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Old 12-18-2014, 09:39 PM   #1
illuminated
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Clicking noise (pulleys?) from engine driver's side

Hey everyone,

Unfortunately my car started making a clicking noise today. It seems to be coming from the engine just in front of the driver's seat. The nose varies in speed with the throttle (while driving or while revving at a standstill). My best guess is that a pulley is causing this, as the noise 'catches up' to the throttle. What I mean by this is when the throttle is released (at a standstill) after revving, the noise takes a second to slow down; and when it is revved from a standstill, it takes a second for the noise to speed up accordingly. Unsure if this is related, but my car also seems to require a couple more cranks to start than usual as this noise emerged

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 12-18-2014, 11:43 PM   #2
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Old 12-18-2014, 11:55 PM   #3
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On the driver side, you have alternator pulley, tensioner pulley, one idler pulley and the power steering pump. I would suggest ,depending on your mechanical abilities, removing that drive belt that runs along that series of pulleys and then. Spin them by hand.. Check For noise, binding and abnormalities
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Old 12-19-2014, 10:19 AM   #4
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Post a sound bite. Often the clicking is lifter tick.
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Old 12-19-2014, 08:05 PM   #5
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UPDATE: As my mechancal knowledge of this chassis is limited, I really don't even know if this is a significant piece of info but
As soon as I engage the clutch, the noise slows down to a constant speed. It continues at idle however it gets extremely rapid as I go up in the RPMs. I will be posting a sound clip in 20-30 minutes!
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Old 12-19-2014, 08:11 PM   #6
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Instead of sitting in the seats and trying to guess what the noise is, try raising the hood and looking into the engine bay. You should be able to see where the noise is coming from.
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Old 12-19-2014, 08:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdstrickland View Post
Instead of sitting in the seats and trying to guess what the noise is, try raising the hood and looking into the engine bay. You should be able to see where the noise is coming from.
I have done so, and in all honesty it has only confused me more. I am uploading a video to youtube as I write this, anyway. Hopefully someone can identify the noise.
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Old 12-19-2014, 08:43 PM   #8
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Here is the video clip:

Although I mentioned in the video that the noise is coming from the driver's side (this bit was cut off thanks to youtube); I found that it seemed to really be coming from practically dead-center in the engine bay. Any help would be very appreciated, as I don't have the dough to shell out on various parts that "could" be causing the noise - I really need to pin it down. On a side note, yes i know, my cluster is in quite the christmas spirit.
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Last edited by illuminated; 12-19-2014 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 12-19-2014, 09:08 PM   #9
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Sounds like valve/lifter noise to me. Lots of it too.

You should update your profile so we know which continent you are posting from. You should also refrain from references of "driver side" because this can change from one place on Earth to another. For all cars anywhere in the known universe, designations are left or right as viewed from sitting in the driver's seat. The left side of the engine is always the intake side, it does not change when you are standing over the bumper looking into the engine bay.

I assume you are posting from the USA, but it is not plausible that the noise is coming from the driver side and be valve/lifter noise.

Take a new video from within the engine bay, we don't need to know what is happening on the radio, or that every conceivable light is on on the instrument cluster. Your sound is not long enough to know what it is, but if not lifter noise then my second is that you have a horrible exhaust manifold leak, but this would be on the other side of the engine too.

I see in another thread that you have reported a hose is off, and you have a P0111 code.
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Old 12-19-2014, 09:28 PM   #10
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Unplug the DISA and see if the noise changes or goes away.

Search YouTube for E46 DISA, Solid Jake has a video about replacing the DISA.

There is a single wire connector you can unplug.

Disconnecting the connection may trigger a trouble code (DTC), you can just clear that later.
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Old 12-19-2014, 09:31 PM   #11
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Unplugging the DISA makes no change in the sound, so we can rule that out. I am in the USA. Sure hope its not the exhaust manifold leak as you mentioned. Luckily not 'all' lights are on on my cluster, just the CEL, and headlights + a tail light. The headlights are because I have yet to put in high beams, and the tail light is a glitch of some kind as they are 100% functional... I had a fuse in my tail light replaced as a recall by bmw, and ever since that 'repair' the light has been on.
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Old 12-19-2014, 09:39 PM   #12
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Might have to resort to one of these - http://www.amazon.com/Lisle-52500-Me...cs+stethoscope

I like this model as you can take off the transducer and use the hose end to narrow down noises and vacuum leaks.

Really hard to hear and pinpoint from the video.
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Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temp, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose temp switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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Old 12-19-2014, 10:15 PM   #13
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Will post a much better video tomorrow in the daytime, where you can actually see my bay, and will go around various parts to help you in guessing what's causing the noise... if that fails ill definitely go pick one of those up. Are you suggesting this noise could be from a vacuum leak?
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Old 12-19-2014, 10:21 PM   #14
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Not necessarily a vacuum leak, they can cause knocking sounds depending on where the leak is.

You may also need to pull the serpentine belts for a test to rule out anything that is turning on the front of the engine.

Just going to be very hard to pinpoint with a video IMHO.
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Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temp, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose temp switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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Old 12-19-2014, 11:18 PM   #15
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Really appreciate your help jfoj, I will try and diagnose this all tomorrow... I'll still take/post that second vid just to see if maybe you have a sudden revelation. I'll also take pulleys off one by one i guess to troubleshoot. Aaagh the price you pay for a bmw..
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Old 12-20-2014, 01:06 AM   #16
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Get yourself a cheap mechanic's stethoscope or just a piece of fuel hose. Put one end to your ear and the other end on various places in the engine bay (carefully). Listen for the sound. Have a helper in the car on the throttle to make it louder while you probe.
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Old 12-22-2014, 10:31 PM   #17
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Oh wow, what an absolute joke. Well I took a shot in the dark and checked my dipstick -- my oil was quite low.. I assume this is responsible for the knocking as it is now gone that I topped off the oil. I changed my oil literally 5 days ago, and everything was fine and good. I found that the O-ring on the oil cap was somehow sticking out and allowing oil to leak - terrible, I know. I had to go to the trouble of buying a new filter just for the O-ring, as the previous one was stretched out to the point that it would not seal correctly. My question would be - how the hell did this happen? I torqued the cap down the 25nM as written on the cap, and then hand-tightened an 1/8th turn or so to be sure. I was using a 36mm socket as directed.. and the O-ring was completely on the inside of the reservoir - NOT sticking out. Anyone have an explanation??

EDIT: I think I win the reward for the most retarded outcome of a problem on e46 fanatics, lmao..
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Last edited by illuminated; 12-22-2014 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 12-22-2014, 11:02 PM   #18
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You out the o-ring in the groove and not under the shoulder of the cap... right?

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Old 12-22-2014, 11:50 PM   #19
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You mean, just above that groove? I placed it in the groove as shown in the picture. That's exactly why I'm so puzzled by this.
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Old 12-23-2014, 12:04 AM   #20
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This is an absolute facepalm... but definitely a head-scratcher as well. I really can't stop wondering what I could've done that caused the o-ring to slide out of the grooveand stick out of the cap so much that I lost 3 quarts of oil in 1 day of driving.. unbelievable.
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