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 an access panel held in place and needs to be removed.
- Park your Mazda on level ground. Engage the parking brakes.
- Allow your engine to cool down for at least twenty minutes.
- Open the hood of your Mazda.
- Locate the serpentine belt tensioner on your Mazda engine. You will need to move the tensioner away to release pressure from the belt.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 the vehicle.
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. 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. The steering wheel will be very hard 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, especially considering that the belt itself only costs less than $30.
Do not drive a Mazda with a broken serpentine belt.