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E60 / E61 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series E60 Sedan was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E61 wagon followed shortly there after. The E60/E61 5 series is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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Old 11-04-2012, 02:59 PM
voxy voxy is offline
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Location: Harrisburg
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 2013 328i & 2003 325i
N54 ticking noise

My CPO 2009 535xi after 60K miles has started to make a ticking noise much like what has been described as the N52 valve lifter problem.

I can hear this ticking (jingling) noise when i accelarate hard clearly and now i can hear it in idle. Very annoying as it makes you feel like you are driving a beat up car.

I did take the car to the dealership and in their usual first reaction, brushed it aside as a typical noise but i know for sure that it did not exist before. Is there a service bulletin out for N54 just like N52 or do i have to go through the grind of keeping insisting that the noise is there until they have mercy on me and fix it?

In general i have been very annonyed with this car. My suspension has a vibration/noise that starts after 75mph (i had posted about it a while ago) and prominant at 85mph. After two dealerships and a BMW engineer, the problem is still there. They have replaced fluid in the transfer box, changed front differential and bearings. To close the case they insist that the noise is gone but it is not. Is there a way for me to escalate it up the chain?
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:12 PM
TangoRed TangoRed is offline
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Location: ATL, GA
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 55
Mein Auto: hmm?
Ah, you sound like you have a nice case of wastegate rattle. Something that is swept under the rug on this forum but very much talked about in the E90 forums.

Type wastegate rattle in Google and enjoy. There is a TSB but many people have just gotten their turbos replaced. BMW just recently sent out a notice about this to reassure owners. You need to find a competent BMW dealer first.

*note: Accidently signed in to my old screen name...

Last edited by TangoRed; 11-04-2012 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:51 AM
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NoQuarter NoQuarter is offline
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Location: Indiana
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,502
Mein Auto: 2008 535xi
I agree sounds like it could be wastegate rattle.

Try to diagnose this way:

1) Take car for good long drive to warm up
2) Stop car and turn off for ~2 min
3) Start car and leave in park. Rev to 3,000 RPM and left of the gas pedal
4) Listen for rattle from front passenger side wheel well area
5) Rattle will occur when RPMs come down after you let off the gas pedal

The wastegates control the turbo chargers and there is an internal mechanical valve that seals closed an opening. The mechanical valve may vibrate against the opening causing the rattle sound.

BMW has a specific criteria on when to call it "normal" and when to investigate it further. Further investigation requires them to make some measurements and adjustments or to replace the turbo(s).
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