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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Santa Clara, CA
Posts: 84
Garage
Squeal - Belt or pulley?

I recently bought a 2005 330xi. Had it inspected, everything checked out fine. A couple of days later it developed an intermittent squeal, which sounded like a bad or loose belt to me. The previous owner gave me his service records and the belts were changed at 40K miles. The car now has 53K miles. The belts look okay from what I can see.

It seems like pulleys should not go out at only 53K miles, but since the belts were recently replaced, I'm not sure. Any thoughts?
Old 02-26-2011, 11:06 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Santa Clara, CA
Posts: 84
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If it helps anyone, I decided to pull it apart and check it out, as I knew I couldn't resist. I first bought new belts and a new idler pulley and tensioner pully. I had suspected it to be the idler pulley, but thought I would replace both, so they would wear together evenly.
As it turns out, the tensioner pulley was shot. Belts were fine. Replaced the pulleys - problem solved.
BTW - my car had the hydraulic style tensioner pulley - something I checked ahead of time before buying the part. Some e46 models came equipped with the mechanical style pulley, so definitely check which one you have before replacing.

If anyone has this problem or has any questions on replacement procedure, let me know.
Old 03-05-2011, 03:35 PM
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Old 03-05-2011, 03:35 PM
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