My Cobalt has been sitting, not started for about 2 months. Went to start it today and started to smoke and the belt squealed. I stopped the car and opened the hood and the belt was broken.

Ant idea's as to what might have happened or is it seized?

  • Welcome to the site. Check the alternator to ensure it is free spinning. Commented May 29, 2017 at 0:48
  • Also check that the tensioner pulley has not seized.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented May 29, 2017 at 6:38

2 Answers 2


Likely, one of your pulleys seized. Check all of them, see if you can turn them by hand. You won't be able to turn the crankshaft by hand, but all the other ones, you can and should.


Two months isn't enough time for the tensioners to seize without significant environmental issues. I've left my Solstice (same motor) sitting at the airport for several months before and come back to a dead battery, flat tire, and no seizing.

Assuming this is not a Cobalt SS (turbo), that engine has two belts: one drives the power steering pump, the other drives the alternator and AC. Which one broke?

If it was the power steering belt (RH aka passenger side of the engine), did you notice any fluid under the car? It's possible - though really unlikely - that the PS pump seized.

If it was the other belt, was your air conditioning turned on? If so, the seize will be inside the AC compressor.

What it all comes down to is this:

The crank is moving. This is good, since it means your engine is working.

The belts, driven by the crank, drive the AC compressor, power steering pump and alternator.

If the belt is smoking, it's because of friction on one of the two belt tensioners, or the pulleys for the above-mentioned accessories. One of those five things isn't moving.

Good luck!

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .