the belt tensioner located?

That is the big long belt in the front of your engine. The tensioner rides on the outside surface of the belt to put pressure, or tension, on the belt and against the pulleys that drive things like the alternator, power steering, air conditioner, etc.

Similarly, how do you loosen a tensioner pulley? If equipped with a tensioner screw, back off the tensioner screw. Then, push the alternator toward the other pulleys, loosening the belt. To loosen an NAI tensioner, loosen the locking nut or bolt, then back off the tensioner screw. Push the pulley toward the other pulleys or accessories, loosening the belt.

Also question is, when should I replace my drive belt?

Serpentine belts are built to last—much longer than before because of advancements in rubber technology. Under ideal conditions, a belt should stick with you for an average of 60,000 to 100,000 miles.

How much does it cost to fix a belt tensioner?

The average cost for a drive belt tensioner replacement is between $211 and $239. Labor costs are estimated between $73 and $93 while parts are priced between $138 and $146. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.

33 Related Question Answers Found

How long does it take to change a tensioner pulley?

You are only required to loosen the bolt that goes behind the PS pump. This will move the tensioner pulley. You will then slide the default belt off and replace with the right one. This process should not take you more than 30 minutes.

How can you tell if a belt tensioner is bad?

Some of the more common symptoms of a failing or bad belt tensioner include the following.
  1. Squeaking or Grinding Noise.
  2. Unusual Belt Wear.
  3. Failure of the Belt-driven Accessories to Operate.
  4. Bleeding Rust and Presence of Cracks.
  5. Excessive Wear of Pulley Bearing.
  6. Visible Signs of Pulley Wear.

Can you drive without a serpentine belt?

As you can see, driving without a serpentine belt is not an option, at least not for very long. *Some cars have an electric water pump and/or electric assist steering.

How do you test a serpentine belt tensioner?

If a belt starts slipping, the tensioner should always be checked to see if it is functioning properly. With the belt off, visually inspect the tensioner for any cracks or signs of metal-to-metal contact between the tensioner arm and the spring case. Then spin the tensioner pulley manually.

Is a serpentine belt the same as a timing belt?


A serpentine belt does more work than a timing belt. Timing belts synchronize the movement of the crankshaft and the camshaft while the serpentine belt transmits mechanical power which drives the air conditioner, water pump, alternator, etc. A timing belt needs more work to be replaced because it is covered.

How hard is it to change a serpentine belt?

Serpentine belt replacement is easy because today's automatic drive belt tensioners eliminate the need to loosen bolts or pry components into position for retensioning. Just rotate the tensioner, remove the old belt and install a new one.

Can you drive with a bad tensioner pulley?

So, how long can you drive with a bad idler pulley? The safety recommendation is not to drive the car at all and take it to a mechanic immediately. You should be concerned if the vehicle makes squeaking or rattling noises. The car can still run for months or break after a few days.

Can a belt tensioner be repaired?

If the drive belt shows any wear, it should be replaced. If you have a bad spring or hydraulic drive belt tensioner, it is not repairable. The mechanic will also be sure that the belt is properly tensioned after the repair, and will check that all of the engine pulleys that the belt runs through are properly aligned.

What happens when a pulley goes bad?

If the surface of the idler pulley wears, or the pulley seizes or binds it may cause the engine belt to squeal as a result of it rubbing against the surface of the pulley. In some instances a bad pulley may bind or slip and cause the belt to squeal when the engine is first started.

What does a bad idler pulley sound like?


Squealing. When the engine is idling, a bad pulley may make a squealing sound. This is due to the bearings in the pulley going bad. The bearings may also make various other sounds such as clattering or even a rumbling sound, making the vehicle sound as if there was much more wrong than a bad pulley.

What would cause a serpentine belt to come off?

The most common reason is that the serpentine belt is just worn out and needs to be replaced. Another common cause is that the belt tensioner is froze / stuck and not functioning. The tensioner does exactly what it's name says- keeps tension on the belt. Without tension the belt will come right off.

What does a bad belt sound like?

The symptoms of a loose serpentine belt include a loud squealing noise when the engine is started or when the steering is turned all the way to one side. A serpentine belt that keeps slipping off the pulley is another symptom of a bad tensioner. The solution is to replace a serpentine belt and a belt tensioner.

What happens if your belt breaks while driving?

A broken serpentine belt leads to a sudden loss of power assist for the steering system, where the steering wheel all-of-a-sudden becomes very hard to turn. A broken serpentine belt stops the water pump from circulating coolant (antifreeze) through the cooling system, and the engine can overheat - anywhere!

How long should a drive belt last?

With that being said most serpentine/drive belts can last for a very long time before they need to be replaced. The lifespan of the belt will depend mostly on the type of material it's made of. Older style belts generally last about 50,000 miles, while those made from EPDM can last up to 100,000 miles.

How many belts are in a car?


Most cars have one or two drive belts. It is also called a serpentine belt when there is only one drive belt in a car. Whether it is a drive or serpentine belt, it is a part of the accessories that drive a car's engine. The rubber-made component lasts for a long time, something between 40,000 and 70,000 miles.

What purpose does the drive belt serve?

The purpose of drive belts is to deliver power between different engine components. They work by means of friction between the belt and pulley, which is why loose belts can cause various components to work poorly, or not at all.

How do you remove a pulley without a pulley puller?

There is a way to do it. You put a wrench on the pulley bolt and block the other end against the floor or the frame. Then you use the starter motor to turn the engine (DO NOT START IT, JUST TURN IT) for at most one or two revolutions of the crank. Just enough to break the bolt loose.