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3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

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Old 04-01-2005, 02:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The alternator/fan belt on my 325e is making a squeaky noise. I had the belts readjusted but its no use, its just worn and glazed. I'm really stuck for cash right now, so how long can the belt last in this state? And what damage will occur when, and if, it snaps? It's $60 to fix it.

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Old 04-01-2005, 08:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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A belt is like $6. Put it in yourself, you just saved $54. Woo
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Old 04-01-2005, 09:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I would, except for two things:

1) My parents are gonna freak out. As sad as it is, yes, living with one's parents, they don't like cars dismantled in the driveway. Even for half an hour. Its not worth the emotional battle with my folks.

2) I don't have the knowledge in the form of a manual or anything else, and am worried about doing more harm than good.
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Old 04-01-2005, 09:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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B) putting a belt on is NOT that hard. Loosen the tensioner, usually a bolt on the top of alternator, and the belt falls off. The only thing that takes a little concentration is looping it behind the fan. Mine took about 20 minutes, and the belt was $10. Next, you don't have friend w/ tools that lives somewhere else? talk to them and see if you could do it there. It isn't near as hard as it looks.
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Old 04-01-2005, 10:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I could try and get my friend Gord to help me.

How long does the belt last, on average, when it starts making this noise? The tensioner is maxed out and its still a little loose. I guess I'm most worried about it failing on me. And neglecting the car in general. Usually, you tackle the small things, and they won't turn into bigger things.
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Old 04-01-2005, 11:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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1. usually, it depends on the belt, but a rule of thumb i use is replace the belts about every 20,000 miles or so. That way, you're only out 10 bucks, and in the clear. it shouldn't fail unless it is totally frayed, and untill then all you'll notice is it might runn a little warmer and you wont have much power going to the radio. That's cuz if the alternator is not charging, the battery will lose a little power.
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