In this guide, you will find instructions on how to change the serpentine belt (engine drive belt) on Mazda's four-cylinder engine.

The 2.5L is one of the most popular engines Mazda made and it is found on several models including Mazda 3, 5, 6 and even Tribute.

What you will need


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.

  1. Park you Mazda on level ground. Engage the parking brakes.
  2. Allow your engine to cool down for at least 20 min. 
  3. Open the hood of your Mazda.
  4. Locate the serpentine belt tensioner on your Mazda engine.  You will need to move the tensioner away to release pressure from the belt.
  5. 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 to remove mazda serpentine belt
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. Reinstall the access panel cover.
  10. Reinstall the wheel and lower the vehicle. 

Recommended Interval

Mazda recommends that the serpentine belt is replaced every 35,000 miles. The serpentine belt may also be referred to as the drive belt, accessory belt or the alternator/air conditioner belt.


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

  • Cracks on the belt
  • Squealing noise at startup
  • Noise when turning the 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.

What happens if your Mazda serpentine belt breaks? 

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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Thank you! 

Member since 2020-09

The article was very helpful. I used a 14 MM wrench with a much larger wrench on the other end for torque and then I pushed the tension-er and used a C clamp to hold the wrench to keep tension on the tension-er so I could go to the top of the engine compartment and slip the belt over the idler pulley. Then I took the C clamp off and released the tension.

Member since 2020-09

Ok. So I have a 2012 Mazda Mazda5. Bought it some 5 years ago because I needed a third row for the car seat of my kids. I usually get my belts at or amazon. I always try to buy decent belts, the ones I use are Gates and they've worked fine for me. After 30k miles I took my car to my a local mechanic I've dealt with for a long time. I'm told by his son that the man passed away. My mechanics son was not able to do it that day and I decided to try it myself. The job was not easy, mainly because I had never change the belt to this car before. Mike, mentioned that he used a "C" clamp to keep the tensioner openned. He's absolutely right the tensioner must be fully open to put the belt on. Even with the tensioner fully openned I had trouble slipping the belt into all pulleys. So... I decided to remove the Idler pulley, slip on the belt and tightened it back. Voila!!!! It worked like a charm. Had I known that this would have been this easy, I would have done this myself all along. If your going to attempt this on your own I suggest you have a nice long 14mm wrench. If you don't you will have a hard time. Good luck. Hope this helps.