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Old 01-26-2009, 2:44 AM   #1
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Replacing the drive belt - easy or hard?

Hello all!
I have a 2004 TSX, AT with 75k miles. I think that it may be time to replace the drive belt.
I looked under the hood today and it looks like the belt should not be too hard to replace. It's not routed to too many pulleys, curves and etc.

I noticed that there is a belt tensioner. Is this an auto adjusting belt tensioner?

If yes, how do i release it so i can get the belt loose?
If it's not auto-tensioner, how do i get the old belt out and put the new belt in? How i do i know when the belt is not too tight/too loose?

Any other tricks to this task?

Thanks!
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Old 01-26-2009, 8:53 AM   #2
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Some one on here just did it and said it wasn't too bad. Since it sounds like you're going to be getting into this car when it needs getting into, I'd highly suggest getting the service manual. It has the answers to all the questions you just asked plus pictures. Very worth owning if you're going to be working on your own car.
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:44 AM   #3
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Thank you! Good advice.
Where is the best (cheapest) place to buy an Acura service manual from?
Ebay? Dealer? Some web site?

I got my Nissan Maxima service manual from Ebay and it was a great deal.

Thanks!
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:55 AM   #4
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I've seen em on eBay for around $75. New on Amazon they're like $125.

I don't have one yet either but I need one. Any one have a good source?
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:16 AM   #5
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I just did this recently; then again last night replacing the auto tensioner unit.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 01-26-2009, 1:43 PM   #6
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Thank you!

PACman, thank you for the detailed reply. The screenshots really help.

Just one question....

When "releasing" the auto-tensioner, do you use a regular ratchet with long handle or i need a special tool (as shown on picture)?? Also, to release the tension, do i use the ratched on the same bolt that holds the tensioner to the engine or i use it on the bolt that holds the pulley? I would guess - i apply pressure on the pulley bolt?

Thank you!
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Old 01-26-2009, 1:47 PM   #7
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Also, since i will be replacing the belt....would it be a good idea to replace the auto-tensioner at this time? Car has only 75k miles. Are these auto-tensioners known to fail often?

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Old 01-26-2009, 2:07 PM   #8
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I tried using my rachet and 14mm bolt, but my rachet was obstructed by the motor mount. I purchased a Craftsman Serpentine belt removal tool (like the one in the picture) for $29.99, and it works great. JTso used some creativity to get it out with his existing tools (see link) http://tsx.acurazine.com/forums/show...ht=pulley+jtso

Use your rachet to pull tension and hold it at the pulley. The other bolt located higher just holds the device to the engine.

It is not necessary to replace the entire auto tensioner unit. I did because I thought my tensioner was failing due to a engine bay noise that's bugging me. Alas, even though there's a new unit, I still have the noise.
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Old 01-26-2009, 7:48 PM   #9
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You can get enough leverage on the tensioner w/ a double-wrench method. The correct size 12-pt on the bolt, and the second (larger, usually) wrench on the 6-pt side of that wrench for leverage. Look it up... great technique to know.

Otherwise, a breaker bar and a shallow socket should work fine. Or a regular ratchet and some muscle.
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Old 01-26-2009, 7:53 PM   #10
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not meaning to threadjack, but i do have a brand new tsx 04-05 service manual.. its still in the plastic wrapping! i ordered the wrong one when i was attempting to get the 04-06 for my car, and was unable to return. pm me if your interested [its already ready to ship]!
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Old 01-26-2009, 9:46 PM   #11
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i guess this is something that i'm going to have to do eventually. i'm at 66K miles. when do you suggest replacing the drive belt? 75K miles?
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Old 01-27-2009, 4:28 PM   #12
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i guess this is something that i'm going to have to do eventually. i'm at 66K miles. when do you suggest replacing the drive belt? 75K miles?
Just refer to the left side of the picture posted "Drive Belt Inspection".
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Old 01-27-2009, 5:19 PM   #13
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It's a 5 minute job
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Old 02-11-2009, 1:31 PM   #14
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Done!!!

New belt installed. It took less than 10 minutes with some help from my wife. Very easy job and well worth it. Dealer asked for $120 for new belt.
I got a nice new belt for $30. Did the job myself and saved some cash.

Thank you all for the usefull tips.
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Old 04-14-2009, 6:25 PM   #15
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would you mind telling us from where you got the timing belt ..

thanks
mars
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Old 04-14-2009, 6:31 PM   #16
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Its not the timing belt (there is none - the K24 has a timing chain). The belt we're talking about is the drive belt, aka the accessory belt, the serpentine belt, etc.

Call a few local parts places, Autozone, etc... they'll all have some variation of it which are all decent quality.
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:30 AM   #17
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^Eh, I've had some bad experiences with the cheapo store brand belts. I'd stay away from them. Get a Gates belt or an OEM. Doesn't cost that much more on the front end, but could save you money later on down the road.
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Old 04-15-2009, 8:43 AM   #18
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I wouldn't buy a store-brand unless it was the only one available in some hick town, but I went with a Dayco belt for my TSX and it's been fine. Dead silent, never slips, fits perfect, and my parts guy that I trust highly recommends them as they have never resulted in a dissatisfied customer.
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:50 PM   #19
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I used a Good Year GatorBack belt.

Install took 5-10mins. Belt is quiet. I am happy.

I got is from the local autoparts store - Kragen.
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Old 05-08-2009, 8:19 AM   #20
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The goodyear gatorback is better than oem. Change the belt if you hear squeaking or if the belt looks worn or there are small cracks. Check the manual for a suggested mileage change, but Its so cheap and easy to change that anything over 40,000 miles should be changed to be safe.
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:31 AM   #21
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The goodyear gatorback is better than oem. Change the belt if you hear squeaking or if the belt looks worn or there are small cracks. Check the manual for a suggested mileage change, but Its so cheap and easy to change that anything over 40,000 miles should be changed to be safe.
Its cheap insurance. What's an hour or so of labor and a couple of bucks now vs being stranded later when it breaks.

I've one gatorback belt on one car and I can't really comment on it. It was on the water pump/alternator pulley for my Mazda. Off the main crank there were two pulleys. And water pump/alternator was the one furthest from the block. It had cogs on it, kind of like a gear, and a sensor to monitor engine rotation. It took me 3 belts to realize that a rock or something had bent one of those cogs in ever so slightly so it was shreading the outside edge of the belt as the engine ran. The gatorback was the second one. It lasted for a few weeks, about as long as the Dayco and the OEM belts I had tried.
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:02 PM   #22
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sorry to bump an old thread, but is this belt the same as the ac belt tensioner?

I was quoted about 400 for part/labor to replace it.
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Old 08-31-2009, 1:56 PM   #23
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sorry to bump an old thread, but is this belt the same as the ac belt tensioner?

I was quoted about 400 for part/labor to replace it.
Yes, we only have 1 drive belt. Unless you have spare $$ around, $400 is way too much.
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Old 08-31-2009, 2:37 PM   #24
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It is not necessary to replace the entire auto tensioner unit. I did because I thought my tensioner was failing due to a engine bay noise that's bugging me. Alas, even though there's a new unit, I still have the noise.
If it was like my car, its your water pump bearing. When you had your belt off, you should have checked for play/looseness in the pump pulley. Trust me, mine got to the point where I thought the motor was going to fall out. Would only do it initially when cold, then became a constant thing.
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Old 08-31-2009, 3:40 PM   #25
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If it was like my car, its your water pump bearing. When you had your belt off, you should have checked for play/looseness in the pump pulley. Trust me, mine got to the point where I thought the motor was going to fall out. Would only do it initially when cold, then became a constant thing.
I'll give it a check.
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Old 08-31-2009, 6:25 PM   #26
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moda_way:

How many miles did your TSX have when the water pump failed? My 2005 TSX has 54,000 miles. Am I getting close to the mileage you had?

Also, do you think your problem was a rare thing. I have been monitoring these boards for a while. I don't remember many people besides yourself having a bad water pump bearing.

Thanks Moda
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Old 09-01-2009, 3:33 PM   #27
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moda_way:

How many miles did your TSX have when the water pump failed? My 2005 TSX has 54,000 miles. Am I getting close to the mileage you had?

Also, do you think your problem was a rare thing. I have been monitoring these boards for a while. I don't remember many people besides yourself having a bad water pump bearing.

Thanks Moda
His died at 88,500 miles. Yes, water pump failure is actually quite low on the boards. I believe this also applies to the entire K-series. I couldn't find many water pump threads on .
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Old 11-22-2009, 9:46 AM   #28
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HI,

I am trying to replace my drive belt and i got the serpentine belt tensioner tool and wondering how can we reach the bottom pulleys ?? There is not much space to put the belt around those pulleys. ( want to make sure the belt sits properly on the grooves).

Do i need to remove the plastic shield and try it from bottom.

thanks
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Old 11-22-2009, 11:59 AM   #29
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I use a long screwdriver that fits down there nicely. I didn't find it that hard to get to. You could use a long stick, or even your tensioner tool to do it. You're going to need a friend if you want to do it from the bottom.
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Old 11-22-2009, 12:38 PM   #30
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HI,

I am trying to replace my drive belt and i got the serpentine belt tensioner tool and wondering how can we reach the bottom pulleys ?? There is not much space to put the belt around those pulleys. ( want to make sure the belt sits properly on the grooves).

Do i need to remove the plastic shield and try it from bottom.

thanks
mars
The belt is stiff enough to persuade it down. Just get the belt to partially wrap the pulley, then you can coax it with a long tool like the serpentine belt tension tool into place.
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Old 12-07-2009, 5:35 PM   #31
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I just had my 60k mile service done last week. The service advisor called and said he recommended I replace the drive belt as well, as it looked worn.

The part was $49.73, labor was $76 for a total of $125.73. Not bad.
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Old 12-07-2009, 8:09 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by LuvMyTSX View Post
I just had my 60k mile service done last week. The service advisor called and said he recommended I replace the drive belt as well, as it looked worn.

The part was $49.73, labor was $76 for a total of $125.73. Not bad.
Part price is good. But $76 for labour is outrageous if they already have the car in the garage for the 60k service anyhow. It takes all of 5-10 minutes to do, and that's taking it slow.
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Old 12-07-2009, 9:36 PM   #33
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50 bucks for the belt? That's insane too.
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Old 12-28-2009, 7:42 PM   #34
Even XXes can DIY!
 
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Yeah, I paid $36 for an OEM belt, plus shipping (about $2). It took me 20 minutes (because I was at first attempting to "loosen" the wrong pulley. LOL). The dealer charging $100+ for a belt change was precisely what prompted me to start some DIY. I called for a quote on the job (after I'd done it), and JE Acura told me it would be close to $160. When I asked why, the service advisor told me that the belt was pretty hard to get to and the job was a pain. BS!
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Old 12-30-2009, 2:26 PM   #35
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I just finished my job. Took about 20 minutes and i couldn't get the bottom left pulley to hook. i ended up lifting the front end of the car and reaching in from the bottom.
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:15 AM   #36
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I am able to replace the Drive belt and it took me 20 min..It's really easier than i thought..

I used a small rachet wrench while installing the new belt and it got stuck in a weird angle and hence 20 min..otherwise it's a 5 min Job..

Also you can move the (pull out of the socket and place it next to the wind shield washer reservoir. don't forget to move it back to the original place later) Power Steering Fluid reservoir to get more space..

I serpentine belt tool from Harbor Freight worked as advertised.. I needed to use the 14mm (6 -pt) socket to loosen the auto tensioner..

thanks.
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Old 03-22-2010, 8:39 PM   #37
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$127 for a belt change is ridiculous for a job that you can literally do yourself in 10 mins. You could probably even borrow the tool needed from an auto store like Autozone. Some of them loan or rent tools. Or just use a ratchet. Two people will make it easier but I did it myself, but my hand slipped off the wrench while I was reaching the lower pulley and it was under tension. Price of the belt job, $30 and a busted lip.. Price of the story, priceless.
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Old 04-23-2010, 2:02 PM   #38
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does anyone have the OEM part # for the belt? thanks.
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Old 10-09-2010, 3:03 PM   #39
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does anyone have the OEM part # for the belt? thanks.
If anyone is interested, the belt part number is 38920-RBB-E03.
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Old 10-09-2010, 4:08 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danmm7 View Post
Hello all!
I have a 2004 TSX, AT with 75k miles. I think that it may be time to replace the drive belt.
I looked under the hood today and it looks like the belt should not be too hard to replace. It's not routed to too many pulleys, curves and etc.

I noticed that there is a belt tensioner. Is this an auto adjusting belt tensioner?

If yes, how do i release it so i can get the belt loose?
If it's not auto-tensioner, how do i get the old belt out and put the new belt in? How i do i know when the belt is not too tight/too loose?

Any other tricks to this task?

Thanks!
Thought I'd resurrect this thread to share my experience replacing the drive belt. My 05 is closer to 129K than 128K, and though the OE belt still looks fine, it is (was) 5 1/2 years old with the above mentioned miles on it, so I've been thinking about replacing it for a while. I finally decided to go ahead and bite the bullet. There's no recommended interval to replace this belt, just an inspection interval. Again, it looks fine and the tensioner showed it was still OK, but.... better to be safe than sorry. I've read that it's a pretty easy item to replace (and it looked that way too) and we're not talking about allot of money, so...... I checked on line and found (as usual) that I could get the best deal on both the belt and the tool from Amazon. The belt was $31.83 (Dayco) and the tool was $22.17 (that's the total price to my front door). The only belts I found available (aside from an OE one) were the Dayco, and store brand belts. I'm not saying that Gates and Goodyear belts aren't available, it's just that I didn't find anyone selling them. You could probably find a serpentine belt removal tool kit for fairly close to what I paid locally, but I'm sure you'd pay at least a few bucks more plus tax. I'm also pretty sure the belt would have been at least $10 more w/ tax locally. I'm not really that cheap, but If I can save some money by shopping while sitting on my couch, and at the same time find the stuff sitting by my front door a few days later, well....... that's a win-win in my book.

The belt replacement is pretty clear cut. I too tried the 3/8 drive breaker bar w/ a socket (14MM) as a tensioner tool, but as mentioned elsewhere, the motor mount gets in the way. Someone mentioned a double wrench method. I don't quite understand how that works well, but..... must be more talented than me. I found that I had to work the tensioner quite a bit to install the new belt and get it to sit properly on the pulleys (I guess what I'm saying is.... get the tool). I did need a couple of very long screwdrivers to help remove the old belt as well as install the new one. This is not a particularly difficult job (maybe awkward would be a better word), but in my opinion it's not as easy as some here make it out to be (and I'm an old mechanic, though non practicing). The visibility is poor and working conditions tight. If someone has help, it might be worth it to try going in from underneath (by removing the front wheel) to get the new belt to sit properly on the bottom pulleys. Also, though there is a little drawing of the belt route on the belt package (the Dayco anyway), I drew a diagram. It's true that it will only fit one way, but believe me..... a nice big picture to stare at as you fight with getting the belt in place helps.

So..... if you have some tools, you're mechanically inclined, feel brave, and feel the need to save some money, then it should be OK to take this job on. Otherwise, I'd suggest you don't feel too bad about paying someone else to do it.
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Old 10-09-2010, 4:08 PM
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