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TannerT 10-22-2012 10:03 PM

These noises are driving me crazy!
Not as bad as the title sounds! But to the point my car has always produced a slight ticking diesel noise. I learned to live with it accepting that it will always be there. I assume that it is the lifters. However over summer it got a little worse and then about 2 weeks ago i changed from Castrol 0-30 to Castrol 5-30 and it go worse right away. I assume it is lifters because it comes primarily from the mid engine area(most noticeable along the fuel injector rail.) also it is consistent with RPM. Now here is what puzzles me 5w30 and 0w30 are pretty close, when i changed from M10w40 to Castrol 0w30 No change what gives? Also the ticking is consistent with engine temps, maybe even gets louder after it warms up. it is also very noticeable down next to the passenger wheel, however it has gotten so loud you can easily here it from behind the car now. It is not a savage ticking, just consistent and annoying. Even if I change back back to M1 the ticking still got louder while the M1 was in the motor after 3K. Then I switched to these two oils to see if I could cure it. HEELLLPP!! I really can't think what it could be other than lifters and I am not sure what else I can do to quiet them.

Dougly503 10-23-2012 12:10 AM

My engine used to do a tick aswell I think it was a a/c belt tensioner that fixed it.

TannerT 10-23-2012 06:53 AM

I replaced all pulleys including tensioners.

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TannerT 10-23-2012 12:26 PM You can tell it mainly comes from the injector area

SPDSKTR 10-23-2012 12:31 PM

Try that YouTube link again...

And my car is making similar noises if it is what I think it is.

TannerT 10-23-2012 12:43 PM Sorry posted wrong link.

ahull 10-23-2012 12:46 PM

I can't access the link, but a rattling at the injector rail could also be a failed DISA flap. Youtube vids out there on that too.

EDIT: Saw your vid now - doesn't sound like DISA, does sound like lifter/cam noise. Not sure if that's considerably more than normal or not.

TannerT 10-23-2012 12:52 PM

If it is normal to hear it while driving along walls or other cars while accelerating in the lower rpm band then I guess I'm okay.

ahull 10-23-2012 01:13 PM


been a while since I've listened to the DISA rattle. (EDIT: the disa could just be the extra clicking and his valve train sounds as loud as yours?) mine sounded more like marbles in a can and was worse than this one.

if yours is just lifter noise, yours is definitely more pronounced than mine. my 03 330 has 85k miles on it and while I can hear some valve train noise, it's pretty quiet.

TannerT 10-23-2012 01:23 PM

I checked the DISA first thing and no change when it is unpluged.

MalibuMafiaV 10-23-2012 01:25 PM

Are one of your spark plugs loose?.

TannerT 10-23-2012 02:05 PM

Nope just checked spark plugs.

MalibuMafiaV 10-23-2012 03:07 PM


Originally Posted by TannerT (Post 7153117)
Nope just checked spark plugs.

Doesn't sound like a lifter to me though. Hummmm

TannerT 10-23-2012 03:22 PM

Could it be from an intake or vacation leak? Also don't think its a plug because of the consistent pace of the tick

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TannerT 10-24-2012 03:32 PM

So I took a listen with the screw driver and it is for sure the injectors/fuel rail. And thinking about it I started using 93 from Exxon, switching from Shell 91 other than that I am still lost on this.

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Hellzbellz 02-19-2013 02:28 PM

Disa ?
Hey, did you ever find out what was causing the noise?!
I've replaced timing chain. tensioner and guides on advice of BMW dealer and no difference!!

Thanks H

TannerT 02-14-2014 11:46 PM

Sorry to resurrect this thread but problem was never solved.

Hellzbellz 02-16-2014 07:55 AM

Engine ticking noise E46
Hi, finally managed to find an independent BMW garage to repair my E46 engine ticking noise.
It was the Cam Shaft Inlet Retainer Spring!! 4.25 for part and over 400 for labour. It is an 'H' shaped spring with two long prongs - one of the prongs had snapped off and was in the oil reservour - lucky not to have caused any other damage as it had been driving like this for about a year!! Unsure if it was caused by the awful freezing temperatures here in Scotland freezing the engine condensation - as we all know we need to get the engine temp up to optimum at all times. My theory is that the ice in the engine had strained the Cam Shaft Inlet Retainer Spring causing it to snap!! It is all I can think off that could have caused this on a vehicle with 36,000 miles !! I remember when the vehicle was started in the cold it sounded like a tractor running on 3 cylinders!! If you can find a good BMW Indy then whatever it is can be repaired. I do not think that BMW dealerships see older vehicles, because of the enormous labour charges, and therefore do not get to see the real ongoing problems with BMW's that are a bit older!! Running fine now with no noise - bliss!! Think I have an airleak problem or could be the CSV value needs replacing as when at optimum temp with rev on its own - now calling her Christine!! this forum is great to get to the bottom of the problems & would recommend to everyone. Good luck. H

Hellzbellz 02-16-2014 07:58 AM

P.S. had an independent garage, not specialising in BMW tell me that it was pitting on my cam shaft - looked myself and it was kind of shaded but not pitted - they wanted 1500.00 to replace but could not guarantee would fix!! Such nonsense - glad I had more sense to get a recommendation to a BMW indy!!

bmw330ci04 02-16-2014 08:55 AM


Originally Posted by TannerT (Post 7152960)
If it is normal to hear it while driving along walls or other cars while accelerating in the lower rpm band then I guess I'm okay.

mine does about the same thing, especially noticeable driving along walls. I've heard these engine aren't the quietest things in the world and i think that a certain amount of lifter tick is normal

TannerT 02-16-2014 08:57 AM

My honest thought is that I have loud injectors that I hear at idle. But while driving the ticking ibhear that gets very rapid is either a lifter or header leak at the engine.

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