Main drive belt on 1996 chrysler town &country van

I just had an engine replaced(from a salvage yard) and i was told it had been test driven and everything worked fine. It was snowing when I left and the gas was reading empty so I stopped at the nearest station to fill up.As I pulled up to the pump the power steering quit and then the engine overheat alarm went off.I filled the tank and called the mechanic-he came down and looked under the hood and said the main drive belt had come off the pulleys and this was because I had driven through snow. They got a new belt(which I have to pay for but they will cover the labor(out of the goodness of their hearts).

They said the car can’t be driven through snow or heavy rain or the same thing will happen.I told them I don’t think snow or water was the cause-that it’s just too ridiculous to believe.

I recall seeing a technical service bulletin for this problem, although I have never personally seen it. Apparently, driving through snow can cause the belt to come off of these engines. A Chrysler dealership should have the parts available to prevent it from happening again. I believe it is just a deflector that bolts on to one of the idler pulleys. You may also want to have your belt tensioner checked.

mark9207; Thanks for your reply-the repair shop did order what they called a deflector and I’m waiting for them to install it. I thought of asking them to check the tensioner and will do that tomorrow. I think I’ll have them replace it just to be sure.
Losing power steering on the road could get real serious and I just never heard of it before. Thanks again.

There is a “kit”, by gates I believe that is supposed to fix this recurring serpentine belt issue on the Minivan 6 cylinder engines. Just google it or look in I would change the tensioner too, and make sure all the other pulleys (water pump, PS, etc) are free and healthy.

galant; Thanks for your reply; I will request this from the mechanic tomorrow and hope they don’t give me an argument as I think it reflects on their work. Thanks again.