Question about 1997 Saturn SL

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97 Saturn SL1 Issue.

I was driving about 70 - 80 mph and there are many non-drivers on the road so I had to break after a while the car steering wheel just kind of locked up and it was so hard for me to make any turns. (Ex. When a car is parked and off and if you sometimes turn the steering wheel and it locks.) That is how hard it is to try to make a turn now. The battery light is on and my H - C Temp went all the way up to the red bar. The anti-freeze shows low or empty will check under the hood again once it cools down outside. What could be wrong?

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  • Anonymous Mar 19, 2009

    i got the exact same problem before yes its the stupid s belt



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Hey there Nicci,

Your serpentine belt is the problem. When it fails the car overheats, the battery drains and the power steering becomes just steering. Oh yeah, no A/C either.

Open up the hood and check it. It's either missing or not a loop anymore. They rarely just 'slip off , so you'll need a replacement.

To replace it, there is usually a diagram in the engine compartment describing the route it takes around the various pulleys. One side of the belt is grooved, the other smooth. The pulleys are also either grooved or smooth.You can tell if your on the right track if grooves match with grooves and smooth matches with smooth.

You'll get close but not quite be able to get it on the last pulley. Heres how to finish getting the belt on.

  • Get a 14mm or 9/16" socket and a long handled ratchet or breaker bar.
  • Get the belt around all the pulleys except the A/C compressor or Alternator.
  • The tensioner pulley is near the Alternator toward the center of the engine. It's on a spring loaded arm. Get your socket on the center nut of this pulley.
  • Slowly pull the ratchet toward the center of the engine. The pulley will pivot on the arm allowing you to get the belt on the final pulley.
  • Slowly release the tension.
  • You're done
Remember: Good things come to those who rate!

Posted on Aug 31, 2008

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It sounds like your serpentine belt is either slipping badly or is off. there are 5 or so pulleys on the passenger side of the engine that should have a belt running to all of them. That belts runs all the accesories such as power steering, alternator, water pump, and air conditioning. Any one of thse may have failed causing the belt to come off so check them to be sure there isn't any slop in them.

Posted on Aug 30, 2008


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