View Full Version : Please Help - Video Posted - E36 Engine Sounds

09-10-2010, 12:49 PM
Hello, recently my 98 BMW 328i has started making a strange sound coming from the engine bay.

The noise lessens as I drive more, but still very noticable.

Please watch the video and leave any feedback. I need to get this fixed before I can continue driving my baby :D.

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Any help is greatly appreciated.


09-10-2010, 01:26 PM
pulley or fan clutch?

or someone swapped some mice for pistons ;)

09-10-2010, 01:33 PM
pulley or fan clutch?

or someone swapped some mice for pistons ;)


Should I continue driving the car? any more ideas?

09-10-2010, 06:52 PM
sounds like it could be an idler pulley. Get them replaced before this happens

09-11-2010, 10:42 AM
yea it really sounds like a pulley is gonna grenade very soon change them up ASAP

09-11-2010, 11:37 AM
if i were to guess i'd agree with what's posted, its a belt/pulley/tensioner.

09-11-2010, 12:18 PM
Ok, thanks for the responses.

I'm taking my car to the mechanic on Monday.

Will replacing either the belt/pulley/tensioner require alot of labour?

As well, should I continue driving?

Thanks again.

09-11-2010, 05:04 PM
no - very easy to do. I had to take the rad out, but generally you don't - even with that it only took a couple hours. You can continue driving, just be careful. If it lets go, you're going to lose you alternator, power steering, and water pump. If that happens, stop ASAP or you will overheat the engine.

i ordered my parts from bimmerspecialist.ca - much cheaper than the dealer. You can get just the pulleys but I opted for getting the tensioner as well to be safe. Let me know if you need more info!

09-11-2010, 07:45 PM
Thanks for the info Shawn, I really appreciate the feedback.

I really hope this is the cause and not something more serious, but the noise does seem to come from where the pulleys/belts are situated. As I mentioned, I'm taking the car in on Monday.

Any ballpark estimates of what it might cost including labour to fix this?

09-12-2010, 12:08 PM
When I checked, the dealer was charging around $75/pulley and around $400 for the hydraulic tensionner, plus a new belt which was about $40 i believe.

I ended up getting the pulleys for abour $30 each and the tensionner for about $100. with the new bolts, shipping, and a belt, i think it cost me just over $200 plus a few hours of my time.

Not sure what your mechanic will charge for labour, but like i said, it only took me a few hours.

09-14-2010, 09:59 AM
So I went to mechanic yesterday, turns out my water pump was on its way out.

Got everything changed including the oil, and now my car drives mint.

Thanks for all the help guys.