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Mazda Serpentine Belt DIY Replacement

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Mazda recommends that the serpentine belt is replaced every 35,000 miles. The serpentine belt is one of maintenance items that many Mazda owners often forget to replace. It may also be referred to as the drive belt, accessory belt or the alternator/air conditioner belt.

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As the Mazda drive belt wears, you may notice symptoms such as: 

  • Cracks on the belt
  • Squealing noise at startup
  • Noise when turning steering wheel
  • Power steering getting hard at times
  • Glazed belt

One way to verify that the serpentine belt needs replacement is to spray Belt Conditioner. If the squeaky noise goes away when you spray the conditioner that means the belt is bad. Replace the belt as soon as possible. Don't depend on the conditioner to fix this problem long term. The noise will return sooner or later.  If the serpentine belt does come off or breaks when driving you will lose power steering, accessories and the alternator. Within a few minutes, your Mazda will die as it runs out of battery juice. Don't ignore replacing the serpentine belt, especially considering that the belt itself only costs less than $30. 

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What you will need: 

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How to replace serpentine belt on Mazda 2.5L engine

In this guide, you will find instructions on how to change the drive belt on Mazda's 2.5L engine. This is one of the most popular engines Mazda made and it is found on several models including Mazda 3, 5, 6 and even Tribute. 

To remove the serpentine belt on a Mazda you will need to remove the passenger side wheel. In the front passenger wheel well you will see access panel held in place and needs to be removed.


Step 1: Park your Mazda

Park you Mazda on a level ground. Engage the parking brakes. Allow your Mazda engine to cool down.


Step 2: Open Hood

Open the hood of your Mazda. Look at the frame or under the hood for the serpentine belt routing diagram. It is often printed on a sticker found on the fan shroud.


Step 3: Locate serpentine belt tensioner

Locate the serpentine belt tensioner on your Mazda> You will need to move the tensioner away to release pressure from the belt. Snap a few pictures with your phone of the old belt routing just in case. Next jack up your Mazda front tire on the passenger side. Remove the front passenger wheel. Remove the access panel that is held in place with three 10 mm bolts.

how to remove mazda serpentine belt

Step 4: Release tensioner 

Use a 14mm socket to push the tensioner away from the belt by turning it clockwise. You will need to use a cheater bar to move the tensioner back.

make drive belt replacement guide 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

Step 5: Remove belt

Remove the belt from the accessory pulleys by hand. The belt will need to come off several pulleys including, A/C pulley, alternator pulley, and power steering pump pulley.

mamo serpentine belt tensioner removal

Step 6: Install new belt

Install the new belt on your Mazda by making sure it is routed as per the belt routing diagram or reference your pictures. The last step is to slide the belt under the tensioner. Before you do that make sure to check that the belt is properly seated on all the pulleys or you will have a hard time installing the belt.

Reinstall the access panel cover. Reinstall the wheel and lower your Mazda. 

Replacing the serpentine belt on a Mazda is a straightforward procedure. It requires about 1.5 hours for most DIYers and a few basic tools.

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