How to Change the Serpentine Belt on a 1988 Chevrolet Corvette

Routine maintenance includes many parts of your car but the serpentine belt is one of the more important items. Inspect the belt on your 1988 Chevrolet Corvette regularly for signs of wear or damage to the belt. Failure of the belt affects many parts of the car, including the alternator, water pump and power steering. Changing the belt before it fails will keep you from dealing with bigger problems later. Purchase a new belt for your Corvette at any auto parts store or the Chevrolet dealer.

Tools Used: Wrench set, 1/2-inch drive breaker bar

Change Serpentine Belt

Disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery, using a wrench to loosen the retaining bolt then remove the cable. This will stop accidental starting of the car while you have your hands on the pulleys.

Locate the serpentine belt tensioner on the front of the engine. It is located just below the A/C compressor and looks like a silver arm with a pulley on the end of it.

Locate the square hole on the arm and insert a ½-inch drive breaker bar into the hole. Turn the bar toward the driver's side of the car, loosening the belt. Slide the old belt off the pulleys and slowly move the tensioner, with the breaker bar attached, to its original position. Do not let it snap back or damage may occur to the tension spring inside the tensioner.

Position the new serpentine belt over the pulleys, following the same path as the original belt, and loosen the tensioner with the breaker bar again. Slide the belt over the tensioner then move the tensioner back toward the passenger's side of the car, tightening the belt.

Remove the breaker bar from the tensioner and check the belt to be sure it seats properly on the pulleys. The correct belt path is printed on a sticker under the hood for you to use as a reference. If you are unsure about this path, check the sticker. Routing the belt wrong can damage the accessories.

Install the negative battery cable on the negative battery terminal and tighten the retaining bolt with a wrench. Start the engine and visually verify that the belt on running properly over the pulleys.

Tips & Warnings

An improperly installed belt can turn the water pump backwards, causing the engine to overheat. Be sure you check the path of the belt if you are not sure how it goes.

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