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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 04-10-2006, 11:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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E36 318ic loud engine idle

Hey Guys,

I just signed up to the forum and decided to get involved in the nitty gritty of my car. I've got a 95 318ic and its gettin old and has a couple things that are starting to act up, but i'd like to see if i can get people's advice on here on what it might be.

First, my engine sounds louder when its idle. Everything is still smooth there doesnt seem to be a performance impact, but the engine is considerably louder when im parked stationary. The interesting part is that when i first start the car up and let it warm up, it sounds normal. THen after i drive it for a little bit and then put it in idle it sounds loud. I cant hear it when im actually driving becuase of the ambiant sounds of the road.

Second, my steering wheel shakes when i brake between about 40mph to 25mph. Could this be an alignment issue? Or something wrong with my steering column? I had my steering column replaced last spring.

Any ideas would give me a good idea of what might be wrong before i take it to the mechanic.

Thanks.
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Old 04-11-2006, 08:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I am assuming you've checked your oil and inspected your exhaust system for leaks? This sort of thing is hard to diagnose without specific details. Is the engine loud because you hear ticking noises? Is it loud like when a chain is loose? Is it a loud banging noise? What would help is the mileage of your car as well.

As for the vibration in your steering wheel. You'll have to check in the following manner.

A) Check your front rotors or discs (brakes) Steering vibration under braking is usually from warped rotors. While your at it check the rears too.

1) Wheel balance (all 4 wheels)
2) Check for uneven wear of tires
3) Front control arm bushings
4) Check tierods for play
5) Check ball joints for play.
6) Faulty calipers beginning to fail will cause rotors to overheat and warp. This is caused by hard braking as well.
When I first got my car I had the steering tremble under braking, it was my front rotors/discs.
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Old 04-11-2006, 05:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e36surge
I am assuming you've checked your oil and inspected your exhaust system for leaks? This sort of thing is hard to diagnose without specific details. Is the engine loud because you hear ticking noises? Is it loud like when a chain is loose? Is it a loud banging noise? What would help is the mileage of your car as well.

As for the vibration in your steering wheel. You'll have to check in the following manner.

A) Check your front rotors or discs (brakes) Steering vibration under braking is usually from warped rotors. While your at it check the rears too.

1) Wheel balance (all 4 wheels)
2) Check for uneven wear of tires
3) Front control arm bushings
4) Check tierods for play
5) Check ball joints for play.
6) Faulty calipers beginning to fail will cause rotors to overheat and warp. This is caused by hard braking as well.
When I first got my car I had the steering tremble under braking, it was my front rotors/discs.
Thanks for the reply.

I'll take a look at the oil and exhaust when i get the chance. Its not really a loud banging noise or anything like that. After I posted this message yesterday i found a later post indicating a similar sympton. They said their engine sounded like a diesel engine. Whcih is what mine sounds like. Not banging or rattling. Just loud. As far as mileage. I have about 113k or so, not bad for a 95.

Im not sure if it could be my rotors. Unless my mechanic who installed the new rotors and pads last year (sametime as the steering rod) messed up installing them. I'll go through the checklist you provided and see what turns up.

Thanks again.
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Old 04-12-2006, 03:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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OIL!!! It turns out my car freaking needed oil! I cant believe i let it go that long without it. Ugh who feels stupid? I do.
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Old 04-13-2006, 06:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes oil is very important LOL.

More importantly, WHY is your car missing oil? Leaking? Burning?

What about the shaking wheel? What happened with that?
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