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Q: Drive belt loose and power steering not working.

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When I was driving the other day I heard a loud pop under the hood. I then lost all power steering. At first I thought it was the power steering pump. But, upon closer inspection I noticed there was absolutely no tension on the drive belt. So, Could the power steering pump remove tension from the drive belt? Or with the drive belt loose the power steering pump can't run?

My car has 197000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello, thank you for writing in. The vehicle’s drive belt is kept tight with an "auto-tensioner". This may be the pulley that has "popped" and released the tension. If that was the case, you would likely notice more issues than just the steering going out. The power steering pulley should still be inspected. If the vehicle runs, turn it on and watch the belt to see if anything is obviously wrong. Be careful, if the belt comes off or breaks it will fly off. The power steering pump pulley itself should not move. When the issue if found and corrected, make sure you replace the belt as well. Start by checking the auto-tensioner, and work your way to the power steering system.

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