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-   -   Low vibration/rattling at idle (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=884490)

a_seiler604 11-06-2011 07:03 PM

Low vibration/rattling at idle
 
Hello, everyone. My '03 325I M54 (90K miles) has a sporadic, low-pitched vibration/rattle at idle (~700rpm or less).

The vibration started immediately after I replaced gaskets for the valve cover and oil filter housing assembly (due to small oil leaks). It's a very low-pitched sound/vibration and kind of sounds like it's coming from inside the engine, although I can't be sure. I've put a stethoscope all over the easily-accessible parts of the engine, but can't pinpoint any source. The sound/vibration only happens sporadically at idle (more often when A/C or PS is engaged), and it never occurs above idle. You can hear the sound best either inside or underneath the car--less so when working under the hood due to pulley/belt/etc noises. No warning lights on the dash and no trouble codes from my OBD scanner. I think it has to be associated with the gasket replacements I did ... but I'm at a loss as to what the problem might be. The car runs very smoothly otherwise.

Appreciate any advice. Thanks.

Zeekster64 11-07-2011 06:34 AM

Mystery noises can be hard to diagnose. Look at it this way; your car has 90k miles and is almost 9 years old. No matter how much you babied the thing, eventually some indicators of the car not being brand new will arise. Is it reasonable to expect that your car is going to sound just as it did when it was new?

You said it runs smoothly otherwise. Mine is a 04 and has 87k miles on it. It also has some weird noise that I hear at idle (which is also quite rough sometimes) coming from the vents. But when I drive the thing, it's smooth, responsive and generally quite good.

captkhaos 11-07-2011 09:45 AM

Me Too!
 
I've got an '02 330Ci with 87,000 on it that also has recently begun the low vibration and a buzzing/rattle type sound from the intake area on the engine. At idle only. Runs great and sound disappears with slight rev increase.

TR4G- 11-07-2011 09:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by a_seiler604 (Post 13772674)
Hello, everyone. My '03 325I M54 (90K miles) has a sporadic, low-pitched vibration/rattle at idle (~700rpm or less).

The vibration started immediately after I replaced gaskets for the valve cover and oil filter housing assembly (due to small oil leaks). It's a very low-pitched sound/vibration and kind of sounds like it's coming from inside the engine, although I can't be sure. I've put a stethoscope all over the easily-accessible parts of the engine, but can't pinpoint any source. The sound/vibration only happens sporadically at idle (more often when A/C or PS is engaged), and it never occurs above idle. You can hear the sound best either inside or underneath the car--less so when working under the hood due to pulley/belt/etc noises. No warning lights on the dash and no trouble codes from my OBD scanner. I think it has to be associated with the gasket replacements I did ... but I'm at a loss as to what the problem might be. The car runs very smoothly otherwise.

Appreciate any advice. Thanks.

When you say its connected to the PS and AC, do you mean that when you turn on the ac or turn the wheel at all, the RPMS dip a bit causing the vibration? Because if this the only time it arrises, then its perfectly normal, as the AC and PS use power from the engine therefor causing a slight dip.

My car (~150k) has an idleing issue thats not too bad, just that it sometimes dips enough to make my car "shudder." I have a brand new VCG, spark plugs, ICV, and Besian vanos-seals sitting next to my desk :D

a_seiler604 11-07-2011 11:10 PM

This may not be overly serious, but it's definitely not normal either.

The vibration/rattle always happens when the RPMs momentarily drop below ~650 (when engine is under added load due to turning wheel or switching on A/C at idle). There might be a momentary "shudder," but the engine quickly stabilizes like a properly-running car ... then the vibration/rattle will eventually stop ... then start again ... then stop. Intervals of around 30 seconds or so.

It certainly might be a "mystery noise" that doesn't affect the long-term health of the car, but I still get an occasional funny look when I stop at a gate/toll booth/stoplight/etc and the vibration/rattle starts. Annoying.

screamer-beemer531 11-07-2011 11:38 PM

Engine mounts?

a_seiler604 11-08-2011 03:53 AM

I was just thinking about the motor mounts. What do you think is the best way to check them? Doesn't seem like a very hard job to replace them.

Vilocty 11-08-2011 08:15 PM

My 01 325it with 115k miles has just started to do this too. No codes. Has anyone come up with a solution?

EzTwitch 11-08-2011 08:44 PM

I have this same problem, friend said it might be a fan or something... haven't really looked into it yet

Art Bimmer 11-11-2011 11:48 AM

Any updates?

MJLavelle 11-11-2011 12:17 PM

Check this heat shield, shown in the photos. The tip of the screwdriver is resting on the heat shield in question. It can vibrate at idle, and it is quite loud, and sounds like a serious VANOS issue. I was able to cure mine by putting some self adhesive heat shield on it, which stopped the vibration. I have also read about people just bending it down, which also made the noise stop. I think my solution is a little more permanent. Just push down on it when the engine is on, and if the noise stops, then that is your problem! Obviously, be careful of any moving parts....

You can get the heat shield here, and cut it down to size. It is only $11, and ships free with Amazon Prime:
http://www.amazon.com/Thermo-Tec-135...=pd_sim_auto_3

First photo, for orientation. I am standing by the passenger side fender:
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6058/...5ea608d2_b.jpg
Untitled by MJLavelle, on Flickr

Second view, a little closer, which clearly shows the heat shield:
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6091/...214288dd_b.jpg
Untitled by MJLavelle, on Flickr

Close up of the part that was vibrating:
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6031/...524f30ed_b.jpg
Untitled by MJLavelle, on Flickr

a_seiler604 11-13-2011 02:08 AM

Thanks for the idea about the heat shield, but that's not it. Holding it down with a screwdriver or the rubber-coated end of a hammer doesn't stop the noise.

I'm still probing around with the stethoscope, but can't pinpoint anything. It's gotta be linked to something I did when I replaced the gaskets for the valve cover and oil filter housing assembly. (Noise started immediately after the fix ... thankfully, no oil leaks or other issues in approx 500 miles, though.) Could it potentially be a VANOS issue? I don't really know what to look/listen for.

MJLavelle 11-13-2011 04:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by a_seiler604 (Post 13793672)
Thanks for the idea about the heat shield, but that's not it. Holding it down with a screwdriver or the rubber-coated end of a hammer doesn't stop the noise.

I'm still probing around with the stethoscope, but can't pinpoint anything. It's gotta be linked to something I did when I replaced the gaskets for the valve cover and oil filter housing assembly. (Noise started immediately after the fix ... thankfully, no oil leaks or other issues in approx 500 miles, though.) Could it potentially be a VANOS issue? I don't really know what to look/listen for.

No problem. I have sent this same info to about 10 people who had old threads about noises in the same general area as the VANOS. For 5 of them, it was the source of the noise. One other mentioned that the noise was on the drivers side, and I directed him to his DISA valve, and sure enough, his was falling apart. So, when I see mystery noise posts, I post this same info, because it is an easy thing to check, and it is a really easy fix as well. Plus, it has helped 5 people who were considering replacing their VANOS. So, it was worth a shot.
I know you are inclined to think that It is related to the other work you did, but I would start with the cheapest/easiest checks and fixes first. It could be a belt drive issue. Either one of the tensioner or idler pulleys could have a bad bearing, or the water pump may be going bad. The easiest way to check this is to remove the drive belts, and turn on the engine for a short time, and see if the noise goes away. Start with a dead cold engine, and start it up and quickly check for the noise. If it is there, then shut the car off right away. It will cool off again while you remove the belts. Then, start it again, and see if the noise has gone away. DO NOT run the car for more than a minute or two. Have the A/C on, and turn the wheel a little, since you say it seems to happen when these things are on. But work fast. You will be running with no water pump, and no alternator, or any other belt driven system. I would say 2 to 5 mins, max. Maybe have someone sit in the car, ready to kill it as quickly as possible. If the noise goes away, then it is likely a tensioner or idler pulley, or the water pump, A/C compressor, or the alternator. This method may cause some CEL codes to show up, so I would only do it after probing around the belt drive components as much as it is possible to do safely. It is a last resort to rule out a belt drive noise.
You may want to look in to the CCV system, if it is original, and your car is over 60 to 80k miles. It is not very likely that it is the cause of a noise, but it is possible. Search the Forums for more info on how to diagnose this. Or, maybe someone else will post some info in this thread about this.
If the noise is still there, then it may very well be the VANOS. Look up some diagnostics for testing that. Also check out*http://www.drvanos.com/ They have some diagnostic info on there as well.
I also think that they have one of the best deals for VANOS replacement. For $250 (after you return your core, they refund $150 of the $400 initial purchase price, so it is only $250 in the end), you get a remanufactured unit, that is better than the factory original. I have read about their units in several BMW magazines, and they have all said that they are better than OEM. You can find some of those reviews online.
I know that some people will jump on here and say that they installed one of the rebuild kits available, and they work great. Maybe you want to go that way, and there is nothing wrong with that. But, for $250, you get a unit that has been completely disassembled, and brought back to better than spec, by people who do nothing but rebuild VANOS units for a living. Also, they verify that the complete unit is up to spec, not just certain parts, and they use better than OEM tolerances for the bearings they replace. To me, that seems like a great deal.
I think some of the repair kits are band-aids, that stop the noise for a while, and do not address all of the design flaws with the VANOS unit. The Dr VANOS replacement is a complete solution. And if your car is low milage, or you don't plan on keeping for several more years, then the kit may work fine.
I will be replacing mine with a DrVANOS unit, in the next 6 - 8 months. It comes down to what your budget is, how many miles your car has, and how much longer you plan to keep it. All of that will determine what solution you think will work for you.
I want an improved, complete solution, done by people way more qualified than me, that will last me another 100k miles, and comes with a warranty as well. Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to give you as much info as possible, and point you towards the cheaper, easier to diagnose issues first. I also wanted to point out the pro's and cons for the a VANOS repair, if that ends up being the problem. Plus, it is 4:30am, and I may be over explaining things at this point. o__O Good luck!

cowboyjunkie 11-15-2011 11:09 PM

I have a similar noise only at idle, it sounds chirpy and I swear its coming from inside the oil filter housing like the filter is rattling around inside. I can feel the vibrations also on the power steering resevoir. I have changed my idler, tensioner, water pump, belts, All needed at 145,000 anyway and it runs more quiet except for the chirping at idle. I am searching for a solution as well. Good luck and I will let you know if i figure this out.

Chaos1187 09-20-2012 08:47 AM

So as the OP was saying in this (I know this is an older thread some of us still have this issue...) his rattle is coming from the dash. Mine is coming from inside the Dash as well, been going on for a little while. Started after I really started putting the pedal down to the floor after I got use to my car, couple months into having her (Car is 12 years old now). Its an 01 325i BMW M54.

So reading into this I came across some people who have said they have dash "chirps / noises" But Mostly chirps if you have chirps and more of a high pitched noise check your ECU fan under driver side panel (interior).

My question is I have a rattle coming from the center vent area of the car....not the front of the engine "VANOS" or the side back of the engine "DISA" (Brand New because of idle issues). Does anyone have any new info on the noises the come from the center dash vent area?? I was thinking blower going out but nobody describes a rattling noise...with this noise if I even bump the gas away from idle it stops immediately. It continues to make noise even with the AC off. Let me know...OP if your still out there did you ever figure this out??

a_seiler604 09-21-2012 01:47 AM

Never figured it out. Noise/vibration has been the same for over a year. No other issues have popped up and my car runs/drives smoothly. This is definitely a gremlin I've lost the patience to deal with ... but it's clearly not causing any serious issues with my car, so the noise and I have agreed to peacefully co-exist.

MJLavelle 09-21-2012 06:29 AM

Obviously, there is always a cause. Finding it is the problem. I would suggest looking for any missing fasteners in the area of the noise. Pressing down on various assemblies with the engine running is helpful too, with the usual warnings about moving parts, and losing fingers. It is best to start diagnosing with a cold engine, since so many parts become too hot to touch after a short time. In the end, like the OP, many just give up, and chalk it up to owning an aging car.

aahmed2016 09-22-2012 08:55 PM

Almost same thing with my '01 325i, [near 200k miles] but only when stopped for more than a minute, like when starting the engine, and not moving. Even when stopped, if I just tap the gas, the vibration stops, and then starts again when the RPM goes low.

Chaos1187 09-22-2012 09:38 PM

So ladies and gentlemen of this forum....

I have a update you ALL will love to hear. I'm prepping my AC as it is the next overhaul I'm doing before I hit up the control arms etc.

Anywho...I had my ac fully serviced today drained and topped off whatever those magical people do. To my astonishment the rattle is nowhere to be seen..so to speak lol.

Updates to follow!

Sent from my EVO using Bimmer App

Chaos1187 09-24-2012 09:11 AM

Still no rattles from Dash vent area....dare I say it is fixed!? :shhh:


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