Hyundai Sonata Kia Optima Drive Belt Replacement

Hyundai Sonata / Kia Optima Drive Belt Replacement

Learn how to remove and replace the serpentine (V-ribbed belt) on Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima, equipped with 2.0T and 2.4L, 4-cylinder engines.

Replacing the serpentine belt (drive belt) on Hyundai vehicles is easy and can be completed in less than 30 minutes.

What you will need

  • Hyundai Serpentine Belt
  • 17mm socket
  • Ratchet
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how to replace serpentine belt kia optima 2011 20111 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
  1. Start by opening the hood on your vehicle. Ensure the engine has cooled down, or you risk getting burned.
  2. Look carefully at your old serpentine belt and note how it is routed. Draw a quick sketch if necessary.
  3. Place the 17 mm wrench on the tensioner bolt and turn up the tensioner to release pressure on the belt. Getting to the tensioner bolt is tricky as there isn’t too much room. Be careful with the wrench, ensuring it doesn’t slide off the tensioner.
  4. Slide the old belt away from the tensioner and remove it, as shown in the following video clip. At this point, you can slowly let the tensioner return, so you don’t have to keep holding it. Carefully remove the belt from all the pulleys.
  5. Installing the new belt can be tricky. There is very limited space to get your new belt around the pulleys. Route the new belt like the old serpentine belt was routed. Make sure to insert the V-belt ribs into the pulley grooves.
  6. Ensure the belt is not twisted. Pull on the tensioner and carefully slide the new serpentine belt in as the last step.
  7. If you fully open the tensioner but still can not install the new belt because it is too short, it is very likely the belt is not fitted properly on the pulleys. Inspect and make sure the belt is sitting properly on all pulleys.
  8. Ensure the belt is routed properly before you start the car. Allow the tensioner to rest on the new belt. 
  9. Before you start the car, double-check the serpentine belt is installed properly.
  10. The belt should be sitting correctly in all the pulleys. Since this is a spring-loaded tensioner, you don’t need to make manual adjustments.


  • Be cautious as you remove the belt from the tensioner. The belt or tensioner can snap and cause damage to you or your vehicle.
  • Before you install the new belt, spin the tensioner pulley to check it is spinning freely.
  • Use a quality serpentine belt to avoid serpentine belt squeaks and noises.

The serpentine belt drives your alternator, air conditioner compressor, and water pump. It needs to be replaced if it has cracks or makes a squeaking noise at startup.

These instructions apply to Hyundai/Kia with the Theta II engine. This engine is typically found in models years 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

For more help with your Kia or Hyundai vehicle, check our more Vehicle Repair Guides, and don’t forget to take a look at the popular article on how to read codes and diagnose vehicle problems yourself. 


  • Rushit Hila • ASE Certified

    Rushit Hila, an ASE-certified engineer (G1 Automotive Maintenance and Repair), brings over two decades of hands-on experience in the automotive world to his writing. With a strong educational background, including a Master of Science in Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, he has honed his skills and expertise through years of practical work. As a respected authority in the field, Mr. Hila is dedicated to offering insightful and valuable content that resonates with both vehicle owners and mechanics.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This instruction video was somewhat helpful . Do wonder why remove the tension to get it off , would it not be easier to just cut the belt ? Found the video a bit lacking on the installation instructions. There does not seem to be enough room to fit hands , how is this addressed?

  2. The serpentine belt on my Hyundai Sonata keeps coming off. At first I thought I installed it the worng way. But the second time I followed this guide and made sure it was installed properly. It still jumped. Did further investigation and noticed that one of the pulleys does not align properly. It seems that is stick out and the edge of the pulley is damaged. Upon further inspection I could see the side of the belt damaged as well.

    Turned out that the alternor wasn’t installed aligned properly and need to be fixed.

    Just wanted to share this in case any Hyundai Kia owners have problems with their belt that wears out prematurely or comes off.

    Thanks for this guide btw.