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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 10-21-2011, 03:54 PM
computerwhiz1 computerwhiz1 is offline
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Hight Pitched Whine At 30+ mph

Sorry to bother you guys with yet another "noise" post, but I know that the car is not supposed to make this sound, and I can't seem to find anything from searching that matches up with my symptoms. The problem I am having is that I get a very high pitched whine coming from what seems to be the front passenger side of the car while driving at speeds above 30 mph. This seems to get much worse the colder it gets starting at around 50F and getting louder the colder it is outside. In the morning when it is around 30F it is really quite annoying. This seems to be independent of the engine RPM because I put it in neutral and slowly revved up, but was unable to reproduce the noise. Also I am 99% sure it has nothing to do with the secondary air pump because it does it the entire time driving whether the engine is cold or warmed up. I have attached a video of the noise. You can hear it good in the first 30 secs, but I left the video long because the noise continues to occur. Any help is greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 10-21-2011, 05:09 PM
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jonathan2263 jonathan2263 is offline
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Hard to tell but it sounds to me like the fan. That's where I'd look first.

Just a guess...
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  #3  
Old 10-21-2011, 05:21 PM
computerwhiz1 computerwhiz1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan2263 View Post
Hard to tell but it sounds to me like the fan. That's where I'd look first.

Just a guess...
The mechanical fan (its an auto), the aux fan, or the AC fan? I'll look at it in the morning.
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  #4  
Old 10-21-2011, 08:55 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Check out the alternator bearing noise in the set below from the bestlinks ...

NOISE VIDEOS (1): VANOS rattling noise (1) (2) & water pump impeller noise (1) & water pump bearing bearing noise (1) & alternator bearing or pulley cold-idle noise video [went away with a belt-drive system overhaul] (1) & alternator clicking noise [went away with a new alternator] (1) & reputed loose oil pump bolt noise (1) & DISA (DIfferenzierte SAuganlage - "Differential Air Intake") valve o-ring failure symptoms video (1) & DISA (DIfferenzierte SAuganlage - "Differential Air Intake") rattles (0) (1) & air conditioning A/C compressor knocking sounds (1).
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  #5  
Old 10-22-2011, 06:42 AM
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smolck smolck is online now
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My A/C fan makes that noise if it is on the lower settings. Full blast it is fine, very lowest it is fine, it is somewhere in the middle that causes it. But if it is that, it will do it sitting still as well.

Could be the passenger window not sealing all the way. Cold would make the rubber contract which would lend itself to your issue of cold making it worse.

Those are my two guesses.
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  #6  
Old 10-22-2011, 01:01 PM
computerwhiz1 computerwhiz1 is offline
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Thanks for all of the suggestions guys, however I don't think the problem is engine/belt related. This being due to the fact that the sound is completely independent of engine RPM and is entirely related to speed. Also, the belts, tensioners, and idler pulley were all replaced less than six months ago.
Quote:
My A/C fan makes that noise if it is on the lower settings. Full blast it is fine, very lowest it is fine, it is somewhere in the middle that causes it. But if it is that, it will do it sitting still as well.

Could be the passenger window not sealing all the way. Cold would make the rubber contract which would lend itself to your issue of cold making it worse.

Those are my two guesses.
This sound is present at all fan speeds, and as far as I can tell, its not the window, because I still hear the sound with the windows rolled down.

I was thinking maybe a wheel bearing or something? but that wouldn't depend on the temperature either, would it? The odd thing about this problem that is making it hard to track down is that it completely goes away once it is about 60F outside and I can't reproduce it while being able to listen around the car because it only happens at speeds of 30+.
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  #7  
Old 10-23-2011, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by computerwhiz1 View Post
I was thinking maybe a wheel bearing or something?
Wheel bearing failure has a distinct roaring noise, not a light chirping noise. A bad wheel bearing sounds like you are driving on the shoulder of the road, so it ain't that.
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  #8  
Old 10-26-2011, 05:50 PM
computerwhiz1 computerwhiz1 is offline
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So after driving around some more and trying to track down what it is, I noticed that while it occurs at speeds above 30mph it also only occurs at RPMs from about 1800 to 2300. So that means that it is engine and speed, related? Like I said before, the sound can't be replicated in neutral. I had some trouble with the secondary air pump last winter, and it almost sounds like it is coming right from that area. Could it be that? I know it is supposed to shut off after around 1:30, but is it possible it gets stuck on or something like that? Thanks again for the help guys.
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