How to Change the Power Steering Belt on a PT Cruiser

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Replacing the power-steering belt on your PT Cruiser is important because the drive belt wears over time due to the heat in the engine bay and stress placed on the belt from the continuous tension placed on it. The belt begins to crack and eventually breaks, causing the power steering pump to become inoperable, potentially causing an accident. To prevent such troubles, inspect your belts periodically and replace if necessary.

Things You'll Need

  • Basic tools (ratchet, sockets, wrenches)
  • New belt
  • Ruler
  • Open the hood.

  • Loosen the lock bolt with a ratchet and loosen the belt tensioner until the belt is loose enough to remove. The PT Cruiser uses multiple drive belts rather than a serpentine belt and therefore requires that each belt be removed separately with its own lock bolt and tensioner.

  • Pull the power steering pump up and down repeatedly until the belt comes out without significant force.

  • Install the new power steering belt onto the power steering pump pulley and crank pulley.

  • Tighten the tensioner until the belt only has approximately a half an inch of deflection. To check, take a ruler and place it vertically against the belt. Push down on the belt and measure how far down you were able to push it. If you are able to push it more than half an inch, it is too loose. If you aren't able to push down to half an inch, the belt is too tight and could cause damage to the power steering pump.

  • Tighten the lock bolt to keep the tensioner in place.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you cannot reach the tensioner or lock bolt with a ratchet, you may need to use a small wrench to get to them.
  • Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from injury.

References

  • "Automotive Repair and Rebuilding;" Jeffrey J. Rehkopf; 2006
  • Photo Credit Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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