Mobile On-Call Mechanic Wichita's Original Mobile Mechanic

Chrysler Dodge Minivan Serpentine Belt

We have had requests for 3 of these lately.  Frankly I have always been used to installing belt(s) from under the hood, not so much with Chrysler Minivans!

I am sure people are wondering “what the heck” when their belt comes off or breaks because looking just under the hood will get you nowhere.

Tip: If you have an underlying problem related to a pulley then your belt will come off (bad water pump, power steering pump, idler pulley).  If you notice that your belt has come off, and not broke, then most-likely there is another issue and re-installing the belt will typically just throw it again.  If however your belt has broke then chances are it’s just the belt.

Ok, so back to the under-the-hood part.  Unlike most other vehicles I have worked on, these particular ones have access to the belt tensioner underneath the vehicle, passenger side.  You have to remove the dust cover (2 or 3 bolts AND 4 or 5 of those little plastic plunger body panel retainers which should be replaced).

After you remove the dust cover you will see the tensioner along with the rest of the front of the engine (although it’s in there sideways).

Now the trick is going to be actually getting the tensioner to move.  Some have a tab, others have a nut.. either way you will need a big wrench or a long special tool (this will require metric wrenches).

There will be no room for a ratchet so forget that idea!

On the ones with a tab, there is a big square area to place your wrench (which will be a 17 or 19mm).  For the ones with a nut it will most-likely be a 15mm.  Note: The ones with a 15mm nut technically call for an extra long special wrench which is just a flat piece of steel with a 15mm hole in it.  You can get around this by sliding the closed end of your wrench over the open end of the 15 mm wrench, this gives you a long tool.

Tip: The book says route the belt over everything except the tensioner, this is wrong.  You can barely get it there at all, let alone with a wrench there!  Route the belt over everything including the tensioner and leave it off of the bottom engine pulley and save that one for last.