What’s the Best Car Wax? Top 10 Revealed

Hand applying polish on black car

a This stuff can transform your old man’s trusty pickup truck into a sexy, muscle truck fresh from the country hall’s showroom.

It is important to invest in a car wax, and not just run-of-the-mill pastes you use on your brass plates. It should be the best car wax your money can buy if you want to benefit from superior results.

How We Reviewed

The best car wax options on our list were chosen based on the following criteria: features, pros and cons, and price.

Overall Price Range

The best car wax doesn’t always mean the most expensive one. However, premium brands often sell higher than other brands. The car wax brands on our list ranges from $10 to $55. The prices are always subject to change, but we put on the average selling retail price.

If you are lucky, you can get discounts during a sale. The products on our list are all available on Amazon.

What We Reviewed

Here’s a rundown of the best car wax we highly recommend:

  • Meguiar’s G18216 Ultimate Liquid Wax
  • Chemical Guys WAC_201_16 Butter Wet Wax
  • Aero Cosmetics Wet or Waterless Car Wash Wax Kit 144 Ounces
  • P21S 12700W Carnauba Wax
  • CarGuys Liquid Wax – The Ultimate Car Wax Shine with Polymer Paint Sealant Protection!
  • Meguiar’s Gold Class Carnauba Plus Premium Paste Wax
  • Meguiar’s Deep Crystal Carnauba Wax
  • Collinite 845 Insulator Wax
  • Optimum (SW2008P) Car Wax
  • Griot’s Garage 10962 Spray-On Wax


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Meguiar’s G18216 Ultimate Liquid Wax

MEGUIAR'S G18216 Ultimate Liquid Wax, 16 Fluid Ounces

Chemical Guys WAC_201_16 Butter Wet Wax

Chemical Guys WAC_201_16 Butter Wet Wax (16 Oz)

Aero Cosmetics Wet or Waterless Car Wash Wax Kit 144 Ounces

Wet or Waterless Car Wash Wax Kit 144 Ounces. Aircraft Quality for Your Car, RV, Boat, Motorcycle. The Best Wash Wax. Anywhere, Anytime, Home, Office, School, Garage, Parking Lots.

P21S 12700W Carnauba Wax

P21S 12700W Carnauba Wax

CarGuys Liquid Wax 

CarGuys Liquid Wax - The Ultimate Car Wax Shine with Polymer Paint Sealant Protection! - 8 oz Kit

Meguiar’s Gold Class Carnauba Plus Premium Paste Wax

Meguiar’s Gold Class Carnauba Plus Premium Paste Wax – Creates a Deep Dazzling Shine – G7014J, 11 oz

Meguiar’s Deep Crystal Carnauba Wax

Meguiar’s Deep Crystal Carnauba Wax

Collinite 845 Insulator Wax

Collonite No. 845 Insulator Wax

Optimum (SW2008P) Car Wax

Optimum (SW2008P) Car Wax - 17 oz.

Griot’s Garage 10962 Spray-On Wax

Griot's Garage 10962 Spray-On Wax 22oz, 22 Ounces

Meguiar’s G18216 Ultimate Liquid Wax

Features

Topping our list of the best car wax is the offering from Meguiar, one of the most popular brands among car owners and detailers. It comes in a liquid form, which maximizes its applicability.

G18216 boasts what Meguiar calls ThinFilm which allows it to be applied evenly and thinly. It also contains Meguiar’s proprietary Hydrophobic Polymer technology, which gives your car’s surface water-beading and light-amplifying properties.

It also protects your car from harsh elements like rain and UV rays and enhances your car’s color. Apply a small amount and turn your old hatchback into a shiny and sexy beast!

Price

You can get a bottle of this miracle liquid for around $15.

MEGUIAR'S G18216 Ultimate Liquid Wax, 16 Fluid Ounces
  • ONE EASY STEP: Formula delivers maximum synthetic protection, durability, depth of color, and reflectivity in this easy one step
  • EFFORTLESS APPLICATION: Thin Film technology provides for easy application and wipe off even in full sun, and will not stain non-painted trim pieces white
  • LONG-LASTING PROTECTION: Advanced synthetic polymers crosslink to form a long-lasting protective barrier while amplifying reflection for incredible depth and mirror-like shine
  • WATER ROLLS RIGHT OFF PAINT: Hydrophobic Polymer technology increases surface tension to protect paint
  • SAFE AND FLEXIBLE: Safe and effective on all glossy paints and clear coats, and can be applied by hand or dual action variable speed polisher like Meguiar's MT300 Dual Action Polisher

PROS

CONS

  • UV protection
  • Excellent water-beading qualities
  • Comes with free microfiber cloth and pad
  • Improves the depth of a car’s paint job
  • ThinFilm tech makes it easy to apply
  • Multi-method application
  • Expensive compared to other synthetic brands
  • Bottle is not spill-proof
  • List Element

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Chemical Guys WAC_201_16 Butter Wet Wax

Features

If you want to give your ride a shiny wet sheen, then the Chemical Guys are your go-to guys. Their WAC_201_16 Butter Wet Wax is one of the best premium grade carnauba-based wax option on the market.

Carnauba wax is considered the king of wax. It is 100% natural and organic. Using Chemical Guys formulation is ideal as this miracle palm product can be applied quickly and easily. You can use a piece of cloth with your hand or a motorized buffer for a more thorough application.

The Butter Wet Wax’s formulation embeds the carnauba deep into your car’s paint, giving it an extra layer of protection from UV rays, dust, water stains, dirt, and even bird droppings. Best of all, it brings out the deep color and mirror sheen of your paint job.

Price

A bottle costs around $15.

Chemical Guys WAC_201_16 Butter Wet Wax (16 Oz)
  • 100 percent carnauba based wax
  • New formulation for even easier application
  • Deep wet look to any paintwork
  • Improved level of protection.Date on item is manufactured date
  • More UVA and UVB protection

PROS

CONS

  • Carnauba the best wax there is
  • Easy on, easy off application
  • Deep-penetration and protection
  • Excellent UV protection
  • Wet sheen
  • Not ideal as primary finish
  • Needs constant reapplication

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Aero Cosmetics Wet or Waterless Car

Wash Wax Kit 144 Ounces

Features

If a car wax is good enough to be used for commercial and military aircraft, then it is guaranteed to give your car that showroom finish. This is the selling point of Aero Cosmetics Car Wash Wax Kit.

The solution is made from biodegradable water and plant-based formulations that meet the standards of the aircraft manufacturers. The Aero Cosmetics cleans your car and leaves a non-sticky UV coat on there at the same time.

Another bonus is that you can use this solution on both wet and dry surfaces! It can be used as a waterless spray cleaner or as post-wash wax.

Price

A gallon bundle costs around $35.

Wet or Waterless Car Wash Wax Kit 144 Ounces. Aircraft Quality for Your Car, RV, Boat, Motorcycle. The Best Wash Wax. Anywhere, Anytime, Home, Office, School, Garage, Parking Lots.
  • SIMPLY THE BEST WATERLESS CAR WASH. Gently Cleans and Protects while leaving a Non-Stick UV Protective Coating on All Vehicle surfaces. Just Spray on and Wipe Dry. Wash and Wax Anywhere, Anytime, Parking Lots, Garages, Work, School, Apartments, RV Parks, and more. Use as a Waterless Wash or Wax as You Dry your just washed Vehicle. 144oz will Waterless Wash up to 36 cars or Wax As You Dry 57 cars.
  • Highly performance Aircraft Quality Wax for your Car, Boat, and RV. ONCE YOU SEE THE DIFFERENCE YOU WILL NEVER USE AUTOMOTIVE PRODUCTS AGAIN! Used by Air Force One, Marine One, The Military, Airlines, Corporate and private aircraft owners around the world for over 32 years. This is a high quality easy to use product.
  • Water Based - Alcohol & Ammonia Free. Our plant-based Eco-friendly formula is biodegradable and Safe on ALL surfaces both Inside and Out. Meets Boeing Aircraft (D6-17487P, D6-7127M), Airbus Industries (09-00-002), and McDonnell Douglass CDS #1 cleaning specifications. Also, Human Friendly, NO eye or skin irritation like some other automotive products
  • Kit includes 1 full gallon of Wash Wax ALL, 1 full 16 oz spray bottle of Wash Wax ALL, 4 Microfiber Towels (16 in x 16 in), a Product Guide, and How to Use Guide.
  • ⚠️ Note: Understand that this is a Wash and Wax Product. Wax will protect and enhance the shine you currently have. If you have dull, oxidized, or scratched finish you will need a Polish to address those issues. WAX IS FOR PROTECTION; POLISH IS FOR REPAIR. Our polish is called Polish ALL and is also available on Amazon. 100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE. If you are not getting 5-star results out of this 5-star product, please give us a chance to correct the issue. Please contact us.

PROS

CONS

  • Eco-friendly, plant-based ingredients
  • Human-friendly solution
  • Can be used on both wet and dry surfaces
  • Comes with free four microfiber towel and guides
  • 1-gallon solution enough to wash up to 57 cars
  • Expensive
  • Not ideal as a protective coating
  • Not ideal as a primary finish

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P21S 12700W Carnauba Wax

Features

For the environmentally conscious car owner, nothing beats the qualities of the king of wax: the carnauba wax. The P21S offers the deep shine and protection of carnauba with its 12700W wax. This formulation also contains beeswax, another miracle organic product.

The P21S 12700W is non-powdering so no worries about residues on your paintwork. It also does not leave any stains or wet spots. What it leaves though is long-lasting luster that brings out the deepest colors of your car’s paint.

Price

A 6.2-ounce tub costs around $35.

P21S 12700W Carnauba Wax
  • Deepest shine
  • Non-powdering
  • no white stains

PROS

CONS

  • Now-powdering
  • Non-staining
  • Carnauba and beeswax formulation
  • Organic and eco-friendly
  • Expensive
  • Paste form needs thorough application
  • Not easy to apply

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CarGuys Liquid Wax – The Ultimate Car Wax Shine with Polymer Paint Sealant Protection!

Features

The thing with car waxing and detailing is that some products need regular applications each year. Not with CarGuys Liquid Wax. They claim you only meed to apply their product one or two times a year. This is good news for people who don’t like to wax their cars often.

Developed with CarGuys very own nano-technology, each formulation is designed to go deep into your paintwork and last for a long time. The liquid form makes it easy to apply in multiple ways. Just apply a little amount and your car will look as good as new!

Price

An 8-ounce bottle costs around $25.

PROS

CONS

  • Easy on, easy off
  • Long-lasting finish
  • Deep colors
  • Mirror sheen
  • Multi-way application
  • Synthetic

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Meguiar’s Gold Class Carnauba Plus Premium Paste Wax

Features

If you are a fan of Meguiar and don’t like their synthetic wax formulas, there’s an organic alternative. The Gold Class Carnauba Plus is a premium-grade carnauba in paste form. This wax goes deep into your paint’s surface to bring out the color and shine of your car.

Carnauba wax is naturally hydrophobic, so your car gets extra protection from water stains and harmful UV rays. Despite its paste form, this wax is easy to apply and buff.

Price

An 11-ounce tub can cost around $15 to $20.

CarGuys Liquid Wax - The Ultimate Car Wax Shine with Polymer Paint Sealant Protection! - 8 oz Kit
  • – ONLY APPLY 1-2 TIMES A YEAR! – Are you tired of using products that look great, but don’t last? You won’t experience that here! Advanced and newly PATENTED additives boost our products protection and durability! It’s like giving steroids to our products! Stop using inferior sealants, car waxes and polishes made with old science and technology! This will out last and out shine them all!
  • – SUPER EASY TO APPLY AND BUFF! – No professional needed! See why all our customers rave at how it’s so simple to use! We made it easier to apply and wipe off compared to all others on the market!! This will be the quickest and easiest proper wax job that you will ever do! No more getting an arm work-out trying to remove your wax!
  • – SUPER SLICK MIRROR SHINE! – Most products nowadays will make your vehicle look pretty good. Our product will bring the gloss up to another level!! Exceed your expectations with incredible crystal-clear reflections! Surfaces become super slick and will continue to bead for months! You will be amazed at how unbelievably sleek and reflective your vehicle will look! Finally get that new show room shine that will make all the neighbors jealous!!
  • – MADE WITH ADVANCED SCIENCE! – We all know how much time and energy it takes to properly wash, prep and wax something.. it takes HOURS to do it right! Our newly developed nano polymer additives work at the molecular level to help cut those hours down! They force cross-linking between molecules, which provides a deeper shine, slicker surface and longer lasting protection. Sounds confusing, but no more spending hours waxing your car every month, this stuff was made to last!!
  • – WHAT IF I’M NOT HAPPY? – We believe that this is the ABSOLUTE BEST car wax and sealant on the market!! If you don't agree, there's no fine printing to read and no gimmicks here! Get in contact with us ANYTIME after your purchase and we will provide a FULL REFUND! So what are you waiting for?! CLICK 'Add to Cart' NOW, 100% RISK FREE!

PROS

CONS

  • Carnauba is the king of waxes
  • Organic formulation
  • Deep shine
  • Sun and water protection
  • Not ideal as primary finish
  • LiANeeds regular applicationst Element
  • Requires dry surface to work

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Meguiar’s Deep Crystal Carnauba Wax

Features

The Deep Crystal is Meguiar’s liquid version of the Gold Class Carnauba wax. Like its paste cousin, the Deep Crystal is made of the same high-grade carnauba wax sourced from the best Brazilian palms.

Carnauba wax is proven to be a natural coat for exterior finishes. It provides a natural barrier that protects from sun, dirt, dust, oil, and water stains. It also enhances a surface’s natural color and gives it a deep shine.

Meguiar’s liquid formula makes the wax easier to apply. You can apply the solution on a microfiber towel and apply with your hand, or use a motorized buffer for a more consistent and deep application. Meguiar’s formula is proven to be human-safe, non-corrosive and non-toxic.

Price

A 16-ounce bottle can be purchased for around $10.

PROS

CONS

  • Premium-grade carnauba wax
  • Easy to apply
  • Multi-method application
  • Deep shine
  • UV protection
  • Cheaper than paste form
  • Not ideal as primary finish
  • Needs constant reapplication

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Collinite 845 Insulator Wax

Features

If you care about a brand’s credibility, then the century-old status of Collinite may be enough for you. This brand has been protecting and polishing since 1912. This decades-old formulation has been used not only on consumer appliances and machines but also in industrial-grade machineries and equipment in the military, aeronautics, construction, and automotive industries.

The 845 is the cream of the crop, the company’s crown jewel of waxes. Its main selling point is its insulation property. It is designed specifically to protect against fires, electric damage, high-voltage failure, and accidental explosions.

That it can withstand these extreme conditions means protecting your car is a breeze. Apply this on your ride and rest assured that you’ll get the best protective coat you can ever wish for. Plus, it gives off a high-gloss shine and water-beading qualities.

Price

You can buy a 16-ounce bottle for around $15.

Collonite No. 845 Insulator Wax
  • Combines high Gloss shine and legendary durability
  • Collinite #1 selling, "most talked about" Product
  • Easy on, easy off application
  • Unique durability and water beading 

PROS

CONS

  • Industrial-grade durability
  • Heavy-duty protection
  • Clear coat
  • Easy on, easy off
  • Long-lasting effect
  • Long history of application across multiple industries
  • Not ideal as primary finish
  • May require constant reapplication
  • Not ideal for wet surface application

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Optimum (SW2008P) Car Wax

Features

Car detailing doesn’t always apply to your car’s paint job. It also covers other parts like chrome accents, metal decors, windshield, etc. If you are looking for a flexible wax that can be used on any surface, then Optimum lives up to its name.

The SW2008P Car Wax can be applied on any exterior material like glass, metal, paint, chrome, plastic, and rubberized surfaces. Because it comes in a spray-on liquid solution, it is easy to pour, apply and finish.

Although synthetic, it contains no corrosive or toxic chemicals or vapors (safe both for you and your surfaces). Best of all, it dries easily and stays on for as long as five months.

Price

You can buy one bottle for as low as $15.


Optimum (SW2008P) Car Wax - 17 oz.
  • Perfect for all exterior surfaces including paint, clear coat, chrome, glass and plastic trim
  • Extremely easy application, just spray on and buff to a brilliant shine
  • No hazardous or harsh chemicals, solvents or VOCs
  • Wax and protect your vehicle in just minutes with minimum effort
  • Spray formula goes on fast and lasts up to five months

PROS

CONS

  • Can be used on any surface
  • Contains no hazardous ingredients
  • Easy to apply
  • Spray liquid form ideal for quick application
  • Long-lasting
  • Spray liquid form means it will run out quickly
  • Not much protection
  • Not ideal AOnly ideal for cleaning and finishingfor wet surface application

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Griot’s Garage 10962 Spray-On Wax

Features

If you are looking for the best car wax for budget-conscious people then your inexpensive option is Griot’s Garage Spray-on Wax. It has a carnauba base that comes in spray-on liquid form, which means it is easy to pour and apply.

It dries easily and can be used on any surface. It can also be used on existing wax coats. Because it contains carnauba, your car’s paint job will enjoy an extra level of protection from UV rays, dirt and water stains.

Carnauba wax is also the best in bringing out a showroom shine in your car; the color’s depth will come out and the gloss finish will shine through.

Price

A 22-ounce bottle can cost around $10.


Sale
Griot's Garage 10962 Spray-On Wax 22oz, 22 Ounces
  • Get a just waxed look quickly and easily
  • Enhances existing coat of wax
  • Use while drying your car after washing for quick paint enhancement and protection
  • Provides gloss and depth to paint
  • Contains a carnauba wax base

PROS

CONS

  • Very affordable
  • Easy to use spray-on liquid solution
  • Easy to apply
  • Dries and applies easily
  • Deep shine
  • Carnauba base offers water resistance
  • Not ideal as primary finish
  • May need regular reapplication
  • Spray liquid form means it can run out quickly

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Product FAQ

Before we dive deep into the best car wax brands in the market, here’s some FAQs we answered for you.

 1. What Is a Car Wax?

Car wax is any natural or synthetic formulation insoluble in water but soluble in fats or oil (lipophilic) and other solvents. Chemically, its main component is hydrocarbon. Like most wax products, car wax is sourced from plants (e.g. carnauba), animals (e.g. honeybees), petroleum, or silicone (e.g. synthetic).

2. What Does Car Wax Do?

Car wax performs many functions. First off, it brings out the color and shine of your car’s paint job. By applying a thin layer and buffing it, your car gets a glossy, wet shine finish. 

Wax also forms a reflective barrier that bounces off light, so even your oldest hatchback can have that showroom finish. Second, it adds a beautiful finish to your car’s other parts such as chrome linings, metal accents, plastic surfaces, wood decors, glass finishes, ceramic touches, and even rubber parts.

In addition, because wax is naturally insoluble in water, it repels water easily. Thus it protects your car from water stains (by forming water beads that roll off) and moisture. Heavy rain won’t do much damage to your freshly waxed sedan.

Also, wax forms a thin film of protective barrier that repels other contaminants such as dirt, dust, grease, soil, and even bird droppings. Speaking of protection, most modern car wax formulations offer UV protection.

So even if you’re living in sunny Florida, you can drive your coupe without worrying about sun damaging your car (don’t forget your own sunscreen, though). Last, a wax also has sealing properties. Because of its water repelling quality, water cannot seep into your waxed surfaces. Thus, it provides a protective seal that protects against water damage like rot or corrosion

3. Do You Really Need Car Wax?

If you really love your car, yes you need the best car wax your budget can afford.

4. What Are the Benefits of Car Wax?

The best car wax offers the following benefits: water sealing, deep colors, mirror shine, and protection from the sun, dirt and other elements.

5. What Are the Alternatives for Car Wax?

Commercially, wax base is the most popular among car detailers and owners. But if you want an alternative, there are polishes and finishes based on different ingredients. The most common is silicone-based polishes, but they are often abrasive and hazardous to your health.

You can also consider DIY car polish like using baking soda or toothpaste but we don’t really recommend it; not when the car wax on the market today is very affordable. 

6. What Should You Look for When Buying the Best Car Wax?

Here are the qualities you should look for when buying car wax: base material (is it natural or synthetic?); form factor (paste or liquid spray?); ease of application (spray? cloth? buffing machine?); chemical ingredients (hazardous? corrosive? non-toxic?); UV protection; durability (fit as primary finish? needs regular reapplication?); and price.

The Verdict

The best car wax for you all boils down to your personal preferences. Do you like to use plant-based material? Then go for carnauba-based waxes. Otherwise, go for synthetic ones.

So you chose carnauba. Do you prefer it in paste or liquid form? Pastes are much more concentrated thus economical to use. On the other hand, liquid waxes are easier to use but can run out quickly.

Always remember: some waxes may require other finishes, so it is best to check each product carefully before buying.

How to Replace a Power Steering Belt

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You might be surprised to find that there are some fixes to a car you can do yourself without getting a mechanic involved. Changing a tire and checking the oil are some basic things you can do for your own car maintenance

However, going a step further with air conditioning filters or a power steering belt is also entirely possible. If your power steering is going out and you want to save time and money by avoiding a mechanic’s shop, changing the power steering belt is actually fairly easy to do.

There are a few things you need to know before getting elbow deep in your engine. The make and model shouldn’t matter as much as the year your car was manufactured. Cars before 1990 will have a V-shaped pulley system typical in six and eight-cylinder engines with the power steering pump near the front of the motor.

Otherwise, you’ll find a serpentine-style belt that snakes through several parts of the engine. Depending on your particular car, you made need to go through the hood (top) or lower engine cover (bottom) to reach the belt. Once you know where the power steering belt and pump are, we can get started.

Purpose of a Power Steering Belt

First off, let’s talk about power steering. Power steering helps the driver steer much easier by taking on a lot of effort off of the steering wheel. Hydraulic or electric actuators add energy so the driver has to provide less effort to turn the wheels while moving. 

Without power steering, the wheel will be so difficult to turn that it might even feel locked in place, which can be a fatal flaw when driving at high speeds.

The power steering belt is whatever belt is attached to the power steering pump. This can be the serpentine belt that’s attached to everything or the drive or steering belt that’s almost exclusively just for the power steering pump.

The belt, which is somehow attached to the engine no matter what year model the car is, runs along the pump to provide the hydraulic power. The belt is not present in the electric or electro-hydraulic systems.

When to Change It

The power steering belt doesn’t usually break or slip off without warning, so you’ll hopefully get a heads up first before something bad happens. Even so, checking the belt every few months just to be on the safe side can’t hurt.

For early warning signs, you may first notice there’s something wrong with the power steering belt while driving. The belt will give a noise, usually squealing, grinding, or a sort of chirping from around the engine area.

When you do check on the belt, notice if it was trying to slip off of the grooves. A slipping can be caused by stretching and overuse, meaning it needs to be changed. If it was not slipping, it may still not be good for use. If there is debris in the power steering belt, uneven rib wear, random cracks, oil contamination, pilling, etc. then you’ll want to get a replacement.

Power steering may not sound overly important or integral safety at first glance but it very much is. If you notice anything at all wrong with the power steering belt, you should find a replacement right away. If you wait until the belt becomes too damaged or breaks, you will not be able to drive the vehicle with bringing danger to yourself and others.

The power steering is a very important part to the make-up of a vehicle and its engine, so taking good, responsible care of it can keep everyone safe.

If you’re somehow in a position where a mechanic and replacement isn’t a choice, you can do a couple of things in the attempt to extend the belt’s lifespan. For one, you can retain the belt by adjusting the pulley’s within the engine to ensure the belt doesn’t slip. You can also apply a belt dressing for better grip and friction.

Please keep in mind that these solutions are very temporary and, depending on the severity of your belt, may only last you one final drive to the mechanic or auto parts store. Don’t assume these will fix the problem as much as they will help the symptoms. If something’s wrong with any of the belts, get the problem fixed as soon as possible.

How to Replace the Belt

Your very first order of business is to find the right power steering belt to act as your replacement. The old belt should have a part number on it which you can cross-reference with the make and model of your car. You can always bring the old belt with you to an auto parts store after removing it, but keep in mind that your old one may be stretched far more than a new one would be.

Once you have the new belt and you’re ready to get started, the next step is to disconnect the vehicle’s battery. While purely a safety precaution, disconnecting the battery before you start work so heavily on the car could potentially mean the difference between life and death. If you have to jack the car up, remember to take all safety procedures with this, as well, but the batter is a step that people often miss.

Now, after determining where the steering pump is and going through the hood or lower cover, you’ll have to see if the alternator belt needs to removed first. Sometimes, the alternator belt can be in front of the power steering belt, making the latter impossible to remove with the former still in place. This is common in four-cylinder engines.

 If this is the case for you, refer to your vehicle’s manual on how to remove the belt. You want to remove the alternator itself, just the belt from the power steering pump so that you can access the part you need. Once you’re done with your repairs, remember to replace this very integral part.

Finally, you can start on actually replacing the power steering belt. After you’ve found the power steering pump and removed the alternator belt if necessary, you’ll have to unbolt the pump in two places.

Do not remove the power steering pump from the engine completely and don’t remove the bolts themselves. You’ll simply want to loosen the bolt on the upper mount point then the bolt on the lower mount point, in that order.

Loosening these will move the pump just enough to replace the belt without giving up any tension. If the bolts are corroded, spray the bolts with penetrating oil, like WD-40, allow them to soak for a few minutes, then attempt to loosen again.

Taking the Old Belt Off

Now you’re finally at the stage where you can remove the belt. Remember to do this process carefully. You don’t want to break the old belt, which could cause injury to yourself or the vehicle. If the belt is too difficult to remove, you may have to unbolt other pulleys in the pump to provide enough wiggle room. You can also use a drive breaker bar by inserting it into the square opening on the belt tensioner. Rotate counterclockwise until the belt can be removed.

Once the old belt is removed you can now put in the new one. Make sure the beveled or teeth side of the belt fits into the pulley grooves, then weave the belt everywhere it needs to go. Use a screwdriver or a similar tool to put the belt firmly in place as the tension will make it a little difficult to handle, which is exactly what is supposed to happen. Pull the pump away from the mount once the belt is attached to give the right amount of tension.

Tidying Up

Now comes the clean up after the repair, which is just as important. For replacing the bolts on the pump, you’ll want to do the lower one first then the upper one. Be sure to tighten all the bolts on the other pulleys that you loosened, too. Now’s also a good time to replace the alternator belt you might have removed earlier to reach the belt you needed, depending on the type of car you’re working on.

Once everything is reconnected to your satisfaction, it’s time to add a liberal dose of belt dressing to the belt itself. Belt dressing is a substance used to increase friction between the belt and the pulleys it works with. The dressing will usually look either black and thick or clear and thin. Whether you apply this with a brush or aerosol can, remember to just apply a lot to the belt so that it can be conditioned for a healthy lifespan.

Finally, you’ll want to reconnect the battery and test out the car. Ideally, you can perform the test by cranking the engine and moving the steering wheel while someone else watches the belt under the hood to make sure everything’s performing as it should.

If you have no one with you or the belt can’t be seen from the hood area, you can take it for a small, ten-mile test drive while around no other vehicles are pedestrians, just in case something goes wrong. When the test is complete, check everything again to make sure nothing loosened, and you’re good to go.

If something is wrong, like the power steering doesn’t work or the belt is making squeaking sounds, you’ll want to take a second look at your handy work. Of course, if you feel that all of this is above your head or paygrade, you can still always take the vehicle to a mechanic to fix it up for you.

Conclusion

This can be a simple fix depending on what kind of car you have. If the belt is like one of the serpentine belts that go through almost all parts of the engine, you may want to go straight to a mechanic as these can be tricky and you may end up doing more harm than good.

Even if you don’t feel totally confident after reading and watching guides like this one, still go to a mechanic. Anything you break while failing to fix the belt will also have to pay for, so the adventure to save money could potentially fail horrendously.

While the fix itself is simple, there are a few details you’ll need to watch for if you’re doing this yourself. For one, the belt can’t be too tense or the steering will be too difficult, but the belt can’t be too loose either or it’ll slip right off. If your car is making strange sounds but the belt seems almost fine, the problem may be elsewhere just waiting for someone to find one way or another.

Still, if you have some experience with working on vehicles, you feel fairly confident in your ability to do this, or you simply don’t have much of a choice, then the fix is entirely possible so long as you have some time to learn and take everything one step at a time.

Don’t forget safety procedures when it comes to the battery or jacking the car up. Also, don’t forget to replace everything you’ve moved, loosened, or took out while working on the car. The power steering won’t work too great if the alternator belt isn’t put back, after all.

Lastly, once the belt is finally replaced and your car is back in business once again, keeping an eye on this integral part of your car can prevent you from having to make another replacement in the near future. All you have to do is check on the belt to ensure it isn’t slipping, collecting debris, getting worn down, or any of the other symptoms of a worn down we mentioned earlier.

Also, reapplying belt dressing for when the belt is first showing signs of age can extend the life of the belt until it finally does need another replacement. Above all, make sure your car is healthy in all its parts to ensure the most money saved and longevity on your vehicle for as long as you can.