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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First of all, I must thank those of you who have helped me as I have repaired my new wife's BMW (the wife is new, not the car ;). You have saved me LOADS of money that I don't have!

I have come to a dead-end (two actually) that I have not been able to find a knock-dead answer for, though I have found many postings that come very close. Back story - the fan failed and took out a few other things with it: radiator, shroud, idler pulley, power steering pulley. Amazingly the belts were both intact (no damage at all) as were the hoses (lower and upper) and the expansion tank. I have replaced the idler and PS pulleys as well as the radiator, fan (put in electric fan to replace engine fan, which is my other question), and shroud. All was good to go until I started the car. There was a squeaking/chirping sound coming from the pulley system. It is difficult to tell where it's coming from, but I'm 93.5% sure (trying to keep things light) that it's coming from the serpentine belt system somewhere. Please let me know if what you hear in the video below makes you think of a specific pulley/pump/alternator problem.

Here's the kicker - when I cold start it, the noise is rather loud (see video), but once it's warmed up, it goes away completely. This would lead me to believe that it's a bigger problem than just some bearings going bad on a pulley, yes/no? Could it be the tensioner pulley? From what I have researched, this seems to be a water pump issue, but I'm hoping I'm wrong since I JUST refilled the system and am tired of working on this.....but that scenario is more desirable than others...I'm just getting tired. :p What can I do to troubleshoot? Is it safe to do a 2 hour (each way) trip since the sound goes away? If you are able to help, it would be much appreciated.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4jw1SONlL4

The second question, which is not nearly as important, is about wiring. When I put the electric fan in, I simply unplugged the aux fan in front of the condenser and plugged it into the new radiator-side electric fan. It has been doing just fine. My question is this - does anyone know how I would go about rewiring it so that both fans were running off of the same thermostat/power input? I'm not a pro on any of this, so if it doesn't make sense, it's because I'm using layman's vocabulary to try to describe it.

Thank you for your help! This is the best online community one could as for!_a_
 

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Rule of pulleys: Replace them all and both belts. Can't tell you how many threads there are on people having replaced a few, but not all, then having the problem persist and have to go through all that work again. Murphy's law.
 

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Was this right after you replaced it, as in right after? Could it have just been the belts were wet from splashed coolant and were slipping a bit til all the coolant dried off?
 

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2016 340i xD 6-spd
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Check your sap pump too...when cold it will run for 1.5 or 2 mins...something like that...but it's exactly the same time each time. Time when your sound goes off and/or use a hose as stethoscope to isolate the sound.

Pulleys are a good guess too. Know what tensioners you have, search "pulley" in thread title, and replace all of them. If one is bad, they all are...as mentioned.

It could be slipping from coolant...and you could spray off with a spritzer bottle of water or remove them and wash...or just replace them for new...which if you haven't done in 2 years, you should. If reusing belts, put them back on in the same direction (and that could also be leading to a weird sound if you didn't.)

HTH
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all so much for your help! I replaced the tensioner (mechanical) and the sound has gone away! Thank you! I am new to Bimmer maintenance and repairs, so thank you for the advice on how to go about replacement and regular maintenance.

Any thoughts on how to re-wire the fans?

Thanks!
 
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