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Old 10-16-2013, 08:16 PM   #1
seattlebimmerdude
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Angry Annoying intermittent exhaust rattle/fartbox exhaust...

I drive an '02 BMW 325i sedan that is generally in great shape, only 70k miles and spend a lot of time taking care of it/enjoying driving it. Have read e46fanatics for a while but never created an account, just search stuff and read without signing in.

Sometimes I experience an intermittent exhaust rattle and loud/annoying fartbox exhaust note while driving around. No lights come on, not even the service engine soon one. It sounds like I'm driving some honda ****box ***** crap and obviously drives me up the wall. Then it goes away in 10 minutes and the car is smooth as ever...

I caught it once and pulled over to listen and it is definitely coming from the exhaust system or somewhere near right beneath the center of the car. I can't see anything rattling but didn't get a chance to jack it up or anything. I also noticed that if I rev the engine in neutral up through the rev range a little bit, then release the gas and let it fall back to normal it will rattle ridiculously hard and sound like the engine will stall, then go back to normal/slightly fartbox idle. Ran the OBDII and there is nothing current, but I had a "Service Engine Soon" P0466 which is the evap come on for about 5 minutes one day and then go away. Assumed it was the gas cap as usual then.

Has anyone ever had this infuriating issue/figured it out? I took it to two indy shops and they could not figure anything out... doubt the stealership will be able to do anything either. Thank you so much if anyone has anything or a direction to go. I also have two slightly poverty iPhone videos demonstrating it if that's helpful at all/can upload to YouTube. Things I have thought of so far: heat shield rattle, loose bolt somewhere, exhaust hanger, maybe catalytics converter or VANOS seals?
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:20 PM   #2
seattlebimmerdude
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For reference if it matters, P0466 is "EVAP Purge Flow Sensor Circuit Range/Performance" but I'm not sure this has anything to do with it, and the light isn't even on.
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:11 PM   #3
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Nobody?
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:26 PM   #4
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What you consider fartbox and what others consider fartbox may be different. Your best bet at getting an answer is to catch a sound clip/video.
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:35 PM   #5
seattlebimmerdude
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Originally Posted by FooFighter94 View Post
What you consider fartbox and what others consider fartbox may be different. Your best bet at getting an answer is to catch a sound clip/video.
Alrighty, I'll go upload a video. I don't have a video of the fartbox sound really but I do have one of the rattling. One moment...
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:43 PM   #6
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You HAD to mention fartbox in the title, didn't ya? Okay, I just got back from a 15-minute laugh-a-thon of fartbox videos. Damn i love youtube.
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Old 10-17-2013, 12:01 AM   #7
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You HAD to mention fartbox in the title, didn't ya? Okay, I just got back from a 15-minute laugh-a-thon of fartbox videos. Damn i love youtube.
Always makes me lol too... but absolutely mortifies me to think of my car ever sounding like that so this is why I'm here. Uploading the videos right now. It sounds more normal than I had hoped through the crappy microphone/speakers on my phone but maybe you can figure it out? Will post videos in second post.
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Old 10-17-2013, 12:09 AM   #8
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First video: sticking my phone under the car... sounds way more normal now on the video but there is a definite "rattle" that is added to the normal idling sound that is definitely not normal... not sure if you can hear it at all:

Second video: putting it through the rev range and then releasing the throttle, and you get a LOT more rattle as the revs go back down to idling revs... you can definitely hear the rattle in this one as it hits around 2,000 RPM:

Neither video showcases the "fartbox" phenomenon because that's usually when I'm commuting to work and I don't have time/room to pull over in rush hour traffic and stick my head under the car, lol.
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Old 10-17-2013, 01:08 AM   #9
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On the second vid it kind of sounds like you may have a rotted through exhaust hanger, just aft of the cats.
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Old 10-17-2013, 11:51 AM   #10
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On the second vid it kind of sounds like you may have a rotted through exhaust hanger, just aft of the cats.
Gonna borrow a friend's jack and check that out at work today. Don't have a real great place to work on the car right now because I just moved and I live in the middle of the city.

Have seen a lot of threads about replacing this thing so it can't be so bad.
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:50 PM   #11
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Hard to be certain from your videos but I think I'm having the same issue/sound. I'd describe it as a farting noise while idling and a raspy, metallic rattling noise under acceleration.

It could be totally unrelated but the service engine soon light also came on last week and the codes that came up were for the air mass sensor and O2 sensor adaptation limit for cyl 1-3 and 4-6. I cleared the codes to see what would happen. The service engine soon light came back on tonight this time with codes for air mass sensor, ignition coil cyl 1, O2 sensor adaptation limit cyl 4-6, O2 sensor adaptation limit cyl 1-3, catalytic converter efficiency cyl 1-3, and O2 sensor control limit cyl 1-3. I've had very intermittent hesitation when accelerating from a rolling stop (happened 2-3 times) over the past few weeks. A few weeks ago, I also replaced the valve cover gasket. While making that repair, I accidentally broke the dried out vacuum hose coming from the air pump control valve as well as the engine crankcase breather pipe coming from the valve cover. I replaced both but my car has 150k miles on it so both were ready to be replaced anyway. I also replaced the oil filter stand gasket which required me to remove the air intake and filter box, radiator fan, alternator, power steering pump and (obviously) the oil filter stand.

I suppose if I did not properly reinstall the air intake and filter box, it could cause some of these codes to be tripped. According to various other posts from other boards, the fartbox noise and/or raspy sound could be from a worn out catalytic converter but I have no idea. If so, maybe that could also cause some of these codes.

Anyway, I'm hoping to get my car up this weekend so I can get underneath it to locate the source of the sound. I'll post my findings.
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:40 PM   #12
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go around back and see if any of your exhaust tips wiggle. touch it when it isn't hot and if they wiggle any bit, its them.
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Old 10-19-2013, 01:29 PM   #13
seattlebimmerdude
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go around back and see if any of your exhaust tips wiggle. touch it when it isn't hot and if they wiggle any bit, its them.
They like... kindof wiggle but not really more than I've seen any other exhaust? Could that still be it?
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Old 10-19-2013, 02:23 PM   #14
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They are supposed to be welded stiff, as in zero wiggling at all. To test my theory what I did to solve my problem was get a screw or something metal and wedge it against the tips to prevent it from wiggling.

And if you're wondering how it got that way, at least for me, i went over a speed bump, a large one and after going over it, the drop was so large that the exhaust tip slammed hard against the bump. I didn't put 2 and 2 together until after I discovered it was the exhaust tip and recalling that i my car slammed down quite hard, making me think i screwed something up.

That rattling noise was so annoying and embarrassing that one day I got fed up. I turned my car off, got out, went to the back to look to see if my exhaust hangers perhaps broke only to find nothing. Trying to find leverage to pull myself up from my awkward crouching position, I happened to touch the exhaust tip, which was hot, on accident but noticed right away of it wiggling. Jamming something metal there, I went on a drive to find that the noise is gone
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Last edited by NumbaOneNewb; 10-19-2013 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 10-19-2013, 02:40 PM   #15
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And your odd miscellaneous codes needs to be more intensely investigated. What you need to do is scan for the codes immediately as the light comes on. The first code that appears will be a better indication of your fault. The tons of fault following it could all be a direct result of that single problem which causes a chain reaction, leading you to believe there's a bigger problem than there really is. If i had to guess it might be your Maf sensor. If you have hesitation problems, as soon as it happens, pull over and turn car off. Unplug Maf then turn on. See if hesitation persists
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Last edited by NumbaOneNewb; 10-19-2013 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 05-01-2014, 04:33 PM   #16
seattlebimmerdude
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The solution to this: replace two worn out exhaust gaskets that had rusted (East coast car). These ones:



Cost about $200 for all of the work. Sounds great now!
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