Alternator belt blues


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The alternator belt on my 02 Civic DX needs to be tightened. Sometimes the squeal is REALLY LOUD! I know it's not the power steering pump 'cause that's easy to tighten and I did and that didn't help. Plus the squeal sometimes happens when I turn on the headlights.

I found a service manual procedure and illustration online that is partly helpful, altho the directions refer to a bolt (E) that is not shown in the illustration.

Today I removed the power steering pump, assuming this would enable me to see the alternator mounting bolts and tightening mechanism. I couldn't see any of that. Even using a small mirror and flashlight, I couldn't get my hand in a position to hold the mirror to see what's going on.

Judging from the illustration I found, I think the tightening mechanism is missing. Maybe the last guy just used a pry bar to tension the belt and then tightened the bolts?

My question is: is there any way to actually see the lower mouunting bolt and tightening mechanism? How can I deal with nuts I can't see?

Any info will be appreciated.


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How can I deal with nuts I can't see?
I have the same problem :p

Seriousness though. Ive read about a wing nut type tightening for that year. I don't have a service manual so I can't see what you see. If you have a service/repair manual picture of it post it up


New Member
how do I post an image?

I looked at the FAQ and read about posting attachemnts and then clicking on the atttachment to get it to display in the post, but at the bottom of this form, for example, it says, "you may not post attachments"

It seems the other method is to post a URL of the image, but I don't know how to arrange that either.

It would be helpful if I could post the illustration.


New Member
Maine, or Forgot which to use. Try those websites.

Also, make sure that the previous owner didn't install an aftermarket tensioner. That's what I got on my Civic and had to bring to a shop to actually show me how to use.

Don't fix what ain't broken :P


New Member
Alternator belt tension

Tamerin, I've seen posts on this forum with images pasted right in the post. That's what I'd like to be able to do.

But now it's a moot point. Yesterday I discovered a previous owner or mechanic had discarded the tensioning device completely. I used a pry bar to tension the belt, then tightened the lower bolt. I think it was fine. But a nagging little voice said, "Jim, what if the belt is not quite tight enough and it begins squealing again in the dead of winter and you'll be out here freezing your butt doing it all over?"

So I loosened up the lower bolt, pried harder on the alternator, and began tightening the lower bolt. I wanted to make sure it wouldn't slip. I applied just a bit too much force (I REALLY should have been using a torque wrench) and then I felt the resistance cease resisting and I experienced that sinking feeling you get when you shear off a bolt.

I spent the rest of the day totally removing the alternator and drilling out the bolt stub embedded in the alternator flange. I tried a screw extractor, but the rusted steel bolt was way too stuck in the corroded aluminum. I DID NOT want to break the extractor off in the hole, then I'd have been in deep trouble. I ended up using a jeweler's saw to cut kerfs in the remains of the bolt. Then I was able to get it all out.

I got an idea to make a tensioner. I had a piece of hefty steel angle left over from my partner's Subaru when I installed a trailer hitch. I sawed out a piece of angle to serve as the tensioner attachment to the alternator bolt. The angle already had holes in it. I used a carriage bolt for the tensioner. Its wide head allowed me to grind one side flat, where it fit against the angle, preventing it from turning.

Here I'm following the instructions for inserting an image, by clicking on the 'insert image' icon, then pasting the URL of my pic in the pop-up menu, with a bolt I tried prior to the carriage bolt. I don't think this procedure will work. Here's the URL:

Today I bought a 5/16" tap and 5/16" bolt. Tapped new threads in the alternator. After one trial installation and some modifications, I got it all back together.

I'll probably change the timing belt in the springtime, and I'll be glad to be able to properly tension the alternator belt.