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Okay..it's brutally cold outside. It was -3 or so with -30 windchill. I started up the car after work and let it run for about 15 minutes before leaving for home. About 2 miles enroute to home I heard a squealing sound (much like a power steering sound ) as I rounded a corner. Then the battery light and emergency brake lights appeared on the dashboard for about 20 seconds and went off. Then the CEL went on.


CEL is on again this morning. We smell a burning rubber type smell whenever we accelerate from a stop. My husband will try and have the CEL code checked at Advance Auto today but just wondering if this screams anything obvious to anyone?

Forenza 2007
 

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A squealing sound does not suggest power steering to me - if it does to you, you may have a slack drive belt that slips under the load of the power steering, and that could also slip under the load of the alternator, which is likely to be heavily loaded, given that you're probably running with lights, heater, defrost etc.
 

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How serious or urgent would it be that the drive belt be replaced given these symptoms? Budget is tight and I'd like to wait for about 3 weeks before fixing, if I have a choice.
 

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You know, whilst I recognise the significance of budget constraints (who doesn't), I think it's also important to bear in mind the inconvenience and risk involved in being stranded on the side of the road in sub-zero weather, and compare that to the cost of a belt, assuming, of course that it is the belt.

Is your life worth more than $20?
 

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hi. ill have to agree with fordem on this one. if it is a belt and its slipping youll never know when its gonna go. its also probably not charging the battery correctly so maybe the car wont want to start in the cold weather. id also have the rear brakes checked. make sure the squealing isnt coming from there. its possible your parking brakes are stuck on and thats the noise/smell. i wouldnt worry too much about the power steering light coming on. sometimes it acts up in cold weather. so id at least have it looked at and see whats going on. you dont want a broken belt or a brake problem in the winter weather. let us know what you find out
 
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