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Serpentine Belt Broke

06-18-2006, 08:46 PM
Quick question for you guys. The serpentine belt (At least I think that is what it is called, it is the one right behind the radiator that goes around about 6 gears and has a repeating "V" pattern on the inside of it) broke on my 93 Jeep Cherokee. My wife was driving it when it happened and said that she lost the power steering first. Then she managed to get it parked in the lot where she works and she said that it was leaking fluid pretty badly and smoking. I went to check out the car and the belt is frayed but not broken so I obviously need to replace it. The fluid that had leaked appeared to be anti-freeze and it also got on the belt appearing to make it slip even worse than it was already. I'm a total novice to cars, but I'm pretty handy in general. I figure that I can replace the belt myself, but I'm wondering if there is further damage. Losing power steering makes sense since the belt wasn't turning, but why would it leak so much anti-freeze? Is this simply overflow from it possibly overheating. To put this in perspective, I'm a father and husband with a mortgage and just returned fulltime to college, so needless to say, I'm broke. Due to this, I'm hoping that this is something that I can fix myself. I don't want to go buy a belt and spend the time to repair it only to find out that more damage was done. Anyone have any suggestions? If it helps, I just had a new radiator put in the car about a year and a half ago. I appreciate your time.

06-18-2006, 10:47 PM
First, you are corect, it's called a serpentine belt. It also drives the water pump so overheating was very likely.

It's not hard to replace, however, you must be carefull to route it properly to make sure the accessories turn in the correct direction. If it's still on, then note carefully how it loops around all of the pulleys. You can also search the forums for the diagram.

After you adjust it and drive for a day or 2, check the adjustment again as new belts can stretch a bit.

06-19-2006, 07:19 AM
With the bunch of antifreeze that came out, I'd check the water pump for leakage.

Coolant is slippery, so the drive belt was slipping when the power steering went out.

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