1998 Buick Regal Serp Belt, smell/steering issues

Tiny
RPERKES
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 BUICK REGAL
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 50,000 MILES
98 Buick Regal, 50k miles. I just had a new Serp Belt put in. I car was running fine, the belt hadn't broken, I just thought it was time to change it.
It's been about 5 days since the new belt ever since then I can smell a little burning rubber when I come to a stop. I also just noticed that when the car is in gear and NOT moving that I can only turn the steering wheel 1/2 turn before it stops and noise begins. If the car is moving or if it is in Park or Neutral then I can turn the wheel fully.(I don't know if this steering issue is new since the new belt was installed but I believe it is).

Q1. With a new belt should there be any smell/break in period?
Q2. Is the steering/turning issue related to something that happened when a new belt was put in? And what is it?

thanks for suggestions/comments!
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Wednesday, February 25th, 2009 AT 8:43 PM

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Tiny
ZACKMAN
  • MEMBER
Q1. With a new belt should there be any smell/break in period?

***Yes and no, depending on the belt system. In your case, no. You have an automatic tensioner, so that unit adjust the tension, well, automatically. On some other vehicles that don't have auto tensioner, yes. It is not a "break-in" period per se, rather you have to re-adjust the tension after a few days.***

Q2. Is the steering/turning issue related to something that happened when a new belt was put in? And what is it?
***There should not be any steering issue, only because a new serpentine belt is installed. I believe, and this may be just co-incidental, that your power steering system is working properly. Your steering is controlled electronically by Electronic Brake Control Module. This unit varies the effort to turn the steering wheel, providing firmer steering at higher vehicle speed. You may want to go back to the shop who did your serpentine belt to just re-check the installation, just to be on the safe side. If the belt was properly installed, you may to consider having someone to look at your power steering system. Remind them that you have electronically-controlled steering wheel.
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Saturday, February 28th, 2009 AT 12:26 AM

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