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I have a 1999 325i and it has 152,000 miles. I have an appt to have it in to the service shop but the last time, it was about $3000 and that was in May of 2010. SInce then, I have replaced the tires and had the oil changed once. But recently, the coolant light has been coming on when I start him and it stays on till he warms up... about 2 min. in Florida. I checked the coolant level and have had to add some to get the red bobble needle up to where it should be. But now.... there is this crying sound from the engine. The gauges are all showing normal and the coolant light does not come on but lits like there is the high pitch cry from the engine. What could that be? There is nothing inside because I looked. It almost sounds like fighting cats. But no cats.
 

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I have a 1999 325i and it has 152,000 miles. I have an appt to have it in to the service shop but the last time, it was about $3000 and that was in May of 2010. SInce then, I have replaced the tires and had the oil changed once. But recently, the coolant light has been coming on when I start him and it stays on till he warms up... about 2 min. in Florida. I checked the coolant level and have had to add some to get the red bobble needle up to where it should be. But now.... there is this crying sound from the engine. The gauges are all showing normal and the coolant light does not come on but lits like there is the high pitch cry from the engine. What could that be? There is nothing inside because I looked. It almost sounds like fighting cats. But no cats.
First.....Welcome to the Werkz......:)

1999 328i? (99' no 325i)

Definitely sounds like it could be your mechanical belt tensioner on the fritz....

#2 IN LINK BELOW:
RealOEM.com BMW E36 328i Belt Drive Water Pump/Alternator


jb :)
 

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This is usually associated with the drive belts. Check if they are not damaged/worn and needing replacement. Even if you have good belts, if the tensioner is not doing it's job -- as jb suggests above--, you will most likely get a screeching sound from the engine bay.

I imagine that you get this sound more on mornings/evenings, and more on startup than otherwise. Please confirm.
 

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i had a problem like that on a ford i had. it may be worth taking the belt off and seeing if all the bits that spin round do so easily. on the ford, the belt tensioner for the pulley had begun to seize and didn't spin and made that hideous noise. give it a try. it's free after all.
 
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