Serpentine Belt Keeps Coming Off

What would cause the serpentine belt to come off of my 2001 chevy tracker

Answer: There are several reasons why the serpentine belt could come off your vehicle, or any other vehicle. The most common reason is that the serpentine belt is just worn out and needs to be replaced.

Another common cause is that the belt tensioner is froze / stuck and not functioning. The tensioner does exactly what it's name says- keeps tension on the belt. Without tension the belt will come right off. This is the part that you must adjust or release the tension to install the belt.

Another possible cause is that one of the components with a pulley that the belt rides on is worn out and not sitting perfectly straight. This could be the water pump, power steering pump, A/C compressor or what is called the idler pulley. The idler is different than the tensioner. It is a solid pulley that just keeps the belt riding true. What happens is that the bearing for any of these pulleys the belt rides on is worn out, so the pulley either wobbles or does not sit flat and gives the belt a chance to "walk" off the pulley. A worn out pulley will usually be accompanied by a growl or whining noise when the engine is running. You may also see that the belt is worn out on one edge.


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  • Guest - Bees

    I dont know how old this is, but, may help for future browsers. My dodge nitro kept throwing serpentine belt and after checking tensioner and replacing belt and idler I found there was a bolt missing in the power steering pump. Causing it to wiggle. Replaced bolt and tightened up pump, no more throwing the belt.

  • Guest - Kara Jordan

    Replaced the alternator, belt, tensioner & pulley. All bearings appear sound and the belt is still coming off. Vehicle is a 2012 Dodge Journey. Help please.

  • Guest - Paul lee

    Would a cocked tensioner cause the serpintine belt to come off.

  • Guest - Joe

    I had problem with 2000 Pontiac Montana throwing the serpentine belt. Replaced with new belt and tensioner. Immediately threw the belt as vehicle was cranking. Noticed that tensioner had to be fully compressed to get the belt on. Specs call for it to run about midway between travel limits. Went back to auto parts store and double checked that belt sold to me was correct for vehicle. According to the computer it was. I then bought two new belts, one 1/4" longer and second 1/2" longer. Tried the +1/4" and it came off too. Tried the +1/2" and it is running ok. Add to the list of reasons the belt gets thrown--belt too short.