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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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  #1  
Old 04-01-2011, 11:40 AM
blackknight530i blackknight530i is offline
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Buzzing/Rattling Noise at 2200 RPM under load

Hey guys,

This is my first thread here, but I've been using this forum for quite a while using the search feature. This issue I couldn't find anyone else to have though.

I have a 2003 530iA with 72k miles on it and since I bought it with 58k, it's had a metallic buzzing/rattling noise at about 2200 RPM. It also does it at 1200-1400, but it's easier to hear at 2200 and I can more easily hold the throttle at that point. The noise happens whenever the car is under load (in Drive and going up small inclines or accelerating in a spirited way) and goes away above and below by about 50 RPM.

Things I've tried already:

I already replaced my VANOS seals with the Beisan Systems kit at 68k miles and did the Rattle Repair procedure at the same time and the new bearings remove a lot of play, but didn't change the rattle at all.

I had my trusty mechanic tap on every heat shield from the engine compartment back and everything is tight as a button. We also checked any suspension parts that might be causing the issue, but again, everything was very tight.

I also thought that the issue might be caused by a tensioner, but I checked and found that I already have the hydrolic version as it was upgraded by BMW when it was owned by the first owner.

The only thing that my mechanic and I noticed was when we used a stethoscope on the alternator, there was a bit of bearing noise that was quite pronounced. Could this be causing a "tinny" buzzing sound at a specific RPM?

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. I'd like to have some more info before taking it to the dealership to see if they've heard of this problem before.
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2003 530iA Sport/Premium

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2001 e38 S62 Swapped 740i

S62/6MT Swap, M5 Steering Box, Stainless Brake Lines, e60 545i SSK, Bluetooth TCU retrofit, MkIV retrofit
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  #2  
Old 04-02-2011, 09:03 AM
qwksilver97 qwksilver97 is offline
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Can anybody offer any suggestions on this issue before this thread goes away unanswered like all the others. Im having the same issue. Checked all the heat shields everything looks tight. Replaced cats because one was rattling. Noise still there. Started thinking it was a clogged trans filter. Changed trans filter and tranny oil. Still same. Replaced tensioners. Nothing. Makes the noise only accelerating at low rpm. Wont do it at idle. I jacked up the car from the rear. Turned off traction control put it in drive trying to pinpoint the problem. It wont make the noise. When u punch it all the way I cant hear it. Drowns out.This has been going on since I got the car 2 years ago & 15,000 miles later. It really makes me want to get rid of the car. Any help would be appreciated by the op and I.Thanks
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  #3  
Old 04-02-2011, 09:37 AM
macgy macgy is offline
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not sure if we talking abt the same noise, mine occur when accelerating / climbing on a slop i.e whenever there is load, there will be rattling noise from the engine, my mechanic has suggested an overhaul to eliminate the noise, I am against it as it is expensive and this has been going on for 2 years until I decided to change the idle pulley, in my case it was the idle pulley, u need to remove the cap to remove the pulley, simple DIY, search this forum for the detail DIY.
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  #4  
Old 04-02-2011, 09:57 AM
blackknight530i blackknight530i is offline
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It sounds like macgy had the exact same problem as I have. Only accelerating and climbing a slope (loaded condition). I know that the pulley has been changed once, but I guess it could have gone bad again. Doesn't seem like too expensive of a part to replace and it is in the same area as the alternator that I thought might have bearing issues. Could be that I'm hearing the idler pulley.
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2003 530iA Sport/Premium

Pioneer AVIC-F90BT/XM/IPOD, SWI-PS, Shelf Mounted Pioneer 12" Shallow-Mount Sub, Pioneer 800W Mono Amp, Full 6000K LED Turn Signals, 6000K HIDs, Black Grilles, Carbon Fiber Cloth Trim, Style 95, Koni Sports, Conti DWS 245/35/19-275/30/19 Rear, M5 RSB, M3 Paddles

2001 e38 S62 Swapped 740i

S62/6MT Swap, M5 Steering Box, Stainless Brake Lines, e60 545i SSK, Bluetooth TCU retrofit, MkIV retrofit
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  #5  
Old 04-02-2011, 10:08 AM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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looks like Vanos

"new bearings remove a lot of play"

have you tune rattle kit ? i had the same issue with my 530i and did vanos 2 times

Last edited by champaign777; 04-02-2011 at 10:15 AM.
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  #6  
Old 04-02-2011, 10:10 AM
blackknight530i blackknight530i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by champaign777 View Post
looks like Vanos

have you tune rattle kit ? i had the same issue with my 530i and did vanos 2 times
The VANOS fix made absolutely no change in the rattle sound and there is no play in the VANOS bearings after replacing them.
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2003 530iA Sport/Premium

Pioneer AVIC-F90BT/XM/IPOD, SWI-PS, Shelf Mounted Pioneer 12" Shallow-Mount Sub, Pioneer 800W Mono Amp, Full 6000K LED Turn Signals, 6000K HIDs, Black Grilles, Carbon Fiber Cloth Trim, Style 95, Koni Sports, Conti DWS 245/35/19-275/30/19 Rear, M5 RSB, M3 Paddles

2001 e38 S62 Swapped 740i

S62/6MT Swap, M5 Steering Box, Stainless Brake Lines, e60 545i SSK, Bluetooth TCU retrofit, MkIV retrofit
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  #7  
Old 04-02-2011, 10:16 AM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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you didnt answer

have you tune rattle kit ?

talk to Rajaie from Beisan , to tune rattle kit is not a basic procedure and even small play will give this buzzing/rattling noise betweem 2000 and 3000 RPM

ask me how i know , problem is related to 3.0L engine

had also another issue metal noise between 2-3 RPM , check

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1560100

Last edited by champaign777; 04-02-2011 at 10:28 AM.
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  #8  
Old 04-02-2011, 10:28 AM
blackknight530i blackknight530i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by champaign777 View Post
you didnt answer

have you tune rattle kit ?

talk to Rajaie from Beisan , to tune rattle kit is not a basic procedure and even small play will give this buzzing/rattling noise betweem 2000 and 3000 RPM

ask me how i know , problem is related to 3.0L engine

had also another issue metal noise between 2-3 RPM , check

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1560100
I guess I didn't know about tuning it. I made sure there was no play, but I didn't know there was anything beyond that.
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2003 530iA Sport/Premium

Pioneer AVIC-F90BT/XM/IPOD, SWI-PS, Shelf Mounted Pioneer 12" Shallow-Mount Sub, Pioneer 800W Mono Amp, Full 6000K LED Turn Signals, 6000K HIDs, Black Grilles, Carbon Fiber Cloth Trim, Style 95, Koni Sports, Conti DWS 245/35/19-275/30/19 Rear, M5 RSB, M3 Paddles

2001 e38 S62 Swapped 740i

S62/6MT Swap, M5 Steering Box, Stainless Brake Lines, e60 545i SSK, Bluetooth TCU retrofit, MkIV retrofit
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  #9  
Old 04-02-2011, 10:35 AM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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Rajaie is a nice guy
just ask for help

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  #10  
Old 11-28-2011, 04:57 AM
tman-120d tman-120d is offline
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Talking FIXED - Buzzing Rattle from Center Dash Area

I've had a very annoying buzzing rattle that sounded like it was coming from the middle of the dashboard around the centre air vents or from the steering column. This has been driving me nuts for about 3 Months. It occured when accelerating pretty hard in 2nd and 3rd gears as well as driving uphill. After months of searching and taking alot of the dashboard apart and lining everything with felt I finally found the cause. The buzzing noise was coming from the windscreen washer top-up tube. The pipe is clipped into black plastic holder just below the refill cap. Further down the pipe there is a black semi circle clip that holds it is place. My pipe when clipped in at the top connection wouldn't stay in the lower semi circular clip and would rattle against the air filter housing when under load. I fixed the pipe into it's upermost connector as normal and stuck a 2 inch piece of 'No More Nails on a roll' into the semi circular clip to hold the pipe in place. Hey presto - the annoying buzzing rattle is now completely gone
Many people on this forum have posted fixes for their buzz type rattles ranging from heat shields, cats, dashboard fittings, vanos, steering column spacers etc. This is what was causing mine - hope it helps others. I'm off to celebrate now :lol:
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  #11  
Old 11-28-2011, 07:29 AM
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16valex 16valex is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tman-120d View Post
I've had a very annoying buzzing rattle that sounded like it was coming from the middle of the dashboard around the centre air vents or from the steering column. This has been driving me nuts for about 3 Months. It occured when accelerating pretty hard in 2nd and 3rd gears as well as driving uphill. After months of searching and taking alot of the dashboard apart and lining everything with felt I finally found the cause. The buzzing noise was coming from the windscreen washer top-up tube. The pipe is clipped into black plastic holder just below the refill cap. Further down the pipe there is a black semi circle clip that holds it is place. My pipe when clipped in at the top connection wouldn't stay in the lower semi circular clip and would rattle against the air filter housing when under load. I fixed the pipe into it's upermost connector as normal and stuck a 2 inch piece of 'No More Nails on a roll' into the semi circular clip to hold the pipe in place. Hey presto - the annoying buzzing rattle is now completely gone
Many people on this forum have posted fixes for their buzz type rattles ranging from heat shields, cats, dashboard fittings, vanos, steering column spacers etc. This is what was causing mine - hope it helps others. I'm off to celebrate now :lol:
It's great that you found the problem that we all can benefit from, but damn it take a picture of what the hell you're talking about.
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  #12  
Old 11-28-2011, 08:17 AM
tman-120d tman-120d is offline
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Didn't think it needed a photo but here ya go. The red tape is the fix. The screenwash tube was rattling against the air filter housing causing buzzing sound under load
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  #13  
Old 11-28-2011, 09:02 AM
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16valex 16valex is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tman-120d View Post
Didn't think it needed a photo but here ya go. The red tape is the fix. The screenwash tube was rattling against the air filter housing causing buzzing sound under load

Tman, thank you, and yes we need picture because we don't speak the same language here

The windshield washer tank is on the right side of the engine, the air filter housing is on the left side of the engine they should have never rubbed together at least this is how it is in the US.

I'm skeptical that this is the fixed of that annoying metallic rattling though, but I hope you're right.
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  #14  
Old 11-28-2011, 06:55 PM
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gtxragtop gtxragtop is offline
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I know what mine is. The damn exhaust heat shield. It appears tight but it is not in reality. Under the shield is a seam that you can feel with your fingers. It runs front to back.
It is this seam that rattles against the upper portion of the shield. At one point I was able to gently crush sections of the lower seam up against the upper portion of the shield.
Problem solved for months... Then it came back. Wiggling it will tell you nothing. It seems fine. I'm told BMW has a "new design" shield that corrects this issue.
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  #15  
Old 12-17-2011, 04:23 AM
Alabama John Alabama John is offline
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I've got the same problem and replaced everything on the drive shaft and it cost.
Now, they, dealer, local mechanics, think its something to do with the exhaust. Replaced Cats, mufflers, nothing helped.

Only does the low growling at some RPM and level or uphill and if give it more gas it stops or let off gas and it stops.

Sounds underneath and toward back. Had all wheel bearings replaced, rear end too.
So far its been expensive. Would of been cheaper to of replaced whole exhaust from motor to rear.
Turn up the radio is not the answer!
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  #16  
Old 12-17-2011, 03:07 PM
Alabama John Alabama John is offline
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Biggest puzzle is why won't it do it going downhill, even very slight downhill?
No matter what the RPM, speed whatever you cannot make it do it downhill. That alone eliminates many of the suggested problems like bearings, etc.
Aggravating as all get out!
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  #17  
Old 12-19-2011, 04:41 PM
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sainda210 sainda210 is offline
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The problem I had when chasing down my annoying sound demons, ended up being the exhaust brace about mid way down on the exhaust line. After the cats, there is a plate that holds the exhaust line attached to the body of the car, has a goofey rubber hanger on it. Well the hanger was not holding the exhaust line up, but rather rubbing on the hanging plate and when under load it would vibrate between the car and the plate and cause the weird sound.
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  #18  
Old 12-20-2011, 05:45 PM
E39 touring E39 touring is offline
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In my car the front cat had fallen to bits inside and the elements where rattling in the shell @ 2000-2500rpm ,sounds a lot like your problem.
When we removed the cat the pieces fell out on the floor,the noise sounds like a headshield or bracket.
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  #19  
Old 09-07-2012, 11:44 AM
PapaBear117 PapaBear117 is offline
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I know I'm way late on this but I may have the same problem. Is this what it sounds like?

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  #20  
Old 09-07-2012, 02:28 PM
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16valex 16valex is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaBear117 View Post
I know I'm way late on this but I may have the same problem. Is this what it sounds like?


I didn't hear any thing but since you have a 330, I'm pretty sure it's the bracket that holds the middle section of your exhaust system, it's a known issue on all E46 330. I just removed mine.
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  #21  
Old 09-07-2012, 02:40 PM
blackknight530i blackknight530i is offline
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Yeah, I didn't hear anything either, but I recently discovered my buzzing/rattling problem in the OP and it was exactly what 16valex just said. It was the bracket holding the middle section of the exhaust to the transmission. It was really difficult for my mechanic and I to locate, but one of the ears on it that connects to the transmission had sheared off. He took it off and welded the ear back on to the bracket and now it sounds perfect. No more embarrassment in the drive-thrus anymore!!! Free fix too.
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2003 530iA Sport/Premium

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2001 e38 S62 Swapped 740i

S62/6MT Swap, M5 Steering Box, Stainless Brake Lines, e60 545i SSK, Bluetooth TCU retrofit, MkIV retrofit
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  #22  
Old 09-07-2012, 02:50 PM
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AnotherGeezer AnotherGeezer is offline
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Nothing wrong with a good buzz.
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