Growl/Gurgle Noise at Cold Start... HELP - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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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#1 (permalink) Old 08-10-2004, 09:20 PM
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Just got my new (to me) '98 323is a few months ago... Something that began to occur about a month ago occiasionally has now become commonplace--I'm worried. I've got everyone I know stumped, so I hope some of you creative and mechanically inclined take the challenge here and give me a hand. I'd hate to contact the local dealer.

At cold starts, a growling/gurgling noise erupts from what sounds like the engine bay, or rather, the space between the bay and the glove box. To the best of my knowledge, it sounds like there is a gremlin being exposed to light somewhere behind my glovebox, growling and gurgling at me. Fiunny thing is, once the car reaches normal or close to normal operating temperature, the noise stops. What the heck could that be?

Because there seems to be a relationship between this noise and the cooling system, I'm worried. I don't know if that's the case, but the only consistent evidence I have is the invariable gurgling growl at start up and the cessation of the noise once I get about 2 miles from the house. Oh, and I first thought it was the AC or something, but its not. I cut that off at start up, but the noise remains.

Please help. I'd REALLY hate to consult the kind of people that specialize in looking at these cars by the hour who'd love to just stare at it and replace parts at will looking for a gremlin one of you guys has already spotted, tagged, and bagged.

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#2 (permalink) Old 08-11-2004, 11:37 PM
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Surely someone can tell me something??? Please help.
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#3 (permalink) Old 08-11-2004, 11:58 PM
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How cold of a start? Is the heat turned on?

I'm thinking it's the gurgle from maybe the heater core with some bubbles in it or something, sometimes I get it too but I've never really though it to be a problem cause it happens for a second then goes away but I also didn't notice when it happens.

If you're thinking it's the cooling system you could flush it and replace the thermostat.

Don't get it wet either.

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#4 (permalink) Old 08-12-2004, 02:58 AM
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hmm this is off topic but i got a question about the AC, when i turn mine on and roll down the window and shut off the radio it sounds like theres somethin rattling in the engine bay but when i turn off the AC it sounds just fine... any idea if its the AC?? does anybody else's car do this .... thanks

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#5 (permalink) Old 08-12-2004, 04:12 PM
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Kevin... It sounds almost like a motor being activated at cold start... Like in the morning, when the car has sat all night and is totally in the blue part of the guage. That sound kinda reminds me of a bad motor growling. Then, after the engine gets a little past the blue... Everything seems normal. It didn't always do this is why I'm concerned. It started about a month after I got the car.
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#6 (permalink) Old 08-12-2004, 04:17 PM
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OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Oh man I'm going to hurt myself trying to think of what it's called. Darnit. It's something like a secondary air pump? No not that, somebody else help me out here. Somebody was just talking about it. It shouldn't be anything to be worried about yet. Eventually it might go bad or maybe it wasn't cold enough to be needed before?

Has it gotten colder since you bought the car? Also how cold are we talking here ambient temps?

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#7 (permalink) Old 08-12-2004, 04:40 PM
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Charcole canister???? I was posting about a secondary air system... is that it???


1997 E36 M3 1990 E30 325i
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#8 (permalink) Old 08-14-2004, 02:19 PM
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I'm new here, but I've had my 328is for over a year, and my "secondary air pump" (as told to me by the dealership) has gone out.
It made the same noise though before it did. I don't mean to hijack your thread, but in order to save $400 we bought the pump and tried to install it ourselves. (still don't work) Is there any right up on this? or tech support info on here? I searched, but not much came up. any help would be appreciated.
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#9 (permalink) Old 08-15-2004, 11:54 AM
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mathetas,

You are hearing your air pump kick on and off. It should turn on when you start your car regardless of amient air temp. Maybe you didn't hear if beore because it wasn't going bad before. Normally, the only way you would know your air pump was on was a slightly different exhaust sound.

Sounds like you need a new one.

Be carfule of Alpine, he told someone the secondary air system was the exhaust... Primary being intake... :lol:

Ivy: Sorry bud, I can't really help. Sounds like your problem is electrical now. Put some power to the pump to establish that it works.

Maybe your old pump still works, and the issue is more internal to the electronics.

????

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#10 (permalink) Old 08-15-2004, 12:12 PM
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Yup, I had a 328 once, it is called the secondary air pump and I had that same stupid problem, it also made the check engine light stay on all the time, but couldn't tell any difference with performance of the car.
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#11 (permalink) Old 08-15-2004, 06:07 PM
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Are you missing this? or, is this attatched?

That's the snorkle, when I take it off, and start the car in the morning, it gives this deep-ass growl that's almost rice-ish for about 1-2 minutes, then it stops. That snorkle baffles the sound.
I too have had my hot air pump (or something) replaced after it failed and caused a fault code. I believe that's what the snorkle is attatched to.

(the yellow & blue wires and the thing that's bolted onto my shock tower are wires for my loud train horn I added, I love that thing)


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#12 (permalink) Old 08-15-2004, 07:22 PM
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You guys are awesome... First of all, I want to thank ALL of you for replying to this. I've been out of pocket for a few days, and all this is making me feel a little better. Ironically, I've been searching for a way to determine what code my CHECK ENGINE LIGHT might be pulsing--why, you might ask??? Well, it came on last night. IMAGINE THAT.

I think this is all coincidence, I really do, but coming clean, I'll tell you what I've done. Over the last two days, I've began to tune up my car because I'll be danged if I give BMW 800 bones to change a few spark plugs and filters. Anyway, I've always put 87 octane in my car with no problems. However, during the tune up, I added some "Lucas Liquid Tune Up", which is a fuel system cleaner (I"ve had really good luck with it in other cars). I had about 320 miles on the gas tank when the check engine light illuminated. Second, I changed the air filter--replaced it with a K & N air filter--no problems, slid right in preoiled. Next, I changed the oil. I changed the filter with a BMW canister filter (O-ring, copper drain gasket) and BMW performance full synthetic oil (7 quarts). Last, I changed the spark plugs. It had a set of NGK's in it that looked pretty charred, although it wasn't missing or anything. I called BMW and asked for the part number to the spark plugs that would go into the car if they replaced them, and they coughed it up. Called the local parts store, and found a similar Bosch plug with a lifetime warranty that was one spec above what BMW was gonna sell me for $8 less per plug--Bosch Platinum IV plugs. Now, roughly 50-75 miles later, I get a check engine light, but make no mistake about it, the car runs FANTASTIC. I have an RX-7 that I restored, other than a paint job, and I thought it ran great (I'm trying to sell it by the way...), but this car runs so much smoother than any other I've had. But, what do you expect out of a BMW? It should, right? Well, so I'm sort of at a loss... I want this light off my dash, and I'd love to know why it's there.

It sounds like you guys are telling me that it could be this secondary air pump causing my light to illuminate as it was showing mechanical signs of failure for a while... But, I'm man enough to admit that I could have caused it with my Shadetree attitude of car maintenance. However, my car really does run fine. I changed the plugs one at a time and even drew diagrams so that I would assure all would go back the way I found it. It was quite easy, really. Of course, the oil and filter change as well as the air filter change was easy too... My oil level is fine, and I haven't noticed any leaks. I don't know, I just don't think the light is due to anything I've done.

If anyone knows what I can do from here, especially in the way of finding out why that light is on, please let me know. Anyone know any tricks to asking the computer magical questions without going to OZ (the dealer).

Thanks again.
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#13 (permalink) Old 08-15-2004, 07:28 PM
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invest in a BMW check engine light reset button... it plugs into your harness and poof


no more check engine light, assuming the problem is gone.


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#14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2004, 07:33 PM
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Tell me more about this tool... Where do I get it? How much is it?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't disconnecting the battery reset a check engine light if the problem was truly gone???

Thanks.
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#15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2004, 10:09 PM
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Bump... Please read above... Thanks.
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