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ase_master327, Shop Owner
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Experience:  +15 years experience with Toyotas. Bumper to bumper diagnosis & repair.
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how to replace belts in a 1996 Toyaota corolla

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Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  ase_master327 replied 8 years ago.


See Figures 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11

To adjust the tension of the alternator drive belt on all models, loosen the pivot and mounting bolts on the alternator. Using a wooden hammer handle, a broomstick or your hand, move the alternator one way or the other until the proper tension is achieved. Do not use a screwdriver or any other metal device such as a pry bar, as a lever. Tighten the mounting bolts securely, run the engine about a minute, stop the engine then recheck the belt tension.

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Fig. 7: Some models use a tension adjusting bolt

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Fig. 8: Loosen the pivot bolt ...

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Fig. 9: ... then push the component inwards

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Fig. 10: Slip the old belt off and the new one on ...

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Fig. 11: ... then pull outwards to tension the belt

Air Conditioning Compressor

A/C compressor (always use caution when working near the A/C compressor) belt tension can be adjusted by turning the tension adjusting bolt which is located on the compressor tensioner bracket. Turn the bolt clockwise to tighten the belt and counterclockwise to loosen it.

Power Steering Pump

Tension on the power steering belt is adjusted by means of an idler pulley (some models may use just a lower adjusting bracket setup-similar to alternator adjustment service procedure). Loosen the lock bolt and turn the adjusting bolt on the idler pulley until the desired tension is felt and then tighten the lock bolt.


On some engines the washer reservoir tank may need to be removed first. If a belt must be replaced, the driven unit must be loosened and moved to its extreme loosest position, generally by moving it toward the center of the motor. After removing the old belt, check the pulleys for dirt or built-up material which could affect belt contact. Carefully install the new belt, remembering that it is new and unused - it may appear to be just a little too small to fit over the pulley flanges. Fit the belt over the largest pulley (usually the crankshaft pulley at the bottom center of the motor) first, then work on the smaller one(s). Gentle pressure in the direction of rotation is helpful. Some belts run around a third or idler pulley, which acts as an additional pivot in the belt's path. It may be possible to loosen the idler pulley as well as the main component, making your job much easier. Depending on which belt(s) you are changing, it may be necessary to loosen or remove other interfering belts to get at the one(s) you want.

When buying replacement belts, remember that the fit is critical according to the length of the belt, the width of the belt, the depth of the belt and the angle or profile of the V shape (always match up old belt with new belt if possible). The belt shape should exactly match the shape of the pulley; belts that are not an exact match can cause noise, slippage and premature failure.

After the new belt is installed, draw tension on it by moving the driven unit away from the motor and tighten its mounting bolts. This is sometimes a three- or four-handed job; you may find an assistant helpful. Make sure that all the bolts you loosened get retightened and that any other loosened belts also have the correct tension. A new belt can be expected to stretch a bit after installation so be prepared to re-adjust your new belt.

After installing a new belt, run the engine for about 5 minutes and then recheck the belt tension.

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