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General E46 Forum
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:50 AM   #1
Wormydog
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Exclamation Slight whining sound: Transmission maybe?

1999 bmw 323i
So my car is making a whining sound,sounds almost like a failing power steering pump. But I replaced the pump a first time, the sound didnt go away so I replaced it again but still the sound continued. I have noticed the sound goes away once i push in the clutch...so I thought maybe the tranny needed a fluid change? Also sometimes shifting from 4th into 5th is difficult, but like once a month MAYBE. And also my rear diff is leaking fluid from the "FILL" bolt

Thx for the input!
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:39 AM   #2
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I don't really know when you experience this because you didn't really describe it but both your diff and trans can have a whine sound.
The diff whines from warn out bearing or when it's low on fluid.
Idk why the trans whines because its much more complex but it will make the same whine noise as the diff.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:02 AM   #3
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A noise that goes away when clutch is depressed could be the throwout bearing.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:05 AM   #4
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+1 for throw out bearing.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:18 AM   #5
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The transmission was just my very uneducated guess, the whine is not loud in anyway. People do not notice it till i say something about it.
And how would I know about the bearing? Any way of knowing without dropping the tranny?
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wormydog View Post
The transmission was just my very uneducated guess, the whine is not loud in anyway. People do not notice it till i say something about it.
And how would I know about the bearing? Any way of knowing without dropping the tranny?
Well the way you described it starting and stopping with the clutch is a pretty good sign of a bad throw out bearing. They normally are not very loud when they go, you might not even hear it if you have the radio on or the heater blowing. If it goes all the way it may get louder, but then very shortly it could likely seize up and cause some nasty problems, like weld itself to the input shaft of your trans. You will have to drop the trans to check/change it. Fortunately this is not really that difficult of a job. Overall it would be a good time to do a clutch if you haven't recently. Most clutch kits come with a new pilot bearing and throw out bearing, so you can take care of all of it at once.
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:14 PM   #7
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I read some where that if it were the bearing, it would make the whine when the clutch was pressed in. Mine STOPS when i press in the clutch.
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:27 PM   #8
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Does the sound go away in neutral with your foot off the clutch?
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:24 PM   #9
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Yes, not at first though, only after i push in the clutch a couple times. Then once it starts, I can make it go away by pressing in the clutch.
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:08 AM   #10
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i believe you are backwards, the sound should stop with clutch pressed in, if it is the t/o bearing. If it does, then that's a pretty decent guess, but no real way to be sure w/o tranny drop, in which case you would be well off to already have a new clutch kit and t/o bearing if you are going to go that far anyways.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:00 AM   #11
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I have both of those issues.
My diff fill bolt was loose due to all the rattling in the back, especially before getting my rear subframe serviced.
I have the same whine, it stops while the clutch pedal is pushed, then returns when released. It's been 10k miles like that.
Saving it for a full clutch swap, So I'm not sure.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:22 PM   #12
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It does go away when the clutch is pressed in
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:26 PM   #13
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Aslo it gets louder when i accelerate, sounds like its super charged almost
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