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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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  #1  
Old 04-20-2013, 03:11 PM
HragH HragH is offline
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Location: Beirut, Lebanon
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 2004 X3 E83 2.5i
X3 E83 M54 Engine Gurgling/Bubbling Sound

Hi all,

I'm new to the forum and to BMW, this is my first post here so I hope I'm not being too rude by already asking for help. I've posted on another BMW forum but no one has replied there in a few days and I'd like to have this figured out as soon as possible.
I have an M54 engine problem that I'm worried might be severe, it's making this strange gurgling/bubbling sound and I'm not sure what's causing it. I've read lots of posts from others about their engine problems and watched tons of youtube videos of people taking apart and/or repairing their engines but that hasn't helped me figure out what's going on. I haven't heard an M54 on youtube making this sound.

Some background info:
-The car is a 2004 E83 with an M54B25 engine.
-It has over 101,000 miles on it, I bought it from my boss (my first car yay) and have had it for a few months now. My boss took decent care of it I suppose with basic maintenance, but there were previous owners also that I know nothing about.

The issue:
-Started about a month ago, strange gurgling/bubbling sound, could be interpreted as rattling. It starts after around a minute after startup, and gradually gets louder over time until the volume levels out.
-Since the issue first came up it has gotten louder, it didn't used to be this loud when I first noticed this sound, but I guess it isn't getting any louder than this.
-When I first noticed it, it would come and go, sometimes with the AC compressor being turned on, and the sound would stop and restart intermittently when changing from park to drive or reverse etc, but after a week perhaps, it was just happening during all engine idle conditions.
-The car idles normally, and no power loss (or gain) that I know of, no strange performance antics or rough gear changes.
-The sound goes completely away when I rev a bit, so if I hold the engine at 1,100 rpm, it sounds normal, anything above that also sounds normal but then there's the possibility that the odd noise is drowned out by the engine itself. But as low as 1,100 the sound will stop, that has given me one possible theory.
-Engine oil as measured by the bmw owner manual method (after reaching operating temperature, then wait 5 minutes) is at the low level mark, but I've never topped up because the manual said you don't need to and I assumed the oil level warning light will let me know (assuming it works).
-I've ruled out the DISA valve, the sound is definitely not coming from there.
-But...I can't locate exactly where it's coming from, it seems to be in the area where the intake vanos solenoid, engine oil filter housing, the radiator and the crank case vent pipe are. Or it could be further in the engine where I suppose the intake manifold is, or the intake crankshaft, or it could be reflecting from somewhere else, I don't know! Once I had the opportunity, I removed the airbox and ran the engine for a minute without the air filter (that can't be too bad for just a minute right?), so that I could get a better view of what's going on on the driver's side, and I still couldn't locate the sound.
-There are no check engine or other warning lights lit up

I've posted videos of the engine on youtube, please excuse the dirty engine bay, it's not easy finding an area where I can clean it where I live, although I'm itching to get all that dirt out of there

This first video is with the engine at operating temperature, and the gurgling/bubbling/whatever it is can be heard clearly


This second video I guess isn't as important, it's an "almost cold" start, the noise doesn't start until a minute and 7 seconds in.
I had issues with this video though, with the engine sounding like it's stuttering (starting at 30 seconds), this is an artifact from the recording, I don't know why it came out that way but the engine sounds normal besides the gurgling that you can recognize from the first video. The purpose of this video is just to demonstrate how the engine starts with no gurgling sound, and then just over a minute later it starts making that sound. Let's say from 1.45 to 2.30 the sound recording came out right. When I step away and record from further out, there's that stuttering sound which isn't actually there.



Possibly related:
What is probably terrible fuel mileage, over the last 1,300 miles the average has been 12MPG, as calculated by me, I don't have a trip computer That's horrendous mileage right? We have a lot of traffic, it takes me 25 minutes to do my 5.3 mile commute to work, and that's the most optimal route I found. I'm assuming the O2 sensors need to be checked/replaced.


I don't have an OBD2 scanner yet, to see if there are any codes present that don't also give a check engine light (that's possible right?). A scanner can't be found easily where I live outside of mechanics garages, but my cousin is mailing me a bluetooth enabled one from the U.S., that would need probably 2 more weeks to get here.

Any ideas on what the issue is? Or advice on how to figure out what it is?

I haven't taken it to a mechanic yet because I don't know one that I can trust. A few months ago the car wouldn't start-up (it turned out to be that the battery had died during a cold snap) but because it was responding strangely to being jump started I thought there was something more serious wrong with it. After towing it to a bmw dealer, they charged me $300 for diagnosing and replacing an "electrically leaking" relay and $200 for a new battery. So I want to know what I'm getting into this time before going to a mechanic.

Thanks for reading all that, it was much longer than I thought haha_a_
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  #2  
Old 05-15-2013, 06:53 PM
aturkinside aturkinside is offline
Registered User
Location: New Jersey
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 20
Mein Auto: 2004 BMW 330I ZHP
Quote:
Originally Posted by HragH View Post
Hi all,

I'm new to the forum and to BMW, this is my first post here so I hope I'm not being too rude by already asking for help. I've posted on another BMW forum but no one has replied there in a few days and I'd like to have this figured out as soon as possible.
I have an M54 engine problem that I'm worried might be severe, it's making this strange gurgling/bubbling sound and I'm not sure what's causing it. I've read lots of posts from others about their engine problems and watched tons of youtube videos of people taking apart and/or repairing their engines but that hasn't helped me figure out what's going on. I haven't heard an M54 on youtube making this sound.

Some background info:
-The car is a 2004 E83 with an M54B25 engine.
-It has over 101,000 miles on it, I bought it from my boss (my first car yay) and have had it for a few months now. My boss took decent care of it I suppose with basic maintenance, but there were previous owners also that I know nothing about.

The issue:
-Started about a month ago, strange gurgling/bubbling sound, could be interpreted as rattling. It starts after around a minute after startup, and gradually gets louder over time until the volume levels out.
-Since the issue first came up it has gotten louder, it didn't used to be this loud when I first noticed this sound, but I guess it isn't getting any louder than this.
-When I first noticed it, it would come and go, sometimes with the AC compressor being turned on, and the sound would stop and restart intermittently when changing from park to drive or reverse etc, but after a week perhaps, it was just happening during all engine idle conditions.
-The car idles normally, and no power loss (or gain) that I know of, no strange performance antics or rough gear changes.
-The sound goes completely away when I rev a bit, so if I hold the engine at 1,100 rpm, it sounds normal, anything above that also sounds normal but then there's the possibility that the odd noise is drowned out by the engine itself. But as low as 1,100 the sound will stop, that has given me one possible theory.
-Engine oil as measured by the bmw owner manual method (after reaching operating temperature, then wait 5 minutes) is at the low level mark, but I've never topped up because the manual said you don't need to and I assumed the oil level warning light will let me know (assuming it works).
-I've ruled out the DISA valve, the sound is definitely not coming from there.
-But...I can't locate exactly where it's coming from, it seems to be in the area where the intake vanos solenoid, engine oil filter housing, the radiator and the crank case vent pipe are. Or it could be further in the engine where I suppose the intake manifold is, or the intake crankshaft, or it could be reflecting from somewhere else, I don't know! Once I had the opportunity, I removed the airbox and ran the engine for a minute without the air filter (that can't be too bad for just a minute right?), so that I could get a better view of what's going on on the driver's side, and I still couldn't locate the sound.
-There are no check engine or other warning lights lit up

I've posted videos of the engine on youtube, please excuse the dirty engine bay, it's not easy finding an area where I can clean it where I live, although I'm itching to get all that dirt out of there

This first video is with the engine at operating temperature, and the gurgling/bubbling/whatever it is can be heard clearly


This second video I guess isn't as important, it's an "almost cold" start, the noise doesn't start until a minute and 7 seconds in.
I had issues with this video though, with the engine sounding like it's stuttering (starting at 30 seconds), this is an artifact from the recording, I don't know why it came out that way but the engine sounds normal besides the gurgling that you can recognize from the first video. The purpose of this video is just to demonstrate how the engine starts with no gurgling sound, and then just over a minute later it starts making that sound. Let's say from 1.45 to 2.30 the sound recording came out right. When I step away and record from further out, there's that stuttering sound which isn't actually there.



Possibly related:
What is probably terrible fuel mileage, over the last 1,300 miles the average has been 12MPG, as calculated by me, I don't have a trip computer That's horrendous mileage right? We have a lot of traffic, it takes me 25 minutes to do my 5.3 mile commute to work, and that's the most optimal route I found. I'm assuming the O2 sensors need to be checked/replaced.


I don't have an OBD2 scanner yet, to see if there are any codes present that don't also give a check engine light (that's possible right?). A scanner can't be found easily where I live outside of mechanics garages, but my cousin is mailing me a bluetooth enabled one from the U.S., that would need probably 2 more weeks to get here.

Any ideas on what the issue is? Or advice on how to figure out what it is?

I haven't taken it to a mechanic yet because I don't know one that I can trust. A few months ago the car wouldn't start-up (it turned out to be that the battery had died during a cold snap) but because it was responding strangely to being jump started I thought there was something more serious wrong with it. After towing it to a bmw dealer, they charged me $300 for diagnosing and replacing an "electrically leaking" relay and $200 for a new battery. So I want to know what I'm getting into this time before going to a mechanic.

Thanks for reading all that, it was much longer than I thought haha_a_

I have the same car same year and at that mileage a lot of maintenance issues start coming up. Try listening around the the drivebelt/pulley area. I would also take the disa valve out and make sure the screw didnt get sucked into the engine causing it rattle around. Has this car had a tuneup recently? Also check for tiny rips in the intake and iac elbow. Small rips wont throw a code. I think my car makes the same noise but not as loud. I would also check the spark plugs to see if any of them are loose and rattling around.
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  #3  
Old 05-15-2013, 07:45 PM
fivepointnine fivepointnine is offline
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Location: Olympia, Wa
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 345
Mein Auto: BMW X3, Mercedes CLK500
sounds like a broken DISA flap to me.
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  #4  
Old 05-15-2013, 08:12 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,054
Mein Auto: 2004 X3 2.5i
Quote:
Originally Posted by HragH View Post
..... Engine oil as measured by the bmw owner manual method (after reaching operating temperature, then wait 5 minutes) is at the low level mark, but I've never topped up because the manual said you don't need to and I assumed the oil level warning light will let me know (assuming it works).


-I've ruled out the DISA valve, the sound is definitely not coming from there.
The oil level doesn't need to be kept right at the MAX but I don't think it's a good plan to let it stay at the MIN mark.

Especially if you don't know what quality of oil is in there.

Did you rule out the DISA by listening with a stick to your ear or disconnecting the plug?

VANOS? I think that gives a ball bearings in a tin can sound.

Also, a worn tensioner pulley can make more noise at idle than you might expect.
The change you heard when you engage the A/C compressor is a tip off.
See my post: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...77&postcount=8
You can repack them yourself if getting new ones is a problem.
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  #5  
Old 05-15-2013, 08:58 PM
fivepointnine fivepointnine is offline
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Location: Olympia, Wa
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 345
Mein Auto: BMW X3, Mercedes CLK500
best way to rule out the DISA is to pull it out, takes just a couple minutes to check it and see if the rotating flapper thing is rotating freely. If thats not it then Supercourse has the right places to look...idler tensioner or the Vanos could need rebuilt, I have heard they make a heck of a racket when they go.

try cross posting your videos on the E46 forums, you might get a good response there too.
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  #6  
Old 05-16-2013, 06:18 AM
Grabby544 Grabby544 is offline
Account closed at users request
Location: Wichita Falls, TX
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 267
Mein Auto: 2009 X3
I had a sound similar to this on my wifes 1996 Mitsubishi Diamante (Jap. spec.) and I ignored it. Then a few months later a idler pulley went flying off and the engine and it destroyed the engine internally.

Listen to 5.9 and Supercourse, get this thing fixed before something really bad happens!!
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  #7  
Old 05-16-2013, 09:33 AM
HragH HragH is offline
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Location: Beirut, Lebanon
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 2004 X3 E83 2.5i
Hi guys, thanks a lot for the replies, I took it to a mechanic a while after posting here, it turned out the issue was the tensioner pulleys going bad, he changed both so I'm not sure if it was one or both. He changed a bunch of regular maintenance stuff at the same time. He said my intake air filter being clogged is probably the culprit for the bad fuel mileage, and after he changed it there is definitely an improvement, I still haven't driven it enough to know exactly or reliably how much better it is, I guess it was causing significantly more pumping losses at idle?
I ruled out the DISA cause it clearly didn't seem to be originating from that area, I also unplugged and replugged its electric connector while the engine was idling, I could hear the valve open/close but with no change in the rattling sound.
I still want to pull out the DISA just to check its condition, but I'm worried about the gasket when I put it back, its probably old/brittle, and I don't think I can buy it separately here, I'd have to buy a new DISA unit even if mine had nothing wrong with it
Honestly though I could have sworn it was liquid/bubble gurgling sound.. turned out to be rattling I really appreciate all your help
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