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can the two different belts be replaced without the special tool that is referred to in the tech manual?


also the manual says the belt needs to be replaced at a certain mileage since it does not have a tensioner. what is it? i have looked and cannot find that figure
 

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The serpentine belt does have a tensioner and unless you either make a tool, or buy one to fit in the tensioner, (not much room in there) it can be a real pain in the ... belt to get the new belt on. I had my alternator go bad, and a few days later, the belt broke. My guess is it probably wasn't put on properly, but I should have replaced the belt when I put the alternator on.
 

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smart recommends belt changes at 60K miles. I changed mine at 165K, and there was little difference between the new belts and the old ones.

You do not "need" a special tool to change the belts. If you remove the right rear wheel and splash shield, you can get a large screwdriver between the tensioner & frame and pry it down to get the water pump/alternator belt off & on.

The A/C is a little different because it's a stretch belt. Simply cut it off, then put the new belt on the crank pulley and slowly rotate the engine over while guiding the belt onto the A/C pulley, and it will go on.

Here is the side by side comparison of the old & new belt from my smart. Left belt is the old one. Not sure why I bothered...

 

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My serpentine belt ripped itself apart at like, 115,000 miles or so?

It started squealing in the rain at 45k and I suspected the tensioner was not working in some way, the dealer solution was to lube the belt, which coincidentally lasted me just to the end of warranty. Every further attempt to fix it had the dealer trying to charge me some exorbitant amount.

Replaced using a Merlin shop next to my apartment, total cost came to about $114. The magician of a mechanic did the whole job with wheels on the ground and little room.
 

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Wow!! Not much room in there with the plastic shield in place to even get to the tensioner !.

I tried to use a pry bar to collapse the tensioner and there was no way I could get it far enough using a pry bar or a screwdriver. with the cut off allen wrench and ratchet/socket extender, I was able to put the belt on in seconds (with the splash guard removed)
 

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unless you install a hitch that is over the shield and the bolts for the hitch will not loosen ( just spin in the frame ) you have to make a tool consisting of a socket cut away and a set of visegrips. it is possible though
 
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