Imagine yourself on a long, cold drive at night. Everything is going according to plan, but soon you notice some cops at a distance, and you feel the need to stretch your belt.

The only real problem is your belt doesn’t stretch all that much and doesn’t extend to its maximum capacity. Anyone can find themselves in such a situation, and therefore it’s important to know how to stretch a belt over a pulley.

Being able to successfully stretch a belt will require you all the right tools and equipment, and there are no shortcuts here.

You also see fancy stretch belts available on the market that extend greater than other conventional options out there.

Know – How to Stretch a Belt Over a Pulley?

to Stretch a Belt Over a Pulley

Now that you have absorbed much of what there is to know about stretch belts let’s focus on the principal job and get into the stretch of a belt over a pulley.


Before the actual installation and stretching part, it’s always a good practice to know what you are working with so you get an accurate depiction of what the outcome will be.

What you want to do is measure the depth of the grooves and use a proper tool to note the difference between a belt that has been worn and a good belt.

You might want to fix the alignment of the belt because that is the number one cause of belt failure and all the premature noise that you hear.

Installation and stretching process

What’s special about these belts is that they contain an elastic core, and the purpose of that resilient core is to maintain a force on the pulley.

This is where these types of belts come in handy because they will easily stretch over the pulleys without any problems.

Let’s learn how you can go about installing these stretch belts. A screwdriver isn’t recommended to be used because that will lead to the cutting of the belt.

You can get your hands on a specialized belt toolset and those will act as a ramp to the pulley. These belt tools are purposely built to allow pulling the belt over the leading edge of the crankshaft pulley.

Method for stretching the belt

I practically explained to you what it takes to install these stretch belts. Let’s take a look at this full-proof method and how it can be used for proper installation.

 For this, you will need to do the following

1. Remove the negative battery connection.

2. The next step is to replace the downward bolt and remove the upper bolt. This enables the alternator to adjust the orientation of the passenger cabin, allowing for an insufficient slacker on the belt.

3. Connect the new belt, and you want to start at the alternator and work your way towards the ground.

4. Applying the undercarriage of your car, let go of the belt tension and cover as much belt on the AC pulley as possible. It should easily encapsulate the black outer cover.

5. Manually guide the engine in a clockwise direction through the crank bolt, which will gradually guide the belt on the AC pulley. You need to carry out to accomplish one thing, and that is the routing of the belt!

Lastly, what you need to do is to insert the upper alternator bolt again, which is impossible at the moment because the alternator is being pulled back towards the direction of the cabin.

Grab a long crowbar and *gently* place it behind the alternator near the bolt (not on it!), and pull the alternator forward enough to replace the bolt. The result will be the belt sliding in without any headaches.

Read more about how to use stretch belt tools.


Q. What are stretch belts?

Ans. Stretch belts are those types of belts that can be found in later-model vehicles, and they don’t have a tensioner that’s fully automatic, and all operate under two or three components.

As the name suggests, stretch belts are there to provide you with the maximum amount of stretch factor compared to other belts that cannot.

Stretch belts have a decent lifespan if you are into that thing, and they can easily last you over 100 thousand miles.

But of course, hot and cold environments do have a substantial say in how long your stretch belt will last; if it’s cold, your car will take time to heat up, but if it is hot and humid, it will heat up quickly which will affect the belt’s lifespan.

When the stretch belt goes through a lot of wear and tear, it will lose its ability to grip pulleys, and the result will be it will slip a lot.

The major cause of this is material being excluded from the belt, and it won’t stretch all that much.

Q. How do you go about selling stretch belts?

Ans. Chances are you want to replace your existing belt with something much better. Here are some useful sales tips that can help you get the most bang for your buck.

If you are looking to sell your belts, you might want to consider selling both of your belts together because most serpentine or stretch belts wear overtime at the same speed.

If you have to sell any additional tools or extra equipment, do consider it, and you can sell things like idler pulleys and special tools.

Q. Is it too difficult to replace a fan belt?

Ans. No, it is far easier to replace serpentine belts compared to other belts because tensioners in today’s modern-day belts eliminate any real need or reposition any components that may require some tensioning again. Those old days are over when you had to replace two or three belts at the same time. Sometimes people also refer fan belts as serpentine belts or even V-belts and accessory drive belts.

Final Words

How to Stretch a Belt Over a Pulley

Let’s wrap up this guide. Hopefully, this guide has been enlightening enough for you by now. You have learned how to stretch a belt over a pulley. Every belt has a period where it will.

Finally, wear off, and you can only stretch it up to a specified limit. Thus, it is imperative to know the stretch factor and lifespan of your belt so that you can prepare for when there is a need to install a new stretch belt. This will definitely save you some money by not going to the repair or car workshop.

I hope you enjoyed our detailed coverage in this guide, and check out some of my other useful DIY articles to make you a pro at doing things yourself.


Hi, my name is Gabrielle. I have been into Automotive Industry for over 15 years. If you’re anything like me, then building, maintaining and improving your Automotive Industry/Projects is all part of the Automotive experience. My goal with this blog is to share my experience with and help you discover new and exciting things about Automotive.