02 Kia Rio belt problems

On a recent cold morning I turned the heater on in my wife’s Rio though I had been warned not too. There was some squeaking for awhile but as I got on the highway it started to go away. Soon I heard and saw what I believed to be a part of a belt flying out from under the car. I pulled over, without power steering which had gone away with the belt, and inspected the car which sure enough was now missing a belt. I was about a mile away from home so I kept driving and made it home… What other functions besides power steering does this belt have? Should I stop driving this car immediately?

Assuming the Rio has a single serpentine belt, the belt runs the power steering, alternator, and the AC compressor. Any extended driving will run the battery down and it’s not good for the power steering rack (besides being a safty issue).

Usually, serpentine belts are not that expensive or difficult to replace. At this time you should check the maintenance schedule to see if the timing belt is due to be changed (I think it’s a 60k interval, not sure of the time though).

Ed B.

Not familiar with the Rio, but belts drive the alternator, power steering, AC ocmpressor, and often the water pump. The most critical would be the water pump, so did you notice the temp guage when you got home? If it was still in the normal area perhaps your water pump is driven off the timing belt which would be inside the motor.

I’d advise against driving the car, but if you decide to drive it watch the temp guage very closely. As soon as it goes just a little above the normal indication shut down the motor immediately. Overheating the motor could cause big problems.