Reviving this thread and hoping to connect with OP. It appears I may be having the exact identical symptoms with my slush box (manual 5 speed). I have had the car looked at by a tech, but this person is not a transmission expert. They do seem to think it could be internal to the transmission, specifically the input bearings which would still require either a rebuild of existing tranny or purchase a rebuilt used tranny. I've also seen several posts in my research that seem to suggest the tranny whine as yet another quirk of BMW E39's that some owners simply put up with and choose not to repair such as, seat twist, steering wheel shake, valve clatter, engine inefficiency due to bad vanos, etc. I did perform a fluid change on the tranny and diff about a year ago (documented on this forum) using redline (no record of previous owner doing a fluid change). For added measure, the tech also performed a fluid change to just the tranny, but the sound remains.
The symptoms I have started appearing last week. My 2003 BMW 525i manual has 130K miles and I get a whining sound when
- car is in 3rd and 4th gear and slight acceleration (load)
- no sound in first or 5th or neutral
that said, today, i did notice that when I am in neutral and coasting with no acceleration I can just barely hear (above the road noise and engine idle), an almost indiscernable sound like marbles in a washing machine filled with styrofoam.
Anyway, hoping the OP sees this and can shed some light on what he ultimately ended up doing about 3 years ago.
As of now, I am considering putting into the tranny some time of additive like TransX, Rislone or Lucas to quiet the whine and just living with it. The tech ruled out center shaft bearing, wheel bearings, diff and guibo. A strange comment my tech made is 'well we did do a fluid change and in some of my customer's experience, the sound actually went away'. My optimistic side is really hoping for this one. :shrug
- 2008 R350 Mercedes Wagon
- 2003 M3 Coupe - Alpine SMG
- 2001 530i - 5 speed, Anthracite Metallic, Sport Package
Last edited by aa240sx; 10-10-2011 at 11:59 AM.