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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 03-07-2008, 12:20 AM   #1
sharkface
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cricket noise???

When my car is in idle, there is an odd "cricket noise" coming from the engine. The noise would disappear when I give it some gas. Before the noise would appear when the car is in gear, but now it appears when the car is in neutral also. This started about few weeks ago. Sometime, the check engine light would come on then by end of the day, the check engine light would disappear. Itís a big mystery to me what it could be. Any help would be greatly appreciated
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Old 03-07-2008, 04:11 AM   #2
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If the noise is coming from under the hood, you've probably got a worn bearing on one of the pulleys. From what I've seen the idler pulley is a common point of failure on these cars. It could just as easily be any of the other belt driven accessories (water pump, etc) so you'll need to track down exactly where the noise is coming from if you plan on DIY, or take it to the shop.

It could also be the the bearing on the fan blower motor (cabin air). Noise would be coming from the back of the engine bay (near the winsheild / cabin filter). This should very audible from inside the car as well.
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Old 03-07-2008, 07:28 AM   #3
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Damn I think I have this issue as well. I just got the car and have heard it before on other e46s... I think mine is the fan blower motor bc I hear it in the car only and its when I initially start the car however its not consistent. Its a high pitch cricket type noise, correct? Mine is coming from the center vents in the dash above the radio.
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:02 AM   #4
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I had the same cricket sound as you described and it was the fan clutch...i don't know if you have the same set up as me as i know some cars have the electric fan instead of the engine driven one....in mine i have both the electric pusher fan and the engine driven one so the clutch on the engine driven one was blown....in mine the pusher fan kept going on every 2 minutes but the engine never overheated....i checked the fan clutch and it was giving that weird noise until i gave it a little gas...usually did it at idle...hope this helps
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Old 03-07-2008, 02:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZbeZHP05 View Post
Damn I think I have this issue as well. I just got the car and have heard it before on other e46s... I think mine is the fan blower motor bc I hear it in the car only and its when I initially start the car however its not consistent. Its a high pitch cricket type noise, correct? Mine is coming from the center vents in the dash above the radio.
Thats probably the blower motor. You can usually hear it if you turn your fan on low and drive around.
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Old 03-08-2008, 12:21 AM   #6
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Goto Home Depot and get some bug sprays. Might be a few crickets getting drunk in there.
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Old 04-23-2008, 07:46 PM   #7
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it could also be the fan that is cooling down the electronic box on the driver side before the firewall.
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Old 05-07-2008, 12:31 AM   #8
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similar problem fixed

I had the stupid cricket sound in my engine for about a month and no one knew why. Then I took it to a mechanic who looked (and heard) at it for sometime and said that it might be the engine belt pulleys. He said the belts looked fine so it's gotta be the pulleys.

He was right. About $300 later, the crickets are gone!
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Old 05-07-2008, 12:35 AM   #9
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I had it too, BMW replace the idler pulley...it came back.
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Old 05-19-2008, 04:52 PM   #10
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i have this too... plus my fan is pulsing inside (both heat & while a/c is running) i wonder if both are connected? how we fix this?



Quote:
Originally Posted by ZbeZHP05 View Post
Damn I think I have this issue as well. I just got the car and have heard it before on other e46s... I think mine is the fan blower motor bc I hear it in the car only and its when I initially start the car however its not consistent. Its a high pitch cricket type noise, correct? Mine is coming from the center vents in the dash above the radio.
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Old 05-19-2008, 05:04 PM   #11
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i have this too... plus my fan is pulsing inside (both heat & while a/c is running) i wonder if both are connected? how we fix this?
These are two sepearte instances.

The one described in this thread is the fan-clutch wearing out (engine compartment related).

The one inside the cabin is the air recirculation fan wearing out. It is present even if you turn the inside air completely off. Look up "cricket*" in the search engine and you find about a zillion posts on this noise + some DIY on the recirc fan one.
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Old 05-19-2008, 06:20 PM   #12
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Agreed with Misterzmiasta.

At the beginning of the year i had to change my pulley idler and tensioner because of the loud cricket sound at idle. Common for them to wear out over time and cause this sound.

Just recently a less severe cricket sound could be heard from my car when at idle position and worked out it was the viscous fan clutch which again has worn out over time and wasnt spinning the fan hard enough.. i could literally put my fingers in front of the fan to stop it.

So, from my experience the two points to consider for the cricket sound are:
- the pulley idler and tensioner
- the viscous clutch
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Old 05-19-2008, 06:38 PM   #13
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I had a similar sound. small squeek at idle, touch the gas and it went away. I first replaced the Idler pully and both belts. Sound was 10X better but still had a small cricket noise. replaced the belt tensioner and it went away.

I would go with these first as they are pretty cheap.

idler pulley = ~40
both belts = ~100
mechanical belt tensioner = ~70

Last edited by jbowser12; 05-19-2008 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:39 PM   #14
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fixed this a few months ago. i changed all the pulleys...cricket noises were still there until i changed the tensioner (http://www.bavauto.com/assets/imglib500/11281717188.jpg). the old one was pretty worn out. the end with the bushing in it didn't have any more rubber! so you might wanna check that out.
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Old 07-13-2008, 05:36 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by TitaniumCranium View Post
These are two sepearte instances.

The one described in this thread is the fan-clutch wearing out (engine compartment related).

The one inside the cabin is the air recirculation fan wearing out. It is present even if you turn the inside air completely off. Look up "cricket*" in the search engine and you find about a zillion posts on this noise + some DIY on the recirc fan one.
I am experiencing the so-called cricket noise now. But for me, I get the cricket noise when I completely turn off my A/C system, and I can still hear it clearly in the cabin. It does seem to get quieter after a drive for a while and it's completely random in terms of interval and consistency. Sometimes it's intermittent and sometimes it's constant cricket noise. So even if my air is completely off inside my cabin and the cricket noise is still present, it means my recirculating fan is wearing out? If it was a pulley, belt, or pulley, would I be able to hear it clearly in the cabin with all my windows rolled up? My guess is cabin recirculate fan, but not sure with all these posts pointing to so many different possible sources.
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Old 07-13-2008, 05:49 PM   #16
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i fixed mine a while back. it was my tensioner. i have the hydraulic tensioner and it has a rubber insert on the top bushing and the rubber piece was worn out making the washer in it touch the tensioner. metal to metal rub made the cricket noise for mine. if you have a mechanical tensioner it might be the pulleys bearings worn out.
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Old 07-13-2008, 05:59 PM   #17
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I am starting to lean towards the instrument cluster fan blower, since the other posts mention something about it always on, regardless if cabin air is on or off. and in my case, I hear the same cricket sound when I turn on or off my cabin air. But if it was the tensioners, would I be able to hear it clearly when I'm sitting inside my car with the windows up? I don't hear any cricket noise if I stand right by my engine while the car is running, but I do hear it inside the cabin with doors/windows closed.
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Old 07-13-2008, 06:28 PM   #18
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i have this proble as i start it makes a noise loke something is loose but once revved it goes away, some times my fan inside the car stops blowing air why ????
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Old 07-13-2008, 07:57 PM   #19
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i have this proble as i start it makes a noise loke something is loose but once revved it goes away, some times my fan inside the car stops blowing air why ????
the electric fan comes on and off to cool down the radiator. it is normal to turn off when it reaches optimal cooling.
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Old 07-13-2008, 08:53 PM   #20
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I am starting to lean towards the instrument cluster fan blower, since the other posts mention something about it always on, regardless if cabin air is on or off. and in my case, I hear the same cricket sound when I turn on or off my cabin air. But if it was the tensioners, would I be able to hear it clearly when I'm sitting inside my car with the windows up? I don't hear any cricket noise if I stand right by my engine while the car is running, but I do hear it inside the cabin with doors/windows closed.
with my windows up when i had the noise, i can barely hear it. if you turn off your cabin air and you don't hear it, then it is your fan blower. it usually makes the noise around the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th fan setting. be careful when replacing those. the fins are flimsy and can bend easily during installation. a little bend could make the cricket noise come back.
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