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  #1  
Old 02-16-2003, 12:45 PM
330i2001 330i2001 is offline
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Location: Portland, Oregon
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 2001 330i
Engine noise normal?

I have a newbie question here. Hope fellow 3 series owners can help me out..

It's been ~2 weeks since I got this car used (2001 330i, 27k). 5spd. As time goes on my ears are starting to pick up noises that I wasn't very aware of originally.

Thanks to information from posts in this forum, Folding sear rattles (fixed with weatherstripping tape), and leather seat squeak (fixed with silicon lubricant on the rubbing part) have been fixed quite easily.

My question's regarding one particular noise coming from engine bay under load (and accelerating).

When gear's put in neutral and engine rev'd, the sound is incredibly smooth all the way up (love that!!). However, in the gear, under load, engine (or something in the engine bay) makes this deep gurgling, gargling noises. This sound is there only with transmission in the gear, accelerating ...

I hope this is normal... Is it???

Thank you in advance, and have a nice day!


BTW, installed clutch stop (homemade), and enjoying it... It sure took time to get used to clutch engagement in 1st/2nd gear, though..
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  #2  
Old 02-16-2003, 01:46 PM
Akakubi Akakubi is offline
Monsoon 330Ci
Location: London, UK
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 957
Mein Auto: BMW 520iA... for now
Welcome aboard, fellow Oregonian! Congrats on your new car!

The gurgling, gargling noises should NOT be there under any conditions. The engine should be revving smoothly like in neutral, just deeper. Do you have an aftermarket intake system installed? Those may make some "strange" noises under heavy load.... If not, bring it to the dealer. Your car should be still on warranty, so take it in.

Also, since your car is a 2001, check what cooloing fan you have. If Siemens (which I doubt), get it changed under TSB - these can fail with really bad consequences. Check your coolant.

Be on the lookout for oil level. Check the brakes. Your car should still have Full Maintenance program on it (36K or 3yrs), so if the brakes are near their life, try to wear them off quickly and get a free replacement. They are quite expensive to replace from the dealer if outside that program.

And I belive you can still sign up for the steering retrofit with BMW NA if your steering feels really light and lifeless, especially at speed.

I you ever wish to really experience your and your car's potentials, attend a drivng school with BMW ACA at PIR. I guarantee you will the time of your life.
Let me know so I can point in the right direction. The first BMW track day is on March 28th.
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Last edited by Akakubi; 02-16-2003 at 06:19 PM.
  #3  
Old 02-16-2003, 03:43 PM
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visor visor is offline
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Location: Vancouver, BC
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 404
Mein Auto: '06 330i
"deep gurgling, gargling noises from the engine under load"

BMW's inline 6's are well known for the "roar/purr/burbling" engine sound that they make...are you sure this is not what you're hearing?
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  #4  
Old 02-16-2003, 05:47 PM
alpinewhite325i alpinewhite325i is offline
I love my beautiful wife.
Location: Pittsburgh
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 2,151
Mein Auto: '01 325i
Quote:
Originally posted by visor
"deep gurgling, gargling noises from the engine under load"

BMW's inline 6's are well known for the "roar/purr/burbling" engine sound that they make...are you sure this is not what you're hearing?

I think this may be what you are hearing. My '01 2.5 definitley sounds different when I'm accelerating compared to sitting still and reving the engine.

The sound is so sweet, sometimes I'd rather listen to the sweet inline 6 than the radio!
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  #5  
Old 02-17-2003, 03:12 AM
330i2001 330i2001 is offline
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Location: Portland, Oregon
 
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Mein Auto: 2001 330i
Thank you for all the Info!!

I am also hearing that the noise might be so-called VANOS noise. Won't know for sure until I drive another 330. I better check out the engine noise (or sound) when I bring in the car next time to re-program the key.

Steering on this car by the way, locks in ~2.8 turns, from full left turn to full right turn. No looseness in the center, very tight.
According to the info from other posts, mine (April 2001 build) is supposed to have "new-new steering", with slightly heavier than the original steering, at least that's what I am hearing.
It's definitely lighter than 99 323 my friend used to have. I wonder retrofit is still available even after 2 years..

Anyone starting out using 2nd gear from stop light? 1st gear winds up so fast that it's a bit cumbersome in the city traffic.. Engine's so torquey, I have no problem moving with 2nd.

Lastly, it's waaay to easy to speed with this car!! Gotta watch it.

Have a nice day!
  #6  
Old 02-17-2003, 06:17 AM
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JonW JonW is offline
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Location: Indiana Corn Fields
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,130
Mein Auto: '01 325xi & '93 325is
"deep gurgling, gargling noises from the engine under load"

Could it simply be when you are in too high a gear and the engine isn't producing quite enough power for that moment? You know, like when you try to accelerate in, say, 3rd, but you should really be in 2nd? Then you'll get sort of a gurgling sound...
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  #7  
Old 02-17-2003, 12:29 PM
Akakubi Akakubi is offline
Monsoon 330Ci
Location: London, UK
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 957
Mein Auto: BMW 520iA... for now
That could be... My car tends to lag a bit if in higher than required gear. I never really noticed any weird sounds, just a bit of studder. It happens mostly if I'm on a parking lot going in 2nd gear at around 5mph... So now I use 1st and it's fine...
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  #8  
Old 02-17-2003, 12:36 PM
in_d_haus in_d_haus is offline
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Location: Elsewhere
 
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Posts: 6,869
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I'd have the dealer give it a listen. If it only does it in gear it could be a messed up throwout bearing..they can make a noise that "could" be discribed as "gargle" if it's starting to freeze
  #9  
Old 02-17-2003, 12:56 PM
Masskrug Masskrug is offline
Is it litre or liter?
Location: At the pub...
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 648
Mein Auto: 02 325i/ 03 X5 3.0 5sp
Quote:
Originally posted by 330i2001
Thank you for all the Info!!

I am also hearing that the noise might be so-called VANOS noise. Won't know for sure until I drive another 330. I better check out the engine noise (or sound) when I bring in the car next time to re-program the key.

Steering on this car by the way, locks in ~2.8 turns, from full left turn to full right turn. No looseness in the center, very tight.
According to the info from other posts, mine (April 2001 build) is supposed to have "new-new steering", with slightly heavier than the original steering, at least that's what I am hearing.
It's definitely lighter than 99 323 my friend used to have. I wonder retrofit is still available even after 2 years..

Anyone starting out using 2nd gear from stop light? 1st gear winds up so fast that it's a bit cumbersome in the city traffic.. Engine's so torquey, I have no problem moving with 2nd.

Lastly, it's waaay to easy to speed with this car!! Gotta watch it.

Have a nice day!
Also hello from a fellow Oregonian! (BTW have you noticed that if you change one simple little letter we become Oregonions?)

Yes, I used to have a 99 323 as well, and that steering was BY FAR superior to anything on the 3er's now.

As for the gurgling noise, I would venture that it is NOT normal, at least from the way you describe it. Get the dealer to check it.
  #10  
Old 02-17-2003, 01:08 PM
Akakubi Akakubi is offline
Monsoon 330Ci
Location: London, UK
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 957
Mein Auto: BMW 520iA... for now
Quote:
Originally posted by 330i2001

Steering on this car by the way, locks in ~2.8 turns, from full left turn to full right turn. No looseness in the center, very tight.
According to the info from other posts, mine (April 2001 build) is supposed to have "new-new steering", with slightly heavier than the original steering, at least that's what I am hearing.
It's definitely lighter than 99 323 my friend used to have. I wonder retrofit is still available even after 2 years..
I don't think your car can qualify for the retrofit if it's April build, since BMW AG changed it to the new-new- system. I believe only Pre-March 2001 cars were able to get it done (mine was 07/2000 build).
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  #11  
Old 02-17-2003, 08:51 PM
330i2001 330i2001 is offline
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Location: Portland, Oregon
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 2001 330i
Thank you again for all the helpful info!

The noise is present in all gear, whenever in load. Dealership service guy says something about microfilter needing to be changed (air not getting in freely due to old filter), but I am not sure if that's it.

I got an appointment setup (a week waiting time to get a loaner), and will check out that sound along with fixing the B-pillar noise. Wonder what loaner car I'll end up driving..?

Enjoy the rain!
  #12  
Old 02-19-2003, 02:06 AM
330i2001 330i2001 is offline
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Location: Portland, Oregon
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 2001 330i
Found this on the web. According to this, the noise I hear under acceleration/load is nothing but a normal VANOS sound. I used to hear that BMW engines are silky smooth so got worried when first heard the noise. Guess normal VANOS engine does make marbly (i.e. rapid throbbing type) noise under load. Just to be sure though, will try to sit in another 330i and listen sometime.
Just wanted to share what I found..

-------------------------Begin Quote-------------------------
OK.. here we go..

In normal overhead cam engines, the cams are connected to the crankshaft by either a belt or chain and some sort of gears..

In M50, M52, and S50 motors , we have chain and sprockets (like on a bike)..

The crankshaft drives a sprocket on the exhaust cam.. the exhaust cam sprocket is BOLTED to the exhaust cam... a second set of teeth on it are moving a second chain that goes "across" to the intake cam.. here's where the magic is..

The big sprocket on the intake cam is NOT bolted to the cam.. it's got a big hole in the middle of it.. in the inside of that hole is a helical set of teeth (helical means they curve to the left or right as they go thru the metal.. not straight)

Now.. on the end of the CAM is a little gear that is also helical on the OUTSIDE but it's too small to connect with the teeth on the inside of the big sprocket..

There is a little cup of metal.. with helical teeth to match the cam on the inside and to match the sprocket on the outside.... now.. as the sprocket turns.. it turns the cup thru one set of teeth, and the cup turns the little gear inside which, being bolted to the cam.. turns it.. so now.. the chain from the turning exhaust cam is also turning the intake cam.. although a bit indirectly

The V (Variable) in Vanos is due to the HELICAL nature of those teeth.. if you push the cup in.. the relative sync of the cam to the sprocket is changed.. same if you pull it out some.. in our BMW's, the full travel of that gear will cause the cam to move a full 12.5 degrees while the outer sprocket doesn't move..

Now.. what moves this cup gear?? .. a hydraulic mechanism that works on oil pressure controlled by the DME..

At idle, the cam timing is retarded.. just off idle, the DME energizes a solenoid which allows oil pressure to move that cup gear to advance the cam 12.5 degrees at midrange, and then at about 5000rpm, it allows it to come back to the original position..

The greater advance causes better cylinder fill at mid rpms for better torque..

The noise some people complain about is usually tolerances that make the sprocket wiggle a bit as the cup gear is moved in or out.. sounds like a bunch of marbles in a box.. and it comes from the top DRIVERS side of the motor.. near the bump in the front of the cylinder head where the Vanos system is.

Hope this helps..

Jim Conforti

PS: And ALL Vanos motors make that marbly, rattly, "gargling" noise.. some owners just are a bit more sensitive to noises like that..

----------------------End Quote-----------------
  #13  
Old 02-19-2003, 09:34 PM
AG AG is offline
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Location: NOVA
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 322
Mein Auto: 330i
Thanks for the post. I've been hearing the "gurgling" for quite some time on my car and I was about to post a question to the board regarding the same thing.

Anyway, for me at least, the sound seems to be more pronounced when I let off the throttle around 3-4.5k RPM.
  #14  
Old 02-21-2003, 12:43 AM
330i2001 330i2001 is offline
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Location: Portland, Oregon
 
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Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 2001 330i
As a continuation of search for the answer, did series of web search under "VANOS noise", and the following info seem to surface more often than others.

0. Vanos noise is distinguishable from typical Growl of the engine. It is more of throbbing type noise(described as: marble in the box, gurgle, gargle, etc), while normal engine noise is generally turbine-smooth to feline Snarl/Growl in nature.

1. Noise is fairly common for most BMW engines , but some of them are more pronounced than others. (especially common with E36. E46 use dual Vanos, and it's not been very long since its introduction so not many datapoints exist.) Many people report this noise, obviously bothered by it. Some of them brought the car to dealers to check them out. Standard answer is "it's normal". Though some cases dealer actually worked on Vanos unit with various results.

2. VANOS noise shows up generally under one of three conditions.
a) noise during first several minutes after cold start, going away once engine's warmed up. This is attributed to worn timing chain developing slack. This is most common with E36, understandable considering their age.
b) noise mostly during deceleration (chain tensioner related, they say).
c) noise during all acceleration conditions (this can be normal, though).

3. Some people reports (mostly E36) tensioner replacement was useful to calm the "marble in the can" noise. $100, including labor.

4. Some people reported changing oil with different viscosity helped. They say VANOS mechanism relies on oil pressure to actuate its mechanism, and using oil with differnt viscosity affects oil pressure under load.. Then again, some people reported chaning oil made noise worse! I don't see consensus on viscosity rating either. Better sticking with BMW recommended rating, I think.

5. Then again, there are variety of other noises that can be mistaken as VANOS noise, such as pinging w/ low octane fuel, valvetrain noise, loose spark plugs, etc.

Well, seems like nothing to sweat about (no drivability concern), and I feel better knowing that I am not alone...
 

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