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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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Old 07-11-2013, 03:18 PM
Grabby544 Grabby544 is offline
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Location: Wichita Falls, TX
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 267
Mein Auto: 2009 X3
Things I learned changing the serpentine belt, spark plugs, and engine oil/ MAF clean

Lessons learned...


1. From now on buy spline sockets (they work on torx, 6 point, 12 point, and square bolt heads.

2. Pulling the electric fan on an X3 is WAY simpler than trying to change the belt with it installed. Next time, pull the freaking fan before I even try to remove the belt!

3. Not all the pulleys may be bad, but at 60K miles my idler pulley needed changed, so I changed the tensioner because why not?

4. Always, always, always, search this forum before starting any job on a BMW!

Engine Oil:

1. Pouring 7 quarts of engine oil in will cause the oil check to read the big 'O' but only sometimes? Except when it is 106 degrees out in the afternoon, then the engine seems happy to have that extra 0.1 quarts so I'm leaving it in.

2. Put the oil drain bolt back in BEFORE you start pouring oil in.

3. Always, always, always, search this forum before starting any job on a BMW!

Spark Plugs:

1. Double check with the manufacturer (NGK in my case( regarding spark plug gap requirements. I had 2 that were not set properly to .044. http://www.ngksparkplugs.com/part_fi...uv/results.asp

Note: Double check whether or not anti-seize is required with your plugs (NGK said NO).

2. Buying the shaved 12 point socket was a waste of money (didn't fit). My 5/8 spark plug socket fit perfectly on both the Original plugs and new ones.

3. Have some uni-wiggles and various extensions on hand... makes life easier.

4. Clean the electrical connectors while disconnecting spark plug pencils.

5. Have enough dielectric grease on hand for each spark plug and pencil... I barely pulled that off with the 2" packet from auto zone.

MAF sensor:

1. Handle with care, do NOT touch the electrodes with skin or they can be damaged.

2. CRF MAF cleaner works amazingly and is sold almost everywhere.

3. Inspect o-ring for damage and reinstall CAREFULLY.

Lastly, Always, always, always, search this forum before starting any job on a BMW!
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Old 07-11-2013, 04:53 PM
PSUEng PSUEng is offline
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Location: SE
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 349
Mein Auto: 2007 X3
So on my 2007, I'm about to do the belt and idler/tensioner pulleys. Can you post a summary of your removal steps of the surrounding parts before you actually take the belt off? I've done belts before, but on this X3, I can't even seem to get the air box intake hose off without feeling like I'm going to destroy it when I take it off the airbox. And the inlet that is screwed on to the radiator needs to come off, but it looks like the engine cover needs to come off before the inlet piece can be removed from the rad support.
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Old 07-11-2013, 05:32 PM
Grabby544 Grabby544 is offline
Account closed at users request
Location: Wichita Falls, TX
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 267
Mein Auto: 2009 X3
I can't speak for 2007 models but here goes what I did:

Since I was cleaning the MAF anyway.

Remove the screws on the front plastic piece above the radiator (2 torx screws?) then there are 4 more torx screws underneath and the intake should be completely loose now.

Then (if you want) remove the engine air filter, and loosen the clamp near the MAF.

Pull up firmly on the lower box where the air filter lies and you should now be able to maneuver the intake assy out of the way.

I used this as a guide: http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=627158

Steps 3-5 should help on this link http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=517819

Once the fan is removed, you should have tons of room. Make sure you have the correct torx bits in the first link, and you can use spline sockets (I just picked some up Sears) to remove the male torx bolts, but the female torx you MUST use torx bits.

Word of advice, get an extra hand if you are replacing the tensioner. I think you have an AC belt, so I cannot help with that.

Last advice, the fan is SUPER easy to pull off. one bolt, one plastic do-hickey plastic screw on the right side and pull it straight up. Only difficulty I had was removing the clamp that held the wire harness on the drivers side of the fan. I had to pry it up with a flat tip screw driver... major PITA to remove.
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Old 07-11-2013, 05:51 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,998
Mein Auto: 2004 X3 2.5i
Some good points there, especially the one that bears repeating about always checking this forum before doing anything.

For the 2004-06 models, my writeup in the DIY compilation sticky points out you don't need to remove the airbox - just unscrew the snorkel and pull it free.

PSUEng: Will be different for your 2007, but I had 8 torx screws if I remember correctly that release the snorkel/inlet in two pieces (or first a trim piece and then the main tube).

Some models have some plastic expanding rivets instead of some screws I think (maybe also a difference between the 2.5i and 3.0i).

But either way, you really have to look for the fasteners because they are black and some are on an edge that is perpendicular to your view.

There are other screws there facing you that hold other parts together, and you have to figure out which are the ones retaining the snorkel/inlet.

As Grabby says, the electric fan comes off easily - one electrical connector, one bolt and one expanding plastic rivet. (Sliding it back properly takes a bit more patience, but still easy.)

Thx. for the tip on spline sockets - didn't even know they existed.

I just replaced my idler/deflection pulley (~ $40 genuine BMW) for the first time at 80K miles as it was quite dry. The main tensioner pulley (~$20) I replaced for the second time - it seems to be under the most stress and starts to make a noise at idle when dry.
You don't want to risk those pulleys seizing up and breaking as I hear it can cause quite a bit of damage to the fan, rad, hoses, etc.
The A/C pulley seems to have an easier life, but I changed it anyway at 80K miles.
Dayco 89133 made by INA.

The only other gotcha I can think of is with the mechanical tensioners - some have a male torx ear (T55 or T60 I think) that you can use for de-tensioning while others have a hex head (you'd think 16mm. but a 5/8" seems to fit snugger).
But you can usually de-tension just by rotating c/w the T50 torx bolt that secures the pulley to the tensioner.
Hydraulic tensioners that BMW migrated to are a different story. Not sure why they moved to them. Mechanical tensioners themselves don't fail that I know of, just the pulley.
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