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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a leak in my oil filter housing gasket and BMW claimed that the oil is dripping onto my belt causing it to slip. The tech showed it to me in person and there was some oil on the belt but when I checked on my own multiple times later there was never anything there.

I'm going to get my oil leak taken care of but what I'm wondering is if I really need to replace the tensioner or not. I took some pictures so I'm hoping someone can help me out. Thanks!
 

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How many miles on the car? Is it the original belt? My attitude is very simple. If you are replacing the belt you should, in my opinion, replace the tensioner and the idler pulley at the same time.
 

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Let see the parts are about 200 bucks the motor 5k

Let see the parts are about 200 bucks the motor 5k plus
Also I would not be going to a dealer for these simple repairs.
It will cost you a lot less and Indy or if you can DIY.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have 165k kms on the car and it is the original belt. Right now I'm not planning on replacing the belt, I'm only looking to replace the housing gasket for the leak.
I'm getting this done at an independent shop, not the dealer. Thanks for the replies
 

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Given your mileage, you might consider changing the belt and tensioner. The expense is relatively small and, as ctuna points out, the repair is straightforward.
 

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I agree that it's time for a belt replacement and as long as you are doing that, replacing the tensioner and pulleys. It's a pretty easy fix, which I did myself a few months ago. The biggest problem I had was getting the fan shroud R&R. There's a number of hoses and wires that can get in the way. There isn't much room and the shroud is held in place in part by clips that have to be precisely aligned. You will need to be able get under the car to release few parts and be sure the belt is aligned on the lower pulleys. You'll also need a large torx socket or two. I have read about oil causing the belt to deteriorate and in extreme conditions wrapping about the main engine pulley with debris being forced through the main bearing gasket and into the oil pan, contaminating the oil passages. It's not worth the money to defer the change if your mechanic says there is oil contamination from a leaking filter housing gasket.
 

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I wouldn't worry much about the belt. I WOULD worry about your oil filter housing leak though.

Your belt is JUST starting to walk off the tensioner. I've seen a lot worse and with these models, belt age is a non-issue. It's tensioner failure or oil getting on the belt that causes failures.

If oil from your oil filter housing leaks onto the belt, it can throw the belt, get wrapped around the crank pulley, and potentially get pulled into the motor.
 

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While the OFH is being replaced, do belt, tensioner and idler. Not doing so is penny wise and pound foolish. Belt comes off for the job anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok, thanks everyone. I decided to replace the tensioner and my mechanic agreed to not charge labour since he's doing the other work today too. Just curious, can anyone tell from the pictures that the tensioner has been affected? How does the oil affect that anyway?
 

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the tensioner wheel sometimes has a slight bit of wobble in it allowing the belt to work slightly off the front.........it only gets worse from there,your repair is money well spent , with your new tensioner you should see the belt completely on the wheel unlike in your pic
 

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Ok, thanks everyone. I decided to replace the tensioner and my mechanic agreed to not charge labour since he's doing the other work today too. Just curious, can anyone tell from the pictures that the tensioner has been affected? How does the oil affect that anyway?
Oil is slippery and will cause the belt to get thrown off the pulleys.

The tensioner pulley doesn't really wobble. The spring for the tensioner weakens, allowing the belt to slowly walk off the pulley.
 
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