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Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > Driveline, Engine & DME Tuning

Driveline, Engine & DME Tuning
Talk about driveline improvements, NA tuning and DME tuning your E46 BMW here. This includes diffs, intakes, exhausts, chips, software and OBD tuning.

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Old 03-17-2009, 12:16 PM   #1
bulldogtor
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Pulley/tensioner problem?

I've searched these forums but I can't find a solution to this problem.

It seems like other people with a sound coming from the alternator belt area have it during start up.

For my car, I have no problem when I start it in the mornings. I have problem in the afternoons after work. I can also force the sound to come if it is in neutral and I rev it above 3,500 rpm's.

The sound seems to be coming to the direct left of the alternator. I have not used a stethoscope or screwdriver, but judging by ear, it seems like it is coming from the area.

Not sure if it's the idler pulley or tensioner. Any ideas? Anyone else have this problem?

It's not the belts. I changed them out myself 2 days ago in hopes of getting rid of the sound.

Here's what it sounds like:
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Old 03-17-2009, 01:51 PM   #2
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I'd change both of them
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:04 PM   #3
SM330xi
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Bro I dont know if this helps but when upgraded my pulleys I started to hear that same annoying squeaky noise. All my mechanic did was open up the tensioner, re-grease it, spin it a couple of times and put it back in. I haven't heard the noise since...... Try it out
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Old 04-10-2009, 08:10 AM   #4
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Also check the water pump, alternator, and PS pulleys the next time you take the belts off. If they have lateral play or rumble/grind when you spin them by hand you may have a component about to fail. I'm not quite sure why but my first thought on hearing the video was failing water pump. If everything else seems fine just replace the tensioner and idler pulleys and you should be good to go.
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Old 04-10-2009, 09:07 AM   #5
bulldogtor
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Thanks guys. For some odd reason, the sound has gone away. I still have the tensioner pulley and idler pulley in case the sound comes back.

I might try and re-grease the tensioner first, and then change out the pulleys if the sound doesn't go away.

I thought it might be the water pump as well, but the location of the sound suggests the idler pulley or perhaps even the tensioner pulley. I bought both just in case.
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Old 04-10-2009, 09:47 AM   #6
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Those pulleys should be considered routine maintenance so it's good to replace both anyway.
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Old 05-11-2009, 03:44 PM   #7
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i know you said the pulley has stopped making the noise but mine also stopped and then couple days later i popped a belt. can someone tell me what the pulley is right underneath the idler pulley. is it the belt tensioner? the tensioner i ordered is smooth but the pulley previously had ribs. In my opinion causing the belt to slip and pop. can someone please help me out wanting to get my baby back on the road
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