how to put on a serpintine belt
I suggest buying a Haynes repair manual for your year Accord and reading over the serpentine belt removal and installation procedures a few times. It’s not a hard task but it’s one that requires attention to detail. A mechanically inclined friend or relative standing by would also be a good idea.
I agree 100% with missileman. A manual, such as Haynes, is worth its weight in gold to the do-it-yourselfer, even if you’re only doing basic maintenance.
What year Accord and which engine?
It is as easy as searching the internet… just go to
Good instructions are critical. Often the direction to pull the tensioner bolt is not obvious by looking, and turning the bolt the wrong way can break it off and then you’ll be screwed. Ensuring proper routing of the belt is another reason why a manual is critical.
Have a helper, too. Holding the tensioner back requires substantial force, and you might regret trying to do that and route the new belt both by yourself.
There will be a diagram for the correct deployment of the belt onto each of the pulleys under the hood, probably ON the hood, just look up when you raise the hood. After cutting the old belt off, you should start to feed the new belt at the lowest pulley (the crankshaft pulley) and work the belt according to the diagram upward. Make sure you follow the diagram, because it’s not hard to get it wrong. One hint is that the grooved pulleys should meet the interior, also grooved, part of the belt, while the smooth pulleys should meet the smooth, outer part of the belt.
The final pulley should be a challenge (not in all cars, but most) to slip the belt on. At some point you are maybe going to be sure that the f-head at the autoparts store sold you the wrong belt, because it just won’t seem quite long enough. If you get to this point, the belt is fine and you just need to both pull the tentioner pulley back as far as it will go while you use a flat-head screwdriver or prybar to force the belt onto the final pulley.
One hint, pick the largest pulley available to be the final pulley. You only need to get a little more than a third of the belt onto the last pulley and rotate the pulley clockwise. But with enough force you can get it on all the way if you have to.
Mountainbike is right, if you have a helper this is much easier to accomplish with four strong hands.
You can buy a socket tool at Sears or an auto parts store to release tension on the belt. Good tools are worth the money, and this is not an expensive tool. Here’s one for $30.