Changing Engine Belts for 530? [Archive] - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

: Changing Engine Belts for 530?

10-25-2004, 04:04 PM
Anybody got a DIY for changing engine belts for a 530? Also, how long does it take and do you need any specialized tools? I found a DIY for a '98 528, but I am wondering whether there are any differences between that and a '01 530. I've got 55k miles on the car and am supposed to take to DE in two weeks. One of the belts has a slight indication of wear. BMW mechanic had wanted to change it. My independent mechanic said it would be fine for now. Should I just continue to use to eek out extra mileage on the belts and change at the track if it breaks? Or should I change it now? Recommendations and advice appreciated as always.

10-25-2004, 07:48 PM

My 99 528iA has about 55k miles on it and second set of belts that had been put on at 25k were ready for replacement so I ordered replacements. But when I got the old ones off and checked the tensioner rollers and the deflection roller, I found all three of them to be very dry and slightly noisy as well. So my advice is that if you have over 50k on the original rollers, replace them along with the belts. So you don't have to go through the process twice like I did.


Curiosity got the better of me on the old ones so I peeled the grease seals off of all three. DRY, DRY, AND DRY! But not bad! If I would have known in advance how easy the seals are to remove IF YOU ARE CAREFUL, I would have done so, cleaned the old grease out,and re-lubed them. Next time.

Remove and replace notes.

1. It IS possible to replace all the above WITHOUT removing the fan, or shroud, or airbox. BUT you better NOT have "Arnold's" arms. I don't and my right arm STILL looks like an angry cat attacked me.
2. Most of it HAS to be done from the bottom side. With the right combination of sockets, extensions, and wrenches, it can be done. And you DON'T need a Torx bit to do it. You only need two sizes. 13 and 16 mm OR 1/2 and 5/8 inch. There is a 16 mm boss on the tensioners that is meant to be used to release the tension.
3. Both of the tensioners have two bosses that line up when they are rotated to the released position (against spring tension). Slide a short steel rod through the holes in them and you can lock it there.
4. Make sure you either have a picture of the main belt routing or make a sketch BEFORE you take it off! They don't call them "serpentine" belts for nothing!

Like I said, FWIW

10-26-2004, 12:36 AM
McCandless, thanks for finding the recent post. I had actually never seen that forum before. Much appreciated.