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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 09-19-2013, 07:49 AM
240Z2Z3 240Z2Z3 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2002 Z3 2.5i roadster
Z3 cold start squeal

I have owned my 2002 Z3 2.5i with 35.000 miles for three weeks and love it. When I start it for the first time of the day, a high pitched squeal develops from the engine area in a few seconds. It starts off loud and gradually fades away after 30-60 seconds. It seems to last longer as the air temperature is getting lower. I never hear it again later in the day regardless of how many times it is started. I would certainly imagine it is one of the belts or pullies. I have not yet tried to localize the squeal using a hose to my ear. From the service records of the original owner, I do not see that the belts (or hoses for that matter) were ever replaced. Any thoughts on this. Is it recommended to replace both belts and hoses after eleven years regardless of how good they look? I'm planning to have the coolant and brake fluid changed before the winter anyway.

Shelly
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  #2  
Old 09-19-2013, 09:32 AM
dkindig dkindig is offline
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Mein Auto: '01 Z3 3.0i Roadster
Try spraying some water on the belts with a squirt bottle after you just start it up. If it quiets down, there's a belt issue. If it doesn't, it's probably a tensioner pulley.

Tensioner pulley problems are not that uncommon. When I bought my car at 47K miles it had a slight squeal from a pulley.
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  #3  
Old 09-19-2013, 09:48 AM
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CarterTG CarterTG is offline
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Mein Auto: 1996 1.9L BMW Z3 roadster
One of the TireRack guys held a seminar (of many since) at the local CCA meeting and mentioned that from the moment rubber was manufactured, it began its aging process. As I recall, the takeaway was that 7-8 years would be a serviceable shelf-life... especially if it's been exposed to the sun (UV rays). Despite the relatively low mileage on your belts, the fact that it's been around for 11 years ought to be reason enough for a change.

I changed mine at the 12-year mark with 68k miles on the odometer. On a difficulty scale with 10 being hardest, the task was an easy 2 or 3. A spring-hinged pulley keeps everything taut. Leveraging a socketed wrench releases the pulley tension so that the belt comes out.

If the squeal persists, it might suggest one of the pulleys in the path is out of alignment and that the warming engine is shifting a metal bracket slightly back into alignment.
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  #4  
Old 09-19-2013, 09:59 AM
ALM168 ALM168 is offline
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Mein Auto: Z3, e46, Ford Explorer
If you determine that it is the belt, do NOT spray with any kind of belt conditioner. These products degrade serpentine belts. Also, you can check for any wiggle in the pulleys of the tensioners and of the water pump once the belt is off which indicates that they are nearly at the end of their useful life.
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  #5  
Old 09-20-2013, 04:26 PM
240Z2Z3 240Z2Z3 is offline
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Thanks for all your suggestions. I'll start by trying the water test this weekend. Then I'll see if I can remove the belts and check the individual pulleys.
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  #6  
Old 09-20-2013, 04:52 PM
The Other Tom The Other Tom is online now
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If its a pulley, get it fixed ASAP. I've seen pulleys fail (lock up) on a trip and its not a pretty sight.
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  #7  
Old 09-21-2013, 02:41 PM
240Z2Z3 240Z2Z3 is offline
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Question changing belts

Well, I tried squirting a little water on the serpentine belt this morning when I got the squeal a few seconds after starting the engine. The noise immediately went away. I am going to make sure that I have adequate access to the two belts, then plan to change them myself. It will give me an opportunity to see if there is any play in the pulleys or water pump.The Bentley service manual I have talks about changing the belts from underneath the car. Anyone know if that's easier than doing it from the top?
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  #8  
Old 09-23-2013, 08:27 AM
ALM168 ALM168 is offline
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I replaced both the AC and main belt from the topside on my 98 2.8L. Did the same on my 2000 323i. It's a quick job. Suggestion: Make a drawing of the belt routing, this will save your butt when installing the new ones.
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  #9  
Old 09-23-2013, 11:53 AM
240Z2Z3 240Z2Z3 is offline
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Changing Belts

I don't see how I can do it from the top unless I remove the fan and fan clutch. The fan shroud doesn't come off unless the fan is removed with it. I just can't get my hands in there with the fan in place. I'll put the car on ramps and see how the access is from below before I buy the belts. I've done this plenty of times on American cars, so I've got a good idea of how to do it.
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  #10  
Old 09-23-2013, 12:50 PM
cmclane28 cmclane28 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 BMW Z3 3.0i
I have a 2001 BMW Z3 3.0i and I replaced both of my belts from the top. In either case, I believe you have to remove the fan first if you are going to remove the main drive belt because the belt goes around it. If you are only replacing the compressor belt you don't need to remove the fan if I remember correctly, and it may be easier to get to from the bottom. There is a great video on YouTube for replacing the belts in a Z3. It is actually quite easy to do if you have the right tools.
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  #11  
Old 09-24-2013, 08:26 AM
yellowjack yellowjack is offline
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Mein Auto: Z3, 2.3 2000, Passat 1.8
Check out autowerks on you tube they gave directions foe what you are asking
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  #12  
Old 09-24-2013, 12:11 PM
ALM168 ALM168 is offline
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Bavauto also has a good video showing how to access and remove the belts.

http://blog.bavauto.com/5569/bmw-ser...ent-diy-video/
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  #13  
Old 09-24-2013, 12:16 PM
cmclane28 cmclane28 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALM168 View Post
Bavauto also has a good video showing how to access and remove the belts.

http://blog.bavauto.com/5569/bmw-ser...ent-diy-video/
That's exactly the one I saw and followed.
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