Q: Belt squealing and battery dead.

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The Check Engine light came on and the belt started making noise. When I opened the hood, the serpentine belt was all wet. I can't tell where the fluid is leaking from and the battery gauge has dropped to zero. Not sure if it is the water pump or not.

Fluids in your engine all look and feel different. Coolant is very thin, somewhat clear no matter the color and oily. When the car is running the cooling system is under pressure and if a leak develops it will certainly spray everywhere. Once the oily coolant gets on the belt and saturates it, it will start to slip and make noise. The slipping belt means some of the pulleys are not turning. This could equal to no voltage. Also coolant could have gotten in to the alternator and shorted it out. This is not common but it could happen. Get a mechanic with a pressure tester to help you diagnose if there is a coolant leak. Chances are they will know what kind of fluid is all over your engine right away.

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