How to Repair a Serpentine Belt on a 2001 Nissan Altima

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The serpentine belt on the front of the Altima's engine turns all the accessories including the alternator, water pump and power-steering pump. The belt is not adjustable and uses an automatic tensioner to compensate for wear and stretching. When the belt on your 2001 Nissan Altima begins to wear, it will stretch and may slip on the pulleys. The belt will become ineffective and the slipping will cause heat to weaken spots in the rubber that will eventually fail.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrench set
  • Open the hood and find the negative battery cable end on the battery. Remove the retaining bolt with a wrench, then remove the battery cable from the battery.

  • Locate the belt tensioner on the front of the engine. The tensioner is on the passenger's side and about half-way down the front of the engine.

  • Place a wrench on the bolt that runs through the center of the idler pulley on the tensioner arm and rotate the tensioner counterclockwise or pull up on the wrench to loosen the belt. Remove the belt from the pulleys and remove it from the engine compartment. Rotate the tensioner clockwise and let it rest in the free arm position.

  • Install the new belt around all the pulleys on the engine in the same routing as the old belt, then rotate the tensioner counterclockwise with your wrench and slide the belt over the tensioner's idler pulley. Rotate the tensioner clockwise; the belt will tighten as you go. Do not force the tensioner. Once it stops, leave it where it is.

  • Remove the wrench from the tensioner, then install the negative battery cable end onto the terminal on the battery. Tighten the retaining bolt with a wrench and close the hood.

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References

  • "Nissan Altima Factor Service Manual"; Nissan North America; 2000
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