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///M3 Forum
The BMW E46 ///M3 is the M version E46 and puts out an amazing 333 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque at stock specs! There are an amazing amount of modifications for both the coupe and convertible models so read up and get started modifying your cars today!

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Old 12-15-2008, 11:27 AM   #1
m3604
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M3 E46 - Low RPM engine rattle - Any ideas?

Year: 2001 M3 E46 (Stock)
48,000kms
6spd Manual Transmission
Oil change done every 6000kms
Use 91 Octane fuel

I am experiencing some engine rattle noise at low RPMs. The sound is like metal vibration or tapping noise and it sounds like something is loose when accelerating.

I've noticed when driving at a constant speed with the RPMs around 2000 in any of the gears for example in 3rd or 4th gear around 50 -60 km/hour and you apply the gas quickly there is a metal rattle noise until you reach 3000 RPM or more.

The sound is not apparent if the revs are higher than 3000 RPM and applying the gas quickly and shifting at a higher RPM range.

The sound is minimal if the gas is applied slowly from 2000 RPM and allowing the RPM to climb slowly.

The M3ís are a higher revving engine but with acceleration at cruising speeds and low RPMS shouldnít make such a noise? Should it?

Iíve had it checked out briefly during an oil change and the mechanic did not notice anything loose. He said it is common with vehicles in general having the engine noise because too much fuel is being applied so the engine is lagging or choking if in a higher gear and low speeds.

Any ideas or suggestions would be great.

Thanks,
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Old 12-17-2008, 03:22 AM   #2
Tiago
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I had two diferent issues that made that a lower rpm ratling:

1. The exhaust that was touching the chassis. Quick fix.

2. Broken crankshaft bolts. Major rebuild (new crank with main bearings, rod bearings, crank bolts, new set of engine gaskets and lots of labour hours).
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:00 AM   #3
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How many KM you have on the car? Has it started recently with the cold weather? Once the car warms up does it get better or worse?

Could be the oil being too thin to lubricate properly. Might need an oil change or an oil viscosity better suited to a colder temp.

Search Dr.Vanos on youtube for videos to see if that is the same sound. Not sure if there is a vanos kit for e46 but I know there is for E36. Best of luck
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:00 AM   #4
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Timing chain tensioner is also a possibility.
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:47 AM   #5
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Thanks for your replies.

I ended up bringing the car to the BMW dealership and went for a road test and showed him how accelerating at low RPM's made a rattle noise. He referred to it as pinging because of premature detonation and low octane fuel.

He recommended filling up with 94 Octane from Chevron or Shell as 94 is the highest at conventional gas stations here. I've owned the vehicle since September and not sure how the vehicle was driven or what Octane fuel was used previously. The car has 48,000kms and was purchased with 42,000kms. Don't believe it started with the cold weather and doesn't make a difference if the car warms up either.

I'll start filling up with 94 Octane as suggested for a month to see if the noise goes away. Also recommended from the dealership and an independant BMW Mechanic was to do a carbon clean. Both don't believe there is any metal shields or piping that is loose.

I can't remember if this noise was apparent when I first purchased the vehicle as I've never had a BMW before so any noise or how it's driven is a learning curve.
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:50 PM   #6
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My '05 developed a metallic rattling at low rpm, mostly at idle. It made the noise for a few months and then the alternator went out. With the new alternator the noise is gone so it was the alternator. Just another possibility for you.
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Old 12-24-2008, 10:43 PM   #7
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Turns out that the fuel octane did the trick in eliminating the low rpm rattle noise.

Started filling up with 94 Octane at Chevron.
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Old 10-20-2009, 02:31 AM   #8
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Im running 98 octane BP in mine and I have the same problem...
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Old 10-20-2009, 03:11 AM   #9
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Same to me. 98octane.
Rattle under load 2000-3000 rpm
Changed vanos - no result
Changes timing chain and tensioners - no result.

Could it be DISA valve?
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:43 AM   #10
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Sadly we don't have a disa valve.
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:53 AM   #11
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I get the same noise... not sure what it could be... but it feels like it's coming from drivers side engine bay area...
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:08 AM   #12
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I have the same noise but always associated it with the AA 12 pound flywheel and clutch because this noise is just like the same noise I got using many aftermarket flywheel and clutch combos for my other e46.

If you can rev a lil more, be in the "right" gear a little more and less bogging, I can eliminate the gear rattle. I was just telling a friend that was test driving my car and beating it up to pulp with rev matching into 2nd and alot of jamming the stick and punching on the gas and quick shifting to 4th and gassing on the streets..(he really beat it up his first time in it and I let him)

the m3 and all its performance characteristic work you its hard to work it without getting by some of those little bothersome noise.

its transmission related like flywheel and clutch..or we all have bad vanos which I doubt.
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Old 12-28-2009, 12:44 PM   #13
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Got M3 E46 and have the same problem probably.

That annoying rattle is pretty noticeable at
0:21
0:47
2:03

Could it be "engine pinging" issue? (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=325261)

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Old 12-29-2009, 02:56 AM   #14
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yes thats it in that video it is pinging and the only way to cure it is by remapping the car...... dont know why they do it and some dont but a big handfull of e46 m3 do.....
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:16 AM   #15
fleix
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Sorry- what does it means remapping the car ?
I have the same issues
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m3 kay View Post
yes thats it in that video it is pinging and the only way to cure it is by remapping the car...... dont know why they do it and some dont but a big handfull of e46 m3 do.....
I think he means reset or reflash the ECU to defaults. Btw - anybody knows the trick how to reset the ECU to factory defaults?
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Old 01-07-2010, 02:00 AM   #17
m3 kay
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yes simalar but mapping the fault out. Any good performance centre will be able to remap your car if they have ecutec software..... we simply put the car on the dyno and mapped the car with a little more fuel and a little less ignition we found the car to run much smoother and the anoying little rattle gone.... and on the plus side if the car has exhaust and performance filter when it is mapped you will get good bhp gains.... sory for the late reply....
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:12 PM   #18
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open your hood while the car is running...if the noise is coming from the left part of your engine it is vanos failure and most likely one or both internal metal clips broke off and are making the noise.
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Old 01-08-2010, 03:11 PM   #19
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Noise is only under load
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