How to Replace a Drive Belt on a Honda Civic

Updated March 23, 2017

The front engine accessories on Honda Civics are controlled by a single serpentine belt. The serpentine belt controls the alternator, water pump, air conditioner pump and the power steering pump. The serpentine belt has small grooves on the inside of the belt that travel inside of the grooves on each accessory pulley. The crankshaft is the main component that drives the serpentine belt around the engine accessory pulleys. Replace the serpentine belt immediately if the belt has damage or excessive cracking is present anywhere on the belt.

Park the Honda Civic in a safe work area and open the bonnet.

Raise the bonnet and look on the top of the radiator fan shroud cover for the serpentine belt routing diagram. This diagram outlines the routing process of the serpentine belt around each engine accessory pulley.

Inspect the front of the engine for the automatic belt tensioner. The automatic belt tensioner on the Honda Civic is located on the left-hand side of the alternator. The tensioner can be rotated from the bolt head that is located in the centre of the pulley that is attached to the automatic belt tensioner.

Position the serpentine belt removal tool on the bolt head on the automatic tensioner pulley. Turn the tensioner counter-clockwise and the serpentine belt will loosen from the pulleys.

Pull the serpentine belt off of the automatic tensioner pulley with your other hand. Then, pull the serpentine belt out of all of the other accessory pulleys and out of the engine compartment.

Route the new serpentine belt onto the accessory pulleys, using the serpentine belt routing diagram as a routing guide.

Turn the automatic belt tensioner pulley counter-clockwise with the serpentine belt removal tool, and slide the new belt onto the tensioner pulley.

Look over the new serpentine belt to make sure that it is properly routed around each pulley. Crank the engine and let it run for about one minute. Watch the new belt while the motor is running. Turn the engine off and close the bonnet.


A 3/8-inch drive breaker bar can also be substituted for the serpentine belt removal tool. The serpentine belt removal tool creates more leverage and makes it easier to remove and replace the serpentine belt. The serpentine belt removal tool can be purchased at most auto parts stores.


Keep hands and fingers away from the accessory pulleys on the front of the engine while the engine is running.

Things You'll Need

  • Serpentine belt removal tool
  • Replacement serpentine belt
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About the Author

Grace Mclain has been writing professionally since 1998. Her articles have appeared on, and LIVESTRONG.COM, and she specializes in automotive and business topics. McIain has a professional writing certificate from JB Hunt in Little Rock, Ark.