I'm replacing the drive belts on a 1997 Nissan Wingroad. This model doesn't have an automatic tensioner and so the belts have to be adjusted manually.

The service manual calls for a deflection of between 0.20" and 0.24" for one of the belts and between 0.12" and 0.20" for the other, with a pushing force of 22lb.

The actual tension of the belts at these settings is not specified, only the correct deflection and pushing force.

I've been looking at a few different belt tension gauges online such as the Krikit 2:


However, it only shows the tension of the belt itself, not the pushing force.

Is it standard practice for drive belt manufacturers to specify the correct tension for their belts? What if those specs don't match those in the service manual?

You can also get the pencil type tension testers such as the following:


That one might be more suitable as it measures the pushing force but has some really terrible reviews.

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Not sure on your specific application, but usually if you follow what is in the service manual, you can't go wrong. Oct 3, 2020 at 23:13
  • That is how you measure correct tension, deflection and the amount of force to reach it.
    – Moab
    Oct 4, 2020 at 1:26

1 Answer 1


So, push with one finger on a set of scales so you know what 22lbs feels like, then see if it feels the same with that deflection - use a steel rule to see how far the belt moves...

  • Ok, and how accurate do you think that would be?
    – jrcollins
    Oct 4, 2020 at 21:07
  • 1
    @jrcollins well, I started with dynamos with the large thick V fan belts and a few dynostart systems which were a different beast entirely, then also had all the different sized alternators with vee and flat belts so probably have sufficient experience to be pretty good at it. And that was for cars, vans, trucks, agricultural tractors and also heavy machinery.
    – Solar Mike
    Oct 4, 2020 at 21:11
  • @jrcollins Solar Mike is saying: accurate enough. Oct 4, 2020 at 22:03
  • @SolarMike, I appreciate the advice but I would rather do it by the book.
    – jrcollins
    Oct 6, 2020 at 9:42

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