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Sam, BMW Master technician
Category: BMW
Satisfied Customers: 1043
Experience:  BMW S.T.E.P. graduate, 10 years BMW dealership experience
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Phoenix: passenger side...I replaced the water pump

Customer Question

My car was making a clattering noise when I stand outside of the car. It's on the passenger side. I moved from Seattle to Colorado to Phoenix and I replaced the water pump. Recently, the air cond started working sporadically, "big burst of air, then nothing. I heard a rattle, that sounded like a fan, then nothing. No air condiitoning. I am out of work now, so no car will be a disaster, yet not alot of money to fix it! Any suggestions? Thanks!
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: BMW
Expert:  Sam replied 6 years ago.

Sam :

Hello and welcome to Just Answer.

Sam :

Under which conditions do you hear the noise?


When I first start it up, or when it's idling. It has stopped, coincidentally, since the air conditioner quit. However, when I lived in Seattle, I heard it as well, as it was not related to the ac, because I rarely used the ac there. My mechanic replaced some belts, and it was quiet for awhile, and then it came back. I have some fluid dripping from the passenger side, onto the garage floor, as well.

Sam :

Does the interior blower fan work?

Sam :

Can you see if teh ac belt is still in tact?

Sam :

Are you still there?

Sam and 4 other BMW Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Interior blower fan quit working, don't know what the teh ac belt is. No more "clattering" on the passenger side.
Expert:  Sam replied 6 years ago.

I made a typo. I meant the ac belt. The drive belt for the ac compressor.

Does the ac panel display light up or does is go dim?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
AC panel lights up. Will have to figure out where the drive belt for the ac compressor is. May I continue this chat with you tomorrow?
Expert:  Sam replied 6 years ago.
Sure thing. Just reply back when you are ready!
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Good Morning, Sam. Where would I find the drive belt?
Expert:  Sam replied 6 years ago.
There are 2 drive belts on your engine, both at the front. one is a big long belt that drives the water pump, alternator and power steering. The belt you are looking for is a short belt, towards the bottom of the engine on the passenger side. You can see it looking down from he top of the engine.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I have a feeling you are exactly right. I have to tend to my dog (she has Diabetes) and I'll get back to you soon. I am so grateful for you assistance. I have been able to find a job in almost a year. My car (like everyone else's is vital to survival) but I am so low on money. For curiosity, where are you located? My son lives in NYC.
Expert:  Sam replied 6 years ago.

No problem, just respond when you get a chance.

I'm in Arizona.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
OH. That's interesting, because the time says EST! Thank You, I am going to go out there with a flashlight now.
Expert:  Sam replied 6 years ago.
I have no clue why it would say that.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
My housemate, who is an electrical engineer, helped me locate the belt. It looks intact. We think it is the fan. Thank you so much for all of your help. You have been the consumate professional!
Expert:  Sam replied 6 years ago.

If the ac panel does not dim and the blower doesn't work on any speed, it is most likely the blower motor itself.

I'm thinking the rattling is something to do with the ac compressor because this model has a notoriously noisy compressor.

I would start with the fan and see if it blows cold once the fan is working.

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