How to Replace the Serpentine Belt in a Saturn Ion

On the Saturn Ion, one serpentine belt runs the alternator, power steering and air conditioning compressor as applicable. Replacing the belt is a longer process than on some other vehicles due to the installation of a splash shield in the belt area. Saturn recommends checking the serpentine belt on a Saturn Ion every 15,000 miles or 12 months for possible replacement.

Step 1 - Loosen the lug nuts on the front right (passenger) wheel. Raise the vehicle up and support it with jack stands.

Step 2 - Take off the right front wheel. Remove the lower fenderwell splash shield to get access to the belt area.

Step 3 - Check the belt routing. You may be able to find a belt routing diagram on a decal under the hood or in support documentation. Otherwise, make you own sketch for reference.

Step 4 - Find the belt tensioner pulley, usually near the crankshaft, and use your 3/8-inch ratchet or breaker bar tool to pull counter-clockwise, releasing tension on the belt.

Step 5 - Remove the old belt and slowly release the tensioner pulley. Put the new belt onto its pulleys according to your belt routing diagram. Rotate the tensioner again to allow the belt to fit on all pulleys.

Check the belt to be sure it is seated on all pulleys, then run the engine and check for any flapping or other signs of incorrect installation.

THINGS YOU'LL NEED: Replacement belt, 3/8-inch ratchet or breaker bar

WARNINGS: Never work under a vehicle that is not securely supported.

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