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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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  #1  
Old 05-17-2013, 09:29 AM
Grabby544 Grabby544 is offline
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What are your thoughts on changing the belt tensioner and fuel filter?

I am going to 60k miles on my 2009 X3 and I plan on changing all the fluids (maybe coolant), drive belt, spark plugs, air filter, engine oil and filter, cabin filter.

I don't plan on changing the fuel filter nor was I planning on changing the pulleys, but now I'm having second thoughts.

What are your thoughts on changing the belt tensioner and pulleys?

Should I change them all, or just inspect them while the belt is off, and if all is well, then leave them be?

Feel free to comment with your fuel filter opinion as well.

BTW, I have a strange whirring sound coming from around the belt area. Not sure if its normal. Its NOT the fan, that comes on separate. If i had to guess, I would say its either the water pump, which could be normal, or one of the pulleys.

Any thoughts??

Last edited by Grabby544; 05-17-2013 at 09:37 AM. Reason: Forgot to mention something...
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  #2  
Old 05-17-2013, 05:04 PM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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I can vouch my recommendation for the fuel filter. However, I'm in the minority who's done this and it is an involved proess as it is located inside the petrol tank so that's a PITA to access (I had the indy shop do it).

As for the tensioner, I had mine done under warranty but personally wouldn't bother unless something was wrong with it (clattering idle). Spark plugs can wait. Transfer case and diff fluids are highly recommended. Serpentine belt can also wait unless you notice cracking.
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  #3  
Old 05-17-2013, 05:32 PM
Grabby544 Grabby544 is offline
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Re: What are your thoughts on changing the belt tensioner and fuel filter?

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Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
I can vouch my recommendation for the fuel filter. However, I'm in the minority who's done this and it is an involved proess as it is located inside the petrol tank so that's a PITA to access (I had the indy shop do it).

As for the tensioner, I had mine done under warranty but personally wouldn't bother unless something was wrong with it (clattering idle). Spark plugs can wait. Transfer case and diff fluids are highly recommended. Serpentine belt can also wait unless you notice cracking.
So what drove you to changing the fuel filter?

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  #4  
Old 05-17-2013, 06:18 PM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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Originally Posted by Grabby544 View Post
So what drove you to changing the fuel filter?

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Preventative maintenance for a long vehicle life, and the fact that the fuel in the US tends to be of.........subpar quality. That, and the 10% ethanol.
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  #5  
Old 05-22-2013, 08:42 PM
smaglik smaglik is offline
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Change your fuel filter. I did mine at 79k miles, and noticed an immediate difference in power delivery. Not more, just smoother. I paid my shop to do it.
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  #6  
Old 05-23-2013, 12:20 AM
NYC Jay NYC Jay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smaglik View Post
Change your fuel filter. I did mine at 79k miles, and noticed an immediate difference in power delivery. Not more, just smoother. I paid my shop to do it.
Hey Smaglik. I am thinking of changing that fuel filter at my Indy shop. My vehicle is at 96K miles and I am learning that most of the parts that are failing are original factory installed: battery, VCG, Mass airflow meter, Coolant Reserve tank, Coolant level sensor Spark Plugs. How much was your fuel filter replacement cost, if you don't mind me asking just for my information. Did it improve your MPG? Two years ago I got 14-16 MPG driving in the city only. Now, I am barely getting 12 MPG. I am a cool or take it easy kind of driver while I drive in the city. On highway, I go along with the flow of the traffic. Thanks! Appreciate your feedback.
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  #7  
Old 05-23-2013, 12:46 AM
NYC Jay NYC Jay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grabby544 View Post
I am going to 60k miles on my 2009 X3 and I plan on changing all the fluids (maybe coolant), drive belt, spark plugs, air filter, engine oil and filter, cabin filter.

I don't plan on changing the fuel filter nor was I planning on changing the pulleys, but now I'm having second thoughts.

What are your thoughts on changing the belt tensioner and pulleys?

Should I change them all, or just inspect them while the belt is off, and if all is well, then leave them be?

Feel free to comment with your fuel filter opinion as well.

BTW, I have a strange whirring sound coming from around the belt area. Not sure if its normal. Its NOT the fan, that comes on separate. If i had to guess, I would say its either the water pump, which could be normal, or one of the pulleys.

Any thoughts??
Pulleys has to be replaced after a certain time along with the belts. That whirring sound coming from the belt area are your pulleys that are not as effective as they are supposed to be. My Indy took the drive belt pulley out and blew some pressured air into it and the pulley kept on spinning longer than usual while making that whirring sound that I used to hear from that area. That is not supposed to happen when pulleys are in good working condition. After a few spin the pulley supposed to come to a stop but mine took a while. The AC pulley on my x3 can go a little more but not the belt. So my Indy replaced the other pulley plus both of the belts. Now, if your pulley gives up while your engine is running (God forbid), you will loose the belt as well and that will be a catastrophe you do not want to experience. So my advice is do not mess with these pulleys and belts.
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  #8  
Old 05-23-2013, 09:37 AM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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^ +1

If you try to spin a new tensioner or idler/deflection pulley by hand, it has a smooth but heavy feel and does not really spin freely on its own at all. That's the grease packed inside providing resistance.

That small amount of grease doesn't avoid evaporation forever (about 50K miles in my experience) and then you are down to bearings operating in a dry race.

Whether you get a noticeable noise, and what type of noise (rattle, whirring, scraping, etc.), seems to vary. But I wouldn't ignore any noise at idle.

As already mentioned, the consequences of a pulley that seizes up and breaks in a BMW is reportedly not good at all.

In many other vehicles you may get away with no other damage to fan, rad., thermostat, etc. Not so in a BMW.
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  #9  
Old 05-23-2013, 07:04 PM
Grabby544 Grabby544 is offline
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Copy that. Thanks Gents!
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  #10  
Old 05-24-2013, 08:13 AM
swapsafari swapsafari is offline
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Considering you have N52 engine, you should just have one belt. I just had mine replaced at 110K miles and the Indy said it could have lasted even longer as the original belt was in good shape. I replaced the pulleys as well for the piece of mind. Basically, I took my car to the Indy for a cooling system (radiator, hoses, replacement) but thought its a good idea to get the belts replaced as well. Surprisingly, even the original hoses didn't have any cracks in them.
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  #11  
Old 05-24-2013, 08:15 AM
swapsafari swapsafari is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smaglik View Post
Change your fuel filter. I did mine at 79k miles, and noticed an immediate difference in power delivery. Not more, just smoother. I paid my shop to do it.
How much you guys paid the Indy shop to do it for you?
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  #12  
Old 05-24-2013, 11:03 AM
Grabby544 Grabby544 is offline
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Re: What are your thoughts on changing the belt tensioner and fuel filter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by swapsafari View Post
Considering you have N52 engine, you should just have one belt. I just had mine replaced at 110K miles and the Indy said it could have lasted even longer as the original belt was in good shape. I replaced the pulleys as well for the piece of mind. Basically, I took my car to the Indy for a cooling system (radiator, hoses, replacement) but thought its a good idea to get the belts replaced as well. Surprisingly, even the original hoses didn't have any cracks in them.
Good to know, thanks!

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  #13  
Old 05-26-2013, 04:06 AM
PSUEng PSUEng is offline
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I have a 2007 with almost 71k on it and original belt/pulleys. Visually the belt looks OK--no cracks, but I do get a squeel from some pulley when it's cold out. So I'm planning on doing the belt and the tensioner/idler pulleys together.

I'd wait until 100k on the plugs, but I'm on a 30k mile transfer case fluid change interval and 60k diff interval; I'll also be doing the ATF fluid/filter here soon as well.

As far as the fuel filter goes, I just had it changed on my 2003 M3 with 59,000 miles and the acceleration is MUCH smoother, power comes on stronger--so I'd think the X3 would have a similar improvement if changed--but it's a much more involved job on the X3.
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  #14  
Old 05-26-2013, 07:04 AM
Grabby544 Grabby544 is offline
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Re: What are your thoughts on changing the belt tensioner and fuel filter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PSUEng View Post
I have a 2007 with almost 71k on it and original belt/pulleys. Visually the belt looks OK--no cracks, but I do get a squeel from some pulley when it's cold out. So I'm planning on doing the belt and the tensioner/idler pulleys together.

I'd wait until 100k on the plugs, but I'm on a 30k mile transfer case fluid change interval and 60k diff interval; I'll also be doing the ATF fluid/filter here soon as well.

As far as the fuel filter goes, I just had it changed on my 2003 M3 with 59,000 miles and the acceleration is MUCH smoother, power comes on stronger--so I'd think the X3 would have a similar improvement if changed--but it's a much more involved job on the X3.
Hmm... I always thought changing the fuel filter was a waste, but you guys are convincing me otherwise.

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  #15  
Old 05-26-2013, 07:24 AM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYC Jay View Post
Hey Smaglik. I am thinking of changing that fuel filter at my Indy shop. My vehicle is at 96K miles ...Two years ago I got 14-16 MPG driving in the city only. Now, I am barely getting 12 MPG.
Besides fuel filter, make sure you put in a new air filter and spark plugs. Your mileage should come back to normal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grabby544 View Post
Hmm... I always thought changing the fuel filter was a waste, but you guys are convincing me otherwise.

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It's not a waste, but at 60k, you are kind of early in the game. I'd wait until close to 100k miles and do it along the transmission fluid and spark plugs. (Factory recommended) I'd do the serpentine belt now. But at the end it's your call, hey, you can't hurt anything with preventative maintenance!
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Last edited by X3-terrestrial; 05-26-2013 at 07:25 AM.
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  #16  
Old 05-26-2013, 08:02 AM
Grabby544 Grabby544 is offline
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Re: What are your thoughts on changing the belt tensioner and fuel filter?

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Originally Posted by X3-terrestrial View Post
Besides fuel filter, make sure you put in a new air filter and spark plugs. Your mileage should come back to normal.



It's not a waste, but at 60k, you are kind of early in the game. I'd wait until close to 100k miles and do it along the transmission fluid and spark plugs. (Factory recommended) I'd do the serpentine belt now. But at the end it's your call, hey, you can't hurt anything with preventative maintenance!
Factory recommended? Oh, you mean lifetime? LOL

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