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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 09-24-2012, 11:58 AM   #1
m@rk1
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Cool Engine noise - not caused pulley/tensioner/alternator

Hello all, first let me say thanks to you all - these forums have saved me a ton through the DIYs.

With that said I am having a problem I am hoping to get a few suggestions on. My 03 330Ci started making what I consider to be a whining sound about 6 wks ago. Took it to the stealership and $530 and a new Idler pulley later the sound stopped for about a month. About 2 wks ago the sound was back and is pretty obvious when I start the car in the morning but quite down significantly when the car has been running for about 10 mins.

Taking queue form the dealer I changed the two tensioners to see if that would fix the issue (it didn't) and now alternator. Thing is, now I started the car after 2 days and I now have what seem to be a tapping noise which disappeared after the car got warm.

After doing some more research here I am thinking of changing the oil next as I used Castrol full synthetic 5W30 at my last oil change which I am thinking may be the issue, any other suggestions?
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:07 PM   #2
aviatorx
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check your water pump..... I bet it is leaking, and will produce a high squeal sound like a bad idle pulley
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:11 PM   #3
Usmc1028
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^I would look into your water pump like this guy said
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:38 AM   #4
m@rk1
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Started the car this morning and the sound is still there, ever so slightly but still there. Will check the water pump as you guys suggested and post my findings.
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:47 AM   #5
pantenchims
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hey same problem it gets to me sometimes but it would be great if i know what the noise was coming from lol i changed the idler pulley the water pump the belts still there like your car it goes away in about 10 min i have the 2001 bmw 330ci i was talking to autozone about it and the guy recommended me to buy a completely new alternator something about when you warm up you car you alternator works the hardest to try to pump power to charge up the batt but i dont want to spend 250 bux and find that the noise is still there
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:17 AM   #6
m@rk1
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I changed my alternator as well and still have the noise. Took the car back to the dealer to have them do a diagnostic and told the service advisor that the tensioners, pulley and alternator was changed recently. They came back with a 100% certainty that the main tensioner pulley is bad and needs to be converted to the hydraulic tensioner to fix the issue . This after I told them that less than a month ago I personally changed out the two tensioners, idler pulley and the alternator. So now onto Aviatorx and Usmc's suggestion of the water pump.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:25 AM   #7
m@rk1
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Changed water pump and still no luck.
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:45 AM   #8
m@rk1
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So I was finally able to get this fixed, when I changed my alternator/water pump tensioner I only changed the pulley/roller part of it not the entire assembly - bad move on my part. Decided to change out the entire assembly last nite and that fixed my noise issue. So a word of advice to those trying to figure this out or changing pulleys...change the entire assembly and save yourself some pain.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:07 AM   #9
dknightd
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Thanks for the follow up. Sorry you had to throw so many parts at it. And probably countless hours. On the positive side you probably replaced parts that might have caused problems sometime in the future. It is interesting the tensioner was causing this noise - perhaps it was not properly tensioning the belt? Maybe this is why BMW changed to hydraulic tensioner? I hope sometime during this process you also took the opportunity to replace the belts.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:13 AM   #10
austin9888
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mark did you try taking the belts off to isolate the noise? if so did the noise stop when the belt was removed?
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:43 PM   #11
TEAMAFLCON
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Is this the sound?




Last edited by TEAMAFLCON; 10-10-2012 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:32 PM   #12
Bigtyrant
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hey mark i think i may have had the same problem is this the sound

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