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View Full Version : They can not get rid of the alternator whine...I need opinions on what to do?


nealh
01-03-2004, 07:10 PM
I finally got the car back in today..they worked on it according the store VP for "8 hrs with 2 guys"

He stated they disconnected the amp and the the whine was picked up by the new speakers from the alternator in the car..he stated they got it so it was almost inaudible....and only heard between 3000-4000 rpm...It was not changed at all and maybe worse ..I still start hearing it at 1500 rpm and up

Also he tuned the sound..and I got a sub put in...

Well...here is my opinion..it sounds much better and the sub is a 8W7 in prefab box...

However the white noise is much worse..before once the car was started you could not hear the white noise now with the engine running at idle it is very audible...I wonder if they turned up the gains on the amp making this worse...

The alterantor whine maybe worse as well....I have no idea what they did ...they did not use a Hi/Lo converter(there was no need for this according to the VP) or any type of ground loop isolator it was "tried" but did nothing....

He has stated he can do no more to get rid of the whine....

I got the car at closing and he was trying to do some fine tuning with the sub and since the radio was playing..I never heard the white noise till after the shop guys were gone and they closed up..I never thought they could make this worse....this is more of an issue than the whine..which still sucks

I think if the amp gain is changed white noise may go away..but I can not be sure of this ....

There is no doubt the sound is better but the whine and white noise make this audio upgrade the stupidest thing I have ever done...

To say I am frustrated and disappointed is an understatement....I have no idea wht to do now!

The only other thing I could do is go back to factory setup but I fear the whine will persist...if so I would have crappy sound and a whine

They blame on my alternator having a bad diode?? and the retention of the factory HU

What would you guys do at this point....I really thing they tried..but doubt they really spent 8 hrs and solved nothing

nealh
01-04-2004, 05:02 AM
The fact that it is a 2003 5 series maybe some of the issue... there maybe some new wiring schematics according to one installer .. He did Jun's car a 540i

Components are:

MB Quart Premium PCE 213 in front doors
JL audio 500/5 amp
JL audio 8W7 sub in Pro Wedge enclosure

BillP
01-04-2004, 10:01 PM
Assuming the amp is mounted somewhere where you can see the controls, report back with all of the settings, both switches and screws. For the latter you may need to crank them until they stop just so you know if it's "most of the way to the right", "in the middle", or "to the left" and you may not feel comfortable with that. At least get the switches.

Also see if you can find out what their source was for the wiring schematic and get a copy. Then compare their's to the one on bmwtips.com.

Regarding wiring, look to see where the wires are routed. Both power (thicker wires) and signal. Look specifically for the 12V signal wire. Tell us if any of the power wires come close to any of the signal wires. Can you tell where the ground wire is terminated? What gauge are the power and ground wires (should be printed on the wire). Both should be at least 8gauge, if not 4gauge.

One more: How many steering wheel clicks (not head unit clicks) does it take to make the sound LOUD (uncomfortable) from an initial setting of total silence?

I have ZERO whine and only the tiniest amount of white noise. The white noise is not audible when the car is running.

Do you have any other aftermarket electronics in the car? This would include cell phone kits (only if wired in), satellite radio, aftermarket NAV, radar/lidar detectors/jammers, non-OEM CD changers, etc.


Cheers,
Bill

nealh
01-05-2004, 05:51 AM
BillP thanks for the reply..I will work on getting the info..unfortunately when they installed the amp(I spoke with the store VP about this) they mounted it so you can not see all the controls to adjust settings to avoid people "tampering" and screwing something up

I have the BMW OEM Sirius unit(done in Nov prior to audio upgrade by 1 mo) installed with OEM BMW cd changer (put in by the dealer at delivery)..I had no noises I was aware of prior to having the audio upgrade.

The Sirius unit was in prior to the upgrade as well

I bought a 4GA wire kit for them to use(from salesman)..I know off hand there are JL audio wires running from the amp and StreetWire (brand) by the battery. I will have to check the actual gauge they used

The white noise on Friday before I brought the car in to fix the whine was only audible if you placed your ear on the speaker by ac vent(where the tweeter was placed)...never heard otherwise. A person on RF asked me to listen for it otherwise I thought it was not there. The sound level on it never changed. It was a nonissue. Now after they "fixed" the whine it is audible with engine on, easily heard even with low volume on the radio. Somehow they amplified this noise in a big way.

I started with the volume all way down by radio knob and steering control knobs...after one click on the steering wheel music is audible but low...by 5-6 clicks it is at uncomfortable level...click 3 is good and sometimes click 4 is good at higher engine speeds but no matter what 6 is too loud

BTW how do you remove the caps that secure the trunk lining without breaking them

Also just curious what is your opinion on the JL W7 subs vs W3V2...if you have one?

BillP
01-05-2004, 11:12 AM
It is *possible* that the ground on the Sat radio is the cause - even if there was no whine before. I would expect that the installer tried this, but you could temporarily unplug the power to the Sirius unit to see if that helps.

IMO, 5-6 clicks to make it loud is too few. Mine is 7-8. Not sure if tweaking the input sensitivity on the amp would improve the level of white noise, but it may.

Taking the caps off. I assume you mean the pieces that hold in the trunk upholstery. I forget exactly how to remove them - hopefully someone else can chime in. Otherwise I'll check this evening and post the response. I *think* they are the typical BMW plastic molly bolts where you pry up the "male" piece and pull it out, then pull out the "shemale" piece. ;-)

JL subs - I don't have them, but the value sub is certainly the W3V2. The W7 would offer better excursion and presumably better overall sound, but at a significant cost.

BTW, installing the amp to keep you from tweaking them is not nice. You are the customer and it is your right to screw them up if you want. If you do mess with them, do yourself a favor and take a photo or jot down the original settings before you make any changes.


Cheers,
Bill

nealh
01-05-2004, 11:59 AM
I will try disconnecting the sat tuner if I can figure out which is the power source...very good idea

The white noise should not IMHO gotten worse unless they did something..I figure the amp settings would be the issue..it seems the white noise is a result of the amp coming on with the ignition from the white(power) wire and volume is nonvariable..
At least I hope speaking with several others that the increased white noise is just amplifier gain issue...if not they did more harm than good

nealh
01-05-2004, 07:13 PM
Assuming the amp is mounted somewhere where you can see the controls, report back with all of the settings, both switches and screws. For the latter you may need to crank them until they stop just so you know if it's "most of the way to the right", "in the middle", or "to the left" and you may not feel comfortable with that. At least get the switches.

Here are the settings:
Preamp output section: SUB LP

Subwoofer: infrasonic: 30hz
Input from: Front
Input Voltage: High
Input sentivity: passed 1/2
SUB LP filter: 12db..I switched to see if the 8W7 like 24db better
Filter freq: 65

Rear Filter X1 frequency: 85-90 High pass filter: 12db
Input voltage: high
Input sensitivity: 30-35
LR ambience: off
F/R mode: 4 ch

Front filter:
Freq range: X1 freq: 95 filter slope: 12db
Filter mode : HP high pass ....wonder if it should be bandpass

Front input voltage: was set to low..but I changed to high to lower white noise
input sen. 30-35%




Regarding wiring, look to see where the wires are routed. Both power (thicker wires) and signal. Look specifically for the 12V signal wire. Tell us if any of the power wires come close to any of the signal wires. Can you tell where the ground wire is terminated? What gauge are the power and ground wires (should be printed on the wire). Both should be at least 8gauge, if not 4gauge.

There is a red and blue large gauge wire..JL audio brand..4GA
there are JL audio rca cable going into amp for the R/L channel on rear and front not sure of gauge and sub has a 12 AWG...

the speaker wire looks to be 16AWG cooper free..can recall brand name
not sure where the ground is ..I need to do more looking


As for the sat radio..not sure which is the power source yet...

Neal

Tanz
05-05-2005, 10:44 PM
I drive a E46 323i 1999 model and i have the same problem after i gave my car to the local audio install shop to put in a head unit, amp, sub and split speakers. I can hear the whine as soon as the stereo unit is turned on...and grows loader with acceleration ...it's driving me nuts. Heeellllpppp.
:dunno: :mad:

SikUnt330Ci
05-06-2005, 12:11 AM
ive got engine whine also
Very minimal tho, only noticable when i turn the volume to nil, and its very quiet around...

Depending on how your stereo is setup as in cable laying...
I know mine is caused by the line out cables goin to the aftermarket amp, Poor quality signal cables are usually the culprit picking up alternator whine.

Locate your line out cables goin into amp. See if they are twisted or bent in any sort of way when its connected to the amp. If so unplugg and "try" to give these cables a leadway, not bent when connected in the amp.

nealh
05-06-2005, 04:02 AM
In my case they used good cables from JL audio..but I still have it..its a real Pain

Tanz
05-08-2005, 09:43 PM
hey i did as u asked and checked the cables ...they were not the twisted pair type...so i replaced em and thats cut out about 70% of the whiney noise... however it's still audible when i turn the volume down to extremely low or nil. Do u reckon a noise suppression thingy can get rid of the other 30% of whiney noise ?? If so then what kinda unit should i look for.

tanks

tomnm3
05-18-2005, 03:42 PM
i also have engine whine in my 1999 e36m3.
Here are the set up:
alpine 7969
phoenix gold eq232
ppi a404: running focal 165k2
ppi a1200: running 2 10w6v2 @ 4ohm mono
JL 2AWG POWER WIRE
JL 2AWG GROUND WIRE
JL WAFER FUSE
JL DISTRIBUTION BLOCK
JL RCA

ran rca from my head unit to my friends system with my car running: NO NOISE
disconnect rca from 7969 and connecting the rca to a404: noise occur
disconnect rca from a404: noise goes away
connect rca to a404 and tossing the other end of rca to outside of trunk: noise still exist
switch to different amp with the same scenario: noise occur
switch amp and install it in another car: no noise in amp

DON'T KNOW WHATELSE TO DO :dunno:
ENGINE NOISE IS DRIVING ME INSANE :mad:
PLEASE HELP :cry:

U2fanatic
05-18-2005, 03:50 PM
I used to have engine whine in my car and it turned out that to fix it they had to separate certain cables (I am not sure which ones) from each other. They ran some of them down one side of my car and the others down the other side. They said if these wires were to cross they had to cross at 90 degree angles. Once they changed this my engine noise went away. Not a very technical answer but hope it helped!!