How to Replace the Belt on a Jeep Liberty

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The serpentine drive belt in your Jeep Liberty is an important part of the engine. It keeps numerous other parts working, like the alternator and the water pump. If the belt becomes worn and loose over time, these parts won't work as effectively, so you'll need to replace the belt. You should also replace it if it gets oil on it or becomes cracked or frayed. If the belt ever snaps, you definitely must replace it, as the Jeep won't work without it.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/2-inch drive ratchet or socket wrench
  • Serpentine drive belt
  • Open the hood and locate the drive belt in the front of the engine. Take note of exactly how it is routed over the pulleys and sprockets on the engine. Feel the belt with your fingers in any place you can't see, to check for conditions requiring you to replace the belt.

  • Loosen the tensioner so you can remove the drive belt. If the Jeep has a V6 engine, you need to rotate the tensioner bolt clockwise with a wrench. A four-cylinder engine requires a 1/2-inch drive ratchet that can rotate the tensioner bracket counterclockwise. Slip the belt off all the pulleys, and slowly release the tensioner.

  • Place the new belt on the pulleys in the exact same route that the original belt was on. There should be a diagram printed on the radiator brace. Loosen the tensioner again with the same tool to slip the belt on the tensioner, and use the same amount of care releasing the tensioner.

  • Double-check the ribs on the underside of the belt, and make sure they are properly seated within the grooves on each pulley. You will need to adjust the belt's position on the pulleys if it is not properly centered everywhere. Loosen the tensioner again to do this.

Tips & Warnings

  • A V6 engine has a tensioner designed to automatically keep the proper tension, and it has an indicator to show when the belt is too far worn. If the gap on the belt wear indicator exceeds .94 inches, you must replace the belt.
  • If the belt is not properly routed on the pulleys, it can cause the water pump to rotate backward, leading to the engine overheating.

References

  • Chilton Jeep Liberty Repair Guide; 2004
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