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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 05-13-2013, 12:23 PM
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Idler pulley help

Ive been having a rough idle after cold starts. I called the BMW dealership closest to me, (BMW of Mt. Laurel) to find a part number and price for the idle pulley assembly, tensioner and the belt. First I called them last week on monday for an unrelated part and they didn't call back until thursday, Mike the parts guy said their answering machine was broke. Unfortunately for me, they called during my work hours so I called back... and no answer. Then, I called twice early today and got the answering machine both times. Finally, around 3pm they returned my call. Mike again and I ask him for the part number for the idler tensioner and assembly, after a 5 minute hold time he returns with the part number: 11-28-7-557-851. Which I soon found out was the part number for JUST the assembly, which does me no good. Sorry for the rant before I get to my question, I just want everyone to know that BMW of Mt. Laurel's parts department is crap. I tried looking for the tensioner, but everytime the name "idler tensioner" "idler pulley tensioner" I get no results. is it called something else? Can someone help me get a part number? Also, does anyone know where is a cheaper place to get OEM parts than through BMW dealerships? thanks!
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  #2  
Old 05-13-2013, 12:40 PM
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Hi Eric, 'Search' for the exploded parts diagrams with the BMW part numbers. Many references to it. Check the Bimmerfest advertisers for good parts at good prices.
Just out of curiosity, how does a rough idle relate to a bad belt tensioner?
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:52 PM
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Idler pulley help

Well I was told by the dealership when I went in for service that was one of the items that needed to be replaced to get rid of my rough idle. My mechanic skills are very minimal so I just go by what I'm told. I could have misheard or was told wrong information. But I'm open to a second opinion on why my car rough idles?


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Old 05-13-2013, 12:59 PM
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It's difficult to diagnose your rough idle based on the info you've posted. My experience is that rough cold starts are not related to belt tension or pulley bearing issues so I would be reluctant to go there.
Generically, the number one cause of rough cold starts is dirty throttle bodies. However, 335's have had issues with intake valve coking, bad injectors and bad coils, although my experience would suggest taking care of the easy stuff first. That means a throttle body cleaning. Google it or go right to YouTube for instructions.
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Old 05-13-2013, 02:25 PM
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Idler pulley help

I will try that this week and see where it gets me, Thank you.


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Old 05-13-2013, 06:41 PM
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contact Jason at www.getbmwparts.com by email or chat. They are super responsive and you can save some serious coin on OE parts. Also regular shipping to NJ is usually overnight.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by eric323hemphill View Post
Well I was told by the dealership when I went in for service that was one of the items that needed to be replaced to get rid of my rough idle.
You need to confirm this with a service rep. If they really recommended an idler pulley to cure a rough idle, then they are either incompetent, crooks, or both.

The idler pulley has absolutely nothing to do with the way the engine idles. It's called an idler pulley because it's neither transmitting nor receiving power. It is a pulley that is essentially idle, serving only to guide and sometimes tension the belt.

You should verify that you have your facts right before you get mad at the dealership. I hope that you have your information wrong, because from what you've told us here, you're being suckered.

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Old 05-13-2013, 08:07 PM
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You need to confirm this with a service rep. If they really recommended an idler pulley to cure a rough idle, then they are either incompetent, crooks, or both.

The idler pulley has absolutely nothing to do with the way the engine idles. It's called an idler pulley because it's neither transmitting nor receiving power. It is a pulley that is essentially idle, serving only to guide and sometimes tension the belt.

You should verify that you have your facts right before you get mad at the dealership. I hope that you have your information wrong, because from what you've told us here, you're being suckered.

Frederic
The OP stated that his "mechanic skills are very minimal" and I'm thinking he misheard the SA. Rather than referring to an idler pulley I'm going to guess that they mentioned an idle control motor or similar.
People who are not familiar with the terminology can hear the strangest things. I'm not ready to think evil of the dealership at this point.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by eric323hemphill View Post
Ive been having a rough idle after cold starts. I called the BMW dealership closest to me, (BMW of Mt. Laurel) to find a part number and price for the idle pulley assembly, tensioner and the belt. First I called them last week on monday for an unrelated part and they didn't call back until thursday, Mike the parts guy said their answering machine was broke. Unfortunately for me, they called during my work hours so I called back... and no answer. Then, I called twice early today and got the answering machine both times. Finally, around 3pm they returned my call. Mike again and I ask him for the part number for the idler tensioner and assembly, after a 5 minute hold time he returns with the part number: 11-28-7-557-851. Which I soon found out was the part number for JUST the assembly, which does me no good. Sorry for the rant before I get to my question, I just want everyone to know that BMW of Mt. Laurel's parts department is crap. I tried looking for the tensioner, but everytime the name "idler tensioner" "idler pulley tensioner" I get no results. is it called something else? Can someone help me get a part number? Also, does anyone know where is a cheaper place to get OEM parts than through BMW dealerships? thanks!

Just fer t'heck of it, what's your mileage?

You know where this is going....
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:56 PM
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.

And...how did they diagnose the issue, exactly?

Tells a tale. You should be seeing a complete code readout, and you should be hearing about all they did to troubleshoot. Write it down or, better, get a printout of everything they've done so far. Post here - should include items like "switched coils to see if problem switched with them." Or plugs. VANOS checkout. Should range from common sense to technical.

Ready to learn a few very very useful things?


Useful Thing #1: Pays handsomely to ask a few educated questions.



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Old 05-13-2013, 11:17 PM
sptt144 sptt144 is offline
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Mine had the cold start idle at 35K (didn't happen until it really got cold here) and dealer ended up replacing all injectors and coils under warranty due to a known issue with the injectors. Didn't touch the idler, which, is just a wheel the belt goes around and spins freely. Your tensioner pulley assembly will usually be a problem before an idler pulley as it is moving and spinning. Let us know how many miles on her.
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:46 AM
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Idler pulley help

Almost at 95k, I think I'm going to have a friend help with the throttle body clean out and ill do the 100k tune up a little early. I will give my SA a call and have him email exactly what he had suggested.


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Old 05-14-2013, 03:51 AM
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Idler pulley help

And my issue with the dealer, wasn't related to their idler pulley suggestion. It was just with the parts department


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Old 05-14-2013, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by eric323hemphill View Post
Almost at 95k, I think I'm going to have a friend help with the throttle body clean out and ill do the 100k tune up a little early. I will give my SA a call and have him email exactly what he had suggested.

Righty-o....when was your last walnut shell blast?
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:56 AM
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Idler pulley help

Unfortunately I can't click the link to see what you're referring to. Stupid app


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Old 05-14-2013, 06:18 AM
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Righty-o....when was your last walnut shell blast?
Cal, if you were a doctor, and I came to you for a stomach ache, in minutes you'd have me on the table for a craniotomy. If you were a juror you'd be jumping up yelling "Guilty!" during opening arguments. If you were an undertaker you'd be showing up at the hospital asking how the patient was feeling today. Get my drift?


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Old 05-14-2013, 09:29 AM
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Unfortunately I can't click the link to see what you're referring to. Stupid app
The N54 (335i) engine is famous for intake valve fouling, as are many direct injection units.

Approx 60k mi, it is prudent to blast off all fouling with coarse ground walnut shells, a well established procedure - BMW has parts obtainable specifically for that.

The link is to an excellent DIY - I'm partial to such things - remember that nobody cares as much for your ride as: You


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Old 05-14-2013, 09:43 AM
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contact Jason at www.getbmwparts.com by email or chat. They are super responsive and you can save some serious coin on OE parts. Also regular shipping to NJ is usually overnight.
I second this, very responsive.
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:31 PM
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Cal, if you were a doctor, and I came to you for a stomach ache, in minutes you'd have me on the table for a craniotomy. If you were a juror you'd be jumping up yelling "Guilty!" during opening arguments. If you were an undertaker you'd be showing up at the hospital asking how the patient was feeling today. Get my drift?

No, sir! I would never engage in craniotomy without a firm recommendation from an accredited phrenologist.

Y'know, we're living in a society here.
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:41 PM
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Based on my past experience with repairing idler pulleys and pulleys in general, they usually emit a screeching noise from bearing failure or let your belt(s) tear apart at the wrong moment from exessive play but do not affect the idle until the belt meltdown happens.

I believe there was an issue with the bottom pulley hitting the sub-frame in these cars and causing some serious damage issues in there a while back but haven't heard anything in recent years.

I'd do your basics first like you plan on and then go from there. We're supposed to replace our plugs at about 45K in these cars and earlier if you have mods.

Next would be fuel injectors (On my old 300E MB, my rough idle stopped when I put new injectors in but of course, it was not a direct injected engine but the basic theory should still apply).

And then coils if you're having a misfire.

Let us know what happens as I'll be there in a year or so!

Last edited by sptt144; 05-14-2013 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by sptt144 View Post
Based on my past experience with repairing idler pulleys and pulleys in general, they usually emit a screeching noise from bearing failure or let your belt(s) tear apart at the wrong moment from exessive play but do not affect the idle until the belt meltdown happens.

I believe there was an issue with the bottom pulley hitting the sub-frame in these cars and causing some serious damage issues in there a while back but haven't heard anything in recent years.

I'd do your basics first like you plan on and then go from there. We're supposed to replace our plugs at about 45K in these cars and earlier if you have mods.

Next would be fuel injectors (On my old 300E MB, my rough idle stopped when I put new injectors in but of course, it was not a direct injected engine but the basic theory should still apply).

And then coils if you're having a misfire.

Let us know what happens as I'll be there in a year or so!
There is a slight engine noise, I wouldn't say it's a screeching sound, more or less the engine as a whole is just louder. From what I've read about the about the throttle bodies clean out it should make my engine a little more quiet which is what I'm looking for. And I'm not having misfires but I bought spark plus Im going to buy injectors as part of the 100K tune up.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:41 AM
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UPDATE: I called BMW and talked to my SA Tom and asked about the tensioner. He said they didnt note that the tensioner was causing the rough idle, they just noted that "it was going bad" So I guess that solves that about the tensioner! This upcoming sunday I should be tackling the throttle bodies to troubleshoot the rough idle.

A quick side note, I had my SA send me over to parts to get a part number for OEM injectors and suprise, suprise! I got the voicemail again... I've called them 5 times in the last week and a half and have gotten the voicemail each time, it cant just be me...
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:10 PM
jburke4689 jburke4689 is offline
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Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
Cal, if you were a doctor, and I came to you for a stomach ache, in minutes you'd have me on the table for a craniotomy. If you were a juror you'd be jumping up yelling "Guilty!" during opening arguments. If you were an undertaker you'd be showing up at the hospital asking how the patient was feeling today. Get my drift?


DSX, I am with Cal. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck........ That being said, it is unusual for carbon buildup to throw codes without something else going on.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:31 PM
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DSX, I am with Cal. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck........ That being said, it is unusual for carbon buildup to throw codes without something else going on.
Cal quacks me up too.
He may well be right, but why not, in the absence of a skilled diagnostician using expensive equipment, go for the very simple and very inexpensive 'fix' first? Throttle body cleaning, which I can assure you the OP needs regardless, may solve the problem. If not, he's out a half hour and a can of throttle body cleaner.
Then it's on to the other guesses.
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:02 PM
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Idler pulley help

JBurke there's no codes.

I didn't realize that the N54 produced so much build up. Thanks Cal! A quick search showed me the process and the desired results, and it sounds like that's what I need to do.


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