Serpentine belt broke now car not heating up. Could I have caused some sort of damage?

Sarah Campbell

Asked by Dec 03, 2015 at 01:19 AM about the 2000 Chevrolet Malibu

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I was driving when my serpentine belt broke
and continued at max a mile before pulling
over. My car had lost power steering, power
weakened, and was over heating. Now that
I've replaced the belt and tensioner and
topped off my coolent my car doesn t want
to heat up. It blows cool to warm air but not
as warm as usual. The indicator on my
dash shows the temp. Just a notch or two
above the bottom. It s a 2000 Malibu 6
cylinder. What could be causing this? Did I
do damage by continuing to drive after it
broke and started overheating

7 Answers


Unfortunately Sarah, you probably did, Do damage that is. The water pump not turning, not being driven by the belt is really not good. But I am stumped by the fact that it does not warm up, that confuses me, But I am easily confused. Hopefully somebody that knows GM products will chime in here, of which I am not. But generic car knowledge is that driving a mile with no belt can cause other problems as well, including electrical

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Just thinking... oww... anyway if I was in your predicament I would change thermostat. Not expensive ... it may have gotten stuck open, meaning that the coolant runs through radiator too fast.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Best Answer
Sarah Campbell

Yea I did just read that somewhere also. Thanks for it input. It is weird that it's not getting hot or even overheating again if I did damage to it.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Best wishes.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I agree with FordNut on this, it is very common for a thermostat to stick open if it is subjected to hotter than normal conditions, it could also be a fail safe type of thermostat, that is a thermostat that will go full open if it fails to help prevent engine damage due to overheat. HTH

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Good call Fordnut

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Bob Beaman

Also if it was overheated to the point of boiling and coolant loss it may have trapped air in the cooling system which needs to be properly bled. This could affect the heater along with the thermostat being stuck open.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

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