I just replaced the serpentine belt in my '07 Optima 4 cyl and wish to leave a few hints for anyone attempting this job with little or no information such as I had.
To begin with, I believed it would be a 'piece of cake' since I had managed the serpentine belt in my '95 Ford Taurus with little problems.............NOT SO WITH THE KIA!
I began by constructing a wrench extender/handle such as one I saw on a Youtube video to get enough torque to more easily turn the Tensioner guide (I had a good belt routeing picture from the Kia tech page = http://www.kiatechinfo.com/default.asp
). This wrench helper is a "thin wall" piece of 1" pipe (old T.V. antenna mast tube) which I flattened with a sledge hammer so it would pass between the very tight space and then forced a 17 MM open end wrench into one end while wrapping the other end of the pipe with some tape to protect my hand. I had to adjust the length to about 12" of the flattened pipe to meet the space limitations within the engine compartment.
I had to unhook and push aside the power steering fluid hose (watch out for fluid loss) and then remove the motor mount bracket [which involved jacking up the engine about a 1/2" from below to relieve the pressure on the motor mount bracket]. Once cleared of obstacles, I released the Tensioner guide with my homemade wrench/handle with one hand and slipped the old belt off quite easily with the other hand. My Kia has over 100,000 miles but the old belt looked good enough for many 1,000s more miles! Somewhere it was suggested we CUT the old belt off, but I like to have a little back up incase of troube so I carfully unwound the old belt and saved it.
Next was the maddening fun of threading on the new (Pep Boys) belt! Wish I had thought to "stretch" the new belt some how ahead of time! It finally got where I wanted it along the complicated route (whew) and now...... turn the Tensioner to an open position. This is where the real trouble bagan.
I had one hand holding my wrench/handle and the Tensioner open and the other hand to slip the belt on BUT it was just a little short and I could not get enough leverage with just one hand to "slip" the belt over the power steering wheel and into place. There is no other place to comfortably slip the belt on that I could find. I felt helpless and defeated.
I thought about my options so I decided to "lube" the outer edge of the powersteering wheel with some mechanics hand soap (not grease!) and then tried again. But the Tensioner guide only goes just so far and reaches a STOP - just short of where I could slip the belt over the power steering pulley - NOW WHAT????
I could see that I would have to figure out how to keep the Tensioner guide open all the way to it's "stop" and allow me to use both hands to somehow slip the belt onto the power steering pulley. The solution I found is a little difficult to describe
but I was able to open up & place my small pliers into the various engine studs (which had held the motor mount bracket) and other parts close to the "pipe" wrench/handle which then held the Tensioner all the way. Hoping it would not slip
and "get" me and, using both hands with a flat blade screwdriver, I gently "spooned" the belt onto the power steering pulley. It went on very easily so I did not score, scratch or scrape the new belt as I spooned it on! Whew!
If I did it again, I know now how to use other tools or different procedures but I'd still have to disconnect stuff and find a way to "lock" the Tensioner in it's fully open position to free both hands for the job. Wish I had known some of this ahead of time so this is my contribution to the plight of any home mechanics out there. GOOD LUCK GUYS!!!