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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-08-2011, 12:40 PM
Hootman Hootman is offline
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Question E39 Engine Noise

I have posted this problem a few times under different titles and have had a few responses to this engine noise. I have replaced both belt tensioner pulleys as well as the idler roller pulley. Both belts are in good shape although I did spray a little belt conditioner to see if would soften the noise, didn't work. The fan clutch seems to have a proper amount of drag when I spin it by hand, at least enough to unscrew it from the water pump pulley.
It's hard to tell where the noise is coming from. I have posted a short video on YouTube (BMW Engine Noise) where you can hear it. If you go there note the noise intensifies as the car is put in gear.
Any suggestions on what this might be?

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  #2  
Old 01-08-2011, 12:53 PM
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lild lild is offline
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try this take your a/c belt off start car and see if the noise goes away, if not then remove the other belt and start the car, check again. but only run it for a short time. if the noise is still there then it's some where else and maybe easier to pin point it, if the noise goes away then it could be one of the acc. pump pulleys or the fan clutch.
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Old 01-08-2011, 01:12 PM
Hootman Hootman is offline
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Thanks lild - I tried that already and didn't seem to make any difference. Hard t otell where the noise is coming from it sounds more like it was coming from under the intake manifold on the drivers side at least when your standing in front of the car but as move close to the firewall drivers side the noise seems to be coming from the front of the engine. Frustrating to say the least. I listen through a 1/2 inch wood dowel placed on the alternator, vanos and around water pump area and it didn't seem to transmit any real unusual noises.
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Old 01-08-2011, 01:23 PM
edjack edjack is online now
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Does the noise go away when the engine is off idle?
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  #5  
Old 01-08-2011, 01:31 PM
Hootman Hootman is offline
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Yes I should have mentioned that as far as I can tell. With the car is sitting still but in gear when the RPM is raised above idle the noise goes away. I noticed as the car was being back out of the drive I could hear the noise but then as the car drove away I didn't hear the noise.
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  #6  
Old 01-08-2011, 01:35 PM
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so to be clear you took off the belts for the power steering/wp etc. and the noise was still there?
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Old 01-08-2011, 01:40 PM
Hootman Hootman is offline
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Yes I did take the fan and each belt off one at a time and the noise did not go away.
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  #8  
Old 01-08-2011, 01:43 PM
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i wonder if it your water pump or fan clutch, in the video it did look like it had a bit of a wobble to it. it's the only thing i can think of since it goes a way on higher rpms. because with out the belts the only pulley that would rotate is the wp.
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Last edited by lild; 01-08-2011 at 01:44 PM.
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  #9  
Old 01-08-2011, 01:56 PM
Hootman Hootman is offline
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How does the water pump rotate without the belt? I've never heard a water pump make that kind of noise also the noise seems to have started a couple of weeks ago and seems to be getting worse. Really hate take it back the dealer, I can R&R parts but having some trouble with the diagnostics.

I have two BMW's and love them best cars I've ever owned 2000 528i and 1997 328is. Have put over 170,000 miles on each of them mostly trouble free just minor issues. I'm sure they have another 100,000 plus left in them.
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  #10  
Old 01-08-2011, 02:08 PM
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i'm sorry your right about the pump. don'tknow what i'm thinking, the only pulley that rotates without the belts is the crankshaft pulley. could be it, unless it's the tranny. it did sound funnier once you put it in drive.
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Last edited by lild; 01-08-2011 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 01-08-2011, 02:14 PM
Hootman Hootman is offline
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Yes it does sound worse when it's in gear, I hope it's not the transmission it's been real frustrating. I appreciate your input please post if have any other any other ideas.
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  #12  
Old 01-08-2011, 03:10 PM
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it's hard to pinpoint in the video, so i know it's frustrating to you. i do know that when the tranny went out on mine it made a funny whinning sound.
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Old 01-08-2011, 05:08 PM
Hootman Hootman is offline
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So I drove it tonight for awhile and the noise goes away when I accelerate above idle. I'm going to repost as a suspected water pump noise maybe someone out there has had some water pump issues.
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  #14  
Old 01-08-2011, 08:07 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hootman View Post
I'm going to repost as a suspected water pump noise maybe someone out there has had some water pump issues.
I replied in the other thread ...
- E39 Water Pump Noise, by Hootman


But you put different information in this thread so I'm not sure why you have two threads with different info (e.g., your diagnostics to date) on the same problem ... but it's confusing (to me anyway) that way.

Anyway ... look at the other thread for what I think (I had a similar noise).
- One users' example of total electrical failure (AAA towed away) alternator repair (1) (2)

BTW, if you took both belts off and you still heard the noise ... it's not the water pump or the alternator ... it's inside the engine.
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  #15  
Old 10-09-2012, 11:17 AM
Pucho Pucho is offline
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Hi folks, second time posting but have been reading and lurking this fantastic site for almost a year now.

I have the exact same noise under the same conditions as the OP but about half the volume. Before starting a new thread I was wondering if the OP has solved the problem. I wanted to send a PM but did not find the option under the name. I did send a friend request though . Hootman, if you read this can you please respond? Alternatively, can anyone put me in touch with the OP? Thanks,

Dan
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  #16  
Old 10-17-2012, 12:29 AM
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See also:
- How to diagnose noises coming from the drive belt system (1)
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #17  
Old 10-17-2012, 12:29 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hootman View Post
It's hard to tell where the noise is coming from.
There was a (new to me) diagnostic procedure for testing which tensioner was causing the noise over here today:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pucho View Post
This is just for the benefit of those that have an engine noise and can't seem to find the problem. I had a noise just like the one in this post http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=511169

I used a hose as a stethoscope and was convinced the noise was coming from the WP. Since I was doing a complete cooling overhaul I figured the noise would be gone once I replaced the WP. Not so. At the same time I replaced both the AC and WP pulley as well as the main idler tensioner. I have the mechanical idler arms and figured they were okay and would not need to be changed. Well, I was wrong. The "cricket" noise prevailed especially when in gear at the lights.

Just today, I got under the car, took off all belts, put a 16mm on the idler nut and rocked the arm back and forth. Gotcha! the squeak was there as I rocked back and forth.
See also:
- How to diagnose noises coming from the drive belt system (1)
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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