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Old 08-15-2014, 01:43 AM   #1
DakotaTheHuman
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Power steering issues please help asap

My power steering went out right as I pulled into the lot at work, just wondering if I can get some advice before I get off so I know what to do first. I'm wondering if it as an electrical issue because my battery indicator light came on along with the power steering failure, but the engine was still running fine. Please help asap thank you. 2003 zx3


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Old 08-15-2014, 02:19 AM   #2
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If you see a battery light & the P/S quits you probably threw the serpentine belt & none of the accessories are driven anymore.

Check that first, cause you won't be driving far that way, the water pump is driven by that as well.

Luck
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Old 08-15-2014, 02:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
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If you see a battery light & the P/S quits you probably threw the serpentine belt & none of the accessories are driven anymore.

Check that first, cause you won't be driving far that way, the water pump is driven by that as well.

Luck
I just checked and yes the belt has slipped off, I am also leaking coolant from somewhere underneath that area, so coolant must have libricated the belt enough for it to slip off. Now to find the leak which is hard to do in a dim parking garage while I'm at work. Anyone know a common leak spot in that area? It seems to be a little above the oil pan area.
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Old 08-15-2014, 03:07 AM   #4
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Give the water pump pulley a wiggle (the smooth one with three bolts on front).

IF the water pump is leaking, the pulley might be wiggling from loose bearings as well tossing the belt.

Wet on the engine side could be the pump, though the hose to that from the front could piddle on the area with a leak.

Wet under the coolant reservoir could get on there, but you mention seeing it on the engine (hoses & the bottle can all leak).

I'm listing everything possible, but the combination of thrown belt & wet engine side points at the water pump. It usually drips from it's weep hole before giving out, that can go on for a while before it gives out dramatically.
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Old 08-15-2014, 03:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Give the water pump pulley a wiggle (the smooth one with three bolts on front).

IF the water pump is leaking, the pulley might be wiggling from loose bearings as well tossing the belt.

Wet on the engine side could be the pump, though the hose to that from the front could piddle on the area with a leak.

Wet under the coolant reservoir could get on there, but you mention seeing it on the engine (hoses & the bottle can all leak).

I'm listing everything possible, but the combination of thrown belt & wet engine side points at the water pump. It usually drips from it's weep hole before giving out, that can go on for a while before it gives out dramatically.
Ok thanks for the info, also is the timing belt and serpentine belt the same thing? And this might be a stupidly obvious question but is it bad for the car if I drive without it on, there is a mechanic right down the road and I really don't want to have to pay for a tow. Thanks
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Old 08-15-2014, 03:35 AM   #6
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Timing belt and serpentine belt are not the same thing. Depends on your motor, you might have a timing chain and not a timing belt. If the timing belt (or chain) were to break then you would end up with serious engine damage.

It's not too 'bad' for the car but its a bit unsafe to drive without a serpentine belt.

The battery will die out pretty soon but you most likely will be able to get a few miles in. Like you know, the power steering will be out. The car will also get hotter faster... not a big deal for a short ride.
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Old 08-15-2014, 03:42 AM   #7
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Sorry, Windows decided to update while i was typing....

'03 ZX3 would have a Zetec engine, and the timing belt is separate from the serpentine.

As the dude mentioned, you won't have P/S and you'll be running off battery - daylight will help by then.

Hopefully you aren't losing too much coolant, even not circulating that helps cool the engine.

Watch the temp close, and I wouldn't drive far at all - like within a mile from cold start might be OK.
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:19 AM   #8
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You will fry the engine in about five minutes running with no coolant moving there, the biggest 'no belt' danger. Water pump not turning. I once went 30 miles one night doing that with engine hitting close to too hot, shutdown and wait till pretty cool again. Took like 2 1/2 hours to get home but engine unhurt doing it. The water will circulate a small amount from thermosiphon.

I also unplugged any easy to get to light bulbs I could to lower battery load with no alt turning, ended up with one headlight and one brake and park light going.
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Old 08-16-2014, 01:12 PM   #9
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Turns out it was the water pump/pully. The pully was leaking coolant from the weep hole which threw the belt off and explains the loss of power steering. I did make it over to the bell tire with out hurting the engine, luckily it was so close but cost me 300 bucks. Still probably cheaper than having it towed home and doing it myself though. Thanks for the feedback guys.
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Old 08-16-2014, 04:03 PM   #10
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Tx for the update.

Sounds like the best outcome possible at that point, close enough to avoid a tow bill & you weren't stuck out on the road somewhere.
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