Mazda Serpentine Belt Replacement Guide

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.

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. 


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 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.

Park your Mazda

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

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.

Locate the 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

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

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

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. 


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. 


Mike (Visitor), 2019-04-29

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

Bish, 2019-07-22

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.

By YOUCANIC on Apr 29, 2019


Disclaimer: Youcanic has made every effort to assure the accuracy of the information on this page. Neither Youcanic nor its affiliates assume responsibility for any loss or damage due to any errors, omissions, lack of information. You agree to hold Youcanic free from any liability arising out of the use of any information contained within. All pictures and references to trademarks and car names are for reference only and do not imply an association with the manufacturer. Consult your owner's manual or authorized factory manuals when performing repair procedures. By entering this site, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Polity.