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Old 04-24-2012, 12:52 PM   #1
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Exclamation Batter light on, steering wheel stiff can't turn

hey guys,

i searched the forums, and saw the typical issues and things i should check but need a bit more help.

Yesterday i took out my rear speakers, and haven't placed the new ones in yet.
today while i was driving on the highway the batter-light came on and the steering-wheel got really stiff. i have been listening to music. the battery was changed a month ago. belts, voltage, and alternator is good. is there anything else i should be concerned about?

its a 2000 BMW 328ci 100k on it.

Thanks for all the help
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:09 PM   #2
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You lost the main belt that drives the water pump, alternator, and power steering. You saw the alternator go south because the battery light came on -- really a Charging System Failure light -- and you felt the power steering go away because the steering got heavy. You completely missed the steam from under the hood and the red light that came on at the right hand end of the temp gauge.

COMPLETELY FORGET THE STUFF THAT WAS GOOD A MONTH AGO, open the hood and look at what isn't good today. You say the voltage is good, but that is not possible. Well, it is possible that it's good NOW, but it won't be good for long. Odds are good that the voltage will be good longer than the temps are managable. But the voltage will go away eventually if you can't get the charging system light to turn off.
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:13 PM   #3
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Yes, you are right i should look under the hood more often. i just did a another careful look it is a belt. firs look didn't find anything bc it was too dark and not enough light. The belt is ripped off. is there a specific name for the belt? i will go purchase today and have my friend come replace it, since he got the right tools.

i appreciate your help jdstrickland, and everyone else.
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:14 PM   #4
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your serpentine belt has snapped.
2009 Mazda RX-8 R3
2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:15 PM   #5
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See sig. Do it. Thank me later.
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:06 PM   #6
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You might want to see if you can identify why the belt failed - such as a frozen deflection pulley, maybe. No point putting a new belt on a bad pulley. Possible it was just old, but if it's 12 years / 100k miles old, there's a bunch of other stuff to change out, including pulleys. See the "Cooling System Guide" shortcut in Mango's post.
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