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RIP, Lead Technician
Category: BMW
Satisfied Customers: 5591
Experience:  BMW Factory Training, ASE Master Techinician, Advanced engine performance.
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My radiator reservoir tank cracked and I am having it ...

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My radiator reservoir tank cracked and I am having it repaired at Carmax where I purchased it. They told me the serpentine belt had come off and this might have been what caused the crack.(Another mechanic said no way.) The reservoir tank is covered under warranty but they want to charge me 293.00 to put on a new serpentine belt not covered by warranty. Does this sound right? Do serpentine belts just fall off of a 2000 BMW 328i with 59k miles?

Hi, welcome to Just Answers,

  • I've personnaly never had the belt fall off and cuase the radiator tank or resevoir to crack...but these radiators and tanks are prone to crack from age. If your belt fell off while your were driving, you would have lost power steering and as soon as the resevoir cracked, the steam from the hot escaping coolant would have also came out. Also, when the belt comes off, it's commonly due to a faulty belt tensioner or other pulley, and the price they're qouting you seems to be only for a belt and labor...i'm skeptical about this diagnosis. Can't you have them replace the cooling system and resevoir and you can have the belt replaced somewhere else? Even if that means towing it from that shop to the dealer or another quality repair facility?


RIP and 2 other BMW Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I'm no mechanic so I certainly can't argue with what RIP has posted. I will say that I read the same diagnosis about other cars online before he answered my question which was specific to a BMW. One other thing that I'm leary of is the fact that a supposed Lead Technician who is an ASE Master Technician with BMW Factory Training has this many misspelled words.I'm not trying to belittle his spelling but it seems someone with that much training would spell simple words correctly. It seems as though it is someone who claims they have alot of qualification and combs the internet for other possible answers.I don't want to be a stingy bastard but come on.

Sorry about the spelling, I typed that while my kids were at Chucky Cheese, for a new year birthday party. I'll opt out of the question so you can get some opinions from other BMW techs here.

PS, I only counted (4) misspelled and (1) not capitalized...I never put down in my profile I was a perfect typer/speller.


Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Look RIP, you seem nice enough and I have no reason to doubt your qualifications. I guess I was hoping you'd tell me this was total bullshit on Carmax's part but suggesting I have it towed somewhere else will just cost me more money and that's not an option. I'm sure you're thinking, "What kind of asshole drives a BMW and won't part with $9? Well, I'm not that guy so for your time I'll accept your answer and I hope I didn't offend you. Happy New Year bro.

You hasn't offended me, nor do I want you to pay unless your completely satisfied..this is *bullshit* on Carmax's part and you should at least ask them for the damaged parts after the job is over, if the belt tore off you'll know if it was worn and had done that; also a crack in the reservoir will be different than a damaged reservoir. This post will still stay open for other techs to provide an opinion as well. And if you have any questions while it's still there, I'd be happy to help.

But I am going to use the Spell Check box more often ;)