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Discussion Starter #1
Hello.

We have a 1998 528i with around 110,000 miles on it. This is a great car, but I have a problem that is somewhat worrisome. There is a low frequency rumble in the car that starts around 40mph and is most noticable between 40 and 50. It seems to go away at higher speeds. It sounds like a train off in the distance.

We have just replaced all 4 tires and had a 4 wheel alignment to no avail. I am suspecting something in the driveline, perhaps a bearing, u-joint or a bent or out of balance driveshaft.

Anyone else have thoughts on this?

Thanks!

Chuck
 

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check wheel bearings front and rear.
+1. Jack up the car and grab the wheel at 6 and 12 o clock. Push and pull the wheel at these positions back and forth. If there is any play, you need to replace your wheel bearings.
 

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I have the same noise with my 2003 540 with 27k miles. I thought it was the driveline or the wheel bearings. Took it to the dealer with specific instructions to look at those items. They didn't find anything wrong. Also, at this low mileage( I bought the car new in Oct 2003), I don't think there will be issues with those items. I then changed the diff fluid with Redline. Rumbling sound still persisted. finally, I put back my original OEM Dunlop tires & wheels(have about 1k miles on them). Voila, that was it. I have Goodyear F1 tires with about 26k miles on them. I just ordered a new set of Bridgestone RE760 Sport from Tirerack and will have them installed next week.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Tires

Hi, I appreciate the comment on the tires. When we bought the car about a year ago the mechanic told me it was the Dunlop tires on the car that were causing the noise.

We just replaced all four tires with some brand new "quiet" tires. No change at all. Whatever it is, it is persistent.

Thanks
 

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Classic symptoms of missing jack pads. Have you checked all 4 are in place?

Hello.

We have a 1998 528i with around 110,000 miles on it. This is a great car, but I have a problem that is somewhat worrisome. There is a low frequency rumble in the car that starts around 40mph and is most noticable between 40 and 50. It seems to go away at higher speeds. It sounds like a train off in the distance.

We have just replaced all 4 tires and had a 4 wheel alignment to no avail. I am suspecting something in the driveline, perhaps a bearing, u-joint or a bent or out of balance driveshaft.

Anyone else have thoughts on this?

Thanks!

Chuck
 

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On my E34 it was caused by a worn u-joint on the driveshaft, which I hear it not that uncommon in our car, should be relatively easy to check...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks

Thanks! That sounds like a likely cause. I will check it, if I can get my son to bring the car home! :)
 

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I'm going to 2nd the jack pads. Go out there and see if you have all 4. If you don't, put some tape over the holes and go for a test ride. You might be pleasantly surprised. If you have all 4, try some of the other suggestions. My suggestion is quick and free if you have a little tape.
 

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I'm gonna lean towards a wheel bearing. They will traditionally start to have a loud "roar" kind of like riding on really noisy tires. Any specific direction the noise seems to be coming from? Any vibes along with the noise? Something like a failing guibo/flex disc will give you vibrations as it starts to go. It doesn't sound like jack pads to me.. in the cars I've had that issue in, it's sounds more like an air leak usually localized around the top of the windshield strangely enough even though the noise is originating from the bottom of the car
 

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Some say the top of the windshield. Mine sounded like it was coming from the footwells. Just something easy to check. If they are there, I'm obviously way off track. No harm.....no foul.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks to all for the ideas. I will check the car when my son comes home this weekend. It bothers me more than it bothers him, but hey, I need to check it out.

All good ideas.

BTW jstover, NICE RIDE!
 

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Same problem here, you're not alone! Coupled with Fuzion ZRI 17s (possibly the loudest tire ever), 95K on rear wheel bearings, and a couple missing jack pads... my car sounds like a freight train running on gravel...
 
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