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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I have a 2007 Impala SS with about 77k miles. Tonight while driving home on the freeway my serpentine belt started shredding which I was able to notice by a rattling noise behind the dash which sounded like I was driving through gravel. I immediately pulled over and checked under the hood which had begun steaming. The serpentine belt had ripped and had about 2 ribs left. On closer inspection a leak was visible towards the bottom of the vehicle below what I believe is the water pump for about 2 minutes with coolant literally pouring out of whatever it was pouring out of. The serpentine belt had shown minor cracking and of course the belt gave out right before I had intended to replace it.

The thermostat didnt show that the engine had overheated and touching the engine cover didnt seem to be very hot (although Im not sure how hot it would actually get in the event of actual engine overheating). Im pretty positive the steam was from the coolant leak and not from the engine overheating, but of course I can't be sure.

My question is: Is it possible that only the serpentine belt needs to be replaced? Is there any other damage I should be looking for as a result of the belt snapping while driving? Since the coolant was leaking does this mean my water pump has also gone bad?

I had to have the car towed home 3 miles away and will need to have it towed to the shop for repairs. I wasnt able to find much information online about the correct towing procedure for this car, but on the way home the tower lifted the front wheels with the rear wheels on the ground and told me not to shift the car into neutral. He was in a rush and drove about 40-50 miles an hour for those 3 miles. Was this an incorrect way to tow the vehicle and what kind of damage can this have caused if it was not? I'd like to know the proper way to advise my tower to handle the vehicle when I get the car towed to the shop.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Your car is a Front Wheel drive so yes there is no reason that you would want to put the car in N for towing... IF it was a rear wheel drive car that had Manual shift then you could tow with it in N however it isn't good for a Automatic Shift car to be towed with out car running as there is no way for the Transmission to lube....

About the Belt, It is hard to know what the problem is. I would think that maybe one of a couple of things. One the Pump is bad that is where you seen the leaking coming from the bottom of the Pump?

or the Belt went bad and with the moving shredded belt rubbing on one of your Hoses? Maybe one to your Heater core and tore a hole in the hose and it started to leak.

Without being there and seeing the car that is only 2 things that I could think it could have been with the issue of bad belt to warn you there was a problem....


When in Doubt about towing it is best to tow a car on a Rollback. Then there is no worry about damage to the car...

James
 

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It is hard to say. It could still be a bad Hose, Sadly your pump isn't one that you could just look and see that it is draining from the hole, Then again you have a PUMP that is rather different... At first look I would think that it is bad Pump. However the way your pump is set up with Hose connections on it, Again the Idea of a Bad Belt beating up a Hose is still a good chance and would be loads cheaper then having to replace your PUMP... If you were able to just replace the pump without the need of the Manifold it would save a good bit. Seeing a ACDELCO Pump is 120 and one with the Manifold is over 400...

Hoses are a better deal with not costing so much so I will keep with Hope your problem is Belt and Hose.

Keep us posted on what the issue ended up being

James
 

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Did not watch your video, but the pic/link looks like the moisture on top of the battery is indicating the leak was blowing upward or forward, if it were blowing down,chances are you would not have that moisture on top.

Tough to diagnose for sure without seeing hearing what the car is doing. As said above, could be the shredded belt pieces hit a hose and created a leak in the hose, definitely would inspect them closely. That is probably your best outcome. If it were me, I would get your new belt, check the pulley on the water pump to see if you have any play and check to make sure it is spinning free without any wobble. While at it, do the same with the alternator and the power steering pump just to rule them out, bad bearings on either of them going could cause a belt to shred prematurely. If it all looks ok, put the new belt on and make sure your coolant level is full and start the car and see if you can pin point where the leak is coming from and listen for any out of the ordinary whines or sounds that could indicate a bad bearing. At the very least if you can determine there is a minimal leak in a hose and are not comfortable doing the job yourself and the shop is close enough you may be able to drive it there.

Towing a front wheel drive car not in neutral should have been fine, unless the brakes were on for some reason.
 

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After seeing the clip, sure looked like the leak was coming from directly below the water pump, guess the fan blew the coolant up. My kids and wife were in the room when I watched it, wish I would have had my speakers muted. Appears to be leaking too fast to try to drive it anywhere too.

Good luck with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I apologize for that, didnt even realize until I rewatched the video.

The car is at the shop now and I opted to just tell them that the serpentine belt shredded, waiting to see what they say about the water pump and hoses, if anything. Thanks for the input, it gave me a good idea about what to expect, will be reporting back about what I hear from the shop, thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just got off the phone with the mechanic, and hes quoting me 1000 for the repairs and parts. This sounds like a lot to me, but hes telling me I need to replace the entire water pump assembly, manifold included. I told him that I'd like to buy the parts myself and just pay for labor and the list of parts he gave me is as follows:

Water Pump

Drive Belt Tensioner

3 Smooth Idler Pulleys

Serpentine Belt

Gallon of Coolant

He mentioned that the serpentine belt had created a gash in one of the hoses when the belt snapped and I find it a little interesting that he didn't mention it as one of the parts I would need to purchase if I decided to go that route. I'd also like to add that I don't mind getting under the hood of my car and performing repairs myself, I was just hoping to find a shop that doesnt try to take advantage of its customers.

Does any of this sound right to you guys or should I look into performing the repairs myself, which Id assume are just the serpentine belt and hoses based off the conversation I just had on the phone?
 

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Sadly that does sound about what it would cost for a shop to do the work with True GM parts.

As I said before, The pump Manifold has a total of 4 pulleys on it. Well if you get the complete system anyway. ONly way I know how to buy them is pump that comes with pulley and gasket. Or the Pump with Pulley Manifold that also has the 3 other pulleys. that is over 400 for the part, Maybe they charging more for product mark up? THen there is the time it would take for labor I am not sure what is Charged Time, But it will take a fair amount of time...

I am not sure how they Price out the Repair on a complete system. Maybe ask what it would cost for the labor to install one of your own? I will tell you there are some shady people out there at times that would prefer to do their own Products, One most times because they warranty them for a time even if short time. Also it is a way for extra profit because they can at times buy and mark up... Then there is a case that it maybe a Product from Chevy Dealer, So the cost would be higher in most cases to where you maybe able to get the AcDelco product... Again they need to charge to cover the cost and make some profit on it...
 

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That shop probably won't give you any kind of guarantee if you use them and do not buy their parts. Have never personally changed one on that particular car or motor, but I would probably take it on myself. I have another vehicle to drive if I run into problems. If they are giving you a guarantee on the parts and labor, that probably is not too terribly high. Might call your local dealer and ask a service advisor how much they would run for parts and labor for the same job, I know our dealer gives a 12/12,000 warranty on all parts and labor they perform. Ask how many hours they give for labor, might give you a better idea.

Would stay away from cheap parts though whatever you do, have heard plenty of stories about water pumps leaking from the weep holes within weeks even days of a fresh replacement. Have had that happen on one of my own before too but luckily it was a pretty easy swap on that truck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ive decided to take the project on myself and looking under the hood after iI was told what the issues were lead me to believe that the shop was trying to overbill me for parts I didn't need.

I was told that the shredded belt created a gash in one of my hoses but on inspection everything looks in tact and the shop has lost all credibility in my eyes.

On disassembly the water pump appeared to be loose and after removal I could see that it was bent which caused it to spin misaligned which I believe to be the reason the belt began shredding.

Now my question is about one of the pulleys. When the belt shredded pieces of it were eaten by the one closest to the water pump and although I was able to remove the strands that were visible to me I suspect that some small pieces may still be stuck in the pulley.

I've attached a video and would like to know if it looks to be spinning correctly or if it should be moving more freely. If some pieces did happen to be stuck how much of an issue would this be?

The bolt holding the pulley on seems to be seized and trying to pull it is causing the bolt to round out and I'd prefer to leave it alone for now.

You guys have been a great help, thanks again.

 

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On disassembly the water pump appeared to be loose and after removal I could see that it was bent which caused it to spin misaligned which I believe to be the reason the belt began shredding.

Now my question is about one of the pulleys. When the belt shredded pieces of it were eaten by the one closest to the water pump and although I was able to remove the strands that were visible to me I suspect that some small pieces may still be stuck in the pulley.
Pump loose, like the bolts were loose? Bearings going on a pump could very well cause the belt to shred, had that happen with an alternator on a z71.

Hard to say from that clip if it is spinning free like it should, should not take much effort for it to spin. No idea if there was rubber left wedged in there if it might do any damage or if it would burn its way out without doing any damage.
 

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I am not 100% sure how it should Spin? I would say maybe if there is no damage to the Manifold, and your happy about how the pulleys look, I would just get a New Water pump. Remember IMHO I would get a ACDELCO, They have done extra testing to ensure that it won't fail as some others may. I am not saying a lower price ones don't have testing in place to ensure a good product. Buy one that you feel will serve you best....

It is hard sometimes to find problems with Hoses. They are Rubber and in some cases can hide damage well.. Once water is added and pressure is built up in your cooling system and the air is out, if there is damage you will be able to find it..

James
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The bolts were in tact, the bearing on the water pump had snapped/bent causing the water pump to jiggle in place. I'm thinking the pulley is spinning ok and will complete the installation as is. I'm thinking I should be liberal with some wd 40 for a little and just keep an eye on it. The water pump I ended up getting is warrantied so I'm crossing my fingers.

Thanks again
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Finished the job, pulleys appear to be spinning fine, and the belt looks good. Will be monitoring for any leaks. Literally cost a tenth of what the shop wanted, definitely won't be returning there
 

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Glad it's fixed. I am not sure why they would quote it at the highest of the parts. Maybe it was only way they could get the parts from the place they buy at the time. Meaning the Pump alone wasn't around to buy so had to buy whole meal deal... Not that is right. Or maybe because you had a nice Impala SS, Want to keep it nice will pay the price, Thinking you may have already went to dealer at higher price?... OR maybe they didn't want to do the job, So over quoted it so they didn't have to do it...

Just now need to make sure you have good coolant, level up to par and no air in your system or Heater core. Then golden...
 

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Good to hear you got it going and saved.

Sadly there seems to be more shops out there that will gouge you than there are that will be honest with you. Even more amazing is how some will take advantage of women/girls. My 20 year old daughter is over 5 hours away, had shops telling her that her little buick had to have the motor jacked up to remove the back plugs, a $400 job she was quoted. Luckily was able to talk her boyfriend into believing he was capable and he did not have to jack the motor up either. Some shop also quoted her $200 in labor for the front driver window regulator, took me 15 minutes to replace the regulator last time she was home!
 
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