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Old 01-20-2013, 08:31 PM   #1
04-330ci-ny
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2004 300Ci squealing / whistling noise at low RPM

Hey guys, this is my first post so please be gentle!

I've got a 2004 330Ci with 85k on her. Over the years I haven't really had many problems but this morning I ran into a tricky little noise.

I started her up and there was this bizarre whistle / squealing noise. It's very subtle but seems to get louder as I increase the rpm. The sound is unlike anything I've heard with a standard belt / water pump issue. Luckily I was looking for solutions and I came across this guys YouTube video and his 330 has the same exact sound!



(It's worth mentioning that it's around 25 degrees Fahrenheit but that it's been cold for weeks and I haven't had any trouble)

-Troubleshooting notes-
-no engine lights or codes
-The noise happens in all gears
-I drove around for about 10 minutes hoping it would warm up and go away but it did not
-I don't need to be moving for it to happen
-at really high rpm it disappears but that may just be because the engine is drowning it out

Any idea what this could be?

Last edited by 04-330ci-ny; 01-20-2013 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:48 PM   #2
tech4tech
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Possibly belts/pulleys or water pump/alternator bearing. Remove the belts and spin the idler/tensioner pulleys by hand; if they free-spin they are bad. My bet is on the main idler and tensioner pulleys
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:56 PM   #3
PainBreak
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Intake boot cracked, and crankcase ventilation hose clogged seem to be the common things that show up on a search.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:59 PM   #4
HBizzo88
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I have a cracked intake boot. Kind of a whining/ whistle noise though.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:57 PM   #5
Jiggs46
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Mine sounded similar. Changed tensioner pulleys and idler pulley, plus new belts. All noise went away. When I pulled my idler it barely spun at all. Thank god I changed mine when I did, almost a catastrophic failure.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:57 PM   #6
04-330ci-ny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HBizzo88 View Post
I have a cracked intake boot. Kind of a whining/ whistle noise though.
Did you listen to the video I posted above? Does yours sound like that? Also did yours throw a check engine light? I've got no lights or error codes :/
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:59 PM   #7
04-330ci-ny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiggs46 View Post
Mine sounded similar. Changed tensioner pulleys and idler pulley, plus new belts. All noise went away. When I pulled my idler it barely spun at all. Thank god I changed mine when I did, almost a catastrophic failure.
Sweet thanks for the advice! Any idea how much I should be paying for this repair? I'm assuming parts aren't too bad on this one?
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:08 PM   #8
Jiggs46
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Don't know about price for labor. I did it myself. All three pulleys and belts were around $100.00 for my 01 325i. Hardest part doing it yourself if you have an auto is getting the damn fan blade off. After that it was a breeze. There's a DIY thread here.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:11 PM   #9
Jiggs46
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Here you go:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=770707
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:44 PM   #10
04-330ci-ny
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Sounds like I'm gonna have to get the belts off and check the pulleys tomorrow morning. As far as replacement parts is this something I can grab from autozone or should I be heading to BMW for oem stuff?
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:37 AM   #11
Jiggs46
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I think dayco pulleys available at autozone/pepboys are made by INA, which makes the oem parts. I just went with the dayco pulleys.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:31 PM   #12
04-330ci-ny
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Smile

Checking it out today...I'll post the results asap

Thanks for the help guys!
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:02 PM   #13
04-330ci-ny
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Thumbs Up

Okay so I ended up taking it into the shop and it was the idler pulley. (way too cold here to tinker under the hood)

My mechanic took it off and showed me how it was almost fully seized. Ended up being a cheap fix!

Thanks for all your help guys!
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:05 PM   #14
HBizzo88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04-330ci-ny View Post
Did you listen to the video I posted above? Does yours sound like that? Also did yours throw a check engine light? I've got no lights or error codes :/
Mine sounds EXACTLY like that.

I guess I should check my pulleys too!! Lol
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:25 PM   #15
Jiggs46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04-330ci-ny View Post
Okay so I ended up taking it into the shop and it was the idler pulley. (way too cold here to tinker under the hood)

My mechanic took it off and showed me how it was almost fully seized. Ended up being a cheap fix!

Thanks for all your help guys!
Awesome, glad to help
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