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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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Old 09-10-2009, 11:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Burning Rubber smell

99 528i E39 with 150K miles.
I am getting ready to replace the expansion tank and the valve cover gasket and have recently noticed the smell of burning rubber. Am wondering if this might be the serpentine belt and since it looks OK if there might be a component that isn't turning freely that may be creating friction? The last time I had this experience on a 99 MB C280 it turned out to be the harmonic balancer. I don't want to let this get out of hand and be stranded somewhere.

Another question: Are the aftermarket fuel pumps noticeably less reliable than the expensive OEM part?

Thanks,
Jim
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Jim_in_StL View Post
99 528i E39 with 150K miles.
I am getting ready to replace the expansion tank and the valve cover gasket and have recently noticed the smell of burning rubber. Am wondering if this might be the serpentine belt and since it looks OK if there might be a component that isn't turning freely that may be creating friction? The last time I had this experience on a 99 MB C280 it turned out to be the harmonic balancer. I don't want to let this get out of hand and be stranded somewhere.

Another question: Are the aftermarket fuel pumps noticeably less reliable than the expensive OEM part?

Thanks,
Jim
I would stick with the OEM fuel pump as it will deliver guaranteed performance (in theory). Some of the aftermarket ones are fine but if it was me I'd stick with the OEM part.

As for the smell, you mentioned having to replace the valve cover gasket. I know when mine was leaking I would occasionally get a burning rubber smell. After replacing the valve cover gasket the smell went away. I have a hard time seeing the serpentine belt being the cause of the smell but it wouldn't hurt to get it replaced as well.
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Old 09-10-2009, 04:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks, I will pay attention after the gasket is replaced.

The fuel pump question was more along the lines of was it worth what I spent on it since it's already been replaced. That gives me some peace of mind but my wallet is still substantially lighter than I would have liked.

Jim
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