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Old 09-01-2011, 12:17 AM   #1
invictvs
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Idle rattle (sound file included)

Hey guys. My 330Ci has been making this rattling sound when it idles ever since I bought it (mid-june). If I recall it is best heard from the passenger side. The sound resembles a metal fan hitting an obstruction.

I do know that my car probably needs a new serpentine belt since in the pre-purchase inspection I had done the mechanic noted that the belt was starting to crack. I have read in other threads that the serpentine belt can cause some rattling sounds but I'm not sure if it's like mine.

I didn't know how to attach a sound file, so I just created an account on some site to link it.

http://www.esnips.com/doc/eb8e57ee-0...9f/idle_rattle

I appreciate any input.
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Old 09-01-2011, 12:43 AM   #2
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I can't really watch the video as I'm in my phone but there's 3 main causes of rattle in my experience.
Pulleys
Heat shields under the car
Exhaust mounts
To check the pulleys take your belt off (it's so easy to do) and spin them with your hand. If it sorta sounds like they're dry with sand in them they need replaced. Also if they spin freely. They shouldn't spin freely they should be greased inside. The only pulleys to check are the tensioner pulleys (ac and accessory belts) and the idler pulley

A metallic sound will more likely be a heat shield or exhaust mount where as a bad pulley will be a rattling sound.
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Old 09-01-2011, 10:57 AM   #3
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Hmm. I'll have to check the pulleys. Even though I can't imagine why a degrading pulley would make this type of sound. Thanks for the input.
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Old 09-01-2011, 02:50 PM   #4
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If it's a metallic sound it's more than likely the other things I mentioned. And don't doubt that it is until you've checked them. There's a ton of heat shielding and it easily gets loose and rattles. I've had all 3 of the minor issues I mentioned and they're all easily fixed.
Good luck
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Old 09-09-2011, 04:29 PM   #5
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Update: Just took it to the mechanic. Apparently the sound is some unknown rattling in the intake manifold: $400 to just get in there and check it out. Damn

And the grinding sound from my right rear wheel that I thought was a wheel bearing is actually the whole right axle that needs to be replaced: $500. AHHHH

My first visit to the mechanic with this car and $1500 in total repairs. HALP!
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Old 09-09-2011, 04:37 PM   #6
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What type of PPI did you get and who did it for you? Did they miss these issues? Also, did you hear these noises when you were test driving the car? If so, why did you purchase it? I'm sorry you're having a rough start with your BMW, trust me though, it gets better. These cars are simply amazing.
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Old 09-09-2011, 05:10 PM   #7
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I bought the car a little over 3 months ago. I had a PPI done at a reputable indy shop according to bimmershops.com or whatever (they were full of BMW's) and all they said was that it needed new belts ($180 of that $1500 total).

The idle rattle I noticed a month? later and the right wheel sound started last week. Both of those I don't believe a PPI would discover, nor do I think the previous owner knew (or would know). He's a member here and he seems like a very stand-up guy.

The only one I'm not sure of is the thermostat leaking coolant. I never noticed anything so I don't know when that started ($290 repair btw :-/).

I'm really worried about the unknown rattle in the intake manifold. Wtf could that be?

(And yes, I know the car is worth it. Iove it lol)
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Old 09-09-2011, 05:14 PM   #8
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It's usually a bit more muffled than metallic (unless it's gotten very bad), but the DISA is a good place to start. It's a popular topic on the forum, so do some searches. You can unplug it safely with the engine running and if it's the cause, the rattling will stop immediately and resume when you plug it back in.
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Old 09-09-2011, 05:18 PM   #9
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It's usually a bit more muffled than metallic (unless it's gotten very bad), but the DISA is a good place to start. It's a popular topic on the forum, so do some searches. You can unplug it safely with the engine running and if it's the cause, the rattling will stop immediately and resume when you plug it back in.
This is my thought after hearing that clip. Unplug and report back.
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Old 09-09-2011, 05:47 PM   #10
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$400 to get into intake...when the disa is two screws to remove!

Cyberkaa knows his stuff...though i will say that the disa seems to rattle because of a mechanical failure...I don't know if disconnecting it all cases will stop the rattle.

It does sound like a good possible though.

I was also thinking WP.

Use a hose as a stethoscope and isolate sound with it. 5' garden hose works well...watch for moving things!

Also, btw, you can replace the entire cooling system for $300 yourself...search cooling overhaul.

You'll get rid of your car very soon if you pay $400 for someone to 'look,' and $300 for a thermostat. The diys and fanatics together have allowed many who had no idea how to work on their car to do so successfully. For you, just with the therm replacement, you could spend the money you save to buy all the tools you'd ever need to do 95% of the work your car needs for the rest of its life...which can be considerable!

Use autozone for free code scanning for tough to diagnose issues. Save your money for things you really shouldn't do yourself the first time.

Start reading the threads and learn. You'd be surprised at how much knowledge there is here...some of it is even correct!
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:39 PM   #11
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Yea I would like to do more of this on my own, I just don't have that much experience in cars (this is my first), and don't really have a good place to work on it b/c I live in an apartment, but I have been reading up on the DIY's here and they seem pretty straightforward. I replaced the windshield washer pump myself (even though that didn't stop the leak lol).

They told me they weren't sure what was causing the rattle and the only way to be sure was to check the intake manifold. I assume it takes 5 hours to get to it? ($80/hr *5hr = $400). It seems kind of wrong though, if it's possible that it's this DISA you guys have mentioned and instead of checking for that (which is fairly easy i assume) they go straight for the 5hr intake manifold. But this mechanic is a family friend so I really doubt they are screwing me (I hope). Maybe they checked the DISA?

I do really appreciate all the feedback btw guys. I guess I'll have to wait till Monday when they check it. I just pray that it's nothing too bad. I'll ask them if they checked the DISA first thing Monday to be safe.
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Old 09-10-2011, 02:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invictvs View Post
Yea I would like to do more of this on my own, I just don't have that much experience in cars (this is my first), and don't really have a good place to work on it b/c I live in an apartment, but I have been reading up on the DIY's here and they seem pretty straightforward. I replaced the windshield washer pump myself (even though that didn't stop the leak lol).

They told me they weren't sure what was causing the rattle and the only way to be sure was to check the intake manifold. I assume it takes 5 hours to get to it? ($80/hr *5hr = $400). It seems kind of wrong though, if it's possible that it's this DISA you guys have mentioned and instead of checking for that (which is fairly easy i assume) they go straight for the 5hr intake manifold. But this mechanic is a family friend so I really doubt they are screwing me (I hope). Maybe they checked the DISA?

I do really appreciate all the feedback btw guys. I guess I'll have to wait till Monday when they check it. I just pray that it's nothing too bad. I'll ask them if they checked the DISA first thing Monday to be safe.
It's possible they checked it thoroughly and there's a valid reason to suspect something else is wrong inside the intake.
But they're human, so it's also possible they just missed the DISA unit. Yes, I'd definitely call and ask, but even still, I'd want to verify for myself.
The nice thing is that you don't need any tools to unplug it and even removing it takes very little time and skill.
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Old 09-10-2011, 06:29 AM   #13
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I'm also thinking (out loud) about whether there are any rattle sounds that have indicated that the car is about to fall apart, and I'm pretty sure there aren't.

There have been ticks from intake valves opening and closing, I think injectors might tick also. A hose would tell you if the sound is moving or not...up and down the intake manifold. If it's not moving, that's really good evidence for the disa.

If your shop hasn't taken apart a bmw, it might not know that the disa flap is inside the mani, and thus might think they need to remove the mani to diagnose things.

A few things to consider. I know you're worried about the sound, but most sounds that indicate something is about to fail 100% sound bad, not just worrisome because they're new sounds. I wonder if you've had this sound the entire time you had the car and just happened to notice it recently because you were under the hood while it was idling for the first time. We get a lot of concerned fanatics writing about sounds. Often, they're in the very early stages of something that will go bad eventually. Sometimes they fix themselves.

I guess your car is at the shop now? If so, maybe you could call your family friend and tell him you read some stuff on the Internet and want to try playing around with some things. If he's a good family friend, he'll probably say, "you don't really want to do that," and he might be right. If he's not such a good family friend, he'll probably say, "okay, come and pick it up."

You really will 'need' to start doing your own stuff on the car; you'll not only have fun and save money, but you'll be building a greater security for you and those who drive with you. There are many stories of guys who've gotten themselves up and running on the side of the road because of what they know and who they know (us!).

Get the car and unplug the disa like Cyberkaa said.

The shop should have checked for codes already, and if none are present, that's another sign that things are basically okay and that you could drive it.

Final random guess is that you're using the wrong oil and attenuating lifter tick.

Many use the wrong oil. If it doesn't say approved by 'BMW LL-01' don't use it. Ironically, among the best and cheapest oil you can use is BMW oil from the dealer. Ask for AAA or car club membership for 10% off (something like that). If you're neither, ask for car club membership. If the parts guy asks to see your membership card, tell him you're on e46fanatics and ask 'if that counts.'

Oh, and if this is the shop you have your oil changed at, don't be surprised, disappointed, or angry if they put the wrong oil in. It probably happens everyday to a fanatic somewhere, because many shops don't know how fussy our cars are. Also, because many shops have been doing this a long time, they won't check the spec on things like oil or coolant, because they 'know,' or because they don't bother stocking approved 'stuff' for every car they work on.

Search "approved oils" in advanced/title search...there are two threads with lists of LL-01 oils. Fascinating reading!

Also, buy Techron and use it as directed.

If you get your car back, I commit to helping you all I can, and I know Kalim won't desert you either! (If he and I happen to disagree, btw, 99% that he's right!)
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:55 AM   #14
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Good advice, Doug!

OP, we're here for you, man! :brohug:
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:20 AM   #15
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Thanks for the advice D., and cyberkaa too! My mechanic specializes in foreign cars (he was working on an 850 when I dropped the car off. I love those) so I would assume he knows his stuff. Nice guy, and a race car driver too. I'll ask him about the DISA and the ICV, which was also mentioned on a couple other threads.

The previous owner had recently changed the oil when I bought it so I don't know what he used. I've reached the 5-6k mark though so I'm going to change it now. From what I've read on the many oil threads, I'm either going to use Euro Castrol Syntec 0w30 if I can find it, or the BMW 5w30 one, or maybe even Mobil 1 0w40. Not really sure which is best out of those three (do their viscosity numbers matter as much as their brand?) but the consensus seems to be euro castrol. Which do you guys use?

And if I use techron, should I do it right now and then change the oil in 500 miles, like I read on another thread?

And thanks again for your advice guys. This seems like a very cool community and I'm glad I joined.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:25 AM   #16
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Thanks for the advice D., and cyberkaa too! My mechanic specializes in foreign cars (he was working on an 850 when I dropped the car off. I love those) so I would assume he knows his stuff. Nice guy, and a race car driver too. I'll ask him about the DISA and the ICV, which was also mentioned on a couple other threads.

The previous owner had recently changed the oil when I bought it so I don't know what he used. I've reached the 5-6k mark though so I'm going to change it now. From what I've read on the many oil threads, I'm either going to use Euro Castrol Syntec 0w30 if I can find it, or the BMW 5w30 one, or maybe even Mobil 1 0w40. Not really sure which is best out of those three (do their viscosity numbers matter as much as their brand?) but the consensus seems to be euro castrol. Which do you guys use?

And if I use techron, should I do it right now and then change the oil in 500 miles, like I read on another thread?

And thanks again for your advice guys. This seems like a very cool community and I'm glad I joined.
No, you don't change oil when using Techron. That's really for the more aggressive cleaners, like seafoam, and only if you add it to the oil. Don't use that stuff.

Viscosity matters a lot; you can use any of the three oils you mentioned. I will say I've read that the GC seems to be thicker, so if you are having a lifter ticking, that might be the best. I use Total 0/30, but I don't think it's widely available. My shop works on exotics, so stocks that stuff. I just steal it when I want!
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:07 PM   #17
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So I guess it was the DISA valve after all. My mechanic showed me the part, and he called it the adjuster valve (he didn't know it as a DISA valve I don't think). I guess the girl at the front desk didn't clearly explain why this part of the job would cost me $400. $224 of that was for the DISA valve itself, which makes much more sense now. It's nice not to hear that ridiculous rattling now when my car is stopped. Was kind of embarrassing when I would take girls anywhere. BMW's shouldn't sound like that lol.

Btw, other than the rattling being gone, are there any other added benefits to a new DISA unit? Performance wise?
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:06 PM   #18
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So I guess it was the DISA valve after all. My mechanic showed me the part, and he called it the adjuster valve (he didn't know it as a DISA valve I don't think). I guess the girl at the front desk didn't clearly explain why this part of the job would cost me $400. $224 of that was for the DISA valve itself, which makes much more sense now. It's nice not to hear that ridiculous rattling now when my car is stopped. Was kind of embarrassing when I would take girls anywhere. BMW's shouldn't sound like that lol.

Btw, other than the rattling being gone, are there any other added benefits to a new DISA unit? Performance wise?
Yep, it's "DISA" from the German name for it, but it goes by a few other names such as "adjuster unit" or "resonance valve."

Glad it's fixed.
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:14 PM   #19
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Btw, other than the rattling being gone, are there any other added benefits to a new DISA unit? Performance wise?
yes, low end grunt.
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:22 PM   #20
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yes, low end grunt.
Yes, I noticed this. The sound is lower and much better (helps that I have a muffler delete pipe too lol).

HOWEVER, I had a very interesting thing happen today. I added Techron before I refueled, per D's advice, and later on when I was idling in a parking lot talking to a friend of mine, the car just stalled.

WTF? Is that an issue with the new DISA valve I have or could the Techron be responsible?
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