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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 12-14-2019, 10:57 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Halfmoon, NY
Posts: 7
My Ride: 2004 325xi
Year: 2004
Model: 325xi
Transmission: 5 speed
ssh..ssh...ssh from under center of car?

Looking for suggestions. 2004 325xi 5 speed, 177K miles has recently started making an odd noise. Seems to be coming from under the center of the car, varies with road speed and not engine speed. Happens with clutch in or out.

It's a light "sssh" noise. If I were guessing I'd say it sounds like something metal had come loose (exhaust heat shield?) and was resting against the driveshaft, except that it doesn't happen all the time.

It does it probably 70% of the time, but I haven't been able to related anything to when it does or doesn't happen. It sometimes goes away for days at a time, then comes back. It doesn't seem to be getting worse (louder), but I'd rather not wait until it does to figure it out.

Any suggestions? I haven't had a chance to get it on a lift yet, but hope to in the next week or so?
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Old 12-15-2019, 11:08 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 410
You might check your center drive shaft. At first, the way you describe it, sounded like a noisy f-pump/filter. There is a fair bit of shielding under neath these cars. Pretty easy for debris to get stuck up there. You might also check the condition of your motor mounts since these car are so dependent on them. If the drive line has dropped, it can create a whole host of noises/vibrations.
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Old 12-16-2019, 07:50 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 5,682
My Ride: 03 325xi 98 328is
Sounds like the heat shielding rubbing on the driveshaft. the screws probably pulled through the material. Get some fender washers to repair the enlarged holes.
Alternative to expensive xi control arm bushings
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Bad outer xi ball joint?
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