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KGB 02-16-2005 03:45 PM

Water pump replacement cost for 1997 540i?
Hello, just curious, how much does it cost to replace the water pump on the 540i '97? It seems to be making strange noises from time to time, must be ball bearing inside or something. The noise comes from the front of the car where the belts are, and sounds like a small model plane propeller kind of sound and creates some vibrations too. It only appears when the engine is idling, revving the engine makes it go away.

It looks like a water pump(not sure) or maybe a pulley with worn-out ball bearings. I stopped the fan during engine idling and the noise still continued, I pulled the fan blades backward and forward and that affected the noise too.

Will go to the mechanic tomorrow morning and will find out what it is.

Quack 02-16-2005 05:59 PM

when does this noise come up? is it there first thing when you start it up or it shows up after the car has warmed up? just wanted to know because I had a funny noise coming from engine & I thought it was the water pump, but after I replaced the water pump the noise was still there, it turned out to be a valved that controls vacuum on the intake manifold, the noise it was producing only came up when the car was warmed up & only at idle, on the highway I hear nothing, the water pump took a couple of hours, around 2-3 hours

KGB 02-16-2005 07:04 PM

Hi Quack. No it's definitely mechanically rotational and is coming from the belt section. The valve would sound different, I guess. It starts after the car warms up, first I noticed it about 2 of weeks ago when waiting in traffic, now it's almost all the time. When it is making noise, you can even feel the vibrations transmitted to the gear shiftknob. When pushing the gas it goes away, stopping and pulling on the fan blades, it goes away too. Thanks for the info about the water pump, if it hasn't been replaced yet and has plastic impelers, I will ask to replace it anyway.

Gosh, only 3 months of having this bimmer and quite a few things that have to be fixed!!! Several years ago I drove a '91 Isuzu Stylus for a couple of years, simple as a brick, and never failed on me! Are bimmers supposed to be like that?

KGB 02-17-2005 02:52 PM

Mechanic just called me and said that all 3 pulleys needed to be replaced. They were making the noise. Plus the AC belt needs replacement. They said that each pulley is $97cnd each, so the whole thing going to be around 500 bucks :( Is this the fair price???? Sounds like a ripoff to me.

Gosh.... only 3 months of driving this car and it drives me nuts already.

Quack 02-17-2005 04:49 PM

what pulleys is he talking about? pulleys won't make noise unless there is a bearing in it, and if it does have bearings in it then yes it will cost a little more, but I can't think of what pulley he is talking about, is it the pulley for the belt tensioner? I replaced those as well it didn't take long,

I just checked the prices of the tensioner & pulleys, the tensioner pulley & bracket is $146 & another pulley I replaced was $68

KGB 02-18-2005 04:19 PM

The mechanic suggested replacement of all 3 pulleys. To my understanding, all of them have ball bearings inside, right? The tensioners should be fine, though, some people replace the factory spring tensioners with hydrolic ones for better performance.

For sure it's not a hard job mechanically and it's less expensive to buy the pulleys on the internet than locally from the dealer. But the car needs to be lifted on the hoist to access the belt section in order to replace the pulleys and the belt. And in some cases removal of the radiator may be needed to unscrew the bolts tightened to the block. Pretty hard for DIY'er without a garage like me *mumble* .

Does anyone share his experience with hydrolic tensioners vs the regular ones? Where can I get those?


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