In a recent thread (Steering wheel won’t turn?), '95 Chevy Lumina was driven by a shop mechanic two miles without the serpentine belt in place. I would think that lack of a serpentine belt means that the water pump is not turning. Wouldn’t that risk overheating? Can anyone hazard a ballpark estimate of how far it’s safe, in terms of temperature, to drive without a belt. Steering is a different matter of course, and also a safety issue.
I had a belt come off a few months ago (Dodge 3.3L) while on a freeway, and after less than a mile, my temp gauge was near the top. I didn’t know at first that the belt had come off, but the power steering stopped abruptly. I thought about temperature a minute or two later, about the time I was able to get parked. Granted that my engine was already at operating temperature when the belt came off, and the Lumina in question was probably cold based on the description given. I made it to a parking lot and got a free AAA tow (it was raining buckets at the time, and my tools were all at home anyway).
I thought that this would be useful info for anyone who encounters a broken or dismounted belt, to help decide about trying to limp home or to a shop, or to a safer location to wait for a tow.