Replace The Serpentine Belt on a Chrysler Crossfire
Replacing your serpentine belt should be part of a long-term maintenance schedule for your car. Since it's often not needed at the same frequency of an oil change or tire rotation, many folks often forego it. However, a bad belt can have direct consequences on the health of many of your engine components, and replacing yours can help keep your car happy and healthy for longer.
Thankfully, replacing the serpentine belt on a Crossfire is a piece of cake, even if you've never touched an engine component in your life. No need to spend a day at the shop when you can replace your belt in 15 minutes at home.
Note: This guide specifically covers the NA Crossfire/Base and Limited models. The SRT-6 Crossfire uses a different engine and thus a different length belt and a different belt route.
- 17mm hex socket (a deep socket is a plus)
- A reasonably long-armed wrench or breaker bar
- A partner (helpful but certainly not required)
Remove the old belt
To remove the belt, you'll need to use the socket wrench to actuate the tensioner, loosening the belt enough to slip off. From there, it's easy to pull the belt off the remaining pulleys and out of the engine bay.
Before you begin, make note of the path the belt takes around the pulleys. In addition to this guide, take a few pictures with your phone to ensure you don't forget. Here are two pictures, with annotated pulleys, to give you reference:
- A: Alternator
- B: Water Pump
- C: Idler Pulley
- D: Crankshaft
- E: Tensioner
- F: Power Steering Pump
- G: A/C Compressor
To actuate the tensioner to release the belt, you'll have to locate the 17mm "bolt" to the lower-left of the tensioner pulley, just underneath the belt. Once your socket wrench is in place, rotating the "bolt" counter-clockwise rotates the tensioner and releases tension on the belt.
Once the belt is free of the tensioner, proceed to remove it from the other pulleys and pull it free from the engine bay. Take this opportunity to spin and listen to each of the pulleys in turn; they should spin fairly effortlessly with no noise. Any significant wobble, play, humming, or grinding probably indicates the pulley is bad. Note that the alternator, on the bottom-left, will spin with some resistance; this is normal. However, it should still spin smoothly without any grinding or noise.
Install the new belt
Before starting, take the old and new belts in both hands and extend them completely. Ensure they are the same width and length before proceeding!
Routing the new belt around the various pulleys in the engine can be a tiresome task; you'll need patience and elbow grease to make it work. My recommendation: start on the right, looping it around the power steering and A/C compressor pulleys first. Then work your way to the left, and down: idler pulley, alternator, water pump, and crankshaft. Ensure the grooved half of the belt is in contact with the grooved pulleys: the alternator, idler pulley, power steering pulley, A/C compressor, and crankshaft. The smooth half will come in contact with the water pump and tensioner. By now, you should have something like this:
You should have a decent amount of slack ready to loop around the tensioner. Ensure the belt is tightened, flush and seated correctly around the other pulleys as much as possible. Use the 17mm socket wrench to once again actuate the tensioner counter-clockwise, enough to loop the belt around it. I found I needed to turn the tensioner as far to the left as possible in order to fit the belt.
If you have a partner available, it would be easy to have one person using the wrench to actuate the tensioner while the other person fumbles with the belt. However, with some elbow grease, I was able to do it solo.
Success! After you've gotten the belt looped around the tensioner, release the socket wrench and let the belt tighten. Ensure the belt is seated tightly and properly on all the pulleys. You're done!
If your old belt is in good shape, you may consider keeping it as a backup in case something catastrophic happens to your current one.
- Belt dimensions: 13/16" x 94 3/4" (20mm x 2407mm)
- Hex bolt for relieving tension on tensioner pulley: 17mm