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Old 07-26-2011, 08:51 AM   #1
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Belt

This Saturday when I got to Walmart we heard a late snap. When we looked under the car we saw something hang down. The car still run and we got it home ok. Monday I took it to the shop and he said it was the serpetine belt. My question is, driving the short distance from Walmart to home, will this have caused damage to the engine or anything else? Also notice the last couple of days my MPG went down, would a weakened serpetine belt cause this? *sorry if I misspelled serpetine, not sure of the spelling*
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"But Doc, we dont' have enough road to get it up to 88 miles per hour"
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:01 AM   #2
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Re: Belt

The serpentine belt drives a lot of accessories off the crankshaft, including your alternator, AC compressor, and water pump. The only one likely to damage your engine is the water pump not circulating coolant through the engine.

If your coolant/block idiot light didn't go on, and it's a short drive home from WM, you probably have nothing to worry about.

A loose serpentine belt shouldn't hurt your mileage, but bad bearings on idler pulleys, failing alternator, failing water pump, could affect fuel economy and contribute to the failure of the serpentine belt.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:12 AM   #3
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Re: Belt

Did any lights come on? You should have gotten a warning light about the alternator not charging.

The serpentine belt generally runs power steering, alternator, air conditioning, and (if equipped) smog pump. Driving with it broken is harmless if that's what it runs. If it also runs your water pump or cooling fan then you could overheat, and you'd probably know if you did (again, a warning light).

Edit: Well, you might not get a warning light if the water pump wasn't running, but you might get some other obvious symptoms.

I imagine your mechanic would have told you if there was anything to worry about, right?
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:29 AM   #4
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Re: Belt

No warning lights came on. I watched the temp gauage all the way home. It stayed around 188f(normal running temp) The only other thing i noticed was on my way home was a drop in engine temp 186F but nothing big that would make me worry. We turned off the AC, radio. The steering was normal. The mechanic said that it wouldnt have damaged the engine.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:34 AM   #5
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Re: Belt

Was it the Prizm? Does that car have power steering?
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:11 AM   #6
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Re: Belt

Yes it was the prizm and yes it has power steering. It's like a go-cart
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:22 AM   #7
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Re: Belt

Is this a one belt driven setup or could it just be a belt for the A/C compressor, for instance?
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:54 AM   #8
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Re: Belt

it's a single belt model. when i used to EOC in mine, it was very easy to steer.
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same thing happened to me a few years back...i drove RIGHT home to avoid any potential damage.
do yourself a favor...2 or 3 years from now(after replacing the belt), buy a new belt and either install it and put the old (still good)one in the trunk, or put the new one in the trunk.
could save you a future break down.
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Old 07-26-2011, 12:31 PM   #9
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Re: Belt

Its ok at EOC. But DFCO is almost nothing. Even at 55MPH if I DFCO it only last for 5-8 seconds (scangauge showings 9999) and then it drops back to normal.
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:13 PM   #10
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Re: Belt

The one thing to check is your power steering fluid level. On some vehicles if you turn the wheel with out the PS on it may put back pressure on the system and squirt fluid out. Not a big deal, and nothing permanent, just the one thing that could go wrong (other than running your battery dead). Speaking of which, do you have a low voltage light? It should have come on if you do. Maybe the bulbs burnt out?
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