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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 06-13-2010, 03:56 PM   #1
Scott87
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Exclamation Window Rattle Fix DIY (with pics)

Hey guys.

I have a 2001 325Ci and when I drive with the front windows open any amount on a bumpy surface the glass rattles. This really bugged the hell out of me and this weekend I got in there and fixed it. My Haynes Manual told me I could not do this job as it required a specialist and that parts inside needed to be replaced. I thought well if they need to be replaced I can't really break it any more than it already is!

You will need:

Torx 20 driver.
5mm socket on extension with ratchet.
Some form of tape.
Sharp blade (I used a stanley knife).
Small screw driver (BMW one from the boot).
30 minutes per side (DIY shows right side, driver side here in the UK).

Ok to get started we need to get inside the door. I didn't remove the battery connections as you do not need to do anything with the air bag. You will also need to be able to move the window up and down.

There are 5 T20 screws holding the door trim panel on. Shown here:


One behind the interior handle:


Press the small plastic cap near the right side and it will press in. Simply grab hold and remove it:




One behind the airbag badge:


Use the screwdriver and just pry it out from the top and bottom:




There are three under the armrest at the front, middle and back:






You should now have this:


Now you need to pry up one of the edges of the door trim panel to get your fingers under:


Get your fingers under the panel and now just give it a sharp tug. The pop clips will release and just keep moving all the way around the edge until it is fully released. You can look in the gap and see where each clip is to remove.

Once the trim panel is free do not let it drop there are things attached:


You need to remove the cable from the interior door handle. Remove using the small white clip:




Next the speaker cable:




I didn't want to remove the electric mirror control from my arm rest as it risked scratching it so I removed this tape inside the door to give me the slack I needed:


This left me with enough room to move the panel to where it would be if the door were closed. Now you need to start peeling up the right side of the foam covering. I peeled it back and used the sharp blade to slice through it as I pulled:


Hold it out of the way with the tape:


Next you need to peel back the top left corner using the same method and tape that out of the way:


Now there is a bolt arrowed on the above photo shown here closer up:


This is one of the two bolts that hold the window glass in its carrier. It looks like an inverse torx bolt but I didn't have a socket for that and a standard 5mm socket worked perfectly. You will need to wind the window down to see this bolt, good job you left that battery connected! To tighten this up I had to turn it COUNTER clockwise. This is on my drivers door (right side of vehicle):


The second bolt is to the rear of the door through the larger hole here:


You may need to adjust the window height slightly to get a perfect view:


Give this one a tighten up too. Don't go mad with these you don't want to break the glass but you also don't want the window rattling around still. Use your judgement:


This is how far I had my window open to access the bolts:


Refitting is simply a reversal of removal. If you want you can use a hair dryer to heat the black tar like glue to stick the foam covering down better but I found it stuck just fine. Once everything is connected and you come to offer the trim panel back up to pop the clips in, just go round the edge as some may need nudging back into their mounting holes.

Now, go take your car down some of the streets near me and if they don't make it rattle it never will! It's nice to have a little more peace on the bumpy roads now

Hope this helps someone.

Scott.

Last edited by Scott87; 06-13-2010 at 04:01 PM. Reason: Spelling.
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Old 06-13-2010, 04:01 PM   #2
Scott87
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It seems the pictures I edited to add arrows to somehow ended up larger than the others. Sorry they are so big!
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Old 06-13-2010, 04:13 PM   #3
maximepetit
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Does this fix up the same sounds that the gummy phledge also help reduce?

Like a squeaking sound that goes away if the windows are lowered just a little bit?

Nice DIY by the way!!
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Old 06-13-2010, 04:18 PM   #4
secono330ci
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Awsome write up! I have to tighten mine up soon because they make the same rattle. Thanks buddy
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Old 06-13-2010, 04:24 PM   #5
Scott87
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Thanks for the comments secono. Maxi i'm not sure what 'gummy phledge' is so i'm affraid I can't answer. The windows sit inside a metal bracket, once these screws are lose the window rattles inside this bracket. It is a glass on metal rattle and happens when the window is open any amount on a bumpy road. When the window is shut the pressure pushing up holds the window still.

I figure this will only affect coupe and convertible drivers and is caused by people shutting the door by applying pressure to the glass and not the door itself. This applies pressure to these mountings and over time loosens them. Any one pushing my door shut with the glass will now get shouted at!!
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Old 06-13-2010, 04:32 PM   #6
maximepetit
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Alright, well I guess I don't have to worry about this since I have a 4 door.
But damn the squeaking noise I have drives me crazy with all windows shut tight!
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Old 06-14-2010, 09:40 AM   #7
paraklas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott87 View Post
Thanks for the comments secono. Maxi i'm not sure what 'gummy phledge' is so i'm affraid I can't answer. The windows sit inside a metal bracket, once these screws are lose the window rattles inside this bracket. It is a glass on metal rattle and happens when the window is open any amount on a bumpy road. When the window is shut the pressure pushing up holds the window still.

I figure this will only affect coupe and convertible drivers and is caused by people shutting the door by applying pressure to the glass and not the door itself. This applies pressure to these mountings and over time loosens them. Any one pushing my door shut with the glass will now get shouted at!!
It does happen to sedans as well, but it's not too noticeable due to the door frame holding the glass. I never got it why BMW used inverse Torx + reverse thread on that specific part, I wish you made this thread before I did mine cause I turned the bolt counter clockwise and (naturally) stripped it.

Great work!
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:06 PM   #8
E46Stri
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Window Rattles

Great write up! I need to tighten mine up because one side make the same rattle.
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:36 PM   #9
Scott87
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Thanks for the comments guys. I almost broke mine not knowing it was a reverse thread!!
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:15 AM   #10
TiGress22
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This write up helped me fix my window rattle, much thanks for the post.
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:39 PM   #11
dakkon
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my drivers side window has been doing this for a while... so i know exactly what your talking about with it bugging you.... i might have to do this on friday.... Finally something i don't need the jack stands to fix....

how many turns did you tighten the bolts?
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:22 AM   #12
kd330
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i think i have the same problem with maxi ..
i drive a convertible and when i have the windows up, the left hand side passenger door rattles. I lower the window and its fine ...
any suggestions guys?
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:42 AM   #13
adrianpl
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I have the exact opposite. i replaced my window regulator but now when the window is closed it rattles over bumps. When i open it slightly its perfectly fine.
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Old 07-09-2011, 09:15 PM   #14
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Wow, this was easy! Much easier than getting into the doors of the Passat I used to have to repair the window regulators. Thanks for the directions on getting into the door.

A couple of thoughts/suggestions where I differed from the OP:

-- Go to Harbor Freight and spend a buck or two on a trim removal tool rather than a screw driver. Mine (don't remember where it came from) looks like a miniature plastic pry bar, and 1) doesn't scratch the paint and 2) gives you a lot more leverage to pop the clips holding the door panel

-- What I did to disconnect the power mirror switch was remove the interior door panel, then pop the switch out from the inside of the panel and disconnect it, so I had the panel completely free and set aside.

-- My rattle ended up not being the loose Torx screws in the window carrier. Instead, one of the nuts (top, rear of door) holding the window regulator had loosened and vibrated off. I found the nut (10mm BTW) down in the bottom of the door skin and grabbed it with a pair of long nose pliers and reinstalled it. No more rattle.
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Old 03-22-2012, 04:38 PM   #15
PaulPaimE46
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cheap china ratchet
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:36 AM   #16
illestminimike
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I knew this would be a simple fix. Hopefully I'll get this done during the weekend.
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:51 AM   #17
BimProject
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Gummi pfledge helped me get rid of or reduce my window rattle noise tremendously. I am now dealing with these annoying brake squeal issue with new rims installed. I think it's time for new pads.
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Old 05-13-2012, 05:38 PM   #18
FreddyM3
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"A couple of thoughts/suggestions where I differed from the OP:

-- Go to Harbor Freight and spend a buck or two on a trim removal tool rather than a screw driver. Mine (don't remember where it came from) looks like a miniature plastic pry bar, and 1) doesn't scratch the paint and 2) gives you a lot more leverage to pop the clips holding the door panel

-- My rattle ended up not being the loose Torx screws in the window carrier. Instead, one of the nuts (top, rear of door) holding the window regulator had loosened and vibrated off. I found the nut (10mm BTW) down in the bottom of the door skin and grabbed it with a pair of long nose pliers and reinstalled it. No more rattle."

I bought the plastic trim removal tools ($8 I think it was) from Harbor Freight as suggested. Really worked well. My rattle was also a missing nut; the top rear of door window carrier bolt that had loosened up and fell off. It was sitting in the bottom of the door. The OP said that a 5mm socket was used to tighten his window. A 5mm would not fit onto mine. The 5.5mm worked perfectly. This DIY solved my door rattle once I realized the nut had come off. I used some blue lock tight on it and snugged it up. Good bye window rattle!
Something else, I am calling BS on a 30 minute job. Yes, maybe after you do it once, but not the first time. Anyways, thanks to the OP for posting this DIY!!!!!!!! Really fairly easy once you figure it out.
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:11 AM   #19
TheSho007
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Very Useful! Gonna take apart my panels today to make them two tone!.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:55 AM   #20
brianabbott
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I was getting what I thought was window rattle from the driver and passenger side of my vehicle. I decided to investigate as per the DIY above, but everything was fine inside the door. A few bangs on the inside of the door created the vibration/rattle again, but to my surprise it turned out to be loose wing mirrors! I couldn't believe it. Vibrations from both wing mirrors fooled me into thinking it was the windows.

There was significant vertical play when applying force to the mirrors. The pin inside the housing seemed to be shot. Rather than buy new mirrors or replace them with second hand ones and potentially have the same problem again, I stuck in a small coin (5 pence bit - a very small, thin British silver coin) inside the plastic shroud under the mirrors turning point where it joined to the car. Now there is no vibration.

The only downside is that if I decide to fold the mirrors inward, the coin may dislodge. I'm not certain it will do that, but I don't intend to fold them in anyway.
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