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Belt Broke in Kia (presumably serpentine belt)

I’m not very knowledgeable on cars but pulling into the driveway i heard a noise, the wheel got hard to turn, and the battery light came on, after parking the car and turning it off it wouldn’t start back up. I opened the hood and took a look and one of the belts was completely gone. There was a larger looking belt a little higher up that still looks in decent shape, but the belt that broke… well, it broke. The little research i’ve done so far has lead me to believe this was a serpentine belt, but just to be sure I’m here asking. I’ve heard that if a timing belt breaks it can be very bad news so how can I be sure it wasn’t that (or was it)? I’m hoping the timing belt is the thicker looking higher up belt, and the one that broke is the serpentine belt. If this is the case I’m probably going to try and replace it myself to save money (couldn’t drive it to a shop so i would have to get it towed or something).

Anyways the old belt isn’t there anymore so I don’t really have a reference as to how it should go on and I also would like to know if this could have damaged other things as well, if so how do i check? And lastly I’m not even sure which belt I need to call and ask a car store if they sell it. Again from my little research i think it’s a serpentine belt, and that seems like best case scenario when it comes to a broken belt so it’s what i’m hoping for as well. I’d appreciate any and all advice, thanks in advance.

Yes, it is most likely your serpentine belt that broke. The timing belt is under a cover in the engine so it can not be seen.
On some cars there is a diagram in the engine compartment that shows how the belts are located on the pulleys.
Chances are there is a YouTube video on replacing your serpentine belt. Take a look and see if you want to attempt it yourself.

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It take 10 minutes to put back a new serpentine belt.Why not leave it to your trusty general mechanic?

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If you don’t know what it is, you are not going to put it on yourself. Given that and the car won’t start, it needs to go to the shop or the shop needs to come to you. Nothing else needs to be said but the question is what is meant by not starting? Maybe the battery is dead too. Who knows, but the answer remains the same.

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while it’s not a good idea to run without a serpentine belt, a broken one should not keep your engine from starting. You have other issues going on here as well as the broken serpentine belt.

What does the engine sound like when you try to start it?


I’ve been having issues with the battery being weak as well so I figured not starting wouldve had something to do with the alternator not have the belt on it.

If the battery is dead, the starter motor will not be powered up regardless of whether the alternator is working or not. It would not be normal for a battery to be dead at the same time the belt broke, unless there has been a problem with the belt for some time or unless the alternator locked up for some time wrecking the belt and draining the battery. It needs to go to the shop. The belt likely controls engine cooling, and power steering so just have it towed and they can figure it out.

and $200 towing this thing to a mechanic

I agree with Bing - If you don’t know what a serpentine belt is, you shouldn’t try to replace it. Have it towed to your mechanic and have them fix it.

You don’t say what model the car is, how old or how many miles it has on it - if you’ve been having issues with the battery not charging it could be that the alternator was going and a worn bearing caused it to seize and then subsequently broke the belt, but that’s just a guess. Your mechanic can figure it out when s/he puts a new belt on.


If you want to diy, a Hayne’s or Chilton’s repair manual for your car should have a diagram of the belt routing and instructions how to replace it. Likewise the computer-data-base AllData service would have that info. Take a visit to your local public library, they may have one of those three you can reference. I’d guess a Kia dealership would be happy to print the diagram out for you too if you go there at a time they aren’t particularly busy.

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If he belt has been broken for a while then it’s NOT charging the battery. So yes a broken belt can/will keep the engine from starting.

true. But that’s not how I read the original post. Car made a noise (possibly when the belt broke,) steering got hard, and they parked it.