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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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  #1  
Old 03-26-2013, 03:08 PM
tjfonville2 tjfonville2 is offline
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The Wah wahs

I have a 2006 X3 automatic that is making an odd and annoying sound. My wife has no ability to hear it (of course) but it drives me nuts. Its definitely tied with the vehicle speed not engine RPMs. Even tried putting the AT in neutral while going and it's still there. It's like something is wobbling or out of balance. There's no noticeable vibration, just the sound. It's not a ticking either as I've heard tied to the transfer case. Had the wheels balanced just to make sure, air pressure checked, no odd tire wear patterns. What does this sound like to you guys....differential, drive shaft, CV joint, wheel bearing????

Honestly, I can probably live with it, but I've got to believe it's going to bite me later if I ignore it.
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  #2  
Old 03-26-2013, 04:06 PM
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mlukas161 mlukas161 is offline
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Can you tell if its coming from the front or rear of the vehicle? If you swap wheels front to rear or side to side does the noise change location? My guess would still be tire related. Or possibly wheels bearing, but that's more of a grinding noise.
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  #3  
Old 03-26-2013, 04:14 PM
tjfonville2 tjfonville2 is offline
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It sounds like its coming from the front generally but I can't tell if it's one side or the other. Unfortunately, I don't have another set of tires to swap in to verify. I can try to move the tires around and see if that helps isolate the noise. It's definitely not a grinding sound though. I've had CV joint and wheel bearings go on other vehicles and it doesn't sound like that but it has to be tied to the drivetrain somehow since it's speed related. I don't think its brakes either as the sound is there when braking or not in case anyone was thinking warped rotor.

What's it sound like when the front differential is going or if the driveshaft joints or bearing is worn?
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  #4  
Old 03-26-2013, 09:09 PM
x3brian x3brian is offline
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If your front differential goes, it sounds like a semi truck as you take your foot off the accelerator and goes away as you apply more gas...

Don't ask why I know....lets just say bmw assist assisted

How old are your tires? You could have one tire that's causing this.

Have you checked your drive shaft? There have been some reports of worn guibos causing noise like this

Last edited by x3brian; 03-26-2013 at 09:23 PM.
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  #5  
Old 03-26-2013, 09:53 PM
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Ishniknork Ishniknork is offline
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I think I had a sound like that before. Mine was tire related. The original set was about down to the wear bars and the closer they got the louder the sound was. Put on a new set of the exact same tires and the sound was gone. I have a feeling it was related to the tread pattern too and as the tires got older and had less height on the blocks to flex the niose got louder.

EDIT: By the way, I only noticed this sound when slowing to a stop or at very low speeds, like 5-10 mph, without the radio on or AC fan going.

So repeating what x3brian asked: How old are your tires?
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Last edited by Ishniknork; 03-26-2013 at 10:28 PM.
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  #6  
Old 03-27-2013, 09:45 AM
tjfonville2 tjfonville2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishniknork View Post
I think I had a sound like that before. Mine was tire related. The original set was about down to the wear bars and the closer they got the louder the sound was. Put on a new set of the exact same tires and the sound was gone. I have a feeling it was related to the tread pattern too and as the tires got older and had less height on the blocks to flex the niose got louder.

EDIT: By the way, I only noticed this sound when slowing to a stop or at very low speeds, like 5-10 mph, without the radio on or AC fan going.

So repeating what x3brian asked: How old are your tires?
I just bought the car a couple of months ago. Tires have about 5mm (6/32") tread all the way around...brand new specs say 10.5/32" so they aren't new but don't appear to be close to the wear bars either. Regardless, while taking a look at them I came across my brake pads which appear to have a massive tapered wear on both left and right front brake pads. I assume something not working right on the calipers. Lots of rust on them which may be causing some binding. I'll upload some pics. Maybe this is related to my sound issue. Ishniknork...my issue sounds exactly like what you describe though...exactly. I'll take a look. Maybe the tires are causing the sound and allowed me to catch a brake caliper issue that was unrelated. We'll see....I'll post some pics shortly.
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  #7  
Old 03-27-2013, 10:02 AM
tjfonville2 tjfonville2 is offline
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Here is the taper across the pad. Pad is about 1mm thick towards the inside of the rotor and tapers back at least 3mm toward the OD of the rotor. Rotors don't appear to have a great deal of wear. Back brakes are 10mm all across and even. This taper is on both left and right front brakes from what I see.
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  #8  
Old 03-27-2013, 12:38 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjfonville2 View Post
... Lots of rust on them which may be causing some binding.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjfonville2 View Post
... Rotors don't appear to have a great deal of wear. Back brakes are 10mm all across and even. This taper is on both left and right front brakes from what I see.
Can't be sure from the picture, but it looks to me like that front rotor has been machined.

Don't think a BMW dealer would do that.

The back pads must have been done quite recently to still have 10mm.

For the fronts, sure looks like the caliper pins need cleaning and lubing at the very least.

Can't recall whether uneven wear usually takes place from the top of the pad to the bottom, or across the width of the pad as in your case.

Wonder if the inboard pads show the same wear pattern - which you won't see clearly until they are removed.

Could well be causing the noise, but needs attention anyway.
The wear sensor is at the edge with 3mm. left I think, or it would have triggered by now.

See Condition # 4 in this:
http://www.ucx.com/documents/countermat.pdf
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  #9  
Old 03-27-2013, 02:00 PM
tjfonville2 tjfonville2 is offline
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Took off the pad to inspect and its a tapered lead in on the front and rear edge of the pad. Never seen ones like this but not the issue apparently. The pad has full contact everywhere, it just has this odd designed chamfer on the edges. Just the type of pad I guess. The pic isn't great but the front rotors are not machined. Still has original cross hatch marks from manufacture and thickness. Rear rotors however are below spec. This just gets weird. So it looks like I have new pads front and rear, just an odd chamfered edge on the front pads as designed. Also, I have new rotors on the front, but resurfaced (below min) on the rear. That's why I love used cars...you get to chase all these odd things people did before you. Oh well. We'll get there. Also had a tire shop check tires. Looks like the tires were overinflated for a while and they later tried under inflating to correct it which led to my noise issue. Now it's whether it's annoying enough to live with for now or just get new tires.

Last edited by tjfonville2; 03-27-2013 at 03:04 PM.
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  #10  
Old 03-27-2013, 07:06 PM
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Ishniknork Ishniknork is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjfonville2 View Post
Took off the pad to inspect and its a tapered lead in on the front and rear edge of the pad.
That is correct.

If you're not ready to replace the tires yet at least you know what is making the noise. I worried about it for quite a while just hoping it was the tires. And sure enough new tires = noise gone. Of course it will probably return once these tires wear down but at least I'll know what it is
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