How to Change a Belt in a Hoover Vacuum

Larry Parr

If you hear a squealing sound coming from your vacuum or if you notice that your vacuum simply isn't picking up dirt the way it should (and you've replaced the dirt bag), then your problem could be a worn and stretched belt. Or it could be that the belt has broken entirely. In either case, you need to replace the belt.

Fortunately, Hoover makes belt replacement a snap—most models don't even require that you use any tools at all, although you may need a simple screwdriver on some models. When buying a replacement belt, take note of the model number of your particular machine and then buy or order a belt specifically designed for that particular Hoover model number. Generic belts are available for many Hoover models.

  1. Unplug your Hoover vacuum. Turn the vacuum up-side-down and place the motor and vacuum portion on a counter top with the handle hanging down toward the floor. This makes it easy to work on the underside of the vacuum portion of the machine.

  2. Locate the two plastic release levers near the front wheels of the vacuum. On most machines you will only need to push these levers outward with your thumbs to release the bottom panel of the vacuum. On certain older models, there are two screws that will need to be removed with a screwdriver. Once released, remove the bottom plate.

  3. Locate the drive belt. Unless the belt is broken completely, it will be plainly visible. One end of the belt loops around the shaft of the vacuum's motor and the other end wraps around the vacuum's beater bar. The belt is in a modified figure 8. Use your fingers to stretch the belt slightly and remove it from the small shaft of the motor which will be almost dead center under the vacuum.

  4. Remove the roller (the beater bar) that is across the front edge of the vacuum. In most models you can remove the bar by simply pushing it forward slightly and then lifting it up out of the U groove that it is held in. In some models you may need to use your screwdriver to push aside two clips that hold the bar in place.

  5. Remove the belt (if attached) from the bar and then clean the bar. The bar may have hair and bits of carpet wrapped tightly around it, especially at the ends where the accumulated mess could prevent the bar from spinning freely. Use scissors or a utility knife to carefully clean off all hair and other debris. Make certain that the roller rolls smoothly and easily.

  6. Place the new belt around the roller, fitting it into the groove in the middle of the bar. Replace the bar in the machine. In most models, the bar should simply drop down into the U grooves that hold it. Give the belt half a twist (like the figure 8) and then loop the free end around the shaft of the motor.

  7. Replace the bottom of the vacuum and push the retaining tabs back in place with your thumbs or screw in the two screws that hold the bottom on. Turn the machine over, plug it in, and it should be working like new.


If your machine makes a screeching noise when you turn it on, then turn it off and unplug it immediately. Turn it over and check to see that the bar is seated properly before turning it back on again.


Never work on your vacuum if it is plugged in.