How to Replace the Fan Belt on a 1989 Chevrolet Caprice Classic

Chevrolet replaced fan belts with serpentine belts that run everything in your car from the cooling system to the electrical system. This, of course, means they're much more difficult to replace than the old fan belts. Follow these tips for correctly replacing a fan belt on a 1989 Chevrolet Caprice Classic.

Tools Used: Breaker bar, Chevrolet fan belt, Ruler, Washers or shims

Replace Fan Belt

Insert a breaker bar into the slot on the self-adjusting belt tensioner. Pry the belt tensioner up so you can slip out the belt from under the pulley.

Disconnect the negative battery cable. This will prevent anyone from starting your car while you're working on the engine.

Check the pulleys for damage after you've slipped off the belt. Rock each pulley and then spin it. If any are rough or loose, they will have to be replaced before you replace the belt.

Use a straight edge or ruler to check the alignment of the pulleys. If they don't line up, it can probably be corrected by using shims or washers. The 1989 Caprice was especially prone to pulley misalignment.

Clean out the grooves of the pulleys. The belt can easily slip out of a pulley that is smooth or worn.

Check the automatic tensioning mechanism by slowly moving the tensioning spring with your breaker bar. If you hear a click or any other sound, or it feels rough, it needs to be replaced.

Check the number of ribs on the old belt before purchasing a new one. You can replace a 4-rib belt with a 5-rib belt, but it won't work as well. Also, opt for the original equipment manufacturer's replacement belt. It may cost a bit more, but generic or off-brand belts are not made specifically for your car and could result in damage.

Ensure the new belt is installed completely within the grooves of the pulleys. A mistake here can result in a torn or broken belt.

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