1996 BMW 328 Battery light / power steering failed

  • 1996 BMW 328
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • 80,400 MILES
While driving I heard a some metal kind of noise (like something metal got loose and touching something) for like 15-20 sec and noise subsided and went away when no acceleration; then the battery light in dashboard came on light continueously (may be alternator failure?) ; I was just half mile from home so I drove home and noticed that the steering became very hard (like no power steering) and saw some smoke come from hood; did not see any issues with car running (power/acceration/brakes all work fine) as I drove home; only problem I saw was battery light and power steering failure. I think. The same day I got the car SMOG Tested and car passed with no issues. Is it related to smog test? Etc?

What could be the problem? I will take the car to a mechanic but wanted to get a feel of the problem.
Please help me.
Thanks a lot in advance.
Do you
have the same problem?
Thursday, January 8th, 2009 AT 10:17 AM

1 Reply

The multi-groove belt that drives the alternator, the P/S pump, and the water pump has broken. Do not drive the car at all, have it towed to the repair shop. This is not a smog issue, that technician was not getting paid to tell you the drive belt was cracked and needed replacement, so they are not to blame. There may be collateral damage, be prepared for that possibility. If the radiator and other cooling system components have never been changed, then now is the time to consider their replacement as the plastic parts in the system have a lifespan and might cause future issues if not dealt with now.
Was this
Thursday, January 8th, 2009 AT 12:20 PM

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