Mazda Serpentine Drive Belt Replacement

Mazda Serpentine Drive Belt Replacement

Learn to change the serpentine (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

  • Mazda Serpentine Belt
  • Metric Tools set
    • 10mm socket to remove the access panel
    • 14mm socket to loosen the tensioner
  • Ratchet
  • Screwdriver
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mazda serpentine belt

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

  1. Park your Mazda on level ground. Engage the parking brakes.
  2. Allow your engine to cool down for at least twenty minutes.
  3. Open the hood of your Mazda.
  4. Locate the serpentine belt tensioner on your Mazda engine.  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 bolts.
    how 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 an A/C pulley, alternator pulley, and power steering pump pulley.mamo serpentine belt tensioner removal
  8. Install the new belt on your Mazda by ensuring 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, check that the belt is seated correctly on all the pulleys, or you will have difficulty 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 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 is getting hard at times.
  • Glazed belt

One way to verify that the serpentine belt needs replacement is to spray Belt Conditioner. The belt is bad if the squeaky noise goes away when spraying the conditioner.

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. The steering wheel will be tough to turn.

Within a few minutes, your Mazda engine will shut off as it runs out of battery power. Don’t ignore replacing the serpentine belt; the belt itself only costs less than $30. Do not drive a Mazda with a broken serpentine belt.

We hope you find the Mazda Serpentine Drive Belt Replacement guide helpful. Check these troubleshooting and repair guides for more help on your Mazda.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    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.

  2. Anonymous says:

    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