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Old 02-11-2017, 06:08 PM   #1
Pro325ie46
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Help identify horrifying sound

First start of the day today and it was making this horrifying sound. I took video of it. It went away as the car got to normal temp. Alternator? Pulleys? Belts? The belts are about 8 months old.

Last edited by Pro325ie46; 02-12-2017 at 01:20 AM.
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Old 02-11-2017, 06:12 PM   #2
tommy d
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Hard to say without the video.
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Old 02-11-2017, 11:52 PM   #3
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Add a link to the video.
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Old 02-12-2017, 01:21 AM   #4
Pro325ie46
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Damn video wouldnt upload at first. But its up now. My fault
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Old 02-12-2017, 02:11 AM   #5
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With this order: try some baby powder on the belt, then check pulleys, then check water pump. Most probably one or both tensioner pulleys are gone
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Old 02-12-2017, 02:19 AM   #6
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Sounds like a bad tensioner pulley. Get a mechanics stethoscope to see which part is squeaking.
http://t.harborfreight.com/mechanics...ope-69913.html
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Old 02-12-2017, 09:11 AM   #7
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It's a tensioner or pulley. Take the belts off and spin them by hand to see which one is bad, or just replace all both pulleys and the tensioner since you're already there. If you want, you could also do the fan clutch and fan if the miles are high and they haven't been replaced.
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Old 02-12-2017, 09:23 AM   #8
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It's a pulley--that much is obvious.

Remove the belt to isolate. Replace any pulley that doesn't give a tiny bit of smooth resistance or feels gritty when moving. If they're original, replace all of them.
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Old 02-12-2017, 11:31 AM   #9
Pro325ie46
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Much appreciated. I just wanted to be sure about this. New pulleys/tensioners on the way.
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Old 02-12-2017, 11:41 AM   #10
lingon300k
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Originally Posted by Pro325ie46 View Post
Much appreciated. I just wanted to be sure about this. New pulleys/tensioners on the way.
I could be your alternator pulley.

I replaced all the pulleys and have a noise sometimes, when it's very cold out, coming from the alternator pulley. I'm also getting odd voltage readings here and there, so I'm replacing the whole alternator when Spring gets here.
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Old 02-12-2017, 11:46 AM   #11
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Just to clarify, the alternator pulley doesn't have bearings in it, there's two bearings in the alternator itself.
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Old 02-12-2017, 11:51 AM   #12
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Just to clarify, the alternator pulley doesn't have bearings in it, there's two bearings in the alternator itself.
That's good to know. I almost ordered the pulley a few weeks ago. I'm glad I didn't. (And now that I think about it, I don't know why I ever thought an alternator pulley would have its own bearings in the first place.)

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Old 02-12-2017, 11:55 AM   #13
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Autozone/ Advanced Auto Parts sell the pulleys for something like 10 dollars. The tensioner, fan, and fan clutch I ordered online. Also, double check if you have the mechanical or hydrolic tensioner. It depends on the year. Maybe time to do the water pump also if it's been a while.

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Old 02-12-2017, 02:19 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by GabeB View Post
Autozone/ Advanced Auto Parts sell the pulleys for something like 10 dollars. The tensioner, fan, and fan clutch I ordered online. Also, double check if you have the mechanical or hydrolic tensioner. It depends on the year. Maybe time to do the water pump also if it's been a while.


Good tips. I +1 on that water pump I have heard that sound before but really it could be any part on the belt line



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Old 02-12-2017, 10:34 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by GabeB View Post
Autozone/ Advanced Auto Parts sell the pulleys for something like 10 dollars. The tensioner, fan, and fan clutch I ordered online. Also, double check if you have the mechanical or hydrolic tensioner. It depends on the year. Maybe time to do the water pump also if it's been a while.
Sweet. I was going to order the pulleys online but i'll check autozone. Is there a particular brand? I did the electric fan mod so no worries about a fan, clutch or shroud anymore. My cars an 04 XI so im not sure about what breed tensioner it has. Water pump is only 6 months old.
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Old 02-13-2017, 08:35 AM   #16
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Check what your tensioner looks like here. Most likely it's mechanical. Autozone has Duralast. I know it's not BMW but I don't think it's possible to mess up a pulley.
https://www.eeuroparts.com/Cars/BMW/...arch=tensioner

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Old 02-13-2017, 09:56 AM   #17
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Unplug the power connector to the SAP pump and see if the problem goes away.

The SAP pump will raise hell to the point you can hear it 2-3 houses away and can actually cause vibrations in the car if the bearing/bushings are bad.

The SAP pump runs only when the engine is below 104F/40C and will run 90 seconds or less on typically on the first cold start of the day unless you have freezing or sub freezing temperatures and the engine will cool off below 104F/40C from the time you drive the car in the morning until you start it again in the evening if you commute to work and leave the car off for 8+ hours.
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Old 02-13-2017, 12:33 PM   #18
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I had that same sound when I first got the car. I replaced all pulleys and both belts. This included the tensioner pulley. Sound gone car runs great. Also make sure all of your dust caps on all pulleys are present. One of mine was missing. I ordered from Fcp as their warranty is lifetime. The belts I ordered are Continental. Before I replace the belts I started looking into it and realized I did not have the fan clutch tool. I ordered that on Amazon. I think it cost something like 20 bucks shipped, I have Amazon prime which makes the shipping free.The job is not hard and doesn't take that long. As a matter fact the hardest part of the whole job was getting the fan clutch to spin back on I have an automatic. One other note, my car had mechanical tensioners on it. They are still mechanical I did not use the hydraulics. Although looking back on it I probably should of.

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Old 02-13-2017, 12:42 PM   #19
Pro325ie46
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It only happend that one time a couple days ago. Im still going to change everything out though. I take that sound as a sign of bad things to come...a little warning and what not. Im sure all the pulleys are the factory ones.
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Old 02-13-2017, 12:47 PM   #20
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No that sound really isn't a bad sign of things to come. It's just your car's way of telling you hey, I need attention. When you take your belt off just spin your pulleys by hand, and check your alternator. They won't make that kind of sound as they're not spinning very fast when you spin them by hand, but you will be able to feel the bearing play and it won't feel very fluid.

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