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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This just happened. Was driving along when all of the sudden my gauges went crazy and the 'Check Gauges' light came on. The battery voltage dropped all the way and the temp. gauge went all the way up instantly. Power steering went out as well.

Drove straight to my mechanic. As I was sitting on US1 waiting to turn all of the sudden a loud explosion and white smoke everywhere. Sounded like a gun shot. Turned it off and hopped out.

Waited for it to cool down and drove straight to the mechanic (literally 100 yards away).

Pop the hood and looks like the serpentine belt snapped (which obviously caused the drop in voltage and the loss of power steering), and the radiator cracked open with coolant everywhere.

So I guess the main question is....how much is this gonna cost me? Mechanic said it'll be ready by tomorrow but it's one of the worst he's seen :banghead:


***on a side note I'm glad I decided to not go and inspect under the hood after the power steering went out and voltage dropped. Thank god I didn't have the hood open when this happened.
 

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How long did you run it between when the serpentine belt snapped and when the radiator gave out?

When the belt broke you lost your water pump, and depending on the severity of the overheating I would be worried about the head warping. That would get pricy.
 

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Damn. I was actually driving up to go to an offroad park on friday night 3 hours from home. I was driving, smelled something burning, check gauges came on, etc. Everything you said. Got out and checked under the hood and my damn serpentine belt snapped. i had to get towed to the closest auto zone that closed 20 minutes after I got there and the tow truck guy helped me out a lot to fix everything. Basically it was the idle pulley bearing that went bad, which caused my serpentine belt to snap which then caused a splitter in my heater core hose line to burst(thank god it wasn't the radiator that went).
So depending on what caused the belt to snap would increase/decrease the price. to give you an idea, my belt was 20$, pulley was 15$. A new mopar radiator cost me 200$ w/o shipping when my blew last year. Then new coolant, what ever else he decides needs fixed and then his labor
 

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That is some gnarly carnage. If the motor still runs, my guess is the head gasket and seals may have baked in the overheat. So after you replace the belt, and radiator...you may have deeper issues to chase down to resolve.
 

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Wow....another thumbs down for plastic rads....I wonder if an Al or steel rad has ever burst like that?
 

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Wow....another thumbs down for plastic rads....I wonder if an Al or steel rad has ever burst like that?
It could be the original radiator & if that's the case it's at least 10yrs old, mine split in the same place but only was 1" long.
I put a Aluminum radiator in & it cracked in 4 months, plus it made my Tj run warm .
I will only run OEM from now on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Any update from the mechanic? I'm curious to hear if the head and head gasket survived.
Just got it back. Luckily it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been. Of course radiator had to be replaced, but that was it.


Here's what happened---A few weeks ago I tightened the serpentine belt because it was too loose and squealing whenever there was extra load on the alternator (lights on, A/C, etc.). I was able to tighten the belt and get rid of the squealing. All was good.

Well, turns out I tightened it way too much, bending the tension screw itself. This caused the pulley to become loose and wobble, which caused the belt to slip right off.

Of course this shut the water pump off (along with everything else--alternator, power steering, etc.), engine overheated, I was too dumb to realize something was seriously wrong, and BOOM!


Total cost was $425 for new radiator and coolant (and belt tensioner screw). I'm kicking myself for letting this happen, it could've easily been avoided, but oh well, live and learn. Just happy there was no damage to the head, my mechanic said he checked everything twice just to make sure. Engine runs perfect, these 2.5l's are bulletproof

New radiator:
 

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Got off fairly cheap considering. Glad to hear she didn't give up the ghost. Lesson learned I reckon.
 

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had something similar a few weeks ago....belt came off...no noise..power steering went away and I thought "hmm..thats odd" all of sudden no voltage and I thought "crap the belt must have broke or came off...just as I was pulling over I heard a loud POP!! and thought "awwww crap!" it blew the top hose off and broke a small part of the radiator neck....

towed it home..new belt...double clamps on the hose and all is good....apparently when the water pump stops its a matter of seconds until something goes.... basically the weakest link .....in my case the hose clamp...in your case the radiator....

my mechanic buddy was surprised it blew the hose and didn't pop the cap
 

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had something similar a few weeks ago....belt came off...no noise..power steering went away and I thought "hmm..thats odd" all of sudden no voltage and I thought "crap the belt must have broke or came off...just as I was pulling over I heard a loud POP!! and thought "awwww crap!" it blew the top hose off and broke a small part of the radiator neck....

towed it home..new belt...double clamps on the hose and all is good....apparently when the water pump stops its a matter of seconds until something goes.... basically the weakest link .....in my case the hose clamp...in your case the radiator....

my mechanic buddy was surprised it blew the hose and didn't pop the cap
I'm sure the cap opened, just not enough to relieve the pressure fast enough. When coolant turns to steam, the rate of expansion is phenomenal.
Morel of this story, it's not always the belt, check tensioners regularly.
 

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I'm sure the cap opened, just not enough to relieve the pressure fast enough. When coolant turns to steam, the rate of expansion is phenomenal.
Morel of this story, it's not always the belt, check tensioners regularly.

especially in that short hose...
 
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