Heres the situation, and I couldn't find the answer despite all my searching.
I'm getting a high pitched whine from the engine at all rpms, hot and cold. As far as I can figure out, it's from the very top of the engine, and it's a metallic whine, and not a clilcking or tapping sound. I already checked and lubricated the alternator area. I don't think it's a valve or lifter problem because it's not a pronounced click, tap or ping, but a continous whine.
I'm using 5w-30w oil, and it's topped up. Pulling power etc is as normal. My suspicions were timing chain/tensioner/vanos chain?? (do I have it?) or something of that nature. It started about a week ago, and yes it's cold now, around 5-10 degrees celcius.
remove fan shroud, remove fan. start car. use a LONG screwdriver as a stethoscope and touch it to various metal parts near the pulleys (e.g. alternator body, idler pulley mount). if it's a bad pulley bearing, you will hear a shrieking whine, if the pulley is good, it should just sound like a hum. from the location of your sound i'd guess it's the idler pulley or tensioner pulley. if you take off the belts (turn off your engine of course), try spinning the pulleys. a good pulley bearing should have some resistance. a bad one will spin freely like a skateboard wheel.
I know this is a bit old, but I still have the problem. I did what you guys suggested, got a long screwdriver and tested different areas of the engine. The whine is definitely coming from the top of the engine, and not from the front where the pulleys are. The alternator is fine too.
I wonder whether this is anything to do with the timing chain or tensioner, or maybe even cam shafts? Has anyone experienced failures in these areas?
Please help guys, I'm getting just about fed up. I've had the car for about 6 months, and this is like the 5th big problem I have had. I have already dumped all my $$ on repairs, that I don't have any left for upgrades. Actually thinking of selling the Bimmer.
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