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General E46 Forum
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:09 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Castle Rock
Posts: 183
My Ride: 2014 328d xDrive
Air/fan-like noise from driver side

A few days ago I noticed what sounded like a small fan blowing air somewhere behind the driver side dash area; around the driver side vent and speedo. It is the same whether the fan/AC is on or off and whether the car is in gear, moving, or in park. It's not a squeal or cricket sound and it's not stemming from the footwell area. It's definitely strongest near the driver side speedo/ air vent. It comes and goes. Not constant, but definitely new. I've seen a few other posts on the internet for this, but no answers or clues. Anyone?

Last edited by DenverSooner; 03-12-2012 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:50 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 147
My Ride: 2002 330Ci
There is a fan that cools the electrical compartment on the driver's side firewall. It pulls air from the cabin and is pretty much right in the location you describe. I don't know why you would suddenly start hearing it.

When this fan motor goes bad it usually results in an annoying chirping sound. If you want more details on this fan, try searching for "cricket noise"

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Old 04-17-2012, 10:20 AM   #3
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Location: Louisville, KY
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My Ride: 2005 ZHP
I actually had a similar noise start last night. I had never heard it before and my friend noticed it too. I was idling in a parking lot trying to find a place on my GPS and it started. It was a bit warm outside, but not hot at all (maybe 75F). I opened the hood and it did appear to be near the driver's side firewall. I heard it while driving for a while and then at some point it stopped during the 10 min drive home. I cannot recall hearing this at all last summer.
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