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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 12-31-2012, 04:09 AM
Compastion Compastion is offline
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Location: UK
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 21
Mein Auto: 2001 530i E39
Warbling whistling sound from air blowers in cold weather


E39 530i 2001 180k miles

For the last few winters I have had a strange warbling whistling noise from my air blowers on cold days (below about 5 degrees C/40 degrees F). Have asked my mechanic to look into it but he's baffled - though to his credit he has advised against expense of stripping out dashboard/fascia to investigate. Key facts:
  1. Sounds a bit like someone (or a bird!) doing a sort of oscillating whistling - a fast tweeting sound
  2. Gets louder/quieter according to the speed of the air blowers, and stops completely when blowers are turned off
  3. It doesn't stop when the cabin or the engine have warmed up (in other words it seems to be related to external air temperature only)
  4. Happens whether air con is selected or not
  5. Gets quieter when I turn the steering wheel to extremes - so is the root of the problem somewhere near the front wheels/steering mechanism?
  6. First noticed it after I replaced the FSU (using original BMW part), but this may be coincidence. Mechanic said that replacement FSUs sometimes don't seat in very well so he reinforced the seal with some black gooey beading. But if it is the FSU, what about 3 and 5 above?
  7. Blowers/air con performing perfectly well in all other ways

This is something that has really been annoying me for some time so any help would be gratefully received!

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