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      06-04-2009, 05:58 PM   #1
wolftrouble
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Help with AA pulley belt! Kind of an emergency...

I have an AA underdive pulley on my '08 E90 M3 that I installed a few months ago. Last month, out of the blue, the company I bought the pulley from randomly sent me a new belt in the mail with an invoice from AA saying something along the lines of "customer purchased AA pulley in February, please replace belt ASAP".

Well, I didn't do it ASAP, and drove the car down to Irvine (from the bay area). And me being the lucky guy that I am, we get about to Orange County line when we realize the AC doesn't seem to be working... Nor does power steering. I'm still waiting for the car to cool down but I looked already and can see it snapped.

Turns out the old belt snapped.

Turns out I'm a frickin' idiot and didn't bring the replacement belt AA sent me down with me.

So now I'm stuck with a car that runs but only barely (trust me, you need the power steering) and no belt to replace it immediately. The replacement they sent me is at home and I can get my roommate to overnight it to me to arrive on Saturday, but the preference would be to buy it locally if I can. SO my questions are:

1) Does anyone know the feasibility of just buying a new belt from AutoZone or whatever? I don't know the length (although I can measure the current one) or if it's just something I could go to a parts store and buy.

2) Is there any chance at all I can bring it a dealership, hat in hand (so to speak) and ask them to replace it, so long as I'm willing to pay for it? Would they be able to get a replacement belt (recognizing it's not stock)?

3) Corollary: Does anyone has a shop in the Irvine/Laguna Beach/OC area they could recommend that might be able to get me in on short notice on Friday (assuming I can get a replacement belt tomorrow) or Saturday? I can do the belt myself probably but it'll take half the day to do it, and it'd be in the parking lot of an apartment complex... Ugh.

Man do I feel stupid. Word to the wise: If someone sends you a belt and tells you to replace it ASAP... Replace it ASAP.
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      06-04-2009, 06:34 PM   #2
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Once you get a belt, you can probably go to any PepBoys and get it done....as to the dealer helping you out? I doubt it unless they replace it with a stock pulley/belt.... maybe someone on this forum has their stock one sitting around their garage with the old belt???? Contact Tom at EAS and see if he has a 'today' solution for you. They are local here in central OC.

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      06-04-2009, 06:56 PM   #3
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I feel for you!! I was getting a ticking sound that sounded like a rod knock. Turns out it was the belt! I got lucky and was able to see the damage with a flashlight. The area was randomly in view when I looked. I called AA and they immediately overnighted a new one to me. It is a little shorter. My mechanic and I believe that the replacement is a little snugger and thus is not slipping and overheating causing the damage at the joint. This is a wide spread problem with the initial shipments of double sided belts. I encourage anyone with the AA pulley to check their belts immediately.

Here are pictures of mine before I got it fixed. Cost me $50 labor btw.
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      06-04-2009, 07:30 PM   #4
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yep just replaced mine this weekend. thank goodness i havent run into any problems but the old belt had some sharp slits in it . about 3 of them. hopefully with this new one it wont happen again!
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      06-04-2009, 07:32 PM   #5
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Try a 6-rib 1033mm belt (6K1033), your local autozone should have one close to that size.
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      06-04-2009, 07:36 PM   #6
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I had my pulleys installed at AA a couple weeks ago, and my stock belts are in the package (I assume) that the new belts came out of... Both are Napa brand one is part number 060559 (13/16" x 56 1/2") and the other is 060408 (13/16" x 41 1/2").

Hope this helps.
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      06-04-2009, 07:58 PM   #7
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Actually, on second look - that's a double-sided belt from the post 5/08 models.

AA is going to be your only source for this, good luck.
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      06-04-2009, 08:07 PM   #8
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Correct Tom...........

Quote:
Originally Posted by tom @ eas View Post
Actually, on second look - that's a double-sided belt from the post 5/08 models.

AA is going to be your only source for this, good luck.
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      06-04-2009, 08:40 PM   #9
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Way to push out a product that wasn't ready. Sucks man.
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      06-04-2009, 09:04 PM   #10
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I know from my conversations with Viral@Active that NAPA will be getting more belts available so you will be able to more easily fix things.

I PM'd Active, they really need to respond to this and offer some guidance for the rest of us to make sure this does not happen

I don't necessarily blame Active but my mechanic was busting my balls over these belts and the fact that they are just cheap belts, this has me very concerned since I rec'd assurances from Active on the contrary that the belts were very high quality.
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      06-04-2009, 09:09 PM   #11
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Thanks for the helpful advice everyone. I've got the roomie overnighting the belt down to me to get here on Saturday, and co-opting my buddy's garage to do the swap. Sucks I'm gonna lose like half a day for this, but no help for it.

As an aside, I don't really blame AA. It's a bummer the belt is shit but it happens, and they did send me a new one - it's my own stupidity that I didn't replace it before the trip. I figured it'd be more likely be a problem at the track or under other high-revving situations, but apparently not.
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      06-04-2009, 10:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolftrouble View Post
I figured it'd be more likely be a problem at the track or under other high-revving situations, but apparently not.
This is my concern, normal driving
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      06-04-2009, 11:09 PM   #13
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All,

There was a replacement belt sent to all post 05/08 customers. Unfortunately like Tom mentioned these belts are not available at your local Auto store. There was a recall on one batch of the dpk (double sides belts). Not a matter of the product not being ready, just an issue with the manafacturer. This does not affect customers with pre 05/08 cars. Wolftrouble, sorry for the trouble and thank you for your understanding, please contact me directly tomorrow morning to make sure eveything works out fine.

SparkyG thank you for bringing this to my attention. Goodnight.
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      06-05-2009, 12:01 AM   #14
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Well, whatever courage I finally built up in getting a pulley has gone out the window. +1 for AA addressing the issue. -1 for AA sending out crappy belts to begin with.
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      06-05-2009, 12:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Active Autowerke View Post
All,

There was a replacement belt sent to all post 05/08 customers. Unfortunately like Tom mentioned these belts are not available at your local Auto store. There was a recall on one batch of the dpk (double sides belts). Not a matter of the product not being ready, just an issue with the manafacturer. This does not affect customers with pre 05/08 cars. Wolftrouble, sorry for the trouble and thank you for your understanding, please contact me directly tomorrow morning to make sure eveything works out fine.

SparkyG thank you for bringing this to my attention. Goodnight.
Thanks for responding AA, much appreciate it. My only complaint about the replacement process is that I had to infer what was going on from the invoice; it didn't say anything about a bad batch or fitment or what, just that I should replace it. It would have been nice to get a more explicit warning than "please replace ASAP". But that's a minor nitpick, and certainly has nothing to do with the belt failure today. You guys said to replace it and I didn't, that's 100% my fault.

Thanks for being proactive about sending out new belt, and thanks again for chiming in. I won't get the belt until Saturday but I'll PM you once it's installed to let you know it's AOK (or not OK, but I expect it'll be fine).
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      06-05-2009, 05:29 AM   #16
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I've seen loads of poor quality belts break. Todays under hood temps are about 45% higher than 10 years ago. I only use GATES.

Last edited by hondatrix; 06-05-2009 at 06:58 AM.
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      06-05-2009, 06:40 AM   #17
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Had the same issue with exactly the same break as dogears - unfortunately I still haven't received my replacement belt after 3 weeks or so...
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      06-05-2009, 08:14 AM   #18
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I did not receive a new belt before hand. I had a really troubling noise for several weeks. It got so bad that I diagnosed it. AA then sent me the new belt after I called them. I actually felt relieved that they knew there was a problem. Although annoyed I was not contacted. I did not receive any warning. This happened a week ago, after others were sent belts. Just saying, as there may be others who slipped through the cracks. Although AA stood behind the product and immediately overnighted me a replacement, I still had weeks of worry and I had to pay to have the new belt put on. We compared the belt sizes and the new belt appeared to be slightly shorter. It was a little tighter on the install. My mechanic thinks the failures were not due so much to defect as loose fitment causing overheating. He thinks the original belt was the wrong size. Or at a minimum the worng size combined with substandard quality. Hopefully this new belt works.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolftrouble View Post
Thanks for responding AA, much appreciate it. My only complaint about the replacement process is that I had to infer what was going on from the invoice; it didn't say anything about a bad batch or fitment or what, just that I should replace it. It would have been nice to get a more explicit warning than "please replace ASAP". But that's a minor nitpick, and certainly has nothing to do with the belt failure today. You guys said to replace it and I didn't, that's 100% my fault.

Thanks for being proactive about sending out new belt, and thanks again for chiming in. I won't get the belt until Saturday but I'll PM you once it's installed to let you know it's AOK (or not OK, but I expect it'll be fine).
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      06-05-2009, 08:16 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogears View Post
I did not receive a new belt before hand. I had a really troubling noise for several weeks. It got so bad that I diagnosed it. AA then sent me the new belt. I did not receive any warning. This happened a week ago, after others were sent belts. Just saying, as there may be others who slipped through the cracks. Although AA stood behind the product and immediately overnighted me a replacement, I still had weeks of worry and I had to pay to have the new belt put on. We compared the belt sizes and the new belt appeared to be slightly shorter. It was a little tighter on the install. My mechanic thinks the failures were not due so much to defect as loose fitment causing overheating. He thinks the original belt was the wrong size. Or at a minimum the worng size combined with substandard quality. Hopefully this new belt works.
I am 100% sure I explained to you why your belt didn't ship with the rest.

Thanks
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      06-05-2009, 08:17 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mixja View Post
Had the same issue with exactly the same break as dogears - unfortunately I still haven't received my replacement belt after 3 weeks or so...
Just replied to your email Justin. I will send one via UPS since apparently USPS lost it. Sorry for the trouble and thanks for your patience.
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      06-05-2009, 08:18 AM   #21
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You did...... That is why I said others may have slipped throught he cracks. I was happy with the immediate customer service, but please understand I endured a couple weeks of worrying that my engine had a rod knock or some other horrible failure. I then had to plead with my mechanic to see me immediately to swap the new belt in.

You guys also told me this was a very rare occurance that maybe happened once or twice, after I asked if it was widespread. It apparantly is widespread and those old belts may all fail.

The only question is whether the failures were due to manufacturer defect or heat due to slippage, or a mix of the two.... The new belt does appear to be shorter.

You guys are still one of the top tuning companies and your customer service is top notch. I still recommend you as this was just an unfortunate occurance and not the result of any intentional corner cutting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Active Autowerke View Post
I am 100% sure I explained to you why your belt didn't ship with the rest.

Thanks
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      06-05-2009, 08:27 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogears View Post
You did...... That is why I said others may have slipped throught he cracks. I was happy with the immediate customer service, but please understand I endured a couple weeks of worrying that my engine had a rod knock or some other horrible failure. I then had to plead with my mechanic to see me immediately to swap the new belt in.

You guys also told me this was a very rare occurance that maybe happened once or twice, after I asked if it was widespread. It apparantly is widespread and those old belts may all fail.
It is an isolated issue that happened with one batch of belts. We have sold over 550 kits so when 15-20 have an issue it is considered isolated. I apologize for the inconvenience this caused you and I appreciate your patience as well as the OP's.
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