From everything I looked at, it appears your car uses at least three separate belts and possibly a fourth one. That means the water pump will still be cooling the engine, the generator will still be charging the battery, and the air conditioning compressor will still run. Only the power steering will be dead.
Before you start the engine, try to pull that belt completely out so it doesn't get tangled in the other belts and cause one of them to fall off. If you get it out, it should be okay to drive. You won't notice the lack of power assist on the highway, but the slower you go the harder it will be to turn the steering. You won't want to be sucking on an ice cream cone with one hand and driving with the other one in slow traffic!
It is also common for power steering fluid to get pushed out of the reservoir when you turn the steering without the pump running, so don't panic if you see a fluid leak where you park. Once the new belt is installed, the fluid will need to be topped off, and if air got pulled into the steering gear, you might hear some buzzing for a while. It will be worse when turning the steering wheel. The more you turn the wheels, the more air will be purged, and you might have to add a little more fluid a few days later.
It is also entirely possible no fluid will be pushed out and a new belt will be all that's necessary.
Monday, July 4th, 2011 AT 6:31 AM