How to Replace a '97 Buick Park Avenue Serpentine Belt

by Robert Moore

    The 1997 Buick Park Avenue came with a 3.8-liter, six-cylinder engine and a four-speed automatic transmission. The 1997 Park Avenue was offered with two different variations of the 3.8-liter engine, a supercharged version and a naturally aspirated version. If the engine is naturally aspirated, it has a single serpentine belt as opposed to the dual belt system on the supercharged version. You can tell if the engine is supercharged or not by looking at the vehicle identification number under the windshield. If the 8th character from the left is a "1" your engine is supercharged, if it is a "K" your engine is naturally aspirated. Both drive belts should be changed if your engine is supercharged.

    Items you will need

    • Pen
    • Paper
    • Breaker bar
    • 15 mm socket
    • Ratchet
    Step 1

    Open the hood and support it with the hood prop rod. Examine the right side of the engine and draw a sketch of the serpentine belt routing and supercharger belt routing, if equipped. If your engine is supercharged the outside belt drives the supercharger and the inside belt drives all of the engine accessories. Skip to Step 3 if your engine is naturally aspirated.

    Step 2

    Find the supercharger belt tensioner. It is the pulley closest to the supercharger. Rotate the tensioner clockwise with a 15 mm socket and breaker bar. Remove the belt from around the supercharger, idler pulleys and crankshaft pulley. Slowly release the tensioner to its natural resting position.

    Step 3

    Locate the accessory drive-belt tensioner. The tensioner is just under the alternator pulleys if your engine is supercharged and to the left of the crankshaft pulley if your engine is naturally aspirated. Rotate the tensioner clockwise and remove the belt from the pulley system. Slowly release the tensioner to its natural position.

    Step 4

    Install the serpentine belt around the pulleys according to the sketch you made earlier, leaving the belt off of the tensioner pulley. Pull upwards on the belt at the tensioner pulley to hold the belt tight. Rotate the tensioner clockwise and slide the belt over the tensioner pulley. Slowly release the pulley to apply tension to the belt. Verify the belt is seated properly in the grooves of every pulley.

    Step 5

    Install the supercharger drive belt around the crankshaft, supercharger and idler pulleys, using the sketch you drew of the belt routing. Hold tension on the belt at the tensioner pulley. Rotate the tensioner clockwise and slide the supercharger belt over the tensioner pulley. Slowly release the pulley to tension the belt. Verify the belt rests in the pulley grooves.

    References

    • Ondemand5: 1997 Buick Park Avenue; Engine:Serpentine Belt; 3.8: VIN 1
    • Ondemand5: 1997 Buick Park Avenue; Engine:Serpentine Belt; 3.8: VIN K