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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 07-04-2015, 04:04 PM
JPO805 JPO805 is offline
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2000 BMW 540i Belts Broke?

Hello all,

I recently had 2 belts fail and break on the front of my BMW 540i's engine.

Heres the story -
I was driving home and everything in the car stalled. Power steering went and car would no longer accelerate. My tank was at 1/4 full and I assumed the gas sensor broke and I got more gas to put in the vehicle to start it. I put gas in and the car started after a few tries. Car started then one of the belts failed and broke and smoke came from the hood after the belt broke. I limped the car back home and inpsected any other components for further damage. Upon my assesment I found that what I think is the serpentine belt broke and a smaller belt broke. One belt was larger and one belt was smaller. I was able to read what the large belt read and it said MULTIHIP7PK1635. I think the smaller belt read the same thing but it was to hard to read.

I am assuming just both these belts broke and that is all I need to replace. If anyone could please give me there opinions and tips that would be greatly appreciated. The previous owner stated he replaced the radiator, hoses and water pump so I don't think it has to do with that.

If you need any pictures please let me know what and I can supply them

Thanks everyone!
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  #2  
Old 07-04-2015, 04:48 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Verify that all belt-drive accessories, including idlers, rotate freely. One may have frozen, based on your observation.

Were there cracks in the ribbed side of the belts?

Search the Very Best E39 Links (top of home page) for belt routing. It's not obvious.
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Last edited by edjack; 07-04-2015 at 04:51 PM.
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  #3  
Old 07-04-2015, 04:50 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Same story today on the E46 side that the OP may want to read...
> E46 (1999 - 2006) > Serpentine Belt Snapped Twice?
Quote:
Originally Posted by d0uglaz View Post
Whats up everyone. I am new to this forum and need a little bit of help. I just picked up a 1999 328i a few days ago. On the way home from buying it, the serpentine belt snapped as soon as I pulled up to my house. I lost my power steering and power steering fluid was leaking from the car and it overheated. The next day I bought a new belt and changed it. The pulleys all looked good, I did an oil and filter change after that and everything was fine. I drove the car today and the belt snapped once again. Does anyone have any idea what could be causing this?
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  #4  
Old 07-04-2015, 10:34 PM
JPO805 JPO805 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
Verify that all belt-drive accessories, including idlers, rotate freely. One may have frozen, based on your observation.

Were there cracks in the ribbed side of the belts?

Search the Very Best E39 Links (top of home page) for belt routing. It's not obvious.
I'll check the belt-drive accessories all tomorrow and post back here. When I looked at the main serpentine belt it seemed to have cracks in the ribbed side. When I started the car the belt snapped and I smelt it burn. I'm guessing the belt tensioner is messed up and I'll have to replace that pully. When that went I think it damaged the AC compressor belt, so I guess I'll also have to replace that belt. Just to make sure, the Continental or Contitech are the original equipment used in this vehicle? Also is there a quality difference between the two? It seems that the continental one is more expensive then the contitech.

Thanks for the help!
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  #5  
Old 07-05-2015, 07:10 AM
DeckMan DeckMan is offline
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Check the power steering pump as the casting can crack causing a tossed belt/broken belt.
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  #6  
Old 07-05-2015, 07:53 PM
JPO805 JPO805 is offline
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So I lifted the car up and inspected everything from underneath with the belly pan removed. It seems like the main serpentine belt serperated and snapped only on one part of the seperated belt making it seem like both the AC Belt and serpentine belt broke. I ordered new parts today to make the repair including the Main serpentine belt, ac belt, and main belt pulley assembly. The pulleys had a lot of play in them so I decided it would be best to just replace that with the belts. Thanks everyone for the help!
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  #7  
Old 07-05-2015, 08:03 PM
GSXRYDER GSXRYDER is offline
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like another poster recommended that belt did not break due to belt failure something else is wrong...the pulleys are a fx of the device they drive I too broke a PS pump but it could be any device that rides on the belt, the alt, the ps, the water pump...the belt breaking is a symptom of another issue...
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  #8  
Old 07-05-2015, 08:11 PM
JPO805 JPO805 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSXRYDER View Post
like another poster recommended that belt did not break due to belt failure something else is wrong...the pulleys are a fx of the device they drive I too broke a PS pump but it could be any device that rides on the belt, the alt, the ps, the water pump...the belt breaking is a symptom of another issue...
Thanks for your input, I'll double check again tomorrow, and post if I notice anything different. Everything looked fine from what I could see. When I lost power and the belt broke I didn't lose any fluid so that's why I think the belt just broke with time and age.
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  #9  
Old 07-06-2015, 11:26 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPO805 View Post
Thanks for your input, I'll double check again tomorrow, and post if I notice anything different. Everything looked fine from what I could see. When I lost power and the belt broke I didn't lose any fluid so that's why I think the belt just broke with time and age.
Without pictures, all the advice you're getting (yes, from me too) is a waste of everyone's time (because it could be so many things).
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  #10  
Old 07-06-2015, 12:44 PM
JPO805 JPO805 is offline
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I just looked at the car again and didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. I snapped a few pictures for you guys to see. I just ordered a fan clutch tool so I can't remove the fan and fan clutch till I get that. I'll attempt to take better pictures once I take out the fan. The brackets for the power steering pump seem fine, but I can't really check the top bracket till I remove the fan. The power steering pump has no play in it and remains in place when I try to move it.

Heres the photos I took -







Please let me know what you think and if you notice anything out of the ordinary.
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  #11  
Old 07-06-2015, 12:55 PM
GSXRYDER GSXRYDER is offline
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well

for what its worth ...don't look like much else is wrong the one 'ear' on the powersteering pump cannot be made out entirely due to the crud on it...no problem after awhile they all get that way...but clean it off real good then determine...any 'wobble' in the pulleys? The reason I ask is the belts rarely let go all by themselves...typically something went wrong and we're trying to save you a 'redo'...I did it once thought it was just the belt then bingo belt#2...found the ps pump...but yours could be anything...check for wobble in pulleys...but the pics from what I see don't look bad...
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  #12  
Old 07-06-2015, 03:43 PM
JPO805 JPO805 is offline
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So I took out the fan shroud and parts of the cooling system so I have more room to work when I get my belts and new pulley assembly.

What I noticed was that the mechanical fan moves around a lot and wobbles. Is this normal? I attached a video below. Is this normal or does something need to be replaced? Please let me know what you think.

Heres the link - https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6h...ew?usp=sharing
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  #13  
Old 07-06-2015, 03:54 PM
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Wgosma Wgosma is offline
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Need others to comment but that looks like way too much 'wobble/play' to me on this rotating component.
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  #14  
Old 07-06-2015, 04:03 PM
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Wgosma Wgosma is offline
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Either the bolts holding the plastic fan to the clutch assembly are loose, or the water pump bearing is shot. When you get your tools to remove the assembly will be easy to identify the issue.
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Last edited by Wgosma; 07-06-2015 at 04:51 PM.
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  #15  
Old 07-06-2015, 04:29 PM
clark49660 clark49660 is offline
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That fan has way to much movement. Find out what is moving and replace that part. Also check out that fan VERY closely, Those plastic fans are known to have issues. When those belts went they may have come in contact with the fan.
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Last edited by clark49660; 07-06-2015 at 04:35 PM.
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  #16  
Old 07-06-2015, 05:09 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Looking at the pictures, I can't tell how many bolts are in the power steering pump bracket.
- Why are the BMW E39 V8 540i power steering pump brackets breaking and how to check for PS pump bracket cracks (1)

Check out that thread, and let us know if you're missing one.
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  #17  
Old 07-07-2015, 06:20 AM
Silver-E39 Silver-E39 is offline
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+1 to Clark. That Fan has WAY too much movement. It may not seem to touch the belts while stationary, but when the car is running, the wobbling will more than likely cause the plastic fans to flex and bend more, coming very close to the belts. Did you notice any loud noise when it was still operational?
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  #18  
Old 07-11-2015, 08:38 AM
JPO805 JPO805 is offline
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So I just recieved my fan clutch tool today. Got the fan and the pulley out and it seems that I have a bad bearing in my water pump. Guess the previous owner only replaced the radiator and hoses, and not the water pump. Looks like it's time for me to do a cooling system overhaul. Is there a DIY anywhere for this for the M62 engine on the 540i?

Last edited by JPO805; 07-11-2015 at 06:42 PM.
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  #19  
Old 07-11-2015, 09:18 AM
clark49660 clark49660 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPO805 View Post
So I just recieved my fan clutch today. Got the fan and the pulley out and it seems that I have a bad bearing in my water pump. Guess the previous owner only replaced the radiator and hoses, and not the water pump. Looks like it's time for me to do a cooling system overhaul. Is there a DIY anywhere for this for the M62 engine on the 540i?
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=213002
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  #20  
Old 07-11-2015, 03:04 PM
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Wgosma Wgosma is offline
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Install a new thermostat too; you'll be set for a good 75K-100K miles with this work completed.
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  #21  
Old 07-15-2015, 09:23 PM
JPO805 JPO805 is offline
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Got my waterpump yesterday, and succesfully replaced it. Everything is fine now and works great!
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