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  #1  
Old 11-22-2006, 12:01 AM
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Squeak noise from drivebelt or pulley

hi:

I have a 2001 X5 3.0, which has 77,000 miles on it. 3 weeks ago, I had the Inspection 2 done at dealer. After few days, I started hearing squeak noise from the drive belt area.

I went to a local mechanic to change the drive belts. The noise didnt stop.

Its so far a low squeak noise, it starts few minutes after I drive the car. It can be heard when the car is stopped at a red light or traffic. Also, I can hear it when the engine is running and the car is parked. If I go more than 5 mph, I dont hear the noise. (so far)

If anyone has experienced similar problem, please let me know what you did. I took it to the mechanic who changed the belts. He claimed that I need to chnage the pulleys. If that kind of service is needed, please let me know how much it may cost.

thanx a lot
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  #2  
Old 11-22-2006, 10:43 AM
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It's the pulleys, the bearings go south and make that noise. That is a very common thing to replace on the M50-M56 motors. I just did my 325i E46 last week as a matter of fact. The new Pulleys have a larger bearing and will not have the same problem. There are 3 to replace, 1 on each tensioner and one idler with a off center mount.
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Old 11-22-2006, 01:10 PM
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TheCleaner knows his stuff, as usual...
the other thing that comes to my eroded
mind is a possible water pump going south.

I had that noise and an R&R water pump
solved most of the noise.

(Interestingly, the Stlr refused to do belts
on that late warranty fix; I offered to pay
and the geniuses said it was "too late" and job
was done; which it wasn't for another hour+...wtf?)

Now, I have a slight grindey squeal upon
cold start only, so my bearings may gonzo,too.
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Old 11-22-2006, 04:39 PM
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Hi:
Thanx a lot for the reply. Is there any way to tell (by hearing the noise) how bad the pulleys are? I am trying to find out if I need to change tomorrow or I can wait a week. Also, if you can tell how much it may cost.
thanx a lot
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Old 11-22-2006, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cleaner
It's the pulleys, the bearings go south and make that noise. That is a very common thing to replace on the M50-M56 motors...
Sir:

On an aside, doesn't the X5 have a serpentine belt? Understand your comments relative to the pulleys but I was curious about the belt. Under 'normal' conditions when does the belt need to be replaced? 70K+ miles?

Thanks!
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Old 11-22-2006, 06:40 PM
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The noise is annoying but nothing to rush out and get fixed. My 325 was making noise for about 4 months before I finally decided to service them. I have done this job a couple dozen times and it’s not hard but you will need some not so common tools for the average toolbox. First is a 36mm open end wrench and the second is a very large Torx (cant remember the size). If you can get the fan clutch off (reverse threaded) your set, plenty of room once the fan and fan shroud are out.

As for the belt it depends on heat and time generally. I live in a cool area and my belts show cracks at around 35k or about 4 years for how much I drive. Belts don’t break like the use to, but they can slip and make noise when the ribs start to wear. So if I was to make a general statement, at 70K you are probably close to the maximum life of the belts and pulleys.
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Old 11-23-2006, 02:19 PM
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Thanx a lot for your prompt feedback. I will probably wait a few more weeks unless the noise gets louder. I just changed the belts and did the Inspection 2, running little short of money.
I greatly appreciate your comment.
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Old 12-12-2006, 11:54 AM
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Hi:
Strangely, the squeak noise has stopped. I checked the belt and they are still running. Is that a bad sign?

(If I take it to a mechanic, how he is going to fix it if there is no noise)

Please let me know.

Thanx and happy holidays.
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Old 12-12-2006, 08:06 PM
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Sometimes the belt does squeak too. As a quick check, I spray a little silicone on the belt as the engine is idling, if its the belt the squeak will be gone instantly, otherwise it's surely the pulleys. Has anyone found a way to rev the engine from under the hood? I miss being able to do that.
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Old 12-12-2006, 08:10 PM
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i have had a similar squeek for the last 3 years,
when it's really cold out, and first start the car, and accelerate it while moving, you hear the squeek. it's not the belts in my case, because i got new belts not long ago and sqeek still there when again like i said only really cold weather first half mile then it's all gone
i don't know what it is, but i haven't fixed it for 3 years now no prob ;p
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