Mercedes-Benz Serpentine Belt Replacement Guide - YOUCANIC (2024)

This article will cover the steps for replacing the serpentine belt on a Mercedes-Benz vehicle. The serpentine belt, also known as the drive belt, is an essential component that powers various systems in the vehicle, such as the alternator, power steering pump, and air conditioning compressor.

Repair Time:

The typical time range in hours required to complete this repair.

Repair Cost:

The average repair cost range in USD to complete this repair by either an honest mechanic or as a DIY. Including the cost of parts but not tools.

Repair Difficulty:

This indicates how difficult it is for most DIYers and mechanics to perform this repair.

Over time, the belt can become worn and may need to be replaced to ensure the proper functioning of these systems. Replacing the serpentine belt on a Mercedes-Benz vehicle can be a relatively simple task for the experienced DIY mechanic. Still, it’s important to understand the process well and the necessary tools before attempting so. We will provide a step-by-step guide on how to replace the serpentine belt on a Mercedes-Benz, as well as tips and tricks to make the process as smooth as possible.

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Do you feel a squealing noise on your Mercedes-Benz, power steering noise, poor air conditioner, or warning lights coming on? These symptoms may be caused by a worn or broken serpentine drive belt.

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Some common symptoms that the serpentine belt may need to be replaced include:

  • Squealing or chirping noise coming from the front of the vehicle
  • Visible cracks or fraying on the belt
  • The belt appears loose or misaligned
  • The vehicle failed to start.
  • Loss of power steering or air conditioning

You must change your Mercedes-Benz serpentine belt if you notice symptoms such as squealing noise (most noticeable at startup). The serpentine belt may show signs of cracks and damaged ribs. Other possible symptoms include powering steering noise, poor air conditioner, and battery warning lights. Do not ignore your serpentine belt if it shows signs of damage. If the belt comes off when the engine is running, it can cause unnecessary damage to engine components.

These instructions on changing the Mercedes serpentine belt (also known as Drive Belt, Poly V Belt) apply to all Mercedes-Benz cars with six and eight-cylinder gasoline engines such as M112, M13, M272, M273, etc. Replacing a Mercedes-Benz serpentine is an easy task and requires about thirty minutes.

What you will need

  • Mercedes-Benz Serpentine Belt
  • 17mm socket
  • Ratchet wrench
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  1. Order the correct Mercedes-Benz serpentine belt for your car. The belt can be purchased online or at any auto parts store or dealer.

2. Park the car and allow the engine to cool down.

3. Open the hood by pulling the release under the dashboard on the driver’s side.

4. Locate the serpentine belt at the front of the engine.

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5. Place a 17mm socket and ratchet on the tensioner and move the tensioner UP. Turn the wrench counterclockwise. Some models have a Hex bolt in the pulley center that can release the drive belt. Do NOT use the secure TORX bolt to release the tensioner. Use the 17mm nut below the pulley.

6. Insert a pin (such as a 6mm Allen wrench) into the locking hole. The tensioner needs to be up to insert the locking pin. Make sure that the pin is strong enough and is inserted properly. If the pin is not inserted in the proper hole or fully inserted, it can snap off and cause damage or body injuries.

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7. Remove the old belt by sliding the belt away from all the pulleys.

8. Install the new belt. Route it over the powering steering pump, A/C compressor, crankshaft, alternator, and idler pulley. It is important to take a picture of the old belt before removing it and using it as a reference. Otherwise, you will be wondering how to route the belt. The serpentine belt routing is printed on top of the upper radiator support or under the hood on some cars.

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9. Next, slide the serpentine belt over the tensioner pulley.

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10. Check that the belt is seated properly on all the pulleys. If the belt is not seated properly, it won’t be easy to slide over the tensioner, even on one pulley.

11. Use the 17mm to lift the tensioner and remove the pin.

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12. Slowly lower the tensioner and allow it to load on the belt.


  • No parts need to be removed to remove and replace the Mercedes serpentine belt.
  • Removing the engine cover by pulling it up can make this job easier but unnecessary.
  • The radiator cooling fan does not need to be removed.
  • A pin can lock the tensioner in the UP (preloaded) position.
  • It is possible to change the belt without using a locking pin.
  • Take a picture of the belt routing before you remove the belt.
  • Do not use the Secure Torx bolt to release the tensioner.
  • If you have a turbo intake pipe, remove it to access the tensioner.
  • The original belt can potentially last up to 100k miles. We recommend changing it every 60,000 miles.

Serpentine Belt Replacement Cost

It costs less than $50 to change the Mercedes-Benz serpentine belt yourself. The average cost to change the dealer or mechanic belt ranges between $200 and $450 for labor and parts.

Can I drive my Mercedes-Benz if the serpentine belt is broken?

It is not recommended to drive your car if the serpentine belt is broken, as it can cause several problems. A broken serpentine belt will cause the engine to shut off and prevent the alternator from charging the battery. The power steering and air conditioning will also stop working. This can create unsafe driving conditions and cause additional damage to your vehicle. It is best to have the belt inspected and replaced immediately.


Instructions on how to change the Mercedes-Benz drive belt apply to the following models. These instructions may apply to other models not included in this list.

  • 2001 – 2005 C240
  • 1998 – 2000 C280
  • 2001 – 2005 C320
  • 1998 – 2000 C43 AMG
  • 2005 – 2006 C55 AMG
  • 2000 – 2006 CL500
  • 2001 – 2002 CL55 AMG
  • 2003 – 2006 CL55 AMG
  • 1998 – 2005 CLK320
  • 1999 – 2003 CLK430
  • 2003 – 2006 CLK500
  • 2001 – 2006 CLK55 AMG
  • 2006 CLS500
  • 2006 CLS55 AMG
  • 1998 – 2004 E320
  • 2005 E320 4Matic
  • 2005 E320 Base
  • 1998 – 2002 E430
  • 2003 – 2006 E500
  • 1999 – 2002 E55 AMG
  • 2003 – 2006 E55 AMG
  • 2002 – 2008 G500
  • 2005 – 2011 G55 AMG
  • 1998 – 2003 ML320
  • 2003 – 2005 ML350
  • 1999 – 2001 ML430
  • 2002 – 2007 ML500
  • 2000 – 2003 ML55 AMG
  • 2006 – 2007 R500
  • 2006 S350
  • 2000 – 2006 S430
  • 2000 – 2006 S500
  • 2001 – 2002 S55 AMG
  • 2003 – 2006 S55 AMG
  • 1999 – 2006 SL500
  • 2003 – 2008 SL55 AMG
  • 2001 – 2004 SLK320
  • 2005 – 2010 SLK55 AMG
  • 2007-08 Dodge Sprinter Van V6 3.5L
  • 2006-09 Mercedes Benz C230
  • 2010 Mercedes Benz C250
  • 2006-07 Mercedes Benz C280
  • 2008-13 Mercedes Benz C300
  • 2006-11 Mercedes Benz C350
  • 2010 Mercedes Benz CL550
  • 2006-09 Mercedes Benz CLK350
  • 2007-09 Mercedes Benz CLK550
  • 2007-11 Mercedes Benz CLS550
  • 2007 Mercedes Benz E280
  • 2006-11 Mercedes Benz E350
  • 2010 Mercedes Benz E500
  • 2007-11 Mercedes Benz E550
  • 2011-13 Mercedes Benz G550
  • 2007-13 Mercedes Benz GL450
  • 2010-13 Mercedes Benz GLK350
  • 2006-11 Mercedes Benz ML350
  • 2010-11 Mercedes Benz ML550
  • 2006-11 Mercedes Benz R350
  • 2007-11 Mercedes Benz S550
  • 2007-13 Mercedes Benz SL550
  • 2006-08 Mercedes Benz SLK280
  • 2010-11 Mercedes Benz SLK300

We hope you find the “Mercedes-Benz Serpentine Belt Replacement Guide” helpful. Check these troubleshooting and repair guides for more help on your Mercedes-Benz.

Written and fact-checked by:

  • Mercedes-Benz Serpentine Belt Replacement Guide - YOUCANIC (10)

    YOUCANIC Techs

    YOUCANIC articles are written by authors who collectively have over 60 years of experience in the automotive field and years of hands-on experience on vehicles. These authors are certified ASE G1 Automotive Maintenance engine professionals (the highest level certification for vehicle maintenance and repair). They hold associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, as well as having gone on to further study to receive a master’s and doctorate degrees. These authors collaborate on research, writing, editing, and fact-checking every article to ensure that it is accurate and up to date and delivers the best counsel and information to YOUCANIC readers.

    View all postsRush*t Hila is an engineer and ASE certified in G1 Automotive Maintenance

Mercedes-Benz Serpentine Belt Replacement Guide - YOUCANIC (2024)


How much does it cost to replace a serpentine belt on a Mercedes? ›

Labor costs are estimated between $54 and $68 while parts are priced between $43 and $75. This range does not include taxes and fees, and does not factor in your unique location. Related repairs may also be needed.

What else should be replaced when replacing serpentine belt? ›

In addition to the belt itself needing to be periodically replaced, the tensioner pulley (and the idler pulley, if there is one) spins on bearings, and over time, they wear out.

When should I change my Mercedes serpentine belt? ›

Your timing belt should be replaced anywhere from 40,000 to 60,000 miles and your serpentine belt should be replaced anywhere from 30,000 to 60,000 miles. We recommend consulting your owner's manual for Mercedes-Benz year, model, and trim specifications.

How many hours does it take to replace a serpentine belt? ›

Plus, replacement is relatively easy, and if you're wondering how long does serpentine belt service take, it's less than an hour for most vehicles.

Can I replace serpentine belt myself? ›

What to do if you have a failing serpentine belt. If you do notice your belt needs replacing, you can do it yourself if you're mechanically minded and have the time. It'll take about 1 or 2 hours, but they're relatively inexpensive and straightforward to repair.

What are signs of a bad serpentine belt? ›

Bad serpentine belt symptoms
  • Squeaking, squealing or chirping sound from under the hood of the car.
  • Check engine light or battery light is illuminated on your dashboard.
  • A/C isn't working.
  • Power steering isn't working.
  • The engine's temperature is high or overheating.
  • Smell of burnt rubber.

Should you replace the water pump when replacing a serpentine belt? ›

It's a good idea for customers to replace both the water pump and the timing belt simultaneously so that both parts are brand new and will wear at the same time.

Does a new serpentine belt make your car run better? ›

Having your serpentine belt inspected regularly and replaced when necessary will help keep your engine running smoothly.

How to check serpentine belt without removing? ›

Open the hood and start the engine. Observe each pulley and see if the serpentine belt is riding straight or moving side to side. Also, watch the edge of the pulley to see if it's running straight. While observing each pulley closely, hear if the noise is coming from that particular area or not.

What to do before replacing a serpentine belt? ›

Look for disintegration along the edges and separated ribs, both of which are signs that you have misalignment on your hands. Use a straightedge to make sure the pulleys are aligned correctly, and then remove any old dirt and grime from the pulleys. This is a good time to look for oil leaks, too.

Will check engine light come on for serpentine belt? ›

Your vehicle's check engine light will also come on if the serpentine belt fails, and you'll notice a loss of power to the power steering system, sudden battery drain, or high engine temperature gauge readings. You should not drive your vehicle if this happens, as it can lead to further engine damage and malfunction.

How much does it cost to replace a serpentine belt on a Mercedes-Benz? ›

The average cost for Mercedes-Benz C300 Serpentine Belt Replacement is $151.

How long do OEM serpentine belts last? ›

Of the parts that will eventually need to be replaced in your vehicle, the serpentine belt is one of the most important. How long does a serpentine belt last? Being made of durable rubber, a serpentine belt can last anywhere from around 50,000-100,000 miles.

How much labor does it take to replace a serpentine belt? ›

The average cost for serpentine belt replacement is between $109 and $134. Labor costs are estimated between $57 and $72, while parts range between $52 and $62.

How much is a Mercedes-Benz serpentine belt? ›

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Alternator Drive/Serpentine Belt Replacement cost
NameIndependent garage estimateFranchise dealer estimate
Mercedes-Benz C-Class 2.1 2008 Part brands: ContiTech, Dayco, Mercedes-Benz Parts costs: £19 - £32 Labour time: 0-1 hours£58 - £65£123 - £140
39 more rows

Is it safe to drive with a serpentine belt problem? ›

A broken serpentine belt can be dangerous while driving and could cause serious damage to your engine. Again, since every car is different, it's recommended you check your specific vehicle's owner's manual for the manufacturer's recommendation around replacing the serpentine belt.

Is it worth replacing serpentine belt? ›

Your car's serpentine belt plays an important role in the overall operation of your car, and if it fails, you won't be able to drive normally. In fact, your car will only run for about 20-90 minutes with a broken serpentine belt.

Can I drive my car if the serpentine belt is broken? ›

Technically, you can drive your vehicle - but, ideally, to the nearest auto repair shop or back home to fix the issue yourself. Once you discover that your serpentine belt is broken, you should make plans to find another means of transportation. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.


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