Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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

asked by on

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.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: I took my car to Advance Auto and them do a check engine light diagnostic test and the code is C0245

Hello. Thanks for writing in. You may have two separate issues going on at once. The speed sensor code is likely due to sensor failure, or a bad connection. In the case of a bad connection, a good visual inspection...

Q: Car leaking water into driver's side when air conditioner on

The most common cause of the floor becoming wet when the AC is on is due to the AC vent becoming clogged. When this happens the evaporation which is a by-product of the evaporator core working properly and can begin...

Q: Charging system

Hi There, It sounds like you have an issue with faulty wiring or quite possibly a bad alternator resulting in your battery being drained so quickly. As you may know, the alternator charges the battery while the engine runs by...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...