Question about 1999 BMW 323 Series

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I have a 1999 323i and it had a burning plastic or rubber smell coming from the small cog that the fan belt sits on and there was burnt rubber or plastic melted underneath the cog . What is causing this and is it bad ? Thanks Ben...

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  • ben wills Nov 06, 2010

    I think the burning rubber might be a seal of some description in the actual cog ? could thai be the problem ?

  • ben wills Nov 06, 2010

    I have a 1999 323i and have a burning smell and there is bits of burnt rubber coming from the inside of the cog on the on the lower left hand side of the engine. What is causing this, is it the aircond compresser as my climate control doesn't work or is it something else ?

  • ben wills Nov 06, 2010

    I think its the cog on the aircond compressor , there seems to be burnt rubber coming out from that cog does this mean i need a new compressor as my climate control doesn't work properly . Can i still drive the car if this is the problem or do i have to replace first?

  • ben wills Nov 06, 2010

    Something inside the cog has melted and thats what is causing the smell and as its melted its flicked either burnt rubber or plastic onto the radiator fan and around that cog. What do you think this could be? Does that sound like the fan that you were referring too?

  • ben wills Nov 06, 2010

    Thank you very much for your help i now have a better understanding. Cheers!

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  • BMW Master
  • 19,396 Answers

Hi.

the drive belt tensioner melted the plastic parts in it. The faulty drive belt must be replaced, and the remaining drive belts must be checked. According to factory and to safety standards, the drive belts must be checked every six months. Often the dive belts fitted in the vehicle with drive get checked only when doing the periodic revision. In your case an object stuck in the drive belt tensioner, or the tensioner itself caused the problem. Even if the tensioner is working, for safety reasons it must be replaced.

Here a service manual. Check page 15 in pdf.

Regards.

Ginko.

Posted on Nov 06, 2010

  • 2 more comments 
  • Ginko
    Ginko Nov 06, 2010

    Hi.

    Re:"I think its the cog on the aircond compressor , there seems to be burnt
    rubber coming out from that cog does this mean i need a new compressor
    as my climate control doesn't work properly . Can i still drive the car
    if this is the problem or do i have to replace first?"

    The compressor does not smell like rubber, and smell from compressor would unlikely being pumped in the air duct.

    What smells is usually a fan. That means that the fan will fail completely soon. The repair is carried finding the defective part and replacing it.

    Also ensure that the smell is not coming from air conveyed from outside in the air ducts. Check if there is anything that is smelling from underneath the car. A typical case is a plastic bag caught in the exhaust system.

    If smell is coming only when AC is on, then it is usually a defective fan.

    Regards.

    Ginko.

  • Ginko
    Ginko Nov 06, 2010

    Hi.

    Check that the drive belt is not worn because of the problem. Unless the compressor is seized you should be able to drive to the garage. If plastic from the compressor is melting, then you should not drive the vehicle for too long. melting plastic may cause further damage, even taking fire. Also, if the compressor starts seizing, the drive belt does not go, water pump stops and so the rest. You blow the engine or the head gasket at least. Drive the car only to go to the garage.

    Compressor replacement is illustrated at page 147 of the PDF given before. The operation is quite complicate and it is better done by a mechanic. Parts for this car can be easily sourced in the second hand market. That will reduce the cost of repair.


  • Ginko
    Ginko Nov 06, 2010

    Hi.

    About what caused the melting, I forgot to answer. That is no fan, I was talking about a different thing in my first answer, I did not understand you visually found plasting melting near compressor pulley, common reason for smell from air duct is ventilation fan bearing, not in your case. You were obviously right in locating the problem.The melting plastic is probably the consequence of a seized compressor clutch. Forget about the fan, this is not a fan problem.

    Find a second hand compressor and go to a garage for replacement ASAP.

    Regards.

    Ginko.

  • Ginko
    Ginko Nov 06, 2010

    Hi.

    You are welcome.

    Good luck with the problem.

    Ginko.

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  • Master
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If the belt is burning apart you will find the burnt particles of the belt on all drive pulleys.. The one with the most build up will be the problem pulley in most cases. You can watch the pulleys turn and view to see if one is bent out of shape which will cause this to happen.. If all pulleys look good, clean off all excess off the pulleys and install a new belt.Road debries could of ruined the old belt melting it down as well instead. That would be the next therory and a most likeable one too

Posted on Nov 06, 2010

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