Trouble in the Rain

Need advice. In a heavy rain, my car often exhibits these problems:

– heavy steering (as if the power steering is gone)

– defroster/air conditioner stops working

– water temperature spikes

It’s as though all the pumps and compressors have stopped working. Things return to normal if I pull over if the problem happens when I’m driving or wait a few minutes if I’m just getting started. Obviously, when it happens while I’m driving in a heavy rain, it’s dangerous. My car is a senior citizen with over 224K miles.

It sounds to me like the accessory drive belts (or the serpentine belt if that’s what your vehicle has) are loose and slipping. Rain water acts like a lubricant on the belt (s). When the belt(s) slip the PS pump, AC compressor, etc, do, indeed, stop working.

Do you ever hear a belt squealing upon start-up?

New belts, properly tensioned, may solve this.

If there are any missing splash shields their absence will exacerbate the problem.

Thanks for the advice regarding the belt. No, never heard any belt squealing. I’ll look into the splash shields.