1998 Jeep Cherokee 1998 Jeep Cherokee Classic Repair

  • 4 CYL
  • 4WD
  • 90,000 MILES
My 1998 Jeep threw off the belt at the front that circles several wheels. It didn't break but it was impossible to put it back on. I bought a new belt and and had it put on. It worked fine for a couple of weeks then one afternoon when I cranked my it I heard a squealing sound and saw a little smoke coming from the belt area. This time the belt broke. It has also been running hot and I['ve had to put water in it everytime I drive it. I don't know if these things are related but I really need my Jeep fixed. I a a female who lives alone on a small monthly income an this is the only transportation I have. If I knew what was wrong with it, I might be able to get it repaired at a reasonable price. Thank you for any help you can give me.
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Wednesday, February 18th, 2009 AT 8:46 PM

1 Reply

Because your Jeep has been running hot and using water, plus the belt failure- I suspect a faulty water pump.

If the pump had partially seized up and become hard to turn, it could cause the belt to wear rapidly. Water pump seal failure could be the cause of needing to refill the radiator. Look for leakage behind the water pump pulley on the bottom.

Another possibility of the cause of the belt failure is the tensioner pulley or the idler pulley could have bad bearings causing either of them to seize up- causing excessive and rapid belt wear.

It is possible that the problems are not related. You could, for instance, have a small leak in the radiator or hoses causing the water loss and the belt problem could be any of the above-mentioned problems with the idler/tensioner pulleys.

I cannot stress enough the importance of NOT OVERHEATING THE ENGINE! This can cause expensive, catastrophic failure.
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Friday, February 20th, 2009 AT 11:09 PM

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