How hard is it to replace a belt in a car? Do you need any special tools?

The belts are almost due to be replaced but not quite to the point where I’m worried about them breaking so I’m asking now… how hard is it to do? I’m fairly mechanically inclined but I’ve never done this before specifically. Is it worth the $140+ for the repair shop to do it worth it than doing it myself?

When I ask about Special Tools, what all would be needed? I have the typical wrenches, socket wrenches, etc. so I’m not sure if I would need to buy new tools for it or not.
I should also add the question if it’s more difficult for any of the belts than the other… it’s been almost 5 years since we got the car and we don’t use it as much as the manufacturer assumes.
It’s an ’02 Alero and the question applies to all of the belts around the engine area. Are some "easy enough" that I can do them on my own and any of them too hard for a novice to do?

Google belt change for your particular model/year/make. you will most likely find an autowhiz or similar youtube video that will walk you through the whole process. I have done this for most basic repairs on all my vehicles. Or buy a Haynes or Chilton manual for your car. they are less than $30.00 and cover just about everything you need to know about fixing your car


6 Responses to How hard is it to replace a belt in a car? Do you need any special tools?

  1. What belts? Serpentine? Power Steering? Air Pump? If it is timing. have a trained mechanic do it. Oh, if you specify the make, model, and engine it would help wonders.
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  2. Some cars do require special tools and some do not . So if you had posted what vehicle you are working on then i could tell you what tools you would need .
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  3. Google belt change for your particular model/year/make. you will most likely find an autowhiz or similar youtube video that will walk you through the whole process. I have done this for most basic repairs on all my vehicles. Or buy a Haynes or Chilton manual for your car. they are less than $30.00 and cover just about everything you need to know about fixing your car
    References :
    Hate paying garage rates if I can avoid it

  4. what kind of car ? most of them have a serpentine belt and all you need is a 18mm wrench to loosen the idler pulley !
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  5. The special tool part just forget about because as far as the belts, inclined or not, I’d have the auto-shop do it. It’s totally worth it.
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  6. Some bolts require metric tools, some you may already have. If the belts aren’t broke then you have time to figure out how to DIY& save money.Buy a Chilton book. It’s the best howto guide, sold at O’Reilly stores @ $24, worth it. Their CS guys r very helpful. You can rent tools there too. YouTube has lots of help for anything. Just keep track of all bolts & belts you remove so parts aren’t lost.
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    Husband is mechanic.

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