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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,
My name is Patrick and I'm new to the forums. I have had my 2003 Saab 9-5 Aero since July, and have read the forums alot and I really appreciate all the help. I had a big problem with the Saab last night. The steering went out suddenly, and the battery light and emergency light came on. I pulled to the side of the road, and a belt was shredded and hanging from underneath the car and I mostly pulled it out. I was trying to figure out if it was the timing belt, or the drive belt, I wasn't really sure. I was just curious if anyone had any ideas of what the problem was? and/or how to fix/how much to fix. Thanks so much in advance. :)
Patrick.
 

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The Aero (4-cyl 2.3l) has a timing chain so you don't have to worry about that.

What broke on you is the belt that drives all of the accessories. Alternator, PS Pump, AC, water pump. you can't drive the car with this broken.

Not a huge DIY job. There are three idler pulleys (including the one on the tensioner) that you should replace when you do the belt.

Your 2003 Aero (I have the same car) probably was shipped with the short belt on it, which eliminates the center pulley. If you have the short belt then you only need to replace two pulleys instead of three. If you want to go with the long belt you can install the third/center pulley in your timing cover, the threaded hole is still in the timing cover.

People have reported more vibration on the short belt but I'll say that my car came with the short belt and I converted it (I had already bought all of the parts so went ahead and did it) and didn't notice any difference.

There are tutorials here and elsewhere on how to change it.
 

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Thanks so much that's really helpful! I will look in some different threads on how to fix.
Also, my car was leaking small amounts of fluid a few weeks before this happened. Any idea on if it is all connected?
 

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The cause of this might be your water pump bearing seizing up. The would probably explain the leaking fluid, which is probably coolant from the water pump. Check the water pump to make sure it spins freely. Might be a good idea to replace since you're already in that area.
 

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While the belt is off, do an inspection of the pulleys, checking for physical condition (broken bits), as well as lateral play (worn bearings), and de-greased condition. The pulleys are sealed-bearing, which means that ideally, they should turn smoothly, but should not "coast" significantly. A bearing that coasts like an old-style metal roller-skate wheel has lost its grease and needs replacing (tho' some folks have re-greased them by popping off the seals). New pulleys run around $30-$40 at places like eEuroparts, etc. Lots of good info here at the forums, using the search function.
 
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