You should routinely inspect the serpentine belt on your Jeep Liberty for wear and damage. Replacing it is very easy, and you should consider it a normal part of your maintenance program. If the belt starts to slip or make noise, inspect it right away for signs of glazing, dry rot or other damage. The failure of the serpentine belt could lead to the engine overheating when the water pump stops spinning. Along with the water pump, the alternator would not provide power to the engine electrical system and the battery will be drained until it is dead.
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Things you need
- Wrench set
- 1/2-inch drive socket set with ratchet
- New serpentine belt
Locate the diagram on the radiator support that shows the path of the belt. If you install the belt incorrectly, the belt will be driving the accessories in reverse. This will damage or destroy the accessories.
Disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery, using a wrench, to avoid accidentally starting the engine.
Locate the belt tensioner on the front of the engine. It is near the top centre of the engine and looks like most of the other pulleys, except it is mounted on a spring-loaded arm.
Release the tension on the belt by rotating the tensioner clockwise, using a socket and large ratchet on the bolt in the centre of the pulley. Continue to rotate the arm until it hits the stops.
Remove the old belt and discard it. Install the new belt, being very careful to route it over the pulleys and following the path shown on the radiator support.
Release the belt tensioner slowly to take up the slack, and tighten the belt. Do not let it snap back; this could damage the pulley, the tension spring and the belt.
Reinstall the negative battery cable on the battery, and tighten it with a wrench. Do not over-tighten the bolt; it just needs to be tight enough that it won't move.
Start and test-run the engine. Verify that the belt is properly aligned and running true over all the pulleys.
Tips and warnings
- Make sure your belt is the right size and has the right number of ribs before you install it.
- If you install the belt incorrectly, the water pump will turn backward, causing the engine to overheat.
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