I have a 2006 Mazda3 hatchback, with the 2.3L engine.
Last night driving home the AC belt broke. There was a lot of smoke from the belt melting a little in one spot. I don’t know if the compressor seized (or something like that), causing the belt to start to melt, and then break. Or if the belt broke, jammed in something, and then melted a little, causing the smoke. The melting is just a little bit on one edge of the belt, it doesn’t look like much, for all the smoke and smell it produced. The break in the belt is right in the middle of the couple inch section where the melting/glazing can be seen.
The car seems to be running fine, no check engine light, no codes when I checked the computer. Is it okay to keep driving the car for a couple days, without an AC belt? Or should I take it straight into the shop?
Also, this is the belt that goes from the crankshaft pulley down to just one other pulley below it. (There is a separate belt that goes to the alternator and water pump, higher up on the engine). Am I correct in concluding that this is the belt to the AC compressor?
One other odd thing, if anyone has any thoughts about it. Immediately after the belt broke, I noticed that I could hear a static interference sound through the stereo when the CD player is on, but no music is playing. I use the CD player all the time and am sure that the sound started immediately after the belt broke. Does that make any sense somehow?
Thanks for any thoughts on this.