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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 01-29-2012, 04:21 PM   #1
zhenkaaaM3
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Noise when driving;help!

Ive been experiencing a noise when driving. I know its something with either the wheel or wheel bearing. A video would not be able to capture the noise i hear from the outside so I will try to describe it as best as I can. Ive tried to watch a few youtube vids on a bad wheel bearing to see if I have the same noise, but I cant say I do.

Basically, when going highway speeds, 50+, I feel as 1 my front driver side wheel is making a fast wobbly notion. So try to hear it inside your imagination. Its happening at a certain part of the wheel when doing a full rotation. This is the best description I can give.
A rapid "wobble wobble wobble", 1 second after, "wobble wobble wobble". But this wobble is powerful enough to feel the vibration under my seat. The lugs are all tight, so its not really wobbling.

then when going at city speeds, 5-40, its more of a whirling or maybe an owl noise. Same kind of pattern as the highway speeds, but a different sound.

I lifted the car off the ground, tried to move the wheels to see if there is any play, nothing. And after spinning both front wheels on both sides. The passenger side wheel spins freely for 30+ seconds before stopping. The driver side wheel only spins for 10sec and stops. So my suspected culprit is my front driver side wheel. Could it be something as simple as re balancing the wheel? Would a slight bend on the outer lip of the rim play a role?

Thanks for reading. Id appreciate your opinions and possibly a solution!

Last edited by zhenkaaaM3; 01-29-2012 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:40 PM   #2
bhwarrior
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Lol @ 'So try to hear it inside your imagination'

I think this is a flat spot on your tyre. If you can't notice them yourself, take it to a tyre place to get them checked out and I'm certain you'll be told you must've locked up a wheel somewhere and now have a flat spot.

Replacing the tyre(s) I think will get rid of your "wobble wobble wobble".
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:45 PM   #3
zhenkaaaM3
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Flat spot? Ive had this sound ever since I got new tires. But I will consider your opinion. Any other insights?
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:47 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by E46tknv View Post

Flat spot? Ive had this sound ever since I got new tires. But I will consider your opinion. Any other insights?
swap tires see if it follows the tire.
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:51 PM   #5
zhenkaaaM3
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How to track a flat spot physically?

Does anyone believe it to be an unbalanced wheel or possibly a bent rim?
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:59 PM   #6
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How to track a flat spot physically?

Does anyone believe it to be an unbalanced wheel or possibly a bent rim?
could be.
sometimes its just the tire. broken steel bands in the tire.
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:03 PM   #7
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I will look into it. Any possibility for a bad wheel bearing? Or am I safe for now
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:07 PM   #8
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I will look into it. Any possibility for a bad wheel bearing? Or am I safe for now
check for any play in the wheels for worn wheel bearing.
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:09 PM   #9
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I did check for any play. It feels tight to me, doesnt move, no clunking of any sort. I even did this, I lifted the car off the ground, tried to move the wheels to see if there is any play, nothing. And after spinning both front wheels on both sides. The passenger side wheel spins freely for 30+ seconds before stopping. The driver side wheel only spins for 10sec and stops.
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:21 PM   #10
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whooping is classic wheel bearing. Take a turn at speed and see if you can induce it...like on entrance ramp. The side under load should whoop, but not so much when turning the other direction.

But, did you check your air pressure, fix the wheel in back?

Eugene, you're having so many issues with this car, you need to go back to the guy that sold it to you, the guy who works in a shop that has a great reputation, and tell him to tell the owner that it's not good for a car associated with that shop to be talked about so much!

If he worked in the shop, he knew about the things you'd run into with a few months...because the issues were already present.

Check the air in your tires...did you get a good tire gauge...with round dial, costing at least $10-15?

Did you fix the rear wheel issue yet?

Also, don't assume the issue is in the front, just because you feel it in the wheel and hear it...sounds can be deceiving...especially to me since I'm deaf in my right ear!

Anyway, didn't mean to sound angry, but I think you got a messed up car and you're paying that same shop for stuff I bet they didn't tell you was coming with the car...but they knew. That irks me more than anything. I know the shop and its reputation, and in my eyes, it's gone down just because of your car. I won't mention the name of the shop, and I know you didn't buy it from the shop, and I'm not saying their name either, so I can say what I think!
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Old 01-29-2012, 07:28 PM   #11
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When going on an entrance ramp, turning the wheel left, the sound seems to get quieter.
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Old 01-29-2012, 07:40 PM   #12
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Bent rims are quite a problem, mainly with the light weight sport wheels and lower profile tires.

Even with a new tire, a bent wheel will cause a "flat" or low spot. It is sad how may wheel and tire guys miss majorly bent wheels!!

Easiest way to find a bend wheel is jack the car up so the tire is only about 1/4" above the pavement, then spin the tire and watch closely between the ground and the tire. If there is a problem, it is almost always a low spot, usually do to a bent wheel. Most wheels tend to bend on the inside of the rim easier than the outer edge.

You can then also check for side to side unevenness by eyeballing the sidewall of the tire. You may need to put something close to the edge of the tire to see the problem?

Many bent wheels can be straightened by a wheel shop for around $100 or less if you can shop it around.

I had 3 Type 68 wheels bent on my E46 and was able to get them all straightened.

Last edited by jfoj; 01-29-2012 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 01-29-2012, 07:50 PM   #13
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I have a tiny bend on the outer lip on m68 wheel.
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