2006-2013 Rav4: Serpentine Drive Belt Replacement
Time: 30-45 minutes
Apart from providing power to the wheel, the engine's rotation is utilized to drive vehicle accessories such as the power steering, air conditioning, alternator, and water pump. These are all driven off the engine's crankshaft by means of a primary drive belt, or serpentine belt.
The drive belt is rubber and will break down with age and use. Cracks in the belt ribs will increase in number, and decrease in spacing. You may also get fraying along the edge of the belt. If not replaced, the belt could break leaving you without the ability to charge the battery, easily steer, or cool the engine. In short, you wouldn't make it far with a broken primary drive belt. Replace it before it leaves you inconveniently stranded.
Modern drive belts are extremely durable, but should be replaced every 60-100,000 miles. You might see a drive belt exceed 200k miles, but wear, extreme heat, and contamination make longer intervals a gamble.
On front wheel drive vehicles, the drive belt can be difficult to remove. The space between the engine and the wheel well is limited. This makes it hard to access the pulleys and route the new belt. Having the right tools goes a long way on this type of job!
The video below shows how the serpentine belt was replaced on a 2007-2013 generation Toyota RAV4 with the 4 cylinder.
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