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Q: I don't have any clue what happened!!!

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I was driving tonight and my heater went cold on me. I looked at the thermostat and it was was registering as hot as possible. The check battery light also came on. When I started to go up a hill my car felt like it had no power. I quickly lost speed but made it up the hill. When that happened my check engine light turned on. I also flashed my headlights at a street light and as soon as I did that my power steering went out. Before all of this I did have a squeaky belt and it seemed louder than usual. After I didn't hear the belt anymore.

My car has 235000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hello. The squeaky drive belt was the cause...

Hello. The squeaky drive belt was the cause of the problem. It has likely failed. The water pump, which is driven by the drive belt, is responsible for the flow of coolant through the cooling system and the heater core. Which is why after the belt failed, both the heater stopped blowing hot, and the engine overheated. The power steering is dependent on the drive belt and engine performance as well. Once the engine and belt have failed, you will no longer have assisted steering. You will need to start with a visual inspection of the belt and see why it has failed. If the belt is still on the vehicle and is undamaged, then it is a pulley that powers the belt that has failed to make it turn with the engine. Due to the overheating, you will want to make sure that the oil, coolant, and likely power steering fluid is changed out and new. Find the reason the belt and engine have failed, and make the appropriate repair.

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