The Volvo Parts, Accessories &
Performance Specialists Since 1963

Video: Serpentine Belt Basics for 1993-2010 front wheel drive and all wheel drive models

2012-10-30 - ipd staff

IPD's Cameron goes over the basics of serpentine belts for all 1993-2010 front wheel drive and all wheel drive model Volvos and explains what they are and how to know when they need to be replaced.

Video Transcript

What are they, what do they, do what cars use them, and etc.... What is the serpentine belt, we'll start with that question. All Volvo white block motors which are the aluminum motors that started with the five cylinders and in early 1960 six-cylinder motors went away from what's called a V belt which is the individual belts for your AC for your power steering for your alternator stuff like that and went to this. It's one single big belt called the serpentine belt that wraps around all the pulleys for those and around the crankshaft in terms of all at once. It's a very nice change because it just means that you have one belt it's a service the downside of that though is if it fails that nothing works. So with the old V belt stuff if you're AC belt fails or something you know you can still get home, this one fails you're stuck so it pays to know what it is, what it does, and how to change it. 

So all these models are going to use a slightly different part number depending on it the motor that's in there. Because they're just a different length, but the principle behind all of them is the same. Now in these cars almost all of them short of the early 960 models have the motor mounted transversely which means basically sideways so if you look down here on this car, I'll show you exactly where it is these cars with the transversely mounted engine it goes this way that means the front of the motor is right here so all your drive gears everything that you might be used to on an older car that is in the front, is now on the side because this car has the engine transversely mounted. 

So in this car you can see most easily up here at the top, is the serpentine belt running on the power steering pump pulley right here a little further down you'll see where the AC compressor in the alternator and stuff is but this is the main spot where you can kind of see it and kind of get a picture where it goes. It snakes all around here and down around the crankshaft and back up, so that's where it is what it does now when you need to change it there are a couple special tools that we have that will help you do this depending on the year depending on the model of the motor. 

The tool that you use might look like this or it might look like this. They serve the same purpose and what they do is there's a tensioner assembly that's a little bit down here that holds tension and pushes against a pulley on the belt to keep attention. All these do is go in there grab inside it and detention that while you take the old belt off and snake the new one on so without these tools it can become pretty difficult. 

So now that you know what it is, where it is, and what tools you need how do you know when to replace it. Each models going to have a slightly different service interval as far as mileage goes look in your owners manual or look in the service manual for that information or the easier way just do a visual inspection. Just like in older cars that have v-belts you're looking for the same thing on the belt if you see drying or cracks around the edges or if you see these ribbed pieces being kind of broken. That's the sign that you need to replace it so watch out for that watch your mileage just pay attention to it in your car we'll treat you well. 

So if you have questions on any of these items how these tools work, where the belt goes, and/or what the part number is for your car. Give us a call and any of our customer service reps will help you.