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Discussion Starter #1
How difficult is it to replace the serpentine belt tensioner in the ZX2? From what I've read, it looks like the belt tensioner is most likely to blame for this issue with the serpentine belt slipping off when it gets wet. Driving in the rain, if I drive through a puddle more than a couple inches deep the serpentine belt comes off. Risking losing power every time it rains is getting old.
 

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If you mean the accessory belt (a v-ribbed belt on the passenger side of the engine that loops around the alternator, a/c, crank, etc) then the tensioner is located just above the a/c pulley.
If you are under the car, the ac pulley is farthest forward and closest to the ground. It has a triangular bracket and 3 bolts on it. The small, smooth pulley just above it is the tensioning pulley. To loosen it you need a 13mm box end wrench or a rather short socket. To relieve the tension on the belt attach the wrench to the bolt on the middle of the pulley and turn it clock-wise, it will move about 4 inches if you can push it far enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I guess it would be the accessory belt. The location you describe is where the belt is, I've just heard it called a serpentine belt whenever anyone's talking about it.

We never had an issue with the belt coming off until the June 2010 a/c compressor trouble/repair. When the a/c clutch seized up, the belt snapped. I can't remember the exact timing, but it seems like it was about two months after the a/c work that the belt first slipped. I know there are quite a few pulleys that this belt goes around...including the a/c pulley. Is it possible that something could be not quite right with the a/c pulley allowing the belt to slip when wet? The a/c system seems to work fine, everything turns freely.

I'm not entirely sure how long we plan to keep this car, but while we're car shopping it would be nice if I didn't have to worry about this belt popping off every time it rains. I just don't want to have my husband replace the tensioner pulley and belt if the a/c pulley is more likely to be the problem. Of course, I suppose we could have just bought a wrong size belt...I didn't realize until this morning that Auto Zone sells quite a few "serpentine belts" that are supposed to fit this car, and they're all different lengths. Ranging from 25" to 88". Advance Auto only shows two serpentine belts for the ZX2, one 85.5" and one 85.433".

Maybe just replace the belt, spray the car down with water and see if the belt slips. If it does, replace the tensioner pulley and spray again? The spray test should answer the question for us. Even with the plastic thing on in the wheel well the belt slips off with water from washing the car.
 

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I guess the key to the belt issue would be to know what size engine you have (litre and # of cams) and what you have for accesories (a/c,p/s and such). You didn't mention wether the A/C compressor was replaced or just the clutch.Anything driven by the belt that doesn't sit perpendicular to the belt can cause it to come off.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm really bad about not paying attention to this stuff. But I think it's a 2 liter, and I know I've seen the "DOHC" thing...that's "dual overhead cams" right? This is what I found about the engine stuff "2.0L L4 DOHC 16V". Yes a/c and power steering, not sure what other pulleys are in there but I lose the fan/vent/defrost and the power steering when the belt slips.

Yes, the a/c compressor was replaced with the June 2010 repairs.

After seeing how many belt options there are, I'm not 100% confident the part store guy sold me the right size. Especially considering he sent me home with a timing belt the first time....I'm not really the kind of girl who should be sent to the parts store alone if it's not a store with employees who have time/interest to ask a few extra questions I guess. :blush2:
 

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I see this is a really old thread, but once we replaced the tensioner , the belt stopped flying off my car in the rain.
 
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