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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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Old 09-18-2008, 10:12 PM
oaksenov oaksenov is offline
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Location: Ashburn, VA
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 33
Mein Auto: BMW 525i 2003, 323i 2000
Strange transmission/engine sound

Hi All, I have found lately that my 525i sounds too loud. The car is 2003 E39 with M54 engine, manual gearbox and 52000 miles on it.
The sound is mostly noticeable when I apply gas slightly in second, third and forth gears. I think I do not hear it in fifth gear or first or whenever it is in neutral or whenever gas is not applied. Also when I push it to floor I do not hear it either, I think.

Here it is the Unusualy loud sound/whining sound I recorded while I shifted from first all the way to forth gear.

I thought it was the transmission, but now I think it can be sound from engine and sound/vibration just gets transferred via gearbox or something like that.
I have changed transmission and differential fluids just in case. It did not improve the situation at all. I think I also here how engine kind of growls on second gear. It is like valve chatter, but very soft one.

Here is what was done during last couple of months and I think there was no sound before, but I took long vacation in between so I am not sure about that now:
  • Engine oil changed. BMW OEM oil and filter used.
  • Air filters changed.
  • cabin microfilter changed
  • Wheel alignment done

Does anybody have any ideas what that can be?
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