How to Change the Alternator Belt on a 1986 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera

The alternator belt on the 1986 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera is a single, wide serpentine belt that also controls the power steering pump, air conditioner pump and the water pump. The belt travels around each of the accessory pulleys so that all of the accessories can function at the same time from the same belt. When the engine is running, the belt is driven around the accessory pulleys by the crankshaft. Remove and replace the belt if there is any type of damage on the belt.

Tools Used: 3/8-inch drive breaker bar, Metric socket kit, New belt

Change the Alternator Belt

Open the hood on the 1986 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera and secure it in place.

Look on top of the plastic shield that surrounds the radiator for the belt routing diagram. This diagram includes the instructions for installing the new belt.

Locate the spring-loaded belt tensioner on the front of the engine. The tensioner component on the 1986 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera is located on the front-top of the engine between the alternator and the power steering pump. The tensioner has a small pulley attached on the other end that is used to rotate the tensioner.

Rotate the tensioner counterclockwise from the bolt head in the center of the tensioner pulley with the breaker bar and a metric socket. Then, slide the belt out from under the tensioner pulley with your free hand. Release the tensioner and remove the breaker bar and socket.

Slide the belt around the top fan blade. Then, rotate the fan blades so that each fan blade is at the top when sliding the belt around the blade. This will make it easier to remove the belt from all of the fan blades. Then, pull the belt out of the engine compartment and discard.

Route the new belt around each fan blade. Rotate the fan blades as needed to make it easier to slide the belt around the blades. Then, slide the new belt onto the crankshaft pulley.

Route the new belt around the other pulleys as instructed by the belt routing diagram. Then, rotate the tensioner counterclockwise again and slide the new belt under the tensioner pulley. Release the tensioner and it will tighten the belt to the proper tension as it retracts.

Inspect the new belt and make sure it is completely inside of each accessory pulley. Then, crank the 1986 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera and inspect the belt with the engine running to ensure that the belt stays seated within the accessory pulleys. Turn the motor off and close the hood.

Tips & Warnings

If the belt routing diagram cant be located, use a pen and piece of paper to draw out the routing direction of the old belt before removing the belt from the pulleys.

Always take the keys out of the ignition before performing any work in the engine compartment to prevent accidental cranking.

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