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Car: 2006 330ci 6spd
Miles: 217k

So I drove my E46 from Indiana to Texas for a road trip.

Indianapolis to Dallas
Dallas to San Antonio
San Antonio to Austin
Austin to Indianapolis

It was an 8-day trip and Texas is an awesome state! Loved San Antonio and Austin. Both of these cities had an amazing vibe.

The car performed flawlessly for most of the trip.

From Dallas to San Antonio on the interstate, I suddenly saw the red battery symbol come up in the dash. Wasn't sure what it could be about as I had a new battery in there.
Right then my ultra gauge threw a high temp warning and my eyes were pulled towards the temp gauge and sure enough that needle had started to move and damn does it move fast! I pulled over ASAP, even before it could reach anywhere close to the red mark.

Investigation on the shoulder revealed that the pulley had snapped off and the pump had stopped working. (Cooling system refresh was carried out for second time during ownership just before the trip so it had new pulleys, belts, and everything else) Looking at it it seemed that the bolt holding the pulley to the pump backed off - just my guess. One bolt was there and the other one had sheared off in the pump. Oh well. Since the other bolt had sheared off as well the pump had to be replaced too.

Called Geico roadside assistance. It was raining. Badly. Called 7 different auto stores. Found the pulley and pump at an O Rileys in Waco. Towed the car there. Changed the pump and pulley & then rebled the system. All the time it was raining like crazy and I was afraid that water might creep in the fan connectors and cause some issues! Thankfully that didn't happen. The repair was successful and the car performed perfectly rest of the trip.

10/10 for Geico Roadside Assistance
10/10 for Ultra Gauge.

Eventful fun trip.
Ultra gauge?
 

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Best M5 Ever Made!
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Never ever seen this happen on any E46 before. This is crazy. The torque needed on the water pump pulley is quite small as well, so I'm guessing that perhaps you torqued 2 of them and just spaced on the other 2, that's the only way this pulley would want to work itself out and self destruct like that, amazed it didn't take out a whole slew of other things in the process, was the belt just snapped due to this? where did that other cracked piece end up?

Glad you car otherwise handled this without a sweat. E46's are meant to be driven, driven hard and long. (that's what she said)
 

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Don't be so sure the pulley didn't just break cause it was brittle. (meaning don't necessarily fault yourself for the install, but it's possible) A piece of the pulley could've snapped due to old age causing it to catch on the belt (or the belt to catch on it) and sheer the remaining bolt due to the other bolts becoming unloaded and the pulley getting sucked out. Lots of force is on the thing.

This is why the wp pulley should be a part of the complete package, and not just the other pulleys. it's plastic.
 

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^^^ been awhile but man I love when you’re wrong. No bolts were sheared here, they were MISSING. This means some of the bolts worked their way out which likely led to imbalance of the pulley and ultimately its destruction. Even if the pulley cracked and exploded that chunk out, it would cut the belt and vibrate the WP like a mother, but unlikely to simply work the bolts out so they go missing.


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Ahh I see one single remaining bolt was sheared. Still, unless the pulley was running compromised for quite some time, I doubt those bolts would just back themselves out.


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This is one of the reasons I bought an UltraGauge. Having the audible warning driving out here in the extreme heat in Las Vegas is a must! Plus you can check and clear engine codes, see smog readiness status etc.

Glad to hear your car is OK.

Hi, excuse my dumbness but what is an ultra ultragauge and where can I get one please? I seem to have found a gremlin in my engine. I was driving to the store everything is fine, suddenly the check engine light flashed and my dash and car went dead. I haven't been able to start my car since. No crank, no click, nothing. Maybe this ultragauge can tell me what went wrong. I'm at a total loss. :( I love my car and refuse to give up on her so anyone with any ideas I will try them all and give feedback. I love this forum you all are amazing people with big hearts!
 

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2001 325ci
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Maybe this ultragauge can tell me what went wrong. I'm at a total loss.
UG can tell or alert u of some issues (and clear some faults), limited capabilities, but it is not really a diagnostic tool. u need something dedicated for that purpose. UG is just a nice to have (like constant monitoring of what is available in the OBD) for some of us.
 

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Oh, I think I know what your talking about now. Thank you for the info. I was thinking about getting it now I will. Once I get this Mf to start again :( wish me luck
 

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Hi, excuse my dumbness but what is an ultra ultragauge and where can I get one please? I seem to have found a gremlin in my engine. I was driving to the store everything is fine, suddenly the check engine light flashed and my dash and car went dead. I haven't been able to start my car since. No crank, no click, nothing. Maybe this ultragauge can tell me what went wrong. I'm at a total loss. :( I love my car and refuse to give up on her so anyone with any ideas I will try them all and give feedback. I love this forum you all are amazing people with big hearts!
No offense to ultragage (don't know that one) but also consider OdbFusion app (an Android app) with the VeePeak adapter. Pretty solid and inexpensive piece of kit that reads/resets ODBC errors and engine diagnostics e.g. fuel trims, etc. To go further you'll need INPA or BMW Scanner. Lots of info available on this forum. GL
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Never ever seen this happen on any E46 before. This is crazy. The torque needed on the water pump pulley is quite small as well, so I'm guessing that perhaps you torqued 2 of them and just spaced on the other 2, that's the only way this pulley would want to work itself out and self destruct like that, amazed it didn't take out a whole slew of other things in the process, was the belt just snapped due to this? where did that other cracked piece end up?

Glad you car otherwise handled this without a sweat. E46's are meant to be driven, driven hard and long. (that's what she said)
I was lucky for sure! Belt was perfectly fine (it was new too) There was no damage to any of the other components. No idea where the remaining portion of the pulley went.

I agree with you. They are awesome GT cars. Have had mine for 5 years and put on 96k miles in those 5 years
 

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2003 M3 6MT Slicktop
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Never ever seen this happen on any E46 before. This is crazy. The torque needed on the water pump pulley is quite small as well, so I'm guessing that perhaps you torqued 2 of them and just spaced on the other 2…
yeah agreed, the (7.4 ft-lb) torque spec to set these is nothing. my thought also were it was overlooked.

OP that is an interesting type of fail. glad you were able to fix yourself without engine damage. nice work
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
yeah agreed, the (7.4 ft-lb) torque spec to set these is nothing. my thought also were it was overlooked.

OP that is an interesting type of fail. glad you were able to fix yourself without engine damage. nice work
Thank you, sir.

4 years of wrenching on this car thanks to the knowledge provided by this group brought me to this point that I could diagnose and fix an issue in an auto-shop's parking.
 

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7.4 ft-lbs or 10Nm is the max rating for those 10mm bolts. I don't think the bolts would back out if torqued to the spec, but they backed out due to not enough torque or overlooked.
 

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Very lucky the carnage didnt take anything else out. I like to put a little bit of blue loctite on the pulley bolts. I replaced water pump and made sure to torque the bolts to spec and a few months later noticed a couple of bolts were starting to back out, pulley wobbled slightly which caught my attention.
 
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