What started off as a normal winter morning turned out to be pretty messed up (literally):
Went and unplugged block heater (not in Vancouver no more btw), started the engine, idled for 20 seconds and backed out of the driveway. 10 seconds later, loud screech and steering went heavy.
Sh*t, belt broke, must be the cold weather. Drove back to the house, shut the engine off and opened the hood. WHOA! blood, fur, and guts everywhere! Near the bottom of the engine bay was a big fat rat.
So, after 5 minutes of hosing off the engine bay (at 10 below freezing), I took out the serpentine belt, and surprisingly, it was still in perfect condition. The rat simply got caught in the pulley and poped the belt off (and cut himself a big hole on the stomach).
Drove to work like that, with no heater and headlights (didn't want towear down the batt). Our cars are no fun without p/s btw. But man, the design of the engine bay sucks! Took me 1.5 hrs to get the belt back on. Had to take off the front brace and use a zillion extensions and flex joints.
Lesson learned: if using a block heater, check engine bay before starting! The warm bay attracts a lot of little visitors.
btw, pretty sad for the rat. Who knows, maybe he fought with the wife and she kicked him out of the bed for the night... Now she's gonna regrette it