Q: What causes my car to overheat and lose power steering?

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At first I noticed a burning rubber smell and a little smoke coming from the engine. I lost my power steering and the car started to Overheat. I drove about a half mile home and opened the hood. I saw a small hose below the coolant resivoir leaking coolant. What could be the issue? I made an appointment thinking it was the drive belt but not completely sure.

My car has 146000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

You’re probably right about the drive belt. The belt that turns the power steering pump also turns the water pump, so if it fails, it won’t be long before the car overheats. The coolant will boil and you might see some steam venting around the overflow tank. As for why it failed, it could be that it was just due, or it could be that a tensioner or one of the accessories that it turns is failing and trying to lock up. The extra load on the belt will burn it up in short order. Either way, it’s important that you don’t try to drive the car until the problem is corrected. You can do serious damage by overheating. You can get the details by contacting Your Mechanic. They can send a technician to your home or office to check out your Cherokee and let you know what it’s going to take to solve your problem.

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