BimmerFest BMW Forum banner

1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
298 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI,
Wow. In a pickel i am. Can anyone suggest a course of action...here is what happened.

Yesterday, i just left the McDonalds drive through. Suddenly i started hearing a flapping like sound. I shut down the radio and opened the driver windor. The Flapping sound got almost ceased when i coasted, but when i accelerated it got louder and louder. It sounded more and more like something was slapping around under the hood. Then i noticed my battery light was on..*****....flapping sound and the battery light is on...what the heck.

My wife said keep driving get us hope before the car dies...then i noticed the water temp light was in the red zone. i kept driving for about 5 minutes until i got home. I parked the car and opened the hood.

Wow......light steam was coming out from somewhere and i noticed coolant had spilled or splashed all over the top of the engine and underhood. Wow.....i noticed the alternator belt was shredded...in strips....i guess that explains what the sound was....

Apparently the belt was slapping around which explains that the alternator was not charging and thus the batter light. Not sure why the temp light red zoned...not sure how soon the light went to red, but there was no major steam just a slight bit when i opened the hood.

Does anyone know what the prognosis is? Did the belt just snap from age? Hopefully it is just a simple fix in replacing the belt?

Any experts out their have a similar experience and can help with what you think took place and what i need to do as i cannot affort to take the car to a mechanic. Need to repair with help.....please help.

Thank you kind people.

Vic
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,376 Posts
belts issue

HI,
Wow. In a pickel i am. Can anyone suggest a course of action...here is what happened.

Yesterday, i just left the McDonalds drive through. Suddenly i started hearing a flapping like sound. I shut down the radio and opened the driver windor. The Flapping sound got almost ceased when i coasted, but when i accelerated it got louder and louder. It sounded more and more like something was slapping around under the hood. Then i noticed my battery light was on..*****....flapping sound and the battery light is on...what the heck.

My wife said keep driving get us hope before the car dies...then i noticed the water temp light was in the red zone. i kept driving for about 5 minutes until i got home. I parked the car and opened the hood.

Wow......light steam was coming out from somewhere and i noticed coolant had spilled or splashed all over the top of the engine and underhood. Wow.....i noticed the alternator belt was shredded...in strips....i guess that explains what the sound was....

Apparently the belt was slapping around which explains that the alternator was not charging and thus the batter light. Not sure why the temp light red zoned...not sure how soon the light went to red, but there was no major steam just a slight bit when i opened the hood.

Does anyone know what the prognosis is? Did the belt just snap from age? Hopefully it is just a simple fix in replacing the belt?

Any experts out their have a similar experience and can help with what you think took place and what i need to do as i cannot affort to take the car to a mechanic. Need to repair with help.....please help.

Thank you kind people.

Vic
I've had this happen. Could be:
Worn belt
Worn belt tensioner

That serpentine belt 'drives' the alternator & water pump. No pump pumping, no engine coolant ciruclating thus the overheating. No alternator turning, no electrical power.

For the future: WHENEVER you see the temp gauge go 'high', stop the car IMMEDIATELY - there is little margin of error in these engines when it comes to handling excessive heat, this (overheating) can lead to major issues such as warping the head..... head gasket leaks, etc., etc. It can get ugly real quick.

What to do:
You need to inspect the drive belt- what's left of it, the alternator and water pump to make sure they are turning freely, the drive belt tensioners and pulleys to deteremine root cause of the belt failure before you can successfully proceed w/repairs. If you're good on DIY stuff you can do this yourself, if you're iffy about your skills - figure a way to get somebody with a bit more expertise to look the car over in detail. Let's hope you have not done damage to the engine.

Best of luck; hope this points you in the right direction.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
298 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you WGOSA. I appreciate your detailed help. Is there a possibility that there is no damage to the engine since the coolant was not steaming much at all? I know when my radiator hose (top) broke, the car was letting steam out of the hood before i even opened it....yesterday in this case, there was no steam until i opened the hood and it was slight at that....i think more from the coolant that splashed on the hot engine. THus, is it possible that the coolant light went immediately to the red zone before the engine temp went up that high? I think i read in another post that may be the case and thus the engine in the 5 or so minutes did not otherwise reach those critical temps?

Also, what do you think would have caused the coolant to splash all over the underhood and top of engine....could the shredded belt have cause a hose to burst or something else?

I understand from your comments that the alternator and water pump would have stopped working as soon as the belt snapped...which explains the battery light coming on due to the alternator not functioning. The light being in the red zone does concern me, but im hoping you agree that since i drove the car only a few minutes after this happened (trying to get home down the street) and there was not alot of steam at all that perhaps it is a good possibilty i am save and did not cause any additional engine damage?

Thank you for your help and in confirming my thoughts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,376 Posts
Thank you WGOSA. I appreciate your detailed help. Is there a possibility that there is no damage to the engine since the coolant was not steaming much at all? I know when my radiator hose (top) broke, the car was letting steam out of the hood before i even opened it....yesterday in this case, there was no steam until i opened the hood and it was slight at that....i think more from the coolant that splashed on the hot engine. THus, is it possible that the coolant light went immediately to the red zone before the engine temp went up that high? I think i read in another post that may be the case and thus the engine in the 5 or so minutes did not otherwise reach those critical temps?

Also, what do you think would have caused the coolant to splash all over the underhood and top of engine....could the shredded belt have cause a hose to burst or something else?

I understand from your comments that the alternator and water pump would have stopped working as soon as the belt snapped...which explains the battery light coming on due to the alternator not functioning. The light being in the red zone does concern me, but im hoping you agree that since i drove the car only a few minutes after this happened (trying to get home down the street) and there was not alot of steam at all that perhaps it is a good possibilty i am save and did not cause any additional engine damage?

Thank you for your help and in confirming my thoughts.
I don't have a crystal ball, neither does any other BMW owner. I think you'll need to get the belt situation under control (repaired) and be able to run the engine before one can assess if there is any damage done. you can of course visually inspect but I think you need to fire the baby up before you'll know or be able to diagnose; hopefully there is no damage. See what others here have to contribute; this might be worth a phone call to an independant mechanic for their thoughts.

The temp sender is electrical, the dash gauge is electronic - as to the response time, I can't tell you. Future: if you go into the 'RED' zone, even momentarily - turn the engine OFF, like NOW.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
298 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for your help

Thank you for your help so much. I will follow your advise and will remain hopeful that no further damage was done. Any one else that can chime in on like wise experiences or their thoughts?

I will gladly thank you as i am very greatful to all experts and contributors on this forum. Please help educate me as i am a BMW newbie. Oh, i failed to mention my BMW is a 2000 528I with 138K miles. No issue with it until this happened yesterday.

Thank you all in advance.:(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
298 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh man...Wgosma and others...i forgot to add another symthom that took place in addition to the sound.......i made two left turns, with the first into my street and the second into my driveway during the time i heard the flapping sound......

During those turns, i also noticed that my power steering was not working as i really struggled to turn my wheels left. So this also resulted from this experience.

Wgosma......why do you think this may have happened?

Oh man. Please help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,376 Posts
Main serpentine belt drives pwr steering pump, water pump and alternator.....the only other rotating device is the a/c compressor; it's driven by separate belt.


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
298 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wgosa...man you are so helpful. I am now armed in nowing that the belt drives pulleys associated with the alternator, water pump and the power steering.

Is it straight forward in installing this belt? Do you know how much it costs at one of the parts store and what i should ask for ?

If there are some points or something to be rewarded please let me know. I am so grateful.

Victor
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,925 Posts
Search for Cn90's cooling system overhaul. This has a DIY that includes belt replacement. Check your tensioners and pulleys or just replace everything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,376 Posts
belt failure

Is it straight forward in installing this belt? Do you know how much it costs at one of the parts store and what i should ask for ?

Victor[/QUOTE]
Look over the attached pic....it may help you decide if you want to take on this repair. You may want to seek assistance from someone who's done belts on this type of car. And at this juncture it makes sense to really look over all the pulleys, tensioners, etc. as they are 'wear items' and will eventually fail. Now is the time to start thinking about replacing these items.

Good Luck / Bill
 

Attachments

·
Seek to understand,^Value
Joined
·
25,199 Posts
it may help you decide if you want to take on this repair. l
Personally, I feel every person who does a repair should document the steps.

That way, over time, we'd have a DIY for every car.

Me? I have the 525i.

When I replaced all my belts and tensioners, I documented every single bolt, for the 525i ... over here ...
- One users' example of total electrical failure (AAA towed away) alternator repair (1) [Read post #66 & post #107 & especially post #146]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
298 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Fudman...thank you very much for the information. I am so greatful and feel blessed to have so many here that are so passionate with their BMW's to be willing to share their expertise.

Thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
298 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wgosma, once again...thank you. I will follow up on this thread with my findings for all to benefit from this experience to empower us for the next but similar experience that comes our way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
298 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Bluebee, i couldn't agree with you more....thank you sir for your information. I will look at those suggested posts tonight. In the meantime i will post back along with the steps i took. Victor
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,376 Posts
DIY work

Personally, I feel every person who does a repair should document the steps.

That way, over time, we'd have a DIY for every car.

Me? I have the 525i.

]
Documenting one's work is fine but we'd have a fair amount of duplication of effort if everyone here contributed in this regard, I think. Some people are challenged by just following the steps already laid down by others, let alone take on their own detailed documentation efforts. Knowing one's limits is most useful, in BMW's and life in general ;)

Personally I'd prefer if everyone on this site did some of their own 'research' before posting an issue, they would learn more in the process and potentially become more valuable resources for us all. But I know how some people are or can be.... and that thought if just wishful thinking at best.
 

·
Seek to understand,^Value
Joined
·
25,199 Posts
Documenting one's work is fine but we'd have a fair amount of duplication of effort if everyone here contributed in this regard,
While I can't help but agree, we're so far from that "problem" that I hadn't mentioned what it is that "I" do, which is I look up how to do the job, and, almost inevitably, the steps are missing things, so, I document what's missing, if possible.

Or, the steps are on a different vehicle, which doesn't seem to bother most of you, but it causes me all sorts of grief. So, I re-document it - only on my vehicle.

Pictures are always nice.
For example, spark plug DIYs rarely have the information that I added from every other DIY I could find, into this thread, by way of example:
- One user's pictorial DIY for replacing the BMW M54 engine spark plugs (1)

I think. Some people are challenged by just following the steps already laid down by others, let alone take on their own detailed documentation efforts.
Again, I can't disagree with you, as I've seen far too many people get a code that says something about sensor X, and they go out and replace sensor X, without even thinking to debug the problem (which requires understanding how it works plus a few diagnostic tools).

However, again I'll say it's rare that I've found a DIY that explains every single bolt, with a picture of each one, so, even when DIYs exist, people have to GUESS (which, for me, is a bad thing as I always seem to guess wrong).

As an example, look at the steps I wrote up for removing and rebuilding your window regulator, over here, for example:
- One user's effort to diagnose, rebuild, and replace a BMW E39 front driver side door window regulator (1)

Personally I'd prefer if everyone on this site did some of their own 'research' before posting an issue, they would learn more in the process and potentially become more valuable resources for us all.
Again, I fully agree.

In fact, we've made it so easy with the bestlinks to just type a single word to find almost anything, and we've cross linked to those threads, so it's one-stop shopping, and we've added hundreds of pictures to each thread that they don't even have to READ (they can just look at the pretty pictures to figure out the steps), etc.

We could always make it even easier, but, it never was this easy.
For example, during my alternator and belts and tensioners and idler roller replacement, I had to learn a ton of things, which I had summarized in these four threads to help others:
Common questions which need to be answered BEFORE you do an alternator and/or drive belt system overhaul:
- 1st: Physically, determine what type of tensioners you have (1)
- 2nd: Physically, determine exactly what alternator you have (1)
- 3rd: Determine which parts you need to buy for a complete drive belt system overhaul (1)
- 4th: Do the alternator and drive belt system DIY (belts, tensioners, pulleys, rollers, alternator) (1)

In addition, my research uncovered these details, again which I summarized for the next person to stand on our shoulders:

Alternator and Belt Drive DIYs:
- Removal instructions for the alternator & drive belt system of a 2002 525i
- Removal instructions for the fan shroud of a 2002 525i
- Alternator and Belt Drive DIY (1) (2)
- How to tell if you have spring-drive or hydraulic belt tensioners or both (1)
- How to diagnose noises coming from the drive belt system (1)
- One users' example of total electrical failure (AAA towed away) alternator repair (1) (2)
- Video of cold idle engine squeal (1)
- Recommended parts list for a complete belt drive system overhaul (1)
- How to make your own BMW special cooling & belt drive system counterhold tools (1)
etc.

So, the good news is that anyone coming after me (or cn90 or Fudman or JimLev any of a host of other contributors) has the huge benefit of having all the information that wasn't initially available to us, but which is now well documented, so that they can start off standing on our shoulders, where everyone pitched in, sort of like we did with the ABS trifecta thread:
- How to diagnose & fix the ABS DSC (or ASC) BRAKE trifecta (1)

Given all that we've said above, I wish people would do the following:

  1. Search the logical keyword in the bestlinks for their problem
  2. Read those threads to start where others left off
  3. Try to understand the system (before throwing parts at it)
  4. Try to diagnose the problem (usually requires diagnostic tools)
  5. Follow the existing DIY (noticing where the user stumbles)
  6. Flesh out the areas where the DIY was deficient (for the next person!)
And then, I really wish more people would do this next step:

  • Autopsy the failed part & open a pictorial thread to discuss the post-mortem findings!
The autopsy is key!

Here are just the autopsies in the bestlinks. Note that repairs are many, but, autopsies are, unfortunately, far too few:

- Bill's (540iman) autopsy of his ABS control module (1)

- Bluebee's autopsy of Hella headlights (1)
- Teklord69's nice DISA autopsy (1)
- JimLev's nice power steering pump autopsy (1)

- Kraft's wonderful FSU circuit board autopsy (1)
- JimLev's throttle pedal position TPS potentiometer autopsy photos (1)
- Bluebee cooling system autopsy photos (1)
- etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,230 Posts
If this ever happens to you again, when ever you hear weird flapping noises from engine bay pull-over and open the hood for a visual inspection. When you lose a belt your in serious trouble. When you lose a serpentine belt that drives power steering, water pump and alternator you need to stop as soon as it's safely possible. Running without water pump can cause serious engine damage in any car. If your in a hurry park the car and get a cab.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
298 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Bluebee, great post!

Lots of great advice and information. I agree....what we members should consider is checking what is already out there and then adding to it by suggesting updates or add ons and thus, not throwing too much information out there. That would be challenging if there were too much of the same old subject. Kinda, like a wikiDIY where users keep refining the DIY docs.

I also like your suggestion that there should be Post Mortem detail. this would include the analysis over what would have lead to the issue in the first place......like in my case a belt that hasn't been changed most likely from the year built (2000 528i). In addition to additional information on not only feedback over the ease of use of the DIY material here, but the results in our own DIY work conducted.

I'll be sure to post back how all this goes for me. I think that would be a great section to add, where users use the DIY provided by fellow members they can provide the outcome of their repairs/install/DIY use for others to gather how difficult or easy the DIY was....that is they can provide their rating...maybe a formal rating of 1-5 with 5 being the hardest and 1 the easiest...something along those line.s.

but, they you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,976 Posts
If your not into turning wrenches--I suggest you find an indy to do the work on this car for you--if you haven't already blown your headgasket with this unfortunate state of affairs..These engine can't take much heat when something like this happnes--the very thing of driving the car when you heard the problem happen,,might have been the very thing that may toasted your engine. By the way--don't try cranking the car to get it to a shop--have it towed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
342 Posts
HI,
Wow. In a pickel i am. Can anyone suggest a course of action...here is what happened.

Yesterday, i just left the McDonalds drive through. Suddenly i started hearing a flapping like sound. I shut down the radio and opened the driver windor. The Flapping sound got almost ceased when i coasted, but when i accelerated it got louder and louder. It sounded more and more like something was slapping around under the hood. Then i noticed my battery light was on..*****....flapping sound and the battery light is on...what the heck.

My wife said keep driving get us hope before the car dies...then i noticed the water temp light was in the red zone. i kept driving for about 5 minutes until i got home. I parked the car and opened the hood.

Wow......light steam was coming out from somewhere and i noticed coolant had spilled or splashed all over the top of the engine and underhood. Wow.....i noticed the alternator belt was shredded...in strips....i guess that explains what the sound was....

Apparently the belt was slapping around which explains that the alternator was not charging and thus the batter light. Not sure why the temp light red zoned...not sure how soon the light went to red, but there was no major steam just a slight bit when i opened the hood.

Does anyone know what the prognosis is? Did the belt just snap from age? Hopefully it is just a simple fix in replacing the belt?

Any experts out their have a similar experience and can help with what you think took place and what i need to do as i cannot affort to take the car to a mechanic. Need to repair with help.....please help.

Thank you kind people.

Vic
Serpentine belts don't die, they are killed. Something else broke and it took out the belt. It is truly unfortunate that you continued to drive with the car overheating. I won't sugar coat this, it is almost a certainty that you blew the headgasket, warped the head, AND cracked the head. It is also likely that the threads in the block will be bad and so you probably ruined the engine. You can buy a good used engine for $800-$1000, and it's not terribly difficult to install

The most important thing to remember about cars is that only two things can happen suddenly to ruin the engine:

1. lack of oil/lack of oil pressure - if you see the oil light stop the car and shut off the engine IMMEDIATELY.

2. Overheating the engine - if you see an indication that the engine temperature is anything but normal, stop the car and shut off the engine IMMEDIATELY.

There is NO MARGIN for these two conditions. If you are in an unsafe place to stop and need to continue driving, then the decision you are making means you will destroy the engine. Basically continuing means trading the engine for your safety, which is a completely reasonable decision in some situations. I wish they taught this in driver's education.
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top