Q: Broken belts oil leak

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My sister was picking out a new car and we tested a G8 that drove really nice except for a screeching belt. We said we would take it, so they replaced the belt. They replaced the serpentine and AC belts. We started a 3 hour drive home and the Check Engine light came on. We pulled over, opened the hood and it smelled like burnt oil. We turned off the engine to take another look and the serpentine belt wasn’t even put on correctly. It was off the rail of the crank pulley to the side of it. The AC belt was completely off the pulley and to the ground. There was oil on the front of the engine and down where the AC belt was and some on the headers. My sister was so upset. Can you help us fix this car? What needs to be done?

This vehicle uses only one belt and an automatic tensioner. You didn’t say what engine you have, but the V8 engines are known for having problems with the harmonic balancer coming loose or falling apart. This could be one reason for the belt coming off. It could also be that there is an oil leak somewhere, dripping down onto the belt, causing it to slide off. You said there was oil all over, so that’s one theory.

It could also simply be that the belt was not installed correctly or that the tensioner has failed. The Check Engine Light trouble codes should be able to shed some light on the problem. I suggest you have a professional, such as one from YourMechanic, inspect the Check Engine Light and relevant systems firsthand in order to have this correctly repaired.

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