1991 Dodge Dakota

Will my car run without my power steering belt connected?

That depends, does it drive the alternator or water pump?

Definitely not the alternator, it goes over the fan’s pulley and a pulley towards the bottom of the engine, I can only assume that it is the water pump…both of these pulleys have two belts on them…thank you for your response btw

I have driven many vehicles from the parking lot into the shop with the power steering disabled or belt missing, the engine will run without a doubt. Start the engine and see if it will run. Perhaps you have a more specific question.

I bought it as a project/hauler a couple of weeks ago for only several hundred dollars… theres a chirping noise when you turn the wheels, the more you turn the loader the chirp…I had my wife turn it while I looked at it and noticed the pulley on the power steering pump would sort of hesitate to spin…I have driven cars without power steering and since I won’t be driving this thing too often, I figured I could just remove the belt and not deal with having to replace the pump/pulley/ or whatever is causing the noise…but then again, I don’t want to ruin anything else if I decide to do this…,

Tighten the belt, I am guessing that this is a 2.5L engine with an adjustable belt, the 3.9 and 5.2 have auto belt adjusters.

I think it’s the 3.9…I do know that it’s a 6cylinder

It was not a good experience for me with my Buick but Dodge may be different. When I lost my belt, I had about two miles to go to the nearest shop and it was very very difficult to steer. I mean both arms with all my might to turn corners. I’ve driven lots of cars with manual steering and it is not the same.

The 3.9 L engine has only one belt, you can operate the engine for about two minutes without the belt. The belt tensioner might be weak allowing the belt to slip.

I think an easy solution would to be less demanding on the power steering system, don’t make significant turns while the vehicle is stopped.

The 2.5L “K-Car engine” has a separate belt for the power steering pump, a separate belt for the A/C compressor, if equipped, and another belt for the water pump and alternator together. And none of the belts are auto-tensioning. Even the timing belt has a manual tensioner, which must be rotated to the proper tension and tightened down. On this engine, one could easily omit the power steering belt if the pump has failed.

Your 3.9L V6 engine has a single accessory belt, which drives the power steering, alternator, water pump, and A/C compressor. If you attempt to omit the power steering pump, you would certainly need to substitute a different/shorter belt, and would also have to take care that all of the accessories are rotating in the proper direction.

This is likely easier said than done, because although A/C compressor bypass pulleys are sold in order to maintain proper belt routing without replacing a failed A/C compressor, I am not aware of such a product being sold for bypassing power steering. And of course, on this type of vehicle, steering effort, especially at low speed is going to be excessive without working power steering. Unless this is a total rust bucket, and not likely to last more than a few thousand miles, I’d just do a proper repair, especially if I can do it myself.

Very good insight gentleman…looks like I’ll just bite the bullet and take it to the repair shop. I’ll post an update as to what the problem is as soon as it’s fixed. Hopefully a new belt and an adjustment will fix it…guess we’ll find out…thank you all again

Good chance you just need a new belt.

Problem solved! It actually just needed a new belt and proper adjustment on the tensioner. Apparently I was expecting the worse case scenario like a bad power steering pump. I ended up just changing all 4 drive belts since they were all in pretty bad shape. I could not find a single video or instructions online on how to change the drive belts- I did see a bunch for the serpentine belt - so I just had a shade tree mechanic do the work. $80 labor and $12 per belt- a lot cheaper than I expected