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Old 11-29-2014, 08:04 PM   #1
illuminated
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Red face Loud clanking noises while driving -- Please help!!

Hi all,
Making this post for a buddy of mine too lazy to make an account. He drives an '04 330i, has 105k on it if I remember correctly. Today he called me freaking out, explaining that his car was making a violent clanking, banging noise and vibrations -- to the point that he felt unsafe driving it. I can only imagine his frustration

This is how it was explained to me:
- While driving (especially while just rolling, or slowing down) there is a very loud, constant banging noise coming from the front of the car
- 'Road feel' is completely absurd -- never felt such vibrations in any car
- The noise seems to be related to something rotating
- The noise seems to not be present during hard acceleration (not just muted by exhaust noise)
- The noise changes frequency with the speed of the vehicle
- Once the car has the brakes applied to a certain degree, it dissappears
- My friend also describes a very unfamiliar loud, rubbing (imagine a shot strut mount, similar to that) noise at random times (barely rolling from a green light, while turning the wheel at times, etc)
- I took a ride in the car to give my two cents -- the ENTIRE thing was shaking, god damn
-To explain this best, it felt and sounded as though he was driving with a dead flat tire, with a more intense noise, and constant, very unsettling vibration
- The noise is NOT present at idle by any means
- Oddly, he said that his 'check brakes' light, as well as ABS and BRAKE light have gone on in various combinations, all three colors (red, yellow, and green) while driving with this problem
- Luckily, my friend is not an idiot and has parked the car until we locate the problem

------

My best guess was that his control arm bushings are finally shot -- he said this happened not too long after jacking the car up for an oil change. For reference, we live in an area where it is freezing outside right now. Additionally, I of course told him we'll have to check out his brake systems first thing tomorrow (too dark for that now)



Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-29-2014, 08:07 PM   #2
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Nice!
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Old 11-29-2014, 08:31 PM   #3
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Nice!
You:

Last edited by illuminated; 11-29-2014 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 11-29-2014, 08:44 PM   #4
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I think you're on the right path looking at front suspension, not convinced the brakes are involved except for a sensor being shaken loose or something like that. This will seem completely random, and maybe obvious to some, but has it snowed recently there? I ask because last year during the "polar vortex" I had a horrific build up of snow and ice inside my wheels after a storm that shook the whole car so badly you'd have thought I was driving on 4 flat tires and 4 bent wheels with completely spent shocks. It was so bad that it actually shook an O2 sensor loose, causing a flashing CEL condition. This wasn't on my E46, though I would think any car could be susceptible to this type of thing.

At any rate, good luck! Let us know what you guys find.
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Old 11-29-2014, 10:21 PM   #5
illuminated
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Originally Posted by Statik330 View Post
I think you're on the right path looking at front suspension, not convinced the brakes are involved except for a sensor being shaken loose or something like that. This will seem completely random, and maybe obvious to some, but has it snowed recently there? I ask because last year during the "polar vortex" I had a horrific build up of snow and ice inside my wheels after a storm that shook the whole car so badly you'd have thought I was driving on 4 flat tires and 4 bent wheels with completely spent shocks. It was so bad that it actually shook an O2 sensor loose, causing a flashing CEL condition. This wasn't on my E46, though I would think any car could be susceptible to this type of thing.

At any rate, good luck! Let us know what you guys find.

Yes, in fact, there was a very early (brutal) storm the other day. We will definitely check for built up snow and ice! Really appreciate the suggestion. Sure hope its that an not his control arms or any other bitch-to-replace suspension part.
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Old 11-29-2014, 10:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by illuminated View Post
Yes, in fact, there was a very early (brutal) storm the other day. We will definitely check for built up snow and ice! Really appreciate the suggestion. Sure hope its that an not his control arms or any other bitch-to-replace suspension part.
Yeah, check for snow first. Have the suspension bits been replaced? It's not that tough to do, should take a full day with two people working on it.
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Old 11-29-2014, 11:25 PM   #7
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Yeah, check for snow first. Have the suspension bits been replaced? It's not that tough to do, should take a full day with two people working on it.
We will be removing all the snow and ice that we can tomorrow. My buddy had just recently installed some coilovers on his car. I believe all other suspension components are factory from 2004.
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Old 11-29-2014, 11:28 PM   #8
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Ahhhh the recent coilover install could likely also be your culprit! I'm assuming since you didn't say you had problems that the install went well, but won't hurt to go over everything again.
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Old 11-30-2014, 11:45 AM   #9
illuminated
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Ahhhh the recent coilover install could likely also be your culprit! I'm assuming since you didn't say you had problems that the install went well, but won't hurt to go over everything again.
I see why you say so, but the noises began after the snow storm. Prior to that, his coilovers (except over potholes, of course) were riding like a dream. Well, here goes to hopefully just finding a bunch of ice in his wheel wells... I'll let you guys know how this goes
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