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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-19-2013, 03:35 PM
pbohol pbohol is offline
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Mein Auto: 1993 BMW 325i
Thumbs down Happy birthday to me!... help?

Awesome. spent the whole morning since 8 at the dmv in the rain trying to figure out why my steering was stuck, and why my car was making a whistling noise. Almost 5 hours later I finally made it back home. The ****tiest 6.5 miles of my life. I felt like I had no control of the car.

I was driving around Oakland, and there was a **** ton of pot holes. that's when I felt like something happened.

So I thought it might be my power steering, so I bought some fluid and tried to flush it and maybe put some new fluid in cause it's been a while. That apparently was not the problem.

I realized there was more wrong with the car than I thought.
On that 6.5 miles home, my engine was getting really hot, which I noticed when I tried to turn on the heater which gave out no heat.

So I drove like 20mph all the way home.

After I parked my car in the garage, the whistling sound was a lot louder than before and the fan wasn't working.


I have no idea what to look for in specific problems, or specific solutions. I don't even know if there's more than one thing wrong with my car.

1993 325i bmw

The only thing I want for my birthday is a solution. So if you could point me in the right direction, that would be amazing!

Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 02-19-2013, 04:14 PM
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cj.surr cj.surr is offline
some kid
Location: Ithaca, NY
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Mein Auto: whiny 318
Is your accessory belt still there? If it broke off, then you wouldn't have power steering, the fan wouldn't be spinning, and the car would overheat since the water pump isn't spinning. Also, if the belt is loose, it could make the whistling sound you are referring to.

Also, what do you mean by your steering was "stuck"?? Was it just hard to move, or completely stuck?
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Last edited by cj.surr; 02-19-2013 at 04:15 PM.
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  #3  
Old 02-19-2013, 04:18 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 328is
+1 for belt, and I'd be surprised if this car wasn't damaged the point of being virtually totaled.

Rule 1 to car ownership: If the engine overheats, DO NOT DRIVE IT. Call a tow truck unless you can figure out a way to prevent it from overheating again.
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Last edited by ZeGerman; 02-19-2013 at 04:19 PM.
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  #4  
Old 02-19-2013, 04:21 PM
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B1MM3R B1MM3R is offline
Jesse Moon Bayne
Location: Roanoke, VA
 
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Your belt is most likely broke When you said car was getting hot, how hot? In the red?
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  #5  
Old 03-05-2013, 09:16 PM
pbohol pbohol is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B1MM3R View Post
Your belt is most likely broke When you said car was getting hot, how hot? In the red?
I never let it get to the red, I just slowed down til it went back to normal til I got home. Luckily it was only 5 miles away!




Update: I replaced the A/C belt, and got a new serpentine belt. I also bought a new new fan, and an air duct (since the one that was originally on there was deteriorating), replaced the coolant (I emptied it before working on the car), and that's pretty much it.

Before I worked on the car, when I would just turn it on, there would be a whistling sound, and i couldnt turn the steering wheel for the life of me. And the car was overheating, and the radiator cooling fan wasn't working either.

After installing all the new parts, theres no more idle whistling, the fans work just fine, and the steering wheel is like normal.

But now whenever I press the gas, there's a whistling sound? I didn't drive it out of my apartments for fear that it might get damaged more. I googled what could possibly be the problem, and most links i clicked said there might be a hole where air flows? And then there was this one article that said if it's more of a squeel (which i think it might be), the belt might be loose? I tried to find how to tighten the belt, and I had no luck in actually tightening anything. Everything seems fine to me for the belts (not that I'm an expert), and I used the 90 degree twist rule.

Any idea's what could be causing the whistling?
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  #6  
Old 03-05-2013, 09:31 PM
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cj.surr cj.surr is offline
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Location: Ithaca, NY
 
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If your belt is loose, then the only way to fix that is by getting a new hydraulic belt tensioner. Post a video of the sound. There is a big difference between a whistle and a squeal.
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  #7  
Old 03-09-2013, 01:10 AM
yeswecan yeswecan is offline
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Well, just check the fan first, stop your engine and move your fan to see if there is any damage on it. Then, if the fan looks good but not running at all, you most likely need to change the fan clutch, I used to have the same problem, a good fan but at a really low speed, after i change the fan clutch the speed is amazingly fast and the fan works really hard. blow fast air.
after years the fan clutch will gone bad, check that first
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  #8  
Old 03-09-2013, 01:15 AM
yeswecan yeswecan is offline
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Well, for the steering problem, in general, i think there are two possible problems, first, check the control arms, bushing and ball joint, make sure there is no problem because those parts are more likely gone bad on e36.
If there is no power steering, you should't have any control problem, you just need to turn the steering after you make a turn, just feel heaver. But if the steering is stuck, then it more likely to be control arms problem. But it hard to say, you better find a local shop and left the car up to see
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  #9  
Old 03-14-2013, 10:42 PM
pbohol pbohol is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cj.surr View Post
If your belt is loose, then the only way to fix that is by getting a new hydraulic belt tensioner. Post a video of the sound. There is a big difference between a whistle and a squeal.
I actually bought a new belt tensioner, but i couldn't actually install it >.>

Quote:
Originally Posted by yeswecan View Post
Well, just check the fan first, stop your engine and move your fan to see if there is any damage on it. Then, if the fan looks good but not running at all, you most likely need to change the fan clutch, I used to have the same problem, a good fan but at a really low speed, after i change the fan clutch the speed is amazingly fast and the fan works really hard. blow fast air.
after years the fan clutch will gone bad, check that first
Replaced the fan, and it worked properly after i changed the belts.


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this is the new tensioner i bought to replace the old one. The old one looks like the plastic part to the tensioner broke off or something, but I don't even know what the OEM tensioner looks like.

The problem i have with this new tensioner is, there is literally less than a centimeter between the tensioner and idler pulley. With the old one, there's no problem with space. But the new one, the tensioner and idler pulley become useless since I can't even wrap anything around either of them. So I tried to put the belt on without the idler pulley, but there was too much slack.

So I just put on the older tensioner, but replaced the pulleys. More than likely replacing the pulleys isn't going to fix my whistling/screeching problem when I rev the engine. But I won't be able to check til tomorrow since my battery died

Could someone tell me if the old tensioner is supposed to look like that? And if it's not, why doesn't the new one fit?

Sigh.
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  #10  
Old 03-15-2013, 06:31 AM
bloody_323ic bloody_323ic is offline
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He KILL it. RIP

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  #11  
Old 03-15-2013, 11:42 AM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Mein Auto: 1995 318is / 1993 325is
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbohol View Post

Could someone tell me if the old tensioner is supposed to look like that? And if it's not, why doesn't the new one fit?
Your old tensioner is missing the entire outer part of the wheel. There's nothing left of the wheel but the bearing. No wonder it squeals. It's supposed to look like your new one.

You do know that hex head cast on the face of the tensioner is for moving the tensioner arm and wheel to load the belt, right? You assemble the tensioner and turn the tensioner arm by using a wrench on the hex OR use a Torx bit in the center bolt on the wheel. Turn it back far enough to put the belt on, then release it. Yes, it's a tight fit, but it WILL fit.
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Last edited by hornhospital; 03-15-2013 at 11:49 AM.
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  #12  
Old 03-15-2013, 03:57 PM
pbohol pbohol is offline
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Location: California
 
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Mein Auto: 1993 BMW 325i
Quote:
Originally Posted by hornhospital View Post
Your old tensioner is missing the entire outer part of the wheel. There's nothing left of the wheel but the bearing. No wonder it squeals. It's supposed to look like your new one.

You do know that hex head cast on the face of the tensioner is for moving the tensioner arm and wheel to load the belt, right? You assemble the tensioner and turn the tensioner arm by using a wrench on the hex OR use a Torx bit in the center bolt on the wheel. Turn it back far enough to put the belt on, then release it. Yes, it's a tight fit, but it WILL fit.
lol, I know I can de-tension it, but what I'm saying is, with the new tensioner, there's literally no room for the belt to operate correctly if I did put the belt on with the new tensioner.

I drew an ugly picture to try to show you what I'm trying to say.



So in the first "drawing", that's what it looks like with the old tensioner, there's room for the belt to go all the way around nd function properly.

But in #2, with the NEW tensioner, there's that much room between the tensioner and the idler pulley. Meaning if I put the belt on, the belt would rub itself if I started the car.

Is there something I'm missing?
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  #13  
Old 03-15-2013, 04:14 PM
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B1MM3R B1MM3R is offline
Jesse Moon Bayne
Location: Roanoke, VA
 
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Mein Auto: e30, e36, e70
The tensioner should slide to allow proper adjustment.
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