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First, I know very little about cars.

I have a 2003 Santa Fe and it has a knock on the right side. Seems to subside a bit at a moderate speed45 mph. I pull into drive way and smell something burning, like a rubber smell. Small amount of smoke. Not from engine but looks like a belt on right side. Mechanic is about 7 miles from house. Ok to drive to take there to get looked at?

Side note, a/c stopped working 2 months ago but fan works. Small power steering leak that I have seemed to have gotten to at least slow down a bit.

Could the fluid be what's causing the smell?

Thanks.
 

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Entirely possible. I've had A/C compressors lock up and cause the belt to burn off because they won't freewheel like they are supposed to ( clutch locked up as well as the compressor ) Oil on the belt can cause slipping and burning as well. You should be able to get it to a mechanic no problem, just make sure that you look at the belt closely to make sure it's still intact, no loose ribs or breaks in the belt that go completely across it in one spot. you'll have lots of little cracks on the ribs..you are really looking for anything that would be a straight line across the width of the belt.
 

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Great answer Redfury! I totally agree with all posted (and I'm a mechanic by trade) but I want to add little bit more. If it is an A/C compressor, it may help to keep A/C function off if in the case it only seizes when clutch is activated. I have posted 2 pics to give you a better visual of what the issue may be as Redfury explained. First pic is a pic of a random vehicle belt to show you what the belt can look like...either bumpy ribbed as shown or smooth ribbed which is more common. The face (and usually the part that wears or cracks) is where I'm pointing at my nail.... second pic is an example of dry or rotting belt.

Another possible issue may be the tensioner/pulley (spring loaded pulley) which keeps "tension" on the belt -keeps it tight. Either the tensioner starts seizing up keeping belt too tight or the bearings on the pulley dry and wear out making it hot when it spins, which in turns seizing pulley from spinning. Belt then rubs on it like an eraser of a pencil rubbing on paper. Pulley doesn't spin so it acts like the "paper".

I explained it more thoroughly because Bluebarbie posted they knew little about cars. May as well go somewhat prepared before going to shop and may give peace of mind determining for themselves how bad or good the condition of the belt is prior to next drive.
 

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