The V-belt is actually a rather inconspicuous part of the vehicle, but it is essential for operation. If it squeaks incessantly during the journey or lights up on the dashboard battery or thermal warning light, its condition is to be checked immediately – usually it is too much worn or torn. An immediate replacement is advisable in this case, since the vehicle without a functioning V-belt in the worst case can even overheat.
Removing the old V-belt: Searching for the alternator
First of all, remove the defective or old V-belt above the pulleys. Normally, you will find it near the alternator, which is usually attached directly to the engine block by means of two screws. Bring some patience to loosen these two screws, as they are often more or less strongly obscured and difficult to reach. To loosen the screws, you need a wrench of the appropriate size. As soon as the screws are released, the generator can be moved and the V-belt comes to light.
To get a replacement V-belt: How to find the right model
If you now have the defective V-belt, you can find out which spare part model you need to get. If you are lucky, find the designation of the V-belt directly on the belt. Alternatively, you can also search for your vehicle model, because many suppliers specify which vehicles it fits for each offered V-belt.
If the specification is no longer readable, it becomes somewhat more complicated. First cut the belt with a knife, so that a cross-section is produced. You must now measure the complete length. Since the V-belt can not be laid flat, you can nail it on a board. First measure the outer length and then the inner length. Make the average of these two values. The determined value represents the required belt size.
Use of the new V-belt: The right tension is crucial
Once the old V-belt is removed, you can place the new V-belt on the pulleys. Apply the voltage by pressing the alternator back into its original position. It is important to find the right preload. Tighten the screws and start the engine. If no warning lights are displayed, this is already a first step in the right direction. A test drive with the car reveals whether the V-belt still squeals, which would indicate a too low preload. Check also, if the voltage is too high, which would favor the premature wear of the bearings of the pulleys.