Alternator belt came off of a 2006 Ford Taurus

An Electrical System light is coming on. Also, the alternator was belt was smoking and came off the pulleys. The car is hard to steer, so I think it might have to do with the power steering.
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
Well, sounds like you might have a pulley that is locked up. Pulleys lock up because of bad bearings. When this happens the belt can start smoking as it is forced over the pulley and eventually break or get knocked off. The belt runs all the accessories like the alternator, power steering, air conditioning, etc. I would seek the help of a qualified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to help determine how to replace or repair your alternator belt.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced mechanics :

What`s happening when the battery/check charging system light comes on? Whenever this light goes on, it means that the vehicle is running solely on battery power. If the problem continues and your charging system fails, the battery won`t be able to recharge and it will soon run down, leaving you with a dead battery.
As we mentioned early, a serpentine belt delivers power to your alternator, power steering pump, and air conditioning compressor. In some cases, it also supplies power to your water pump. It`s a long, winding rubber band of sorts that is attached to your crank pulley.
Inspect your charging cable thoroughly and see if there are any evident signs of damage. Any rips, bends, cuts, or general damage will be a good reason cables malfunction. Also, try to charge another device with it and see if it works. If it does, the issue might be the device.
Another common problem that can cause the charging system to fail is a broken alternator belt or one that is worn so bad it slips badly. If the alternator works properly but the belt doesn`t spin it fast enough, the voltage output can drop and cause the system to act as though the alternator doesn`t work.
In general, it will take about two hours for you to replace an alternator on your own, though this could vary somewhat depending on your knowledge of car mechanics. If you take your car into a shop in order to have the alternator replaced, timing may vary somewhat, and you may have to leave the car for the day.
Alternators are simple machines & can certainly be repaired. You need to ask them exactly what part of that alternator has failed and that part can be replaced. For e.g. the alt may be mechanically sound but the brushes are worn out or the rectifier, regulator may have failed.
What causes serpentine belts to break? Too much wear due to heat and friction will cause a serpentine belt to break over time. That`s why regular inspections are vital to making sure this doesn`t happen.
The belts for power steering to a/c compressor is different from the belt for the alternator. They are different sizes also. Your engine has two serpentine belts.
How long will my car run with a broken serpentine belt? There are a few variables involved in the answer, but it should be able to run between 20 to 90 minutes. If it is a hot summer day, your engine can overheat very quickly without the coolant being pumped through the radiator.
The Ford Taurus “Check Charge System” light comes on if there`s a problem with the charging system and you`re running on limited battery power. Get to a mechanic right away to diagnose and repair the underlying problem.
#1 – Dead Battery

A battery that is drained or can`t hold a proper charge is one of the most widespread problems across all automobiles.

But when someone mentions the “alternator fuse”, they`re generally referring to the primary, high-amperage fuse (or fusible link) between the alternator and the battery. Like any fuse, the primary alternator fuse acts as a circuit protection device.
If your alternator isn`t working as it should, it won`t be able to charge up the battery. This means that the battery power levels will slowly decrease, and the battery will eventually die, leaving your car completely unresponsive.
Your car`s alternator may fail for various reasons: Age and use-related wear is often the reason behind a dying alternator. Engine oil or power steering fluid leaking onto the car alternator can lead to its failure. Prolonged idling while using multiple electrical accessories can prematurely wear the alternator.
Probably, the most common symptom associated with a bad regulator is flickering, dimming, or pulsing lights. To be more specific, you may notice that the vehicle`s: Headlights fluctuate between bright and dim, without you doing anything. High beam isn`t working as expected.
One of the most common problems you`re likely to experience with an alternator is a failure in the bearings. There are needle bearings in the alternator that allow the rotor to freely spin inside the housing, and those bearings can break down over time as a result of exposure to heat and dirt.
The time to replace an alternator depends on whether you do the job yourself or take your vehicle to a mechanic. On average, if you`re replacing an alternator on your own, it can take you around 2-3 hours. If you take your car to a professional auto shop, expect the repair time to be 1-2 hours.
Since the serpentine belt helps provide power to cool the engine, a faulty belt can cause the car engine to overheat as the water pump will not turn. As soon as the engine begins to overheat, have it inspected by a mechanic as it can cause a breakdown and cause engine damage if left overheated.
Without the belt, neither the alternator nor the water pump will be driven. That means that the car battery will run down and the engine will overheat. Once either of those things happen, you`ll have to stop driving and be stuck wherever you ended up.
Your car is difficult to steer – When a drive belt snaps, one of the first things to stop working is the power steering system. This means that turning your steering wheel will require a lot more force and can be very dangerous. Your engine is overheating – When the drive belt snaps, the water pump can stop working.
Typically a damaged belt tensioner will not impact vehicle performance. It would cause the serpentine or drive belt to wear prematurely or to squeak – but not cause the acceleration issue.
While it is technically possible to continue to drive your vehicle even once the power steering unit has completely failed, it is generally not a good idea. Without power steering capabilities, it will become so much harder for you to have control over your vehicle.
The power steering belt, also known as a drive belt, is a belt that connects the power steering pump to the engine. Its main function is to transfer power from the engine to the power steering pump, which then uses that power to assist the driver in turning the steering wheel.
Serpentine Belt Came off But Not Broken

First, check to see if the belt is still intact. If it is, simply put it back on the pulleys and try to start the engine. If the belt is broken, however, you`ll need to replace it. To do this, first turn off the engine and remove any debris from around the area.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

hey i had a belt break while traveling on my 2004 honda pilot. It is the small belt and not the serpentine belt. The mechanic t
ANSWER : Hello. The smaller belt is known as your timing belt, and it works inside the engine to keep mechanical components aligned with each other during the compression cycle. The serpentine belt, which is the big belt, drives the alternator, water pump, AC compressor, and a couple of other components. If the small belt broke it is likely the timing belt. This will cause the car to stall, lights to illuminate, and can even cause serious damage to the engine. Typically replacing a timing belt is a lot more complicated and expensive than replacing a serpentine belt. You may want to receive a second opinion on the car before you go ahead with repairs.

Alternator belt came off of a 2006 Ford Taurus
ANSWER : Well, sounds like you might have a pulley that is locked up. Pulleys lock up because of bad bearings. When this happens the belt can start smoking as it is forced over the pulley and eventually break or get knocked off. The belt runs all the accessories like the alternator, power steering, air conditioning, etc. I would seek the help of a qualified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to help determine how to replace or repair your alternator belt.

Alternator belt or whole new alternator?
ANSWER : Hi There,
If the diagnosis was that the battery is being overcharged, you may have a faulty voltage regulator that could be allowing the alternator to supply too much amperage to the battery resulting in the battery never maintaining a consistent charge as it is designed to. The voltage regulator is a unit that regulates the charging of the battery by the alternator. When the voltage regulator is not working properly, this may result in the alternator allowing too much power to be delivered to the battery resulting in damaging wires and prematurely sometimes destroying the battery. A common sign of this is usually the acid inside the battery boiling causing the battery to swell. You may also smell a bit of smoke due to things potentially getting too hot. In other cases it may result in the alternator not supplying enough power to the battery, resulting in undercharging the battery or not charging it at all. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose your vehicle’s charging system.

Can you change the defected water pump without changing its defected belt (which is the drive belt and only belt in this model of
ANSWER : Hello. Yes you can replace the water pump without replacing the serpentine belt. If the belt is worn, and it breaks while you are driving, you can damage a lot of other components in that area. Typically the price of a serpentine belt is relatively inexpensive. You will have to remove the belt to replace the water pump anyway. Since you are likely going to have to purchase a new pump, we do recommend that you purchase a belt at the same time. You SHOULD replace the belt if it is worn, and this is a perfect time to do it. It is not necessarily required, but you are putting yourself at risk of another break down at a later time. Not to mention if the belt is already worn, manipulating off and back onto the vehicle while changing the water pump can further damage it, and shorten the amount of time its got left. Belts should be replaced before they break, as to the amount of damage they can cause when they do break. Again, you may be able to get away with not replacing the belt right now, but if its as worn as you say, its going to break sooner than later and should be replaced.

Timing belt is tight and yet appears to be slipping several teeth when belt is rotated,
ANSWER : This is okay since there are more notches on the belt than the amount on the sprockets. Once you aligned the first time the belt marks will almost never line up perfectly again. The marks are used to put the belt on correctly. They aren’t used as an indicator after the engine is turned again. You should be okay to start the motor as long as timing marks on pulleys line up. If you run into any issues, have a certified technician, like one from YourMechanic, assist you with the replacement of the timing belt.

Serpentine belt tearing apart by pebble & pieces of it getting inside timing belt, motor destroyed
ANSWER : Hi there. I agree with you – this doesn’t pass the ’smell test’. The only way for debris to enter the engine is through the throttle body. Since the throttle body inlet is protected and covered by an air intake on your Ford Fiesta, I highly doubt that this is the source of your problems.

Belts are cracked and need replacing, okay to leave off a/c belt?
ANSWER : Hello. If the belt driving the A/C compressor only drives the A/C compressor and nothing else, you can remove it with no consequences. The fan shroud is not optional equipment however as it has both a cooling system function and a safety function.

Depending on your climate, you might consider diagnosing the A/C system and repairing it. If you use a service such as YourMechanic, it will often be economical enough to do it, particularly if the fault is limited.

Even if the compressor shaft sealing is leaking (would be likely after 25 years), that is fixable in the field. Feel free to contact YourMechanic if you have additional needs relative to this or the replacement of your power steering, alternator, A/C belts.

Timing Belt Cover replacement and External Belt too.
ANSWER : The parts are touching likely because either the parts were not installed properly or fasteners may be missing or broken. If oil has been leaking, this can cause the seal around the covers to swell as well causing misalignment. Consider hiring an experienced technician like one from YourMechanic who can come out and take a closer inspection of the belt drive to see what is causing the misalignment and offer a more personal diagnosis as well as estimate the proper repairs.