Replacing the belt on the 2002 Ford Focus will eliminate the chance of the belt failing when you are least expecting it, leaving you stranded. The serpentine belt on the Focus turns all of the accessories on the front of the 2-liter engine, and a failure can allow the car to overheat, warping the heads or damaging the engine block. Inspect the belt regularly for signs of wear and replace it as soon as damage is discovered.
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Things you need
- Wrench set
- Jack stands
- Socket set
- 1/2-inch drive breaker bar
Open the bonnet of your Focus and locate the negative battery cable at the battery. Loosen the clamp bolt on the battery cable end with a wrench, then lift the battery cable off the battery terminal. Isolate the battery cable from the battery terminals by tucking it off to one side.
Position a jack under the front of the car and raise it off the ground. Support the car with a set of jack stands, placing them under the front suspension. Lower the jack until the car is resting on the jack stands.
Locate the splash shield in the passenger’s side wheel well and remove the two retaining bolts that secure it, using a socket and ratchet. Remove the splash shield from the wheel well and locate the serpentine belt tensioner through the access hole.
Insert the square drive of a ½-inch drive breaker bar into the square hole on the tensioner and rotate the tensioner counterclockwise, releasing the tension on the belt. Remove the belt from the pulleys and rotate the tensioner back to the home position.
Position a new belt in the engine compartment and run it around all of the pulleys except the tensioner’s idler pulley. Rotate the tensioner counterclockwise with the breaker bar and then slide the belt under the idler pulley.
Slowly rotate the tensioner back to the home position, tightening the belt as you rotate it. Remove the breaker bar, then replace the splashguard in the wheel well. Install the two retaining bolts and tighten them with a socket and ratchet.
Raise the front of the car off the jack stands with a jack, remove the stands from under the car, and lower the car to the ground. Install the negative battery cable on the negative battery terminal and tighten the clamp bolt on the cable end with a wrench.
Tips and warnings
- Be sure to pay attention to the belt path when installing a new belt. There is a diagram under the bonnet, often on the radiator support, and one in the owners manual. Improperly installing the belt can damage the belt and the accessories.
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