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Kenny, BMW Technician
Category: BMW
Satisfied Customers: 1119
Experience:  BMW Master Certifed level 1 Technican
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2000 BMW 323i: odometer..smoke..rear wheel..30 mins (mostly highway)

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My son's 2000 BMW 323i, which has 300,000 kilometers on the odometer (188,000 miles) suddenly made very loud noise and spewed out smoke from the rear wheel area. It became difficult to move the car, but he managed to drive it at about 80km per hour for 30 mins (mostly highway) to our house to park it til we decide what to do with it.

Does this seem like a wheel bearing issue? He seems to think so - and can he fix it himself? He's very mechnically minded and does whatever he can himself to save money (young and broke most of the time).

You would need to remove the wheel and inspect the area. It could be a seized brake caliper that is what it sounds like, It could also be a broken parking brake shoe or a wheel bearing. You will need to do some digging to determine. Once you have taken it apart and maybe see something broken I can provide part numbers to what you need and repair instructions so your son can do it himself. Brakes and the parking brake don't require special tools to complete but the wheel bearing does require special tools.


A seized caliper would be identified by a blue hue rotor that is very hard to turn, also if you use a pry bay to pry the caliper back a little the rotor becomes very easy to turn.

Kenny and 2 other BMW Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Thank you very much Kenny,


my first time using this service, so bear with me. If I come back with further information/questions as you suggest above, do I need to pay again? I'm not quite sure how this works.


Also, just curious - but what does Master Certified level 1 tech mean?


Thanks again for your time, it is much appreciated.



Thank you for using JA, You only have to pay once per question so I can keep helping you with this problem until it is resolved. We can just talk back in forth in the thread. No need to pay again.


I work for BMW and there technician certification system are from level 4 as entry to level 1 which is there master status, to gain this status you have to have every BMW course available plus a minimum of 5 years of experience working at the dealer.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Thanks Kenny,


we fixed it! Turned out a wheel bolt had broken off (he thought someone had stolen it at first), and we found a small piece of it in the brake assembly. It must have caused the noise and the parking brake warning light to come on. We put it back together and test drove it - all seems fine again now. Smile


Thanks again for your help!

Good to hear.