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Old 10-07-2013, 11:28 AM   #1
Sea Aych
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M20 belt squeal question

Just picked up an '89 325i a few weeks ago, and been baffled over this issue as it's almost impossible to recreate...it just happens randomly. On a cold start on warm days (usually after the car's been in the sun for a little while), sometimes (maybe 20% of the time) there's a seriously loud squeal that lasts maybe half a second when the engine catches and revs up. It immediately goes away and there are no issues/noises after that.
It sounds like a belt (rubber slipping on metal).
Does anyone know what it could be? I'm just baffled because i can't get it to happen again when i try. It seems just to do it randomly during those warmer days. Just wondering if it could be pointing to a more serious issue.
Any help greatly appreciated.
Thanks!

*edit: i'll try tightening all the aux belts this week and report back

Last edited by Sea Aych; 10-07-2013 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:50 PM   #2
Slowered318
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Belts usually don't last long running the water pump, fan, and the alternator. I would head over to BMW and pick up a new Continental belt. This should solve your problem as long as you don't over tighten it.
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Old 10-07-2013, 06:37 PM   #3
Ceeker
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check the tension on the belts and also wear. you can get them from parts source for under 50.00 for all 3. worth changing.
__________________

I think I've had 14 bmw's in 4 years.
2 IX's -sold and parts
2 325i 4 dr - sold
4 318is all white - sold and parts
1 87 325is red - parts
1 89 325i vert grey - parts
1 90 325is white - keepin
1 87 325i vert -red - keepin
latest addition 1 88-325is red - parts
latest addition 1 89-325i vert - white -fixin/sold
latest addition 1 92-318i vert - blue - parts
latest addition 1 87 325is blk - parts.

latest addition as of 2013-Gold 87-325is auto! it's a keeper!
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:15 PM   #4
SubDad
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Do you have air conditioning?
Do you leave the AC switch on when you shut down? The compressor will take a tremendous load on start, but I'd expect it to take a minute or two to load up, not start squealing right away on start.

Belt condition and tension come before fancy trouble-shooting. Good luck!
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:27 PM   #5
Sea Aych
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceeker View Post
check the tension on the belts and also wear. you can get them from parts source for under 50.00 for all 3. worth changing.
Thanks!


Will report back with tightening results first
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:55 AM   #6
Ceeker
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If they are worn and you tighten them...you'll most likely be short of some belts in due time. inspect first...go from there.
__________________

I think I've had 14 bmw's in 4 years.
2 IX's -sold and parts
2 325i 4 dr - sold
4 318is all white - sold and parts
1 87 325is red - parts
1 89 325i vert grey - parts
1 90 325is white - keepin
1 87 325i vert -red - keepin
latest addition 1 88-325is red - parts
latest addition 1 89-325i vert - white -fixin/sold
latest addition 1 92-318i vert - blue - parts
latest addition 1 87 325is blk - parts.

latest addition as of 2013-Gold 87-325is auto! it's a keeper!
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Old 10-08-2013, 12:37 PM   #7
Sea Aych
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceeker View Post
If they are worn and you tighten them...you'll most likely be short of some belts in due time. inspect first...go from there.
Looked quickly last night when i had the time and the belts look okay at first glance but didn't really need to be tightened at all...I guess we'll see in time if it makes a difference. Thanks ppl!

@Ceeker, maybe i'll just pick up a new set anyway
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:00 PM   #8
SubDad
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Not your problem by the sound (Harh!) of it, but I've got a mis-aligned PS pump pulley and it makes the belt squeal on and off as the idle speed varies.
Idle speed varies because vacuum leak, so my car sounds like a small dog barking.
Very embarrassing.
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Old 10-09-2013, 09:14 AM   #9
Sea Aych
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SubDad View Post
Not your problem by the sound (Harh!) of it, but I've got a mis-aligned PS pump pulley and it makes the belt squeal on and off as the idle speed varies.
Idle speed varies because vacuum leak, so my car sounds like a small dog barking.
Very embarrassing.
Kind of a relevant question actually - my PS makes a "soft" grinding noise when i'm on full look during parking etc. Is this normal? Fluid level is fine.
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Old 10-09-2013, 06:28 PM   #10
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Kind of a relevant question actually - my PS makes a "soft" grinding noise when i'm on full look during parking etc. Is this normal? Fluid level is fine.
Yes, it's normal. Try to avoid it as much as possible though.
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Old 10-09-2013, 06:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea Aych View Post
Kind of a relevant question actually - my PS makes a "soft" grinding noise when i'm on full look during parking etc. Is this normal? Fluid level is fine.
full lock side to side is normal. it only means your hydraulic pressure is pushing the steering shaft to one side. just don't keep it there forever. it's characteristic of many cars not even bmw.
__________________

I think I've had 14 bmw's in 4 years.
2 IX's -sold and parts
2 325i 4 dr - sold
4 318is all white - sold and parts
1 87 325is red - parts
1 89 325i vert grey - parts
1 90 325is white - keepin
1 87 325i vert -red - keepin
latest addition 1 88-325is red - parts
latest addition 1 89-325i vert - white -fixin/sold
latest addition 1 92-318i vert - blue - parts
latest addition 1 87 325is blk - parts.

latest addition as of 2013-Gold 87-325is auto! it's a keeper!
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:17 AM   #12
Sea Aych
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Bad news...squeal is back on random cold starts. I'm thinking of dropping the AC anyway too. Guess the next step is that $50 set of new belts?
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:10 PM   #13
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Bad news...squeal is back on random cold starts. I'm thinking of dropping the AC anyway too. Guess the next step is that $50 set of new belts?
Yup, try that. Replace the water pump and camshaft seal while you're at it too, and also make sure that none of the pullies/bearings/pumps squelch when they turn.
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Old 10-16-2013, 04:07 PM   #14
Ceeker
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belts are tired..get new ones...make sure your pulleys are all straight. don't over tighten the alt belt either. sometimes worn bushings will make the alt cockeye'd and wear out your belt prematurely.
__________________

I think I've had 14 bmw's in 4 years.
2 IX's -sold and parts
2 325i 4 dr - sold
4 318is all white - sold and parts
1 87 325is red - parts
1 89 325i vert grey - parts
1 90 325is white - keepin
1 87 325i vert -red - keepin
latest addition 1 88-325is red - parts
latest addition 1 89-325i vert - white -fixin/sold
latest addition 1 92-318i vert - blue - parts
latest addition 1 87 325is blk - parts.

latest addition as of 2013-Gold 87-325is auto! it's a keeper!
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