potentially life threatening problem..


cookin with propane
May 27, 2001
ok, i never thought to see what you guys think..

but this question goes to all hotairs with electric fans and no fan shroud. if you have a huge gap in the front of your engine bay, i ask you....

when driving in the rain.. and you hit a puddle.. your PS belt slips and you lose power brakes and steering until it dries off enough to catch

this happens to me everytime it rains.. i am NOT steering for these puddles, it just happens.. it wouldnt be a problem if i knew when it would happen, but losing power assist as i come to a stop could cause me to rear end somebody.. that would not be cool.

obviously, if i drive through a puddle and have to turn, the same is true..

anyone else have this problem? how did you solve it?
Nick...I have had it happen to me....

I dont think the problem is with the gap/electric fan.

I think that the problem is there is a slight hole where the wheel well is, and if you look thru it you can see the power steering belt, and such...so when you go thru a puddle the water goes up in that little hole and soaks the belt causing it to slip!

The hole is there on my car..so you might wanna check into it on your car...I remember reading somewhere that GM made something to cover up the holes!
I've got the huge gap like you, but I don't drive through puddles :) One thing I noticed was my balancer got SUPER dirty after less than a week of driving with my new engine. On what I thought were clean roads too :) Oh well.

Plain old water shouldn't make the belts slip. If you've EVER gotten antifreeze or oil on a belt, it's there forever, and then they WILL slip when they get wet. Get some good degreaser (simple green, castrol purple degreaser are great) and really clean off your pulleys, get a new belt, and get it nice and tight. That should take care of it!
If you have the hole, you can put a rubber flap over it, se some rubber sheeting from Home Depot, or even some old mudflaps.
Just rivet it on, or use black screw for a factory look.
BFH is right. As long as the belt is oil free and tight enough water won't make it slip. One it gets oil soaked replacement is the only way to fix it.
well its had antifreeze on it.

didnt know that.. time for a new belt.

i had another scary event when a pinhole leak in my upper rad hose soaked the ps belt and i lost assist for brakes/steering when i was exiting the freeway.. definitely NOT cool
Another thing I forgot is that even with a total power steering pump loss I can still lock the wheels if I have to. It's very hard but unlike the powerdisaster system you still have brakes on the hydroboost when the assist dies. One thing I've seen on some of the newer diesels is a hydroboost identical to ours with an accumulator ball on the side. I would be willing to bet it's a direct bolt on and would offer a couple normal stops even with the engine off.
yea, i have to use the manual brakes all the time.. my car has a weird hiccup problem and it likes to die at signal lights and stop lights.... im used to it until i can take the time to diagnose it..