Join Date: May 2011
Location: New Hampshire, USA
Drives: (2) 2000 Kia Sportages 4x4 manual, (Daily Driver), (Wife's Cruiser..)
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If you did not loosen the center bolt on the (slack) idler pulley, try that first to relieve tension of the pulley to the adjustment arm. Loosen so the pulley is free, then re-tighten so the pulley is just hand-tight against the adjustment arm.
When tension in belt is correct, tighten to 23-25 ft·lb(31-34N·m), per the Kia website.
If the idler pulley is loose/free and the tension adjustment bolt still does not thread (tighten), you will need to remove, inspect, and possibly purchase a new assembly.