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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 09-30-2014, 12:44 PM   #1
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Cool engine rattle/squeal at low RPM...belt tensioner?

I have an annoying semi-intermittent squeal/squeek/rattle that is only audible at low RPMs (Idle). It seems to go away at any engine speed above an idle....or at least I can't hear it. I am guessing it is the belt tensioner bearing, but I wanted to get an opinion from you folks first. This car is a 2003 330XI and has about 114K miles on it....and has been WELL maintained. But...this noise is driving me crazy.

Any educated guesses as to what the noise is?

And....it looks like replacing the accessories belt and tensioners is a job a reasonably handy DIYer could do....I recently replaced my valve cover gasket and spark plugs successfully....

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Old 09-30-2014, 01:13 PM   #2
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A friend's car is doing this too and he has no idea why.
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Old 09-30-2014, 03:20 PM   #3
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Fresh tensioner pulleys and idler pulley on my car. I changed them due to a rattling noise and sqeaking and now both are still present... It's really annoying but I have bigger fish to fry, like my trifecta...
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Old 09-30-2014, 03:27 PM   #4
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If you can rev the car while having someone or you look at the tensioner in the engine bay, you can visually see if it is moving or not. Should be an easy piece to replace, and good for comfort of mind that your belt won't slip off at an inopportune time.
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