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F07 Gran Turismo (2010 - Current)
The 5 Series Gran Turismo -- now available in the USA as a 535i, 550i and 550i xDrive model.

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  #1  
Old 11-05-2013, 07:10 PM
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Bemo Bemo is offline
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Loose Alternator Drive Belt Tensioner - 26K Miles!

Has anyone had this problem? Good thing my wife "heard" a ticking sound that she wasn't used to and, as soon as I popped the hood, the problem was staring me in the face. Kinda scary at this mileage.

Our dealer replaced the tensioner asap, just wanted to share and inquire if others have experienced this...

That and a raccoon in a neighboring town had a VERY rough evening few nights ago, due to an illegal road crossing. Now, according to the dealer, we need a whole new transmission shield but that's a different story!

Hope everyone is doing well.

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Last edited by Bemo; 11-05-2013 at 07:12 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-05-2013, 10:52 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is online now
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Did the raccoon occur first? Might have flopped around in there and bent something other than the guard.
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  #3  
Old 11-06-2013, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadnashuanh View Post
Did the raccoon occur first? Might have flopped around in there and bent something other than the guard.
I knew you'd ask and the answer is no. We did have a funny exchange with wifey about this problem, btw.

Wife: the car is ticking, something's not right.
Me: you know your car best, open the hood and let's take a look.
Me: well looks like a loose belt tensioner.
Wifey: what's a tensioner?
Me: it's designed to, well, apply tension on the belt.
Wifey: don't be a smart as*, obviously the name of the part suggests its purpose. Which belt is it?
Me: how the heck should I know, the big one in the front
Both: clearly we are clueless but know enough to be dangerous, let's go to the dealer!

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Old 11-06-2013, 10:45 AM
rogueshot rogueshot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bemo View Post
I knew you'd ask and the answer is no. We did have a funny exchange with wifey about this problem, btw.

Wife: the car is ticking, something's not right.
Me: you know your car best, open the hood and let's take a look.
Me: well looks like a loose belt tensioner.
Wifey: what's a tensioner?
Me: it's designed to, well, apply tension on the belt.
Wifey: don't be a smart as*, obviously the name of the part suggests its purpose. Which belt is it?
Me: how the heck should I know, the big one in the front
Both: clearly we are clueless but know enough to be dangerous, let's go to the dealer!

funny....
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  #5  
Old 11-06-2013, 01:01 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is online now
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Haven't actually looked at mine..is it a spring loaded tensioner, or a simpler pivot with a bolt? On other cars, I've had problems with both types. The spring loaded ones are easier to replace the belt on, as they automatically set the tension, but they do wear out. On the other type, I've had the bearing go. None of those were on BMW's, though.
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  #6  
Old 11-06-2013, 04:51 PM
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ErnestHouse ErnestHouse is offline
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What model GT did this happen on 535 or 550?
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  #7  
Old 11-07-2013, 09:02 PM
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I will post a picture on Saturday.

BTW, the dealer is claiming that a "new transmission shield" is needed, due to hitting the poor raccoon, for a cost of $250. I'm guessing this is the plastic under body cover but will confirm tomorrow. In the meantime, if anyone happens to know what this "shield" is, please let me know.
www.getbmwparts.com isn't proving very helpful...
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Last edited by Bemo; 11-07-2013 at 09:40 PM.
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  #8  
Old 11-08-2013, 06:47 AM
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I was able to snatch a photo this morning, while getting yelled at, as wifey was in a hurry to get to work.

The part that is potentially troublesome is that the new tensioner still "moves" a little but alot less than the old one that was replaced.
Is there such a thing as a "normal range of motion" for a belt tensioner?
I do have an appt. @ the dealer this morning, for some cosmetic estimates for the 328, and will question the above and keep everyone posted.

Happy Friday and safe motoring!
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Last edited by Bemo; 11-08-2013 at 06:49 AM.
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  #9  
Old 12-14-2013, 07:07 AM
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Final update: according to the dealer, a small range of motion is normal as the alternator drive belt tensioner needs to absorb some of the vibrations created by the engine.
I hope our problem is an anomaly and won't become the norm.
As always, "listen" to your car and if something sounds out of the ordinary, chances are that it is.

With this issue out of the way, we are no focusing on a squeak coming from the front left wheel. Dealer charged us to replace the transmission plastic cover and another plastic shield around the inner fender but the squeak still persists. I hope that raccoon didn't damage some of the suspension components. We are going back to the dealer on the 19th. Wish me luck.
That and a pesky panoramic roof rattle that they couldn't fix during our last visit. Same thing happened a year ago and it was adjusted back then.

Hope I don't get stuck with another F30 loaner. I used to think that the GT's EPS was lifeless until I drove the new 3 series for 5 days. That thing is screwed up on a whole different level!

Happy Weekend!
Bemo
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  #10  
Old 12-14-2013, 12:23 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is online now
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It's my understanding that the x-drive GT does not use EPS...
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  #11  
Old 12-14-2013, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadnashuanh View Post
It's my understanding that the x-drive GT does not use EPS...
Woa, I have been misled. Off to researching this topic. Nonetheless, the steering feels overly boosted, definitely "EPS" like.
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  #12  
Old 01-16-2014, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jadnashuanh View Post
It's my understanding that the x-drive GT does not use EPS...
So i tried asking BMW NA for detailed technical specs. and was told to contact my local dealer for the list of "options." My inquiry was closed and I promptly received the follow-up satisfaction survey.

Was your Question Answered.
No!

What Would You Recommend We Improve?
Train your people to know the difference between options and technical specifications. The list of options was provided to us at the time of purchasing the car. Train your people to know the difference between packages vs. power steering/LSD questions.

If you had the option to hire the customer service rep that answered your inquiry, would you?
Hmm...NO!

So I tried asking the dealer for the above and was told that they do not have this information. I plan on contacting BMW NA again, stay tuned!

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  #13  
Old 01-16-2014, 11:38 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is online now
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FWIW, I just looked in the owner's manual and then under the hood...the owner's manual on mine does not show a second reservoir behind the coolant. That cap says CHF11S, which is hydraulic fluid. I could not really follow where the outlet of that goes.

And, on both the coolant and the power steering (?) on mine, they are low...so, I'm going to stop and check at the dealer tomorrow on that. With sensors everywhere, I soft of expected that there'd be a warning message or light. The steering feels fine and the car doesn't overheat, so, I guess the levels aren't too bad, but not where they should be.

I could find nothing in the Owner's manual on that reservoir itself, or info that says it should be checked.
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  #14  
Old 01-17-2014, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadnashuanh View Post
FWIW, I just looked in the owner's manual and then under the hood...the owner's manual on mine does not show a second reservoir behind the coolant. That cap says CHF11S, which is hydraulic fluid. I could not really follow where the outlet of that goes.

And, on both the coolant and the power steering (?) on mine, they are low...so, I'm going to stop and check at the dealer tomorrow on that. With sensors everywhere, I soft of expected that there'd be a warning message or light. The steering feels fine and the car doesn't overheat, so, I guess the levels aren't too bad, but not where they should be.

I could find nothing in the Owner's manual on that reservoir itself, or info that says it should be checked.
Good luck with that.
The upsetting part is that we were sold an expensive product and the manual, local dealer, and head office do not seem to have a document at the ready, that provides detailed technical specifications. I'm going to contact NA again and will ultimately post whatever we receive...
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  #15  
Old 01-17-2014, 02:47 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is online now
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I stopped at my dealer, and yes, at least on my model year and version, 2011 535GT, it has hydraulic steering, not EPS. While there, they topped the reservoir up for that and the coolant and wipers, which were low.

I talked with the service manager regarding the idrive service menu I mentioned in another thread, and even the description in their service manuals does not really explain what the various entries do. He had used them to verify various sensors were working, but it does not describe the (few) entry menus with anything meaningful other than in a service context.
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  #16  
Old 01-30-2014, 05:10 PM
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Finally heard back from NA:

"The 5 Series Gran Turismo does not have a limited slip differential. Here is some information on the suspension:

Front Suspension: Multi-link double-wishbone system: aluminum upper & lower lateral links 7 (double-pivot lower links), wheel carriers; coil springs, anti-roll bar.

Rear Suspension: 5-link Integral V suspension with aluminum upper & lower links & wheel carriers; self-leveling air springs, anti-roll bar.

The 5 Series GT comes standard with our variable-ratio Servotronic rack-and-pinion steering system. This outstanding design combines a variable steering ratio with variable assist. This enables the driver to maneuver at low speeds and park the vehicle with less cranking of the wheel.

The variable assist feature means the amount of effort required to turn the steering wheel decreases at lower speeds, making it easier to steer the 5 Series GT in low-speed maneuvers, such as parking. At higher speeds the steering effort increases, which gives much better road feel at freeway speeds."

Alas, no "mechanical" LSD though a quick search on BMWUSA's website quickly reveals that the non X-Drive model does have "electronic LSD" but we do in fact have hydraulic steering.

Thought I'd post an update though it's no longer related to the "initial" intent of this particular thread.

Happy Motoring! I gunned ours today in Sport+ and Manual Mode (after the obligatory proper warm-up)!
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  #17  
Old 01-30-2014, 09:08 PM
Rogue2258 Rogue2258 is offline
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The rear V suspension is used to create a lower center of gravity. Is there a reason we would or would not want limited slip? It is a term I have heard most of my life. I am always so pleased with how planted our GT is during hard acceleration......considering the mass and width. I guess I will look to see if M models have limited slip.
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  #18  
Old 01-30-2014, 10:28 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is online now
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If the vehicle has good balance, limited slip may not make much difference especially if it has a good traction control system. A limited slip may be better in some circumstances, especially if the system uses the brakes, since if you need to use the brakes a lot for that stability, they may overheat where a LSD may not.

It really depends on how the vehicle is intended to be used.
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