Hello there and welcome to the BMW Car Club of America.

If you are a BMW CCA member, please log in and introduce yourself in our Member Introductions section.

HI new from TN with a ?about my 330i

Discussion in 'Member Introductions' started by kwiles, Jul 21, 2008.

    kwiles guest

    Post Count: 1
    Likes Received:0
    Hello, Im new to the site (someone from another site recommended this site). Anyway, I have a 2003 330i and I need an alternator belt (52,000 miles). The mechanic that I took my car to said that the tensioners(?) are wound so tight on the 2003 330i series that, I will need to replace the tensioners as well as the alternator belt and the a/c belt. The total cost for this is about $660.00. Is this true? Has anyone else had any experience with this situation? HELP and thanks for any advice anyone can offer.
    • Member


    Post Count: 3,269
    Likes Received:4
    $660 for an alternator belt and tensioner job? That mechanic is completely screwing you. I got my full timing belt, water pump and tensioner, valve cover gasket, and valve adjustment done for $450. Find another mechanic.

    Autohaus guest

    Post Count: 1,571
    Likes Received:1
    I second that. The belt should be no more than $30 and the tensioner should be around $30-$60 ballpark. Parts, labor, tax should be no more than $150, and even that is high.

    hefferonjm guest

    Post Count: 7
    Likes Received:0
    Yes the cost of this job should not be so high. Here is some info that might help you understand the job a little better.
    1. There are only two belts for the accessories on the front of your engine. The a/c compressor belt and the alternator belt which also drives your water pump.
    2. The a/c belt has to come off in order to remove the alternator belt so it is a wise choice to replace both belts at the same time.
    3. The tensioner for the alt. belt is spring loaded thus it is an automatic tensioner i.e it can't get any tighter than when it left the factory it can only become loose due to wear.

    After 50k it is definetly a good idea to replace both belts, the tensioner only needs to be replaced if it is failing due to spring or bearing wear. If the bearings are wearing out you would be able to hear them whining with especially with increased rpm. A good test to see if the tension on the belt is sufficent is to turn the ribbed part of the belt up towards you, you should not be able to turn it up more than a 1/4 turn. At the most the labor time should be an hour for just the belt, maybe 2 for the tensioner as well. Good luck I hope this helped.
    • Member


    Post Count: 31
    Likes Received:0
    Not to defend the shop, but...

    his explanation of the tensioner failure is pure bs, but the old style tensioner is not supplied by BMW any more, there is an "upgrade" hydraulic tensioner that was previously used when the spring tensioner made noise after being replaced once already, there's an SIB about this.
    The original tensioner was over $120 last I quoted one, the new style adds up to $200-250, and takes longer to install

Share This Page