1994 Toyota Corolla AC belt

  • 4 CYL
  • 116,000 MILES

What happens if the ac belt breaks. Can it still drive

Do you
have the same problem?
Wednesday, November 11th, 2015 AT 11:01 PM

1 Reply


You have to look at what that belt runs. There's five different possible engines, which you didn't bother to list, and some of them use one belt and some use three. You can get by without power steering although turning the steering system repeatedly might make fluid burp out of the reservoir. Mostly that will just make a mess, and you'll have to refill it later. You can get by without the generator, but only for up to an hour, usually less, depending on how much electrical stuff you turn on. Once the engine stalls, you'll need a jump-start to get it started again, and you'll need to charge the battery for an hour or two.

You can't get by without the water pump. An engine started from cold will overheat in perhaps as little as three or four minutes. If you are desperate, you can drive a mile or two, shift to neutral, stop the engine, then coast as far as possible, wait ten to fifteen minutes, then do that again. I've nursed cars as much as 30 miles that way, but with most Toyota belt routings, if the broken belt leaves you without the water pump, it will most likely leave you with no generator too. Each time you crank the engine to restart it, that puts a real heavy drain on the battery. How far you can nurse it depends on how good your battery is.

This is safer if you have a temperature gauge on the dash. Keep moving as long as the gauge stays in the "normal" range. If you overheat the engine badly enough, that can take out the cylinder head gasket, and that repair is much more expensive than calling a tow truck or a cab.

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Wednesday, November 11th, 2015 AT 11:40 PM

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