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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 02-15-2015, 11:32 AM
mekaneck mekaneck is offline
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Location: Illinois
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Mein Auto: 2003 325xi, 2007 X3
Squeaking driveshaft (guibo or carrier bearing?)

My wife's 2007 X3 has started squeaking when moving at slow speeds. Originally she only noticed it when backing up, and it progressively got loud enough where I can hear her backing out of the garage while I'm inside the house. It has now also started squeaking occasionally in drive (it's an auto). I could tell it was definitely coming from the rear part of the car, but that's all I could tell. It sounds like someone pushing on a squeaky suspension, but it definitely isn't suspension related.

My initial thought was brakes, but it is independent of stepping on the brake pedal or pulling on the handbrake (it doesn't make the sound better or worse). The brakes are usually not even being used when the sound is occurring.

Today I put the car up on jackstands to investigate (all 4 wheels off the ground), and was able to reproduce it by putting the car in R and slightly engaging the handbrake. I got near each slowly-spinning wheel and convinced myself the sound wasn't coming from either rear wheel. I got under the car and it sounded like it was coming from near the rear diff, but I couldn't really pinpoint it.

I decided to take a video, but this time I had to step on the brake pedal lightly to get the sound. I couldn't seem to get the handbrake to do it again. Here's the clip:


The whole time the car was on jackstands, the car was quiet when freewheeling in D or R without brakes. So it seems there has to be a little bit of torque going through the rear driveshaft for the sound to occur.

My guess is guibo or carrier bearing, but I have to drop the exhaust in order to do an inspection. If I do that, I want parts on hand so I can just replace them, so my wife isn't out of a car for a week or more. Any suggestions before I move forward?
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  #2  
Old 02-15-2015, 04:44 PM
bluskye bluskye is offline
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Location: chicago
 
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Mein Auto: 2006 330i / 2007 X3
Dont you replace both one one goes out anyways?
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  #3  
Old 02-15-2015, 05:11 PM
mekaneck mekaneck is offline
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Location: Illinois
 
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Mein Auto: 2003 325xi, 2007 X3
Yes, if it is either one. I'm looking for input on whether it could be anything else. I'm still having trouble believing either one is making that sound, but I can't think of what else it could be.
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  #4  
Old 02-18-2015, 07:33 AM
wamcneil wamcneil is offline
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Location: Houston TX
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
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Mein Auto: 2006 X3, 2001 330Ci
Hi, found your thread searching for X3 driveshaft issues.
I don't have any conclusive information yet, but my wife's car (2006 X3 ~150k mi) is making a very similar, but much quieter, noise that I believe to be the drive shaft center support bearing.
In my case, I hear something like a squeaking or rubbing noise a very low speed <15mph, which transitions into a low bearing whine with pitch dependent on ground speed.
Probing around with a mechanics stethoscope indicates that the noise is coming from the center of the car, apparently between the transfer case and differential. And pretty much the only thing in this area that can make noise is that bearing.

That being said... your squeak sounds to me like it could be a seized up universal joint. It sort of sounds like there are two squeaks per revolution of the driveshaft, flexing and then flexing back.
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  #5  
Old 02-18-2015, 06:34 PM
mekaneck mekaneck is offline
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Location: Illinois
 
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Mein Auto: 2003 325xi, 2007 X3
thanks, I didn't even think of the u-joints. This seems like the most likely source. I think I'll order a driveshaft with all the trimmings (guibo & carrier bearing) and do it all in one shot. Sad that I only have 75k miles on this vehicle, I wouldn't have expected this until twice that.
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  #6  
Old 02-20-2015, 07:15 AM
wamcneil wamcneil is offline
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Location: Houston TX
 
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Mein Auto: 2006 X3, 2001 330Ci
Yeah, the frequency of the noise strongly suggests driveshaft (IMO); seems to be between 3-4 squeak pairs per rev of the wheel.
I got under mine a couple days ago and swapped the carrier bearing. And my noise was definitely the carrier bearing.
But I think yours is probably U-Joint. I had a cardigan joint on the front driveshaft of a Jeep Grand Wagoneer make a very similar noise several years ago.
If it was mine, I'd plan on swapping the driveshaft just like you said. I hope that's it!
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  #7  
Old 02-20-2015, 07:37 AM
wamcneil wamcneil is offline
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Location: Houston TX
 
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Mein Auto: 2006 X3, 2001 330Ci
Oh, a little advice on the driveshaft that I did not see in the few DIYs I found:
The heat shield is a lot more robust than it looks. Feel free to pull and shove pretty hard, it won't fold up like the AL foil that it looks like.
The external torx bolts on the rear flange are torqued down tightly and have very little clearance around the head of the fastener. So there's no room for a ratchet head in that area.
You can get to it easily enough with an extension, but given the obstructions of exhaust and general lack of accessibility I was not able to hold the head of the ratchet steady enough break them loose. A 3/8 breaker bar worked pretty well for me, just make sure it's got a very slim head.
Also, the rear flange has a locating boss that is a pretty tight fit into the flange on the differential, and took a lot of leverage to be pried away from the differential flange. It's hard to get anything in there to pry, but I used a small prybar to get back between the two flanges.
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  #8  
Old 03-13-2015, 03:58 PM
murderland murderland is offline
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Mein Auto: x3
hey mekaneck

did you ever figure out where the sound was coming from? my 2005 x3 has started to make the same noise as well.
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  #9  
Old 03-13-2015, 05:49 PM
mekaneck mekaneck is offline
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Location: Illinois
 
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Mein Auto: 2003 325xi, 2007 X3
I still haven't had time to pull the driveshaft yet. But it's finally starting to warm up around here, so I hope to get to it soon.
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  #10  
Old 05-25-2015, 03:10 PM
rdraidr rdraidr is offline
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Location: Roswell, NM
 
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Mein Auto: X3
My wife's 2006 with 73K on the ODO is making a very similar noise. I'm thinking the u-joint and if there's a carrier bearing, then I'll change it as well.

One difference, almost the exact same noise, but I would guess it's coming from the front wheel area.? I like your jack stand idea. I believe I'll try that first.
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  #11  
Old 05-26-2015, 04:47 PM
rdraidr rdraidr is offline
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Location: Roswell, NM
 
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Mein Auto: X3
Lifted the '06 X3 with 73K on the ODO; see the video above. No doubt, the front drive shaft was making the noise. I noted that it rotated at a higher RPM than the half-shafts to each wheel. I removed the driveshaft and the u-joint at one end was extremely difficult to rotate (swivel). Have to guess that's it; the noise. Now after a drive shaft. Love to have had the option of replacing the u-joint, but...
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