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3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

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Old 09-28-2008, 09:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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325iC Rear Wheel Noise

Looking for suggestions on diagnosing a noise in the rear wheels/drive train. As the car increases in speed, there's a growing whining sound in the back. I can't tell if it's related to a particular wheel or not. Kick the car into neutral and coast, the whine is still there. As the speed drops, so does the whine. Doesn't seem to be affected by making turns.

Any ideas? Thanks
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Old 09-28-2008, 11:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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wheel bearing ? that would be my best guess.. I don't know much about ur model. But that sounds like a wheel bearing. If that is the case I'd recommend getting it fixed ASAP as you will find that your tires will suffer.
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Old 09-28-2008, 05:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 09-29-2008, 11:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I would go more for the diff, check for leaks and check the oil level in the diff.

whinning is nearly always the Diff, wheel bearings and pads are more of a grinding sound.
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Old 10-02-2008, 12:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I thought that, too, and I had the diff and CSB replaced this spring, expecting that would clear it up. It didn't. I now suspect it's a wheel bearing, and I have the same symptoms OP does. A whizzing whine, wheel-speed related, not affected by acceleration, deceleration, braking, engine braking, turning, or anything else.

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Old 10-02-2008, 02:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Could be that your discs are worn, the rigde will catch the pad and make this noise or the back plate is catching.
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Old 10-03-2008, 11:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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definitely sounds like wheel bearing
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Old 10-04-2008, 07:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It sounds like you may have a wheel bearing that's failed... I had that happen to a 2000 323i that I once owned. Are you inclined to try jacking the car up and seeing if a wheel seems to be able to be moved (shifted) a bit? I could detect some unnatural movement in the rear wheel that had the failed bearing. Don't drive the car too much. I did and "spun" the bearing and had to replace the drive flange too, about a $80 part.
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