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2005 Pontiac Vibe - Does not like the cold

my car turned off as I was driving it. it was low on gas (gas light was on) and it was -2 degrees F. it may be that I ran out of gas or something else. as it goes, I was on an off-ramp from the highway and was able to roll into a gas station at the bottom of the ramp. when I restarted the car at the gas station, it was a rough start and a really low idle rpm, even though the car was fully warm. as well, I was getting a rubber burning or antifreeze type smell in the car. I drove it the 4 blocks to work, parked and came out to drive it home 10 hours later, at +10 degress F. same low idle rpm and smell, except on the highway home, but when I got off the highway, back to the low idle and smell as well as what felt like the engine bouncing under the hood, making the whole car vibrate. What part broke? When I lifted the hood at home, a little smoke and the smelly part of the engine was coming from the left side, something to do with the drive belt, but I couldn’t see anything visibly wrong. Any ideas about what I should be looking for to put the car right?

Have you checked your coolant?

At -2 I’m wondering if your coolant froze, that could stop the water pump from turning and cause the slipping/burning drive belt.


running out of gas can do weird things to the catalytic converter, including producing odors. if there’s nothing obvious on visual inspection, have the cat tested for clogging. If not the cat, ask you shop to do a fuel pressure test

Operating low on coolant can result in rough running and odors. If the coolant level is critically low the engine may now be damaged.

As it turns out, the ac compressor pulley broke free from the spindle and is bouncing around creating sparks and making a terrible smell. Good grief.