I am trying to remove the Alternator on my Nissan Sentra 2001. I believe I need to take the alternator belt off. It's tightly on the pulley - see picture enter image description here

How to make the belt loose? I am told that there should be a tensioner bolt head and it has a very long thread which screws into the backside of the center bolt/nut that is 90 degrees of the center bolt/nut but I cannot find it.

Is it in this picture?

enter image description here

4 Answers 4


Based off this diagram, the adjusting bolt is not present in the pictures you provided:

Nissan Sentra 2001 Belt Diagram

It looks like your Sentra has air-conditioning, which means that your belt tensioning mechanism sits above the power steering pump (leftmost belt-driven component).

  • It is visible in the first picture if you look behind the idler/tensioner pulley you can see a threaded rod that points towards the front of the car. It also shows this on the bottom left diagram of the image you posted.
    – Ben
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 11:58
  • Thanks, the picture helped. It was grease covered but was finally able to find it Commented May 30, 2016 at 19:31

Try to get hold of a workshop manual; failing that, a Chiltons or Haynes manual for that car. I've just checked the Haynes, and it does show the Alternator replacement in some detail.

A couple of major hints; firstly, you get much better access going in through the passenger wheel-well. Take the wheel off, and the plastic shield between the wheel-well and the engine compartment, and the alternator will be staring you in the face.

Secondly, the alternator sits on top of the A/C Compressor. You'll think you can work around it, but you can't. It has to be moved, so you can get to the alternator bolt correctly. Undo the four compressor bolts, and move the compressor out of the way - do NOT disconnect any lines to the compressor, or you'll lose all refrigerant, the ozone layer will shrink a little, and somewhere, a small kitten will die (OK, not sure about the kitten).

  • noob here. So is this the manual i should be getting for the sentra 2001? haynes.com/products/productID/442 Commented May 30, 2016 at 4:13
  • IIRC you can remove the fan shroud to get to the rear bolt on the 1.8 and pull the alternator through the top.
    – Ben
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 11:48
  • @user1406716: Yes, that's the correct Haynes manual. Ben: It's been a while since I last did it (5 times in two weeks - kept getting bad alternators!) - but you may be correct. I'm hoping I never need to do it again! :)
    – PeteCon
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 15:49

Different year same engine.

enter image description here

Your image

enter image description here

Loosen the idler pulley nut. And per the posted image loosen the adjuster to remove the belt.

You don't have to remove the AC compressor to R&R the alternator on the 1.8. You can remove the fan shroud to access the lower bolt on the alternator and pull the alternator through the top.

  • do you think i can do it from the top itself or need to go under the car or take the wheel off? Commented May 30, 2016 at 13:05
  • you can probably do the whole thing without removing the wheel. the fan shroud will have to come off this way though.
    – Ben
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 13:07
  • oh the fan shroud in the front on the radiator? Oh ok... that seems daunting but will try today Commented May 30, 2016 at 13:11

Yes the tensioner is to the left of the alternator - in the pictures above. Slightly loosen the main bolt on the tensioner - not too much. This will allow you to loosen the adjustment rod BEHIND the tensioner, which creates slack and loosens the belt. You should be able to see it - it will look like a threaded rod. Probably a good time to replace the belt and the tensioner, while you are in there... I know that is normal procedure on most vehicles... and the oil leak if possible. Oil will degrade the belt over time.


  • This answer is valid for non-AC configurations, but the OP seems to have an AC compressor.
    – Zaid
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 2:02

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