E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > E46 BMW > General E46 Forum

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!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rating: Thread Rating: 5 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old 11-23-2006, 01:11 PM   #1
WeaponR
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Calgary
Posts: 149
My Ride: 2000 328ci, 98 323is
Help me diagnose my belt tensioner - chirping noise coming from Alternator

Hey guys, looking to diagnose my chirping noise on my vehicle. I have a chirping/squealing noise coming from the alternator area. I used a stethoscope right on the alternator and the sound is loudest in that region. I can't place the stethoscope on the moving pulleys or i'd have a better diagnosis.

Anyways, what are the tell-tale signs so I can be 100% sure? I hate buying parts I don't need. I sprayed WD40 on all the pulleys and this didn't change the noise at all.

It's there around 1000rpm and disappears at about 2000rpm +.
WeaponR is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 11-24-2006, 08:27 PM   #2
WeaponR
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Calgary
Posts: 149
My Ride: 2000 328ci, 98 323is
bump, anyone?
WeaponR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2006, 09:37 PM   #3
J.D.
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Toronto
Posts: 330
My Ride: 2002 330Ci Jet Black
I have the same squealing noise at startup, then usually goes away after a few seconds.. I think the tensioner needs replacement.
__________________
J.D. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2006, 09:50 PM   #4
hieule408
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: California
Posts: 175
My Ride: 2002 330ci
Yup, sometimes when removing the oil filter if not carefully can leak oil to the tensioner and try to clean it up w/ either parts wash or any alcohol product can damage the tensioner bearing and it start marking noise.. although i notice w/ wd-40 would get rid of the noise sometimes or spray the car down w/ simple green and spry it w/ water and dry would take care the problem..

Hopefully the noise go away. if not.. further diagnose w/ the earscope to pin point the noise.. and replace it if needed..
__________________


330ci/19" Breyton Magic Racing 2pcs/ Tein spring/E36 rear spring combo/M3 bumper.
hieule408 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2007, 02:06 AM   #5
czycoot1318
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Machesney Park, IL
Posts: 22
My Ride: 2001 BMW 330ci
I have this same chirping issue that happens from 500 rpm up to 1000 then goes away. I have replaced both belts and the noise is still there. I am going to change a pulley, however how do I know if it is the tensioner pulley or the idler pulley that is bad? It is too hard to tell exactly where the noise is coming from, however my best guess would be somewhere near the alternator, which leads me to believe it is the tensioner pulley. The other thing is I see you can either buy the full assembly, or just the pulley. I believe I have the mechanical type, not hydraulic. Should I just buy the pulley since that is probably what is making the noise? Or buy the whole unit and replace it? Any help would be greatly appreciated, as I am going to attempt to do this tomorrow afternoon.
czycoot1318 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2007, 08:52 AM   #6
Vic328CSi
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 861
My Ride: depends on the mood
While you have your car apart, I suggest you replace both the pulleys and belts and tensioner if you have enough wrench experience. Cheap & preventive in comparison to how much it could cost if things fail while your driving. I had my hydraulic tensioner fail and start grinding into things nearby. Ugly mess. Ends up costing me $1600 to fix.
__________________

e46 328Ci 9psi SC
Vic328CSi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2007, 09:20 AM   #7
thesfactor
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Austin, tx
Posts: 205
My Ride: E46 '04 325i
I have the same problem too. I replaced the tensioner pulleys and both belts. The problem is still there. The chirp is there ONLY at cold startups for less than 10 seconds and then goes away. I took it back to the dealership and they said that this was normal for all cars. All cars give you that 10 seconds chirp and then you cannot hear it anymore. I don't know what to do since they already replaced everything - belts and pulleys.
thesfactor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2007, 09:24 AM   #8
T99Blk328i
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: NY
Posts: 761
My Ride: 328i Modded
i had the same problem or similar, replaced the belts, still made noise, it was caused by the pulleys
T99Blk328i is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2007, 09:25 AM   #9
thesfactor
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Austin, tx
Posts: 205
My Ride: E46 '04 325i
Is there a DIY for this? I started my car after a week this morning and the noise was pretty evident.

T99Blk328i - After replacing the pulleys, you don't hear any chirping noise at all? Not even for a minute or less?
thesfactor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2007, 01:17 AM   #10
dstoerm
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Kansas
Posts: 38
My Ride: 2003 330i
I had the same noise on cold startup...

I had the same noise on cold startup - worse when colder, better when warmer, etc. My 2003 330 is/was still under warranty, so I took it to the dealer. They kept the car and tried to replicate the sound - no luck. So my SA said he would like to keep it another day, leave it outside all night (ouch) and sure enough, the next morning is squealed like a pig for them.

So, they replaced: CAP, Deflection Pulleys, Main Drive Belt, and... Alternator.

It seems the pulleys were going bad, and more importantly, the 'alternator bushings were seizing up when cold'.

I know dealers can be &*^%%, but the problem has been fixed. The SA told me that BMW has had problems with both the pulleys and the alternators, and that the noise was most likely coming from the alternator itself, although the problem was caught while it was still only a noise, not a failure. The fact that the pulleys were going bad did not suprise him at all, and may not have even been a contributing factor.

Hope this helps.

-Dave
dstoerm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2008, 07:56 PM   #11
Fabie55
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Springfield/St.Louis, Missouri
Posts: 33
My Ride: Springfield/St.louis
I had the same squeeckin noise at low RPM (500-1000) i didnt take it to a BMW dealership but I took it to my local mechanic that works on my car and he told me it was the alternator belt tensioner, which I'm going to replace with a new belt also. Hope this solves the problem. I was thinking about spraying WD40 or belt dressing and my mechanic advised that that wouldnt sold be problem because the noise is not coming form the belts but the alternator area..We'll see..
__________________
Winter+Premium+Sport Package,19'' Chrome, DVD/NAV/CD/IPOD, TV's in the headrest+Kenwood flip out monitor,K&N Performance Filter, rear camera night vision, 2 12'' Alpine Type R's, Kenwood 1800w Mono Amp, 350w Pioneer pushing back door 2 JBL's, 2 additional pairs of tweeters+all factory speakers connected.5% LIMO Tint.Moon Roof One of the finnest E46 in Missouri period!
Fabie55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2008, 10:43 PM   #12
endy
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Torrance, La Jolla
Posts: 5,779
My Ride: W211 E55 AMG
to the answers
__________________
endy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2008, 02:03 AM   #13
jsonli
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 1,161
My Ride: 04 330ci TiAg
i took it to my dealer for this problem and he could not duplicate it overnight. however i have not heard the sound a single time after that... maybe they sprayed belt dressing on it to shut me up.
jsonli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2008, 07:12 PM   #14
Fabie55
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Springfield/St.Louis, Missouri
Posts: 33
My Ride: Springfield/St.louis
Does the noise continue after u drive off and put the car in gear? My car does the noise when it drops to 1000rpms or lower and it gets louder when i put it in drive or reverse in other words the lower the rpms the louder the noise. I want to try the belt dressing but I'm not 100% sure if that will work..I might try it..If not it will only cost me about $130 to get the tensioner and belt replaced..
__________________
Winter+Premium+Sport Package,19'' Chrome, DVD/NAV/CD/IPOD, TV's in the headrest+Kenwood flip out monitor,K&N Performance Filter, rear camera night vision, 2 12'' Alpine Type R's, Kenwood 1800w Mono Amp, 350w Pioneer pushing back door 2 JBL's, 2 additional pairs of tweeters+all factory speakers connected.5% LIMO Tint.Moon Roof One of the finnest E46 in Missouri period!
Fabie55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2008, 12:21 PM   #15
mkaria
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: London, UK
Posts: 9
My Ride: 330 sport convert
Hi Fabbie55,

Did that noise go away with the belt dressing. I've got exactly the same problem with my 330 convertible and its really bugging me! the oil sensor has also now started playing up (staying on for 10-15 secs at start up) so was going to get both done together so the cars back to normal...
mkaria is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2008, 12:29 PM   #16
330ciandr6
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: .
Posts: 6,606
My Ride: .
Send a message via AIM to 330ciandr6 Send a message via Yahoo to 330ciandr6
i have seen three different things cause a squeek. i've seen the alternator be noisy, i've seen the tensioner squeek, and i've seen the idler be noisy as hell. so all three can go bad and its pretty hard to tell which one unless you have a stethscope which is what i use.
__________________
Have a oil or coolant leak? Click here!:http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...732&highlight=
ABS/DSC/Brake/Airbag light on?? Click here!:http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...648&highlight=
330ciandr6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2008, 12:35 PM   #17
GoingNuts
Just Nuts
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: London
Posts: 7,253
My Ride: 2004 330Ci
You don't need any special tools at all. Just take off the belt and roll each item by hand. After that you will need the tallent to tell if the noise is caused by broken bearing or just dirt. Borken bearings rattle. Dirt doesnt'.
GoingNuts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2008, 03:29 PM   #18
330ciandr6
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: .
Posts: 6,606
My Ride: .
Send a message via AIM to 330ciandr6 Send a message via Yahoo to 330ciandr6
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoingNuts View Post
You don't need any special tools at all. Just take off the belt and roll each item by hand. After that you will need the tallent to tell if the noise is caused by broken bearing or just dirt. Borken bearings rattle. Dirt doesnt'.
the thing about that is some of the pulleys need to be under load to be making the noise. if its the idler you can usually hear it. but sometimes spinning it by hand doesn't help. ask me how i know...numerous times
__________________
Have a oil or coolant leak? Click here!:http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...732&highlight=
ABS/DSC/Brake/Airbag light on?? Click here!:http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...648&highlight=
330ciandr6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2008, 06:36 PM   #19
GTRTurbo
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: California
Posts: 35
My Ride: 328i 300Zx SE-R
I took out the air filter housing yesterday to see if I can tell where the noise is coming from. Once I had taken the whole thing apart, it wouldn't make any noise. I was not very happy. I put the everything back and gave up. Will try again this weekend.

I might follow the advise above maybe I get lucky and findout what is making that noise. It is very annoying at the lights when a BMW squeels like a 90 beatup Honda.
__________________
GTRTurbo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2008, 10:11 PM   #20
RattleMYzhp
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Haverhill, MA
Posts: 188
My Ride: Imola ZHP
hmmmmm check to see that the belt is routed correctly.... as in the belt goes under the alternator tensioner and not over or you'll get a 2-3k squueaaaaaaaaalllllll
RattleMYzhp is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use