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Pelican Technical Article:

Serpentine Belt Replacement

Jared Fenton

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$22

Talent:

***

Tools:

17mm wrench, small pin or allen key

Applicable Models:

VW Jetta GL (1999-05)
VW Jetta GLS (1999-05)
VW Jetta Wolfsburg (1999)

Parts Required:

Serpentine belt

Hot Tip:

Be careful retracting the tensioner. It is under a lot of tension.

Performance Gain:

Assurance of not being stranded somewhere

Complementary Modification:

Replace serpentine belt tensioner

One of the routine maintenance items that you should perform on your Jetta is the inspection and if needed, replacement of your serpentine belt. The serpentine belt is driven off of the crankshaft and drives accessories on the engine -- power steering pump, alternator, and air conditioning compressor. The serpentine belt setup utilizes a spring-loaded belt tensioner pulley that provides the proper tension for the belt at all times, making adjustment unnecessary. This belt should be checked periodically (every 5,000 miles, or when you change your oil).

When inspecting your belts, the one thing that you want to look for is cracks. If you see any cracks at all, you should replace your belt immediately. It's only a matter of time until the belt will snap and possibly leave you stranded.

To release tension on the belt, you'll need a 17mm wrench. Rotate the tensioner clockwise until you can slip a small pin or Allen key through the two locking holes. You can then peel the belt off the top of the water pump pulley and then off the other pulleys. Tip: If the belt is worn, simply release the tension on it, and snip it with some large tin cutters. You'll then be able to pull it out of the car easily.

This picture shows the belt tensioner being retracted with a 17mm wrench (green arrow).
Figure 1

This picture shows the belt tensioner being retracted with a 17mm wrench (green arrow). The idea here is to pull the tensioner back enough to slide a metal pin or Allen key (yellow arrow) through the two locking holes. This locks the tensioner in place.

This picture with the alternator removed shows the tensioner in better detail.
Figure 2

This picture with the alternator removed shows the tensioner in better detail. You can see the nub cast into the tensioner body (green arrow). This is what you put the 17mm wrench on to retract the tensioner. You can also see the Allen key (yellow arrow) inserted through the locking holes.

Once the tensioner is locked, peel the old belt off the alternator first, then down and off all the pulleys.
Figure 3

Once the tensioner is locked, peel the old belt off the alternator first, then down and off all the pulleys.

Shown here is a diagram of the belt routing on the Jetta 2.
Figure 4

Shown here is a diagram of the belt routing on the Jetta 2.0 engine. It is nearly impossible to take a picture of this, so I have created this drawing to give a clear idea. When installing the belt, I found it easiest by placing it over the alternator pulley, then down over the AC compressor first. Of course, your method may differ from mine. Once in place, remove the pin or Allen key from the tensioner and the belt will automatically adjust itself.

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Page last updated: Sun 4/23/2017 03:05:48 AM