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Strange squeak when driving

8922 Views 12 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  QAfred
Just noticed my car producing a strange squeak today. here is how i can replicate it

1)start driving in first gear
2)engage clutch (to shift to second gear)
3)squeak occurs before (or during) changing the gear lever to 2nd gear

it seems to me that the squeak is coming from the rear of the car, but its hard to tell from the drivers seat. logically speaking, im not even sure what could be producing this squeak, as it doesnt seem to occur outside of engaging the clutch after first gear, so any suggestions would be helpful
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Does it happen if you shift into 2nd while sitting still?
nope just while moving and with the clutch depressed after first gear. after any other gear there is no squeak.
Could it be something wearing down in the shift linkages?
i dont know. its strange to me that it only happens after first gear, unless i never fully engage the clutch, such as to move the car up slightly in the garage. also it doesnt matter if i move the gear knob, the squeak happens even with the transmission in first but the clutch disengaged after accelerating in first gear. i have a hard time understanding what could cause such a squeak only after first gear.
RTAB's. Just changed mine today in my 2001 300ci and what a difference in ride. Could be the torque tweaking the bushing back and forth.
Your due anyway if you've never changed these bushing's and not much else can squeak but a worn bushing and these are most common culprit.

I replaced using Lemfoerder brand, 2001 M3 part number is now recommended for our 330's. Car tracks and handles much better now. Check out Pelican parts and real.oem for the part number of these heavy duty rubber RTAB's, some use poly but I did not want to worry about the squeeks they are prone to.

or search for RTAB and you'll find a lot more info.
sounds good. ill certainly add it to my list of things to do on the car.

however, even if this solves all my problems, why would it only squeak after first gear?
it loads up and tweaks in first gear, then relaxes when you stop. It is the back and forth motion. doesn't get a chance to relax between gears only when you stop or take the load off of the differential.

take a look at this link:

The rear differential applies torque to several bushing's on both the carrier and rear axle support. It is one of those Bushing's. I am just guessing RTAB ( #4 on axlw support) since it is the one most complained about making noise and wearing out. It could be #9 Bushing on the carrier too. I believe it takes the side load from the diff..that would also explain first gear squeek only.

Get under it and inspect / see the logic of what Bushing takes the torque when you engage first see if you see anything obvious wear and tear wise. If you had access to a lift it would be good to have someone go from stop to 1st, reverse to first while you were under it listening for the culprit and also witnessing the torque on the bushing's. If you are brave you can do it on 4 jackstands with two floor jacks under there for back - up, just be safe. It can be done but not recommended by safety experts....
Excellent, thanks. You have been very helpful
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