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How to Change the Serpentine Belt on a 1989 Buick Riviera

The serpentine belt provides the motive power operate the engine accessories such as the alternator, water pump, air conditioner and the power steering with one single belt. The serpentine belt can only be configured one correct way around the accessory pulleys. This is why each vehicle comes with a serpentine belt routing diagram to follow when routing the new belt. The crankshaft pulley drives the serpentine belt, which in turn drives all of the accessory pulleys.

Tools Used: 3/8-inch drive breaker bar, 3/8-inch drive sockets

Change Serpentine Belt

Open the hood on the 1989 Buick Riviera and look for the serpentine belt routing diagram. This diagram can be found on the underside of the hood or near the hood latch on the top of the plastic fan shroud.

Inspect the front of the engine for the tensioner device. This device keeps the serpentine belt pulled tight around the pulleys. The tensioner device pulley will have a bolt in the middle of the tensioning device pulley that is used to turn the tensioner.

Position the 3/8-inch drive breaker bar and a 3/8-inch drive socket onto the bolt in the middle of the tensioner device pulley. Turn the pulley counterclockwise until the belt becomes loose. Then, reach down with your free hand and pull the belt off the tensioner device pulley.

Remove the serpentine belt from the pulleys. Then, route the belt around the fan blades and out of the engine area.

Route the new belt around the fan blades and onto the pulleys as illustrated by the serpentine belt routing diagram.

Turn the tensioner device pulley counterclockwise again with the breaker bar and socket. Reach down with your free hand and position the new belt onto the tensioner device pulley. Then, release the tensioner device and remove the breaker bar.

Inspect the new belt to make sure that it is properly routed around the pulleys. Then, crank the engine and let it run for about 30 seconds. Turn the engine off and inspect the belt again to make sure that it has stayed seated inside of each pulley. Then, close the hood.

Tips & Warnings

After a period of time, the serpentine belt routing diagram will fade and you will not be able to read it. In this case, use a pen and a notepad to draw out the routing direction of the old belt.

Keep hands and fingers away from moving pulleys.

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