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#2750854 - 09/21/12 06:54 PM How far can I drive without a serpentine belt?
tgferg67 Offline


Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 192
Loc: Michigan
Hi
How far is it safe to drive, when a vehicle is cold, without a serpentine belt? I am planning on driving a short distance without a sepentine belt(water pump) to diagnose an engine noise(maybe belt tensioner).

The vehicle is a 2003 Pontiac Vibe with the 1zz base engine.
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#2750859 - 09/21/12 06:57 PM Re: How far can I drive without a serpentine belt? [Re: tgferg67]
Drew99GT Offline


Registered: 10/11/02
Posts: 20261
Loc: Colorado Springs
Probably 5 miles or so I'd say. Watch the temp gauge, and you'll likely kill the battery in the process.

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#2750860 - 09/21/12 06:58 PM Re: How far can I drive without a serpentine belt? [Re: tgferg67]
stephen9666 Offline


Registered: 12/08/06
Posts: 2321
Loc: USA
Not very far, I would guess. I would think it will overheat pretty fast without the water moving at all.

Can you just let it run without the belt while you listen? I've done that before.
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#2750869 - 09/21/12 07:02 PM Re: How far can I drive without a serpentine belt? [Re: tgferg67]
Rock_Hudstone Offline


Registered: 11/13/07
Posts: 1060
Loc: New Jersey
You can drive to the point where either the engine overheats or the battery dies, the former will likely happen first which can be catastrophic with aluminum engine blocks and heads.

I wouldn't go far (like around the block) and watch the temp gauge carefully.

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#2750871 - 09/21/12 07:03 PM Re: How far can I drive without a serpentine belt? [Re: tgferg67]
tig1 Offline


Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 9489
Loc: Illinois
Don't do it!
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#2750880 - 09/21/12 07:09 PM Re: How far can I drive without a serpentine belt? [Re: tgferg67]
92saturnsl2 Offline


Registered: 03/02/04
Posts: 745
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO
You'll get about 5 minutes of warm-up before the temperature gets out of hand.

Once it reads "normal" it only takes a short time before it gets too hot.

The battery on the other hand, will happily run the car and accessories on average around 70-90 minutes without the alternator, provided you don't have headlights or anything high-drain on.
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#2750889 - 09/21/12 07:14 PM Re: How far can I drive without a serpentine belt? [Re: tgferg67]
tinmanSC Offline


Registered: 09/07/10
Posts: 1822
Loc: Oswego, IL
You can probably get it out and around the block. I once drove about a mile and a half with a non-circulating water pump and I was ok. I did this by turning the engine off every time I was slowing down or stopped. I probably restarted that car about 10-12 times in that mile or so, battery was on the way out by the time I stopped.

Does it need to be driven to diagnose the noise? Can you just run it for a few seconds in the garage?
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#2750907 - 09/21/12 07:27 PM Re: How far can I drive without a serpentine belt? [Re: tgferg67]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 32535
Loc: New Jersey
None. No way I'd drive anywhere on an aluminum engine without water flow.

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#2750915 - 09/21/12 07:29 PM Re: How far can I drive without a serpentine belt? [Re: tgferg67]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 12609
Loc: Upstate NY
The colder the radiator and the temp outside the better. I went maybe 5 miles. But remember no PS. On my 1993 Suburban the loss of PS is a BIG deal.
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#2750920 - 09/21/12 07:33 PM Re: How far can I drive without a serpentine belt? [Re: tinmanSC]
tgferg67 Offline


Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 192
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: tinmanSC


Does it need to be driven to diagnose the noise? Can you just run it for a few seconds in the garage?



The engine makes noise when cold under load, up to 2500 rpm's. The noise goes away after a few miles.
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2003 Pontiac Vibe (1ZZ-FE auto) 170k
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#2750927 - 09/21/12 07:36 PM Re: How far can I drive without a serpentine belt? [Re: tgferg67]
dave123 Offline


Registered: 01/13/09
Posts: 1015
Loc: wi
As far as you want depends how big of a bill you want when you get their.

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#2750936 - 09/21/12 07:43 PM Re: How far can I drive without a serpentine belt? [Re: tgferg67]
AandPDan Offline


Registered: 02/01/11
Posts: 549
Loc: MA
Don't rely on the temperature gauge at all. Without water circulating you are going to have localized hot spots that might get hot enough to boil while other parts remains cold.

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#2750938 - 09/21/12 07:44 PM Re: How far can I drive without a serpentine belt? [Re: tgferg67]
KB2008X Offline


Registered: 06/21/12
Posts: 509
Loc: St. Louis, MO.
There really should be no need to drive the vehicle to diagnose anything that is driven by the serpentine belt. Running the engine for maybe a minute or two, at an idle, with the vehicle stationary, may be OK. The second you begin driving it you are increasing the heat output exponentially.

Remember, what an engine does, it converts fuel into heat and then, secondarily, that heat is converted into power. These days, an engine running with a completely non-functional cooling system quickly results in a popped head gasket, warped cylinder head and/or an engine block, as well as ruined pistons...and there is room for things to get even worse, if needed.

Back when engines were still cast-iron, both the heads and block, intake and exhaust manifolds, etc., we could get away with continuing to drive a vehicle without the water pump belt for a while befor engine damage occurred, but not anymore.

You need to come up with another diagnostic strategy other than driving the car without the belt.

Keith


Edited by KB2008X (09/21/12 07:50 PM)
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#2750951 - 09/21/12 08:02 PM Re: How far can I drive without a serpentine belt? [Re: tgferg67]
tgferg67 Offline


Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 192
Loc: Michigan
Wouldn't driving without the belt be the same condition as driving "x" distance before the thermostat opens?
_________________________
2003 Pontiac Vibe (1ZZ-FE auto) 170k
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#2750962 - 09/21/12 08:09 PM Re: How far can I drive without a serpentine belt? [Re: tgferg67]
KB2008X Offline


Registered: 06/21/12
Posts: 509
Loc: St. Louis, MO.
Originally Posted By: tgferg67
Wouldn't driving without the belt be the same condition as driving "x" distance before the thermostat opens?


NO.

Have you tried running the engine, without the belt, in park and at the rpm you normally hear the noise ?

Whenever I have an under-the-hood noise to diagnose the last thing I want to do is go out on the road to try to hear it and figure out what may be causing it, because the road noise just confuses the issue, if not drowning out the noise I want to hear altogether.

You need to be under the hood if at all possible. Is there a rack available to put the vehicle on for diagnosing the noise ?

Keith


Edited by KB2008X (09/21/12 08:23 PM)
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04 Town Car 4.6 5w20 FL820S
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