The drive belt tensioner on a 1995 Ford Taurus holds the serpentine drive belt in place. The drive belt tensioner consists of a spring loaded arm mounted to the engine and a pulley on the end of the arm which the belt rides on. Without the tensioner, the belt would simply flop off the other pulleys as soon as the engine starts. In order to replace the belt, or loosen it in order to replace any of the engine accessories, you must first loosen the tensioner.
Tools Used: Tools, Belt tensioner tool
Loosen Drive Belt Tensioner
Open the hood and look for the belt routing diagram. The diagram, printed on a sticker located on the fan shroud or underside of the hood, shows the location of the tensioner in the serpentine system.
Insert the end of the belt tensioner tool into the belt tensioner. You can purchase a belt tensioner tool at your local auto parts store or through most tool retailers.
Lever the belt tensioner out of the belt path with the tool. Once the tensioner pulley has released pressure from the belt, move the belt off the tensioner with your free hand.
Tips & Warnings
You can substitute a breaker bar or long handled socket wrench for the tensioner tool if you must, but those tool can easily break the tensioner, so be extremely careful not to apply too much force when pulling the tensioner aside. If at all possible, it’s best to simply buy the right tool, as the price of the tool is far less than the price of a replacement tensioner.