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Car Won't Start After Serpentine Belt Snapped

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Aug 24, 2016, 2:35 AM

Post #1 of 3 (880 views)
post icon Car Won't Start After Serpentine Belt Snapped Sign In

So recently I let my friend drive my car, I was riding passenger and he went through a big puddle at a stop sign. When we went through the puddle the car's power steering went out, but the car was still on, and moving. We continued up the road hoping it was nothing, but started to notice that when he tried giving it gas it wasn't putting out alot of power. We were going up a hill about a minute down the road, and in an attempt to make it up the hill he was giving it alittle more gas. We just expected that it was the serpentine belt slipping or something, and hoped it would be fine, so he was slowly pushing on and off the gas. Suddenly the belt snapped and the car turned off. I have since gotten the car to my house, and replaced the belt, when we attempted to crank it, it tried to start it seemed. My car is a 1988 Oldsmobile Regency 98 with a 3800 v6 engine, before this I had recently replaced the fuel pump, the spark plugs and wires, the ignition control module, due to the car turning off randomly; but only when it was cold outside. And yet even after all this, it still randomly turned off. The only problem I knew of before this, that I hadn't fixed, was that the crankshaft sensor on the inside of the engine is either loose/fallen out. The car has roughly 115k miles, and I really don't want to get rid of her, I have only had it for alittle over a year. I have a feeling it may be the timing chain/belt what ever, but I don't know necessarily what fixing this would entitle. I can't even hook a computer up to the dang thing either to try and see what's wrong with it. The best I can do is put a paper clip in the dash and attempt to figure out the problem by looking up basically a morse code given by the check engine light. SO I know the verdict isn't going to be good, but hopefully I have given enough information so that someone can help me atleast have a starting place. I love this car, and I am pretty willing to do anything to fix her.. And I want to go ahead and thank anyone who tries to help me figure this nightmare out.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Aug 24, 2016, 4:16 AM

Post #2 of 3 (873 views)
Re: Car Won't Start After Serpentine Belt Snapped Sign In

So.............. Car hits a puddle hard enough to knock off the serpentine belt. That's also hard enough for about any horrible other problems including you sucked up water and really harmed this engine!

Get your code readings - it starts and stops with same sequence with as you tried converting flashes to #s. Post the #s you get, not the first or last which means it's done.

Coil pack - anything electrical possible. You could just check to see if it has spark at all to rule that in or out.

Seems odd but water isn't soft and squishy at speed - the faster the more powerful up to like a real metal wrecking accident,


kev2 profile image

Aug 24, 2016, 5:17 AM

Post #3 of 3 (869 views)
Re: Car Won't Start After Serpentine Belt Snapped Sign In

How deep was water- maybe bumper or higher?
Start with BASICS...
check fuses, is there spark at plugs, is there 12v at injectors,
do not over think the code reading sequence - google "GM obd 1 codes how to" there are some you tube video tutorials.

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