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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 08-09-2009, 11:25 PM   #1
abdulmk
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whistling noise

i have an irritating whistling noise coming from my engine, its coming fromsomewhere VERY close to the alternator. any ideas??
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:33 PM   #2
trippmann
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torn intake boot... or your CAI if you have one..
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:19 PM   #3
abdulmk
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nope. i checked it today, the intake boot is fine, the noise is coming directly from the left of the alternator. im guessing its the hydrolic tensioner? but im not sure. do those things usually make a noise when they go bad? and do i have to just change the tensioner or the entire thing?
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:31 PM   #4
Michel
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pulley.
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Old 08-11-2009, 02:34 PM   #5
abdulmk
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which one? tensioner or idler?
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:42 PM   #6
thehoq
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if not the pulley, it could be a ccv (crankcase valve) leak.
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Old 08-19-2009, 09:40 PM   #7
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Ha, I had the same ****. Have you meesed with anything lately? Is it a whistle like the Andy Griffith Theme Song or more like a supercharger air type whistle. Mine just went away on its own, it was coming from around the same area. I know for a fact it was related to the main drive belt or one of the pulleys. The belt and all pulleys were just replaced when I started hearing the noise, search I made a thread about it. I guess the new belt was just wearing in or something.
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:01 PM   #8
grouchyfungus
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Whistle like Andy Griffith. Sweet.

Definitely check the Crank case valve. Might be your problem. Do the suction test. Take oil cap off, put your hand or a piece of paper over the opening, and see if there is suction. If there is, you may need to replace the CCV.
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Old 08-27-2009, 02:03 AM   #9
tourbillion
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I would be willing to bet it is your pulleys. I just did mine the other day as I was having a metalic whistling noise comming from the motor. It is a very very EASY DIY. I ordered the tensioner pulley, the deflection pulley, Surp belt and the air compressor belt from Pelican for $69 bucks. Do all of the pulleys and belts while your there. Literally took me less than 30 min to do the job and my indy wanted $350 for the same job.

Yay Me!!

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i have an irritating whistling noise coming from my engine, its coming fromsomewhere VERY close to the alternator. any ideas??
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Old 10-15-2009, 12:43 PM   #10
Majorp
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I have the same problem and its driving me crazy I thought it was a bad alternator because when I tapped on the back plastic alternator cover the sound would go away momentarily. After replacing the alternator the sounds was still there so I read some threads and thought it might be the hyd. belt tensioner so I replaced that and the pulley that goes with it and the sound is still there. I will check my crankcase valve and let you guys know (thanks for the test tip grouchyfungus). abdulmk I saw that you posted this a while back any success as yet??
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Old 11-07-2009, 07:13 AM   #11
E-rock
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I'm getting the same "Andy Griffith" whistling noise now. It sings only when it's cold out side, roughly 40*F and below. This morning it was around 31*F and the whistling/whining happened during my entire drive to work. Got a little better as the car warmed up but it was still there until I was almost to the parking garage. The sound doesn't start up right away either. It takes about a half mile down the road before I can hear it. Pitch changes with throttle position but when I get above 50% throttle, it goes away. Let off and it comes back. Suspect it's a pulley but I'd like to get a recommendation on which pulley should be replaced first because while the car is in park or neutral, there's no whistling/whining regardless of throttle position. I'm kind of going at this blind.

Belts, water pump, and thermostat were changed two months ago (will reuse belts)
Upper and lower intake boots were replaced and IACV cleaned two weeks ago
No other mods
Think I have a couple pulleys sitting in a closet somewhere. Will update when I get home and check which ones.
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Old 11-07-2009, 02:34 PM   #12
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to test if it is belt/pulley related, remove the AC Belt first, start the car, listen for noise. If noise is gone, it's likely the AC tensioner pulley. If noise is present, turn off the car, keep the AC belt off the car. Now, remove the main drive belt. Start the car and rev it a few times. If noise is gone, it is belt/pulley related. If noise is still present, it is something else, possibly vacuum related. Running the car for a few seconds with the main drive belt off won't hurt anything.

Check pulleys for wiggling/play. With belts off, free spin them and listen for noise/chatter. A good pulley will spin just a little and then come to a stop.
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Old 11-17-2009, 01:04 AM   #13
grouchyfungus
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Jus a second thought on the test for a crank case valve replacement. If you take the oil cap off and put your hand over the opening, there should be a slight suction, correct? After all, your hand is replacing the oil cap that you have just turned off. If your engine dies, that is another matter. Make sure you have a "Chewbacca" noise emanating from beneath your intake manifold before deciding to venture down the arduous path of replacing that crank case valve. I did mine recently and didn't enjoy it. On the other hand, at least it's new and I shouldn't need to worry about it for awhile (At least that's how I rationalize it...).
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