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  #1  
Old 02-20-2002, 11:36 AM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Solution to howling or whining noise at highway speeds...

A while back I posted a question about a noise I was having w/ my car under part throttle around 60-80 mph. TO me, it sounded like it was something to do w/ the air intake or throttle body. But, after doing some digging through the .org archives, I found a guy who has a 330 w/ a similar problem that was corrected in the following manner. Thought i'd post this info in case anyone else has a similar issue. I'm going to schedule an appointment w/ my dealer to do this.

"Rear Axle Differential Whine Noise"


SITUATION
A loud whine or howling noise may be heard in the compartment at
approximately 70 miles per hour with a light engine load.

CAUSE
The meshing of gears in the rear axle differential generates a whine
noise
under the conditions described above which on some vehicles may be
transmitted to the body via the drive shaft center bearing.

CORRECTION
On a customer complaint basis only install a drive shaft center bearing
insulation strip(butyl strip) BMW part # 26 12 7 511 140 to reduce the
drive
line noise which is transmitted to the vehicle body as outlined below.

Defect code 33 10 90 39 00
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  #2  
Old 04-16-2002, 06:11 AM
geomax geomax is offline
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Rob,

I was at the dealer yesterday to schedule my 15K service (already!) and I mentioned the info you provided in your post.

They ackowledged that they get complaints about the noise. My Service Advisor tried to find a tech bulletin on it, and found nothing. I told her that there may not be a bulletin - just that someone had found a solution to the issue, and would they effect the fix?

Answer: "we'll have to look at it when you bring it in". About what I expected from them.

Anyway, this part that you mention:

CORRECTION
On a customer complaint basis only install a drive shaft center bearing
insulation strip(butyl strip) BMW part # 26 12 7 511 140 to reduce the
drive
line noise which is transmitted to the vehicle body as outlined below.

Defect code 33 10 90 39 00


Where did you find this? Who stated it? If you can give me the source, it might be good ammo to throw at them when I bring the car in.

Thanks!
  #3  
Old 04-16-2002, 09:00 AM
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The HACK The HACK is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by geomax
Rob,

I was at the dealer yesterday to schedule my 15K service (already!) and I mentioned the info you provided in your post.

They ackowledged that they get complaints about the noise. My Service Advisor tried to find a tech bulletin on it, and found nothing. I told her that there may not be a bulletin - just that someone had found a solution to the issue, and would they effect the fix?

Answer: "we'll have to look at it when you bring it in". About what I expected from them.

Anyway, this part that you mention:

CORRECTION
On a customer complaint basis only install a drive shaft center bearing
insulation strip(butyl strip) BMW part # 26 12 7 511 140 to reduce the
drive
line noise which is transmitted to the vehicle body as outlined below.

Defect code 33 10 90 39 00


Where did you find this? Who stated it? If you can give me the source, it might be good ammo to throw at them when I bring the car in.

Thanks!
Your dealership is lazy. I believe this information was posted on Roundel as well, if you can dig through last year's worth of archives you can bring that with you to the dealership. ALL the dealerships have the same access to the same service bulletines, if they said they couldn't find the information they're either lying because they're lazy or they're incompetent.
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  #4  
Old 04-16-2002, 09:08 AM
geomax geomax is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by The HACK

if they said they couldn't find the information they're either lying because they're lazy or they're incompetent.
Sad, but true....
  #5  
Old 04-16-2002, 09:17 AM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Geomax-

There's a Service bulletin numbered 33 02 00 that they should definitely be able to find. I got this info originally from a poster on bimmer.org-- i did a big archive search and one guy had posted about this over a year ago. You'll see that if you go to alldata and search for BMW service bulletins. Regardless, your dealership should've been able to find it. BTW, the service bulletin will say that it only applies to older E46 e series (323, 328) w/ the GM automatic transmission. Initially, my dealer balked at doing this procedure on my 01 325i w/ manual. The poster I'd contacted had a 330i w/ a manual transmission, which made me push my dealer to do it-- and the fix worked! If you think about it, it shouldn't be specific to a particular model or transmission-- the idea is that the differential noise is transmitted to the body via the center bearing. All of our cars have these components- and since I was experienceing a noise, I reasoned that this fix would work for me. The dealer initially wanted to replace the whole differential--- I didn't want them to do this because its more complicated, there's more chance for them to screw somthing up and it might not even stop the noise (the new diff could also be noisy). Another poster on this board 31st330 who used to be a mechanic later confirmed my hunch that having the dealer replace the differential would've been less desirable.

Anyway, the point is: push for them to perform SI number: 33 02 00. It will work! Disclaimer: Since I became very sensitive to the noise, I can still detect it very faintly under certain conditions but then again, I'm sensitive to every little noise.

One more thing- if the dealership wants you to duplicate the noise w/ a tech in the car-- try to get on a highway with some grade changes (rolling hills), You'll find that noise will really come out under part throttle at about 70mph under these conditions. Fortunately, I dealt w/ the shop foreman at my dealer-- he insisted on driving the car and got the noise to come out even better than I could. But, the first dealer I went to "couldn't hear anything-- and told me that it was normal tire noise" Don't stand for the BS, find a good dealer!
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Last edited by bmw325; 04-16-2002 at 09:22 AM.
  #6  
Old 04-16-2002, 09:22 AM
geomax geomax is offline
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Rob,

Excellent reply - thanks!!! I try to have them effect this fix when i bring the car in next month. I'll post on the result!

I have to say posts like this are so helpful and constructive. As HACK pointed out, most dealership techs are just ignorant or lazy. I find that without the info gained here, nothing would get done right.

Love the 'Fest!! :thumb: :thumb:
  #7  
Old 04-16-2002, 09:39 AM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Geomax-

Thanks. I've gotten so much from this board as well- without it, I'd probably be a very disgruntled owner. Its amazing how lazy most dealers are--especially when you consider that they have such incredible resources that they can use to diagnose and fix problems:
-BMW tech hotline number
-All technical data online and on their TIS Cds
-regular satellite conference calls to discuss customer issues and problems
-BMWNA field engineers to help diagnose problems
-120% reimbursement of warranty claims based on standard time allotments.
-Direct email and mobile phone numbers for engineers in the US and Germany

BMW seems to provide every possible means (and more) to allow dealers to quickly and easily solve customer complaints-- and yet they still manage to be rude, ignorant, price-gouging, unethical and incompetent. What a bunch of losers!

I wish that the car dealer lobby wasn't so strong in the US-- BMW (and other manufacturers) would do so much better to buy out their dealers and run them themselves-- quality adn customer service could be much more consistent. I think many manufacturers would love to do this (MB and FOrd have tried), but dealers manage to survive like cockroaches.
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  #8  
Old 04-16-2002, 07:36 PM
joes325xi joes325xi is offline
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Does anyone get a similar whining noise when they just start the car and drive around in 1st gear and reverse? I don't think i'm grinding the gears or anything because i hear it even when 1st gear is fully engaged and i'm driving the parking lot. I thought it was initially due to the engine being cold, but even today (temp=85 in syracuse!) it happened. I drove to the dealership to pick up a bumper strip replacement and asked the tech about it - i couldn't replicate the noise (probably because the engine was warmed up). Anyone have any idea what i'm talking about, or have i just F'ed up my manual transmission? (this is my first manual - it's a 2001 325xi 5sp w/6000 miles). Thanks for any info.
  #9  
Old 04-17-2002, 06:24 AM
geomax geomax is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by robg
Geomax-

Thanks. I've gotten so much from this board as well- without it, I'd probably be a very disgruntled owner. Its amazing how lazy most dealers are--especially when you consider that they have such incredible resources that they can use to diagnose and fix problems:
-BMW tech hotline number
-All technical data online and on their TIS Cds
-regular satellite conference calls to discuss customer issues and problems
-BMWNA field engineers to help diagnose problems
-120% reimbursement of warranty claims based on standard time allotments.
-Direct email and mobile phone numbers for engineers in the US and Germany

BMW seems to provide every possible means (and more) to allow dealers to quickly and easily solve customer complaints-- and yet they still manage to be rude, ignorant, price-gouging, unethical and incompetent. What a bunch of losers!

I wish that the car dealer lobby wasn't so strong in the US-- BMW (and other manufacturers) would do so much better to buy out their dealers and run them themselves-- quality adn customer service could be much more consistent. I think many manufacturers would love to do this (MB and FOrd have tried), but dealers manage to survive like cockroaches.
Rob/All, here's the latest -

After a lengthy discussion with my service advisor, at least for now, based on the information they have, they will not cover this fix under warranty. The reason is that no TSB exists specifically for my model/year for a diff whine. They agree there was a TSB in the past, but now that the issue has been addressed and applied to production cars going forward, the issue, well, just isn't an issue anymore for current cars.

ARRRGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!! It's this kind of tunnel vision that drives me absolutely NUTS!!

But I'll hold off on saying anything else for now, since I have yet to bring the car in. I'll re-open negotiations with them then. My point now is that I always seem to have to struggle with them to do even minor things. I guess with BMW's, you get German engineering, and Yugo service.
  #10  
Old 04-17-2002, 07:15 AM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Geomax-

Is there no other dealer where you live? That's very frustrating to hear. I know the fix wasn't applied to later cars because my car did not have this insulation stip before the dealer installed it.

A question-- did you go for a ride with one of the dealer techs? Were you able to demonstrate the noise? If so, what was their response. Even if they refused to do the TSB, they must be offering some sort of fix, right? Or, are they just saying "yeah, its a problem..sorry there's nothing we can do about it". If that's the case, please call BMW and complain-- that type of attitude just makes me so angry.
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  #11  
Old 04-17-2002, 07:42 AM
geomax geomax is offline
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Rob -

I Last time I was at the dealer, I did go for a ride with a tech, and I did point out the noise. The guy said that this was "normal" and was caused by the VANOS air intake.

But you're right. Maybe my dealer is just a damn waste of time and energy.

So - I'm open to suggestions: anyone want to recommend another dealer in the Boston, Southern New Hampshire area? I guess I'm willing to travel over 50 miles to a dealer if they have great service....
  #12  
Old 04-17-2002, 07:48 AM
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ashecnc ashecnc is offline
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Hmm, I don't hear the noise...hmmmmmmm
  #13  
Old 04-18-2002, 07:32 AM
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PunchIt PunchIt is offline
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Mein Auto: E46 328i
Lightbulb Whinney Diff

The head guy in the Service dept @ my said that BMW called him regarding my car, cause I was having the same problem as those above. BMW said they were sending him a "counter weight" to install in the diff, cause there was possibly a "harmonic" being created.

Just my $.02

Daniel
  #14  
Old 04-18-2002, 02:00 PM
geomax geomax is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by CCs328Ci
Hmm, I don't hear the noise...hmmmmmmm
...hmmmmmmm ...hmmmmmmm ...hmmmmmmm ...hmmmmmmm

...don't you hear it??

  #15  
Old 05-14-2002, 11:53 AM
geomax geomax is offline
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OK - just picked my car up from a service visit this morning,and had them look into the butyl tape fix. I was lucky enough to have one of the senior shop formen work on my car. During a test ride, he said he knew about the howl and the butyl tape fix. So, they went ahead and installed this. He also mentioned that there is an additional insulation available for the rear diff itself. He said he'd install both, and cover it under warranty. :thumb:

Much of the howl is harmonic, which you can "feel" in your ears. The howl tends to permeate the whole inside of the car. The fix seems to have elliminated about 60% of the resonance. There's still some noise, but you can target it from the engine bay, not the inside of the car. The noise itself is less as well. Overall, I'm pleased with the result.

I was also going to have them look at a shudder in my clutch, but this has resolved itself completely,and installing the butyl tape did not affect this.

For a loaner car, they gave me a 525ita. Nice comfortable ride, and still handles great. But hopelessly underpowered. On any decent hill, the engine needs to rev to 5K to get the car moving at a decent clip. On rolling terrain, it downshifts frequently to keep momentum. On side roads, the engine can bog at 1500rpms - you need to work the triptronic auto to get better response. On the highway, it sleds along pretty well. At 85, the rpms hovered around 2600 or so - fairly low. But otherwise, the 2.5 liter is working pretty hard to haul the bulk of this car. I was actually surprised how nimble it is, while at the same time, feeling very planted on the road. The car is VERY stable. I've always loved the 5 series, but if ever the day came when I'd buy one, then it would have to be the 540. A 5'er needs some juice under the hood to make it fun.

Last edited by geomax; 05-14-2002 at 11:57 AM.
  #16  
Old 05-23-2002, 10:24 AM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Geomax-

Glad to hear that it finally worked out for you! I didn't have that "additional insulation for the diff" installed (didn't know about that), but have been happy w/ the butyl tape solution so far. I agree- its still possible to hear some noise, but you really have to be listening for it. The strange thing is that on the parts cd, if you look up the part for the center bearing support, it says that the butyl tape MUST be installed with it. It sort of implies that the cars should have been built with this insulation in place. Strange.
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