Drive Belt?


A mechanic stated that my “drive belts are cracked” on my 2005 BMW 325i sedan; about 65k miles. I researched drive belts and found conflicting information such as:
–Important to replace drive belts around 35k - 50k miles vs. Drive belts are made to last up to 150k miles
–One can’t notice damage to drive belts until it breaks vs. One can see if grooves are becoming flat

Can you offer any insight? In addition, this same mechanic stated that the power steering hose is leaking. They said it could be fixed for $450, but I saw that an actual pump costs less. Also, they “found rear differential leaking” and “recommended resealing” for $450.


Are you sure they said “drive” belts? Could they have said “timing” belt or ??? I don’t believe the 2005 BMW’s had drive belts.

This video will explain when to replace drive belts depending on the material they’re made of.


He said “drive belts” but he must have meant accessory belts or serpentine belt.
If so then at 65k miles and 7 years it’s time to change them, unless you don’t mind getting stuck on the side of the road.
One can often see cracks and worn grooves on a belt that’s going bad, but an old, fragile belt can also look OK.

“In addition, this same mechanic stated that the power steering hose is leaking. They said it could be fixed for $450, but I saw that an actual pump costs less.”

What does the price of the pump have to do with parts and labor to replace a hose?

Have you noticed that the power steering fluid level has been going down?

Accessory belts are pretty cheap. Unless you go to the dealer.

Nothing that you’ve said here about recommendations is out of line, and all of the comments are pretty much right on.

You really want to rethink the logic that has you questioning replacing a belt that is 8yrs and 65K old. This is a no brainer.

The cost of replacing a power steering line has nothing whatsoever to do with a price you might get for a power steering pump. Heck a price you might find for a ps pump has little to do with what it would cost you to have the pump replaced.

If your rear differential is leaking then you should have it fixed.

If you nickel and dime this car you will prematurely run it into the ground. Perhaps its time to buy something much cheaper than a BMW and start a savings account for maintaining it.

Wanted to thank everyone for their helpful input. Because I never used this garage and I’m not savvy about cars, parts, maintenance or repairs, I wanted to gain some insight prior to getting the work done. Also, to get back to your questions, please see the following:

-He did say “drive belts”, but after doing a Google search, I inferred serpetine belts too
-Regarding cost, I wanted to reduce my ignorance and have a better understanding of what parts and labor costs are typically. E.g., if an experienced garage typically charges less, I would be more likely to go with them, assuming that they are good. would not go on price alone
-I checked the power steering fluid and confirmed that it has gone down
-I don’t mind paying for maintenance, but wanted to do my due diligence before readily paying for something I know very little about or the associated costs.

Again, I think you for taking time and helping me with this.

“Drive belt” is as common a tern for what we often call “V belt” or “fan” belt. They’re interchangable. “Serpentine” refers to a belt designed to flex in both directions to follow a convaluted path, but they’re also often called “fan belts” ot “drive belts”.Don’t get hung up on the words.

You did right to ask, the only stupid question is the one not asked.

I have had a serpentine belt go over 200k miles, 8 years, but I do not recommend that. I got lucky as a broken belt can, if it drives the water pump, lead to major engine damage.

Replacing a power steering hose can involve a lot more labor than replacing the PS pump. While nothing (according to what I’ve been told) is easy on a beemer, the PS pumps are usually located in a fairly easy access area, where the hose has to snake down to the steering rack. Considering that a PS hose for a Nissan Sentra is almost $300 at a dealer, I am kinda surprised that it isn’t a lot more than $450 for a BMW.

The cost for the rear differential could be about right too, depending on what is leaking, but I am surprised that it leaks at all. These usually last a lot longer before they start to leak.