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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-06-2013, 04:01 PM
CCA323 CCA323 is offline
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Whirling noise and warning lights - what could it be?

I have a 323 with about 160,000 miles on it. This past month the engine has been making a whirling noise when idling. Usually I would hear it when starting the car and it would soon go away but this week it kept making the noise when stopped at red lights. Today, a bunch of warning lights came on in the dashboard. Not at the same time but one after the other. At first the engine oil lamp would come on when starting the car but would disappear soon after and never come on again until I started it. I checked the oil level and it's still around the max level.

Then this afternoon during the noise disappeared after a 30minute drive but the check engine lamp came on and soon after that the dynamic stability lamp came on. I was going to see if I can take a video of the noise but the noise disappeared. However, when idling, there is some slight engine vibration that can be felt when inside the car.

Any idea what this problem could be? I had the same noise come up about a year ago and took it to a mechanic to have a look at it. If I remember he opened out the air intake and blew compressed air through it and that seemed to work for a bit.

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 02-06-2013, 06:43 PM
joegr joegr is offline
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Based on the very tiny amount of info given, a wild guess would be failing alternator/bad battery. Of course, it could be a lot of other things.
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:57 PM
vandyboy vandyboy is offline
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I concur. You could disconnect the battery for 20 minutes and then reconnect it to see if the lights go away. A better move is to go to Autozone or Advance and get a free battery/alternator check.
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:36 AM
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jonathan2263 jonathan2263 is offline
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...and get it scanned for fault codes. Come on people, that is the most basic part of diagnosing what is wrong with your car. Without that information, you're basically shooting in the dark.
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:33 PM
CCA323 CCA323 is offline
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here's a video of the problem.

It sounds like a seal is trapped in my engine and wants to get out. Noise appears to be coming from the area around the 0:31 mark.

When I'm idling is when the noise is the worse. As I'm driving I can't really hear it but sometimes notice it when I step on the gas pedal.

Any ideas what it could be?
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  #6  
Old 02-07-2013, 06:25 PM
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jonathan2263 jonathan2263 is offline
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Not sure, but I think that's the sound of a failing CVV. Some people say it sounds like chewbacca. That area around the .31 mark is right above it.

To be sure , GET IT SCANNED FOR FAULT CODES.
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Last edited by jonathan2263; 02-07-2013 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:53 PM
CCA323 CCA323 is offline
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thanks j2263. I think that the CVV might be it from reading up about it but I'll get it scanned this weekend.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:46 PM
CCA323 CCA323 is offline
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So I got it scanned and it came back with PO170/173,P1189/1188 and P1250. I looked the codes up and it shows as something related to the fuel system. Any ideas what it could be?

It sounds like it could be a number of things like the CVV, MAF, 02 sensors, intake boot according to some posts I came across. Is there anyway to pinpoint the problem rather than just going through a replacing parts?

This article http://blog.bavauto.com/5960/bmw-e46...173-m52tu-m54/ suggests to inspect the vacuum leaks in the intake system and any other vacuum and air handling hoses. Do you think the noise is more indicative of a CVV failure and probably not related to something else?

Last edited by CCA323; 02-12-2013 at 07:05 PM.
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