How long will the 3.8 run without the Supercharger?


Asked by Dec 20, 2012 at 04:32 PM about the 1997 Buick Park Avenue Ultra FWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

While driving to get an oil change, the serpentine belt came loose and slipped off the pulleys. This was brought to my attention by the service guys doing the oil change. The car still runs with no real difference except going up hills when it downshifts where it never used to do that. How big of a job is replacing it and is it absolutely necessary?

4 Answers


The supercharger increased the power going up hill which made the load more manageable in a higher gear but without the supercharger while going uphill the engines power is reduced so to keep from bogging down the pcm down shifts the trans for more power. As far as the belt being off without consequence I don't have a definitive answer to that.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

It depends on the year. I had a 1997 where you had to remove one of the engine mounts to the block to put on new belts. What a pain! I now have a 2004 where they solved that by redesigning the engine mounting system. Either way, I highly recommend getting the belt replaced.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

My '99 Riviera has a separate, dedicated drive belt. You can run that 3.8 L. without the supercharger with no problem except low power during heavy acceleration. I did it for two months until I could change out the broken drive belt. Belt failed due to bad idler pully bearing seizing.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

Also note, drive belt change on '99 Riviera is a big job. Motor mount and jacking up engine to clear a mounting stud is required. I did it but took about 4 hours.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

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