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DIY: Do It Yourself
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Old 01-14-2008, 09:49 AM   #1
frogg320
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Warbling noise coming from transmission?

This appears to happen only in second gear while engine braking, which is why I'm assuming it's a transmission noise. When the RPM's drop below about 2000, it starts with a quick, high pitched warbling noise...my girlfriend compared it to the sound the cars made on the Jetsons. As the car continues to engine brake it slows down and the tone gets deeper, sort of a pulsing groan.

I just changed the transmission fluid. Second appears to be the only gear it happens in, and I can only get it to do it under the conditions mentioned above. So here's my question:

Does anyone have any idea what the hell is wrong with my car?

Thanks.

-J
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Old 01-14-2008, 09:58 AM   #2
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(post revised)

Last edited by frogg320; 01-14-2008 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 01-14-2008, 08:29 PM   #3
Ivegotissues666
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The noise you are refering to is transmission whine. Do you have an Auto or Manual?

Edit: Nevermind I just realized you mentioned engine braking so you must have a 5 speed, anyways the whine could be a faulty bearing, synchro or even low on fluid (Although I know you said you changed he fluid already)

Jared
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:39 AM   #4
frogg320
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Well, I drained out 28 ounces of old fluid (WAY low), and it didn't whine before...but as they say in the Grapes of Wrath, extra crap in your transmission can make it smoother, so maybe the gunk was hiding the problem before.

How would I diagnose it if it's a bad syncro or bearing? (Keep in mind, it's shifting even better now after the fluid change...and there's no way it's low, it was still overflowing when I plugged it back up)

Also, is the whine bad for the transmission? So far I've been driving in such a way as to avoid making the noise. Do I need to worry about it?

Thanks

-J
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Old 01-15-2008, 07:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frogg320 View Post
Well, I drained out 28 ounces of old fluid (WAY low), and it didn't whine before...but as they say in the Grapes of Wrath, extra crap in your transmission can make it smoother, so maybe the gunk was hiding the problem before.

How would I diagnose it if it's a bad syncro or bearing? (Keep in mind, it's shifting even better now after the fluid change...and there's no way it's low, it was still overflowing when I plugged it back up)

Also, is the whine bad for the transmission? So far I've been driving in such a way as to avoid making the noise. Do I need to worry about it?

Thanks

-J
No real way than to open up the transmission to tell for absolute sure, however I find it odd it happened right after the fluid change (What fluid did you use) It could possibly be the fluid.

Low on fluid was probably because you do lose some out of th brether cap the transmission has. How was the rear and front seals as well as the linkage seal they are prone to fatigue and leak as well.

Try changing to a different fluid and see if the problem persists. But in all honesty my transmission does the same exact thing in second gear only since I did the transmission swap and I have been driving for over a year like that with no issues getting in and out of gear and it doesn't whine all the time either.

Also another thing is that the Getrag trannies are supposedly noisy, however I haven't driven many others to compare so I can't confirm that unfortuantely.

Jared
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Old 01-15-2008, 07:42 PM   #6
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I'm using Redline MTL, which lots of people swear by. I think my rear seal is bad, which is causing the leak...but I'm going to see if I can get away with not fixing it until the weather warms up.

This noise definitely started when I changed fluids...but I don't think I have a better one to use. Unless I should pour some of the old stuff back in?
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Old 01-15-2008, 07:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frogg320 View Post
I'm using Redline MTL, which lots of people swear by. I think my rear seal is bad, which is causing the leak...but I'm going to see if I can get away with not fixing it until the weather warms up.

This noise definitely started when I changed fluids...but I don't think I have a better one to use. Unless I should pour some of the old stuff back in?
I use royal purple synchromax so thats another option or buy a quart of the OEM BMW stuff
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Old 01-16-2008, 12:54 AM   #8
frogg320
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Originally Posted by Ivegotissues666 View Post
I use royal purple synchromax so thats another option or buy a quart of the OEM BMW stuff
Easier said than done. They don't sell the OEM stuff in quarts, just 5 liter buckets. And from what I hear, it costs an arm and a leg. BMW dealerships...

They did offer to fill it up for me if I bring it in, though. Generous lot, they are!
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:47 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by frogg320 View Post
Easier said than done. They don't sell the OEM stuff in quarts, just 5 liter buckets. And from what I hear, it costs an arm and a leg. BMW dealerships...

They did offer to fill it up for me if I bring it in, though. Generous lot, they are!
The BMW transmission fluid us now available by the quart. Ask your dealer again. And if they won't sell it to you, BavAuto.com will. I know I saw it in their most recent catalog.

Mind you, I don't think that will solve your noise problem. Since you said it was way low on fluid, probably something in the tranny is on it's way out.
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Old 12-09-2019, 03:37 PM   #10
323ci99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frogg320 View Post
This appears to happen only in second gear while engine braking, which is why I'm assuming it's a transmission noise. When the RPM's drop below about 2000, it starts with a quick, high pitched warbling noise...my girlfriend compared it to the sound the cars made on the Jetsons. As the car continues to engine brake it slows down and the tone gets deeper, sort of a pulsing groan.

I just changed the transmission fluid. Second appears to be the only gear it happens in, and I can only get it to do it under the conditions mentioned above. So here's my question:

Does anyone have any idea what the hell is wrong with my car?

Thanks.

-J

Hi,

I'm sorry for resurrecting such an old thread, but I'm having these exact same symptoms on my '99 E46 323ci.

Can you please tell me what the probLem really was and how you've solved it?

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by 323ci99; 12-09-2019 at 08:00 PM.
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