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Old 05-09-2012, 03:29 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Eastbourne
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My Ride: BMW E46 323i
Whirring noise on near side front

Hi guys,

Got a bit of an issue on my 323i, driving along about 30mph theres a whirring noise, now slow down to around 20mph and this whirring turns into a vibration that you can feel throughout the car. The frequency of the whirring changes with a turn, putting load onto the left wheel will reduce the speed of the whirring, while putting load onto the right wheel will increase it. Increasing in speed with the car makes the whirring go high pitched, the faster you go the higher pitch it makes, but not particularly audible.

I have a funny feeling its the bearing but not quite sure, I've jacked the car up and noticed side to side play in the near side front, offside seems to be fine. Spinning the nearside front you can definitely hear the wheel turning (almost metal on metal noise, but not quite, hard to describe).

A mechanic reckons the tie rod end is buggered (which it probably is in all fairness as the lateral play would indicate it) but it certainly doesn't explain the noise driving along.

Anyone have any ideas to what it could be?

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Old 05-09-2012, 04:38 PM   #2
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It does sound like a worn bearing to me. How many miles on the car?
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Old 05-09-2012, 04:42 PM   #3
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Textbook bearing failure.
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:10 PM   #4
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112k (1999 model) on the clock at the moment, the chap before me had a whole ton of work done it so I know the usual's are fine (bushings etc) as they've recently been replaced.

I'm also more or less positive its the bearing just wanted to make sure before ordering the part and giving it to my local mechanics on Friday! (40 fitting which had my jaw dropping as i was expecting it to cost a fortune, would DIY but don't have the tools nor a hydraulic press).

Just a quick q, the M52 is cam chain driven or am I mistaken? If not I'll get the belt looked at.

Diagnosing drives me bonkers!

Last edited by evensis; 05-09-2012 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:02 PM   #5
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As others have stated, wheel bearing noise. You might consider changing the hub as well as the bearing.

Also, if you have not had the belts and pulleys changed or are in doubt about them, it would be best to have these checked and replaced as well. Lastly, have a look at the cooling system refresh guide at the top of this sub-forum, especially if you are looking at belts / pulleys anyway

I can help with
* Reading Codes / Coding your car
* R&R FCAs, Tie Rods, Sway links....

Need an RTAB tool? Or clutch fan and water pump tools? PM me.
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