How To Replace Both Subaru Drive Belts

Below is a video on how to replace both Subaru drive belts.

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Today we will be showing you how to replace both drive belts. There is one that turns the alternator and power steering and there is one that turns the a/c compressor.

You will first need to pull the hood release and open the hood and use the prop rod to hold it in the open position. Next we will need a 10mm socket and a ratchet to remove the three 10mm bolts that hold the two covers in position.

With the three 10mm bolts removed we should be able to remove the plastic cover from the right side. Next you will need a 12mm deep socket and loosen the 12mm bolt to the right of the alternator. Once you have that bolt loose we can slide the metal cover out from behind the bolt and remove it.

Since the alternator belt is closer to the front of the car and the A/C belt is behind it we will need to remove the alternator belt first. First you will need to take a 12mm socket and ratchet and loosen the 12mm bolt that holds the adjuster in position. Once we have it loose we can turn the 12mm bolt on top of the adjuster to the left of the alternator to lower it. It might be a good idea to spray the threads with some PB blaster of the adjuster to keep them lubricated.  Once we have it low enough we can remove the old alternator belt.

Once we have the alternator belt removed we can now move onto removing the A/C belt. To start the A/C belt you will need a 12mm short socket and the ratchet and we will use them to loosen the nut on the idler pulley for the A/C belt tensioner. Once we have the nut loosened on the idler pulley we can take our 12mm deep socket and turn the bolt on the adjuster to bring the wheel up to loosen the belt.

With the old a/c belt removed we can open the new A/C belt and slide it onto the idler pulley then the crank pulley and last onto the a/c pulley.  Once we have the new A/C belt on ensure that it is sitting in the groves on all the pulleys. Take the 12mm deep socket and ratchet and turn the bolt on the adjuster to move the idler pulley to tighten the belt. Once we have the belt tightened down we can take the 12mm short socket and ratchet and tight the nut on the idler pulley to hold it in position.  With that nut tight on the idler pulley that’s it for installing the A/C belt.

Next we can unpack age our new alternator belt and slide it on the crank pulley first then onto the power steering pulley and then onto the alternator pulley. With the belt on ensure that it’s sitting in the groves on all the pulleys. Next grab the 12mm deep socket and the ratchet and turn the adjuster bolt on the top left of the alternator to bring it upwards to tighten the belt. Once we have the belt tightened we can take the 12mm socket and ratchet and tight the bolt that holds the adjuster in position.

With both belts reinstalled and both adjusters tightened down we can now reinstall the two covers. We will start with the left side metal cover first.  First slide the tab behind the bolt and then align the hole up on the left side. Then grab the 10mm bolt with the shoulder on it and thread it in hand tight. Next take the ratchet and the 12mm socket and tight the 12mm bolt on the right of the metal cover. Once we have that tightened down we can grab the right side plastic cover and hold it in position and reinstall the other two 10mm bolts. With that cover in position we can take the ratchet and the 10mm socket and tight those two 10mm bolts and the one on the left holding the metal cover in position.

With the covers in position and the three 10mm bolts tightened down that’s it you have just replaced both the drive belts on your Subaru the one for the alternator / power steering and the belt for the a/c compressor.

 

A quick guide to get the proper belt tension. After a month or so the belt will stretch and you will need to readjust it.

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer

13 comments

Hey DIY Guy, this video was great! Everything on my car was just as you showed/described it in the video. I was able to swap the belts no problem. Thank you very much and keep up the great work!

Drew, CA

DID Guy,
Thanks for this detailed video! I replaced both belts in no time and had my 2001 Subaru back on the road in no time. One problem, the new alternator belt broke my second time out. I’m sure it wasn’t too tight bot it was almost a clean break. Is this uncommon or could there be something I did incorrectly?

Hello, You’re welcome. glad to hear you could complete the repair rather quickly. umm.. maybe you just got a bad belt, make sure you are using a good name brand belt. If shopping at auto zone or advanced make sure you are at least get the second tier belts as the lower level ones are junk. I haven’t had a belt just break most need replacing due to glazing or because there stretched where you run out of adjustment. Just make sure that the belt is in the groove on all pulleys. Maybe you have a bent pulley somewhere which is causing the belt to break.

Hello,Im from a place that i cannot find spare parts for my subaru outback 2003 2.5l and after watching your video I need to order them online and I just want to ask you if the alternator and power steering belt and the a/c compressor belt are the same dimensions(length), withd , etc.
I hope to hear from you soon thanks.

Hello, They are different as one belt goes over the crank pulley, power steering and the alternator while the other just goes over the crank pulley and just the a/c compressor. You should be able to go to which ever part stores website and find it by make and model. You could also click the links here on our website which will take you right to them on Amazon.

Hi DIY guy, you’re video was amazing! I was on a road trip with my wife and we found out our alternator belt broke on a Sunday with no mechanic shops open where we pulled over. Picked up a new belt at AutoZone and thanks to your video I was able to put in the new one with no issues. Your video was clear and concise and easy to follow. Thank you so much for having posted this video!

Glad you found our video and that we could help get you and your wife back on the road and save you some money from not having to go to a mechanic. Hopefully you looked like the hero replacing the belt. Thanks for watching and taking the time to leave us the kind words. Safe travels and be sure to recheck the tension on the new belt as it will stretch.

Hi! Great video! Some questions. Do you have the measurments on that bolt? The long adjuster bolt. I need to change it. Can I use any bolt or do i need a subaru-special? I have a legacy 2007. I just rigged the alternator by lifing it up manually and tightened it without the adjuster bolt. Thanks again for the video!

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