Driving without Accessory Belt Tensioner / Belt
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  1. #1
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    Driving without Accessory Belt Tensioner / Belt

    First time I've logged into this site in 7.5 years! Still have the same car although it seems like most of it's been replaced between then and now.

    Anyway, on to my problem: My accessory belt tensioner (the roller part) sheared off while I was driving and not surprisingly I threw my belt. I was able to continue to drive the car home.

    I used these instructions How To: V6 Serpentine Belt and Tensioner Replacement to remove the belt and tensioner assembly and ordered a replacement from Amazon.

    Now here's my (most likely profoundly stupid) question. Can I still drive my Passat? I work out of my house so it would just be for emergencies, but it would be nice if I could use my car if I had to. As far as I can tell I lost power steering and I'd imagine my AC as well. My battery light went on too.

    So would I be damaging my car or can I get away with driving it short distances?

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  3. #2
    PZ
    PZ is offline
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    Grapevine TX. 01 4M
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    The main concern would be the loss of P/S. It's much harder to turn than manual steering as you still have fluid to push through the rack. At low speeds, it would be very hard to turn the wheel quick enough to avoid a crash.

    The battery would die soon enough, but there would be no damage to the engine as long as the car does not overheat.

  4. #3
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    Aug 2002
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    Norristown PA USA
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    Thanks PZ. After I posted I asked myself why the battery light would go on, and then I had a 'duh' moment as I realized the busted tensioner means the alternator is now out of the mix.

    Found the tensioner for $65 shipped on Amazon.com and it will be here on Friday.

    Also, the original question is doubly invalid since I have an alternate means of transport: my motorcycle. I view it as a weekend toy so much it completely slipped my mind.

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