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Kellie, BMW Technician
Category: BMW
Satisfied Customers: 231
Experience:  Level 1 BMW Tech, ASE Master Tech
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how do i replace the serpentine belt in a BMW X5 3.0

Resolved Question:

how do i replace the serpentine belt in a BMW X5 3.0
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: BMW
Expert:  Kellie replied 8 years ago.
Hi there,

I need more information in order to answer your question. What year is your X5? The older body style X5 has two belts, and the newer style only has one. If your X5 is the older style, which belt are you trying to replace - the A/C belt, or the alternator belt?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX No. WBAFA53581LM79969, what I need to do is to change the belt tensioner because some (Occasional) time I heard coming from the tensioner. I think I can do but need step by step.

Thank in advance,

Hector S Martinez
Miami, Florida
Expert:  Kellie replied 8 years ago.
You'll have to be pretty handy and have a good collection of tools to tackle this job. Here are the instructions with as much detail as possible:

The instructions really depend on what style tensioner your car has. If you have the hydraulic tensioner that looks like a mini shock absorber, then you only need to replace the tensioner pulley and alternator idler pulley to get rid of the noise. If you have the older style mechanical tensioner (round with a 16mm head sticking out of it) then you'll have to upgrade to the hydraulic style because the mechanical style has been discontinued.

Remove the fan clutch. The best way is to take a long, thin 32mm wrench and smack hard in a downward/right motion with a hammer. Remember the fan is reverse threaded, so go clockwise to loosen it and counterclockwise to tighten it.

Remove the A/C bel firstt. You'll need a 16mm socket. Rotate the tensioner clockwise to release the tension on the belt and pull it off.

Before you remove the alternator belt, get a piece of paper and sketch out the routing of the belt so you don't forget how it goes.

If you have a mechanical alternator belt tensioner, you'll release the tension on the alternator belt the same way as you do with the A/C belt (16mm socket, counterclockwise). To remove the tensioner, first you have to remove the alternator idler pulley (which you should replace) by removing the long 16mm bolt. Next, release the two 13mm bolts on the top and bottom of the belt tensioner.

If you have a hydraulic tensioner, remove the dust cap from the idler pulley and use that bolt head (either torx or hex depending on the car, and I can't remember the exact size). Turn in a clockwise motion to relieve the tension on the belt, and pull it off.

If you're upgrading from mechanical to hydraulic, you'll have to buy the whole kit from the dealership, including all of the bolts. I have listed the part numbers you'll need at the bottom of the post. When you pick it up from the dealership, ask them to print the exploded diagram from the parts catalog, because it will be helpful when you go to assemble and install the new tensioner.

You'll have to bolt the tensioner brackets with the shock on as a unit (3 13mm bolts mount in preexisting holes in the front of the engine - it should come partially assembled) in the same location as the old tensioner. The pulleys don't go on until after you've bolted the body of the tensioner down. Don't forget the dust cover that goes on back of the tensioner pulley.

Reinstall the belts the same way that you removed them, and make sure that they're lined up properly on the pulleys. Spin your fan back on. Tighten it up and you're done.

I tried to go into as much detail as possible, but without pictures, some of this might not make much sense. If you have questions or need anything clarified, let me know. Here's the list of parts you'll need to upgrade your tensioner:

11 28 1 437 475     Ribbed V-Belt     1
11 28 1 726 774     Base Plate     1
11 28 1 726 773     Pitman Arm     1
11 28 1 748 131     Adjusting Pulley     1
07 11 9 920 150     Fillister Head Screw     1
11 28 1 717 188     Hydraulic Tensioner     1
07 11 9 913 111     Hex Bolt     2
07 11 9 912 652     Hex Bolt     1
07 11 9 901 785     Hex Bolt     1
11 28 1 440 369     Flat Washers     3
07 11 9 932 121     Wave Washers     1
11 28 1 727 159     Protection Cap – Pulley     1
12 31 1 713 143     Protection Cap – Pitman Arm     1
11 28 1 730 532     Mudguard     1
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