Maintenance & repair



how do I replace drive belt & do I have to replace tension roller too ?


Are you talking about the serpentine belt and tensioner pulley?

What year and mileage? Engine?

If you have high mileage (75 to 100K or more) I’d say to replace it.

Somewhere on top and at the front of the engine should be a serpentine belt routing diagram sticker.

You’ll need a breaker bar and socket or just a 3/8" drive bar to relieve the tension from the belt.

Slip the belt off the pulley and slowly release the tension pulley. There should be a couple of mounting bolts to remove in order to take the tensioner assembly off.

Some prefer to just change the pulley while it’s still mounted on the engine.

Someone may be able to describe the process as I’ve never done it.

Now, If you mean the ‘timing belt’ then the answer is pretty much the same, replace both the belt and tensioner pulley. Most recommend to replace the water pump at this time to avoid extra labor costs.

It may be worth your while to get a Haynes or Chilton repair manual before attempting the timing belt as there it is imperative the belt goes on with the ‘gears’ in the correct alignment.

Another way is to go to your local library and ask for the shop manual for your vehicle or the associated website.


Is the belt still installed and operating normally?? If so just pry back the tensioner pulley, remove the old belt and install the new one. Study the path the belt travels before you remove the old one. Most cars have a belt path diagram sticker under the hood…With the belt off, you can spin all the pulleys with your hand. They should all turn smoothly and quietly. No need to replace anything unless you spot a problem…


Yes it is the serpentine belt ,1996 maxima & it has about 140M miles I’ll try to get a diagram or something thankyou for your response & the information was really helpful
Mahalo from Hawaii


Old Maximas (I have a 95 SE) have 2 short accessory belts - one driving the AC compressor and alternator, and one driving the power steering oil pump. I had mine changed (by a dealer) at 120K for preventive maintenance, and it ran my about $150 back in 2000. A little over a year ago (at just 200K miles), the idler pulley for the AC/alternator belt froze up and had to be replaced. I had both belts changed - the PS pump belt was due again, and the AC/alternator belt fried when the pulley froze - along with the idler assembly. I used a dealer again, and the whole job in 12/08 was around $250, whicjh I thought was reasonable. I’d say 60K-100K miles would be a reasonable interval to replace these 2 accessory belts.