How to Change the Serpentine Belt on a 1989 Cadillac 4.5 Liter V8

The 1989 Cadillac model vehicles that came equipped with the 4.5L V-8 engines were the Seville, Deville and the El Dorado. The 4.5L engine comes with a serpentine belt that operates each accessory on the front of the engine. The belt travels around the accessory pulleys in a way outlined by a belt routing diagram, which you will need to consult to install a new belt properly. If the belt has excessive cracking, damage or excessive wear, replace it as soon as possible before it breaks.

Tools Used: 3/8-inch drive ratchet, Metric socket set, New serpentine belt

Change Serpentine Belt

Open the hood on the 1989 Cadillac and locate the serpentine belt routing diagram. The diagram will be located either on the underside of the hood or on top of the plastic fan shroud. The routing diagram outlines the proper path for the serpentine belt.

Inspect the front of the engine and locate the belt tensioner device. The device is located on the top-front or middle-front of the engine. The tensioner device has a roller pulley on one end with a bolt head in the middle. The tensioner can be turned from the bolt head.

Turn the tensioner device counterclockwise from the roller pulley bolt head with a breaker bar and a metric socket. Once the tension has been released from the belt, slide it off the roller pulley. Then, release the tensioner device and pull the breaker bar off and set it to the side.

Unwrap the serpentine belt out from around all of the accessory pulleys and pull the belt out of the engine area. Place the old belt beside the new belt to make sure that they match. (The old belt should be no more than 1 inch longer than its replacement; the extra length is due to stretching the belt undergoes over time.)

Wrap the new belt around each accessory pulley as instructed by the belt routing diagram. Make sure that the belt is completely seated inside all of the pulleys. Then, turn the tensioner device counterclockwise again with the breaker bar and socket. Slide the belt around the roller pulley. Release the tensioner and pull the breaker bar off and place it to the side.

Crank the Cadillac and make sure that the belt stays seated inside of the pulleys with the motor running. Turn the engine off and close the hood.

Tips & Warnings

If the serpentine belt routing diagram has faded away or is missing, make a drawing of the routing method of the old belt with a pen and piece of paper before sliding it off the pulleys.

Always take the keys out of the vehicle before working inside of the engine area to prevent anyone from accidentally cranking the engine.

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