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Old 03-14-2011, 03:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Roaring/Rubbing noise from rear when cruising/not accelerating.

I tried to search this out but came up dry..

Ive got a little '93 318is, 5 speed, 144k miles. Just bought it about a month ago.

Drove fine when I first got the car, but a couple days ago I was headed to work and noticed a roaring sound from the rear. It ONLY makes the sound when I'm not accelerating. If my foot is on the gas, its fine.. The second I let off, it starts. Ill try to describe it in detail below. Very minor at first but got a LOT worse very quickly. By the time I got the car home that night it was pretty bad. Haven't driven it but twice since, noise seems to get worse every time I drive it.

My first thought was wheel bearing, but I want to be sure. Im on a budget, I dont want to spend money fixing something thats not the problem.

Anyway, as I stated, the noise is ONLY present when cruising or decelerating, its a roaring sound that SEEMS to be coming from the rear driver side, but thats not 100%, just sounds more like that side than the other. Noise seems to be present at any speed over about 5-10mph. I hear it pulling out of my parking lot.

I jacked the car up and did a basic check on the rear wheels, both are solid, no wiggle or movement to them, I know thats not a dead indicator, but it was worth a shot. Also replaced the diff fluid while I had the car up (it has a very slow leak, I figured Id knock that out as a possibility while I had the car up). Obviously, changing the fluid did nothing. I also tried to spin the tires by hand while the car was up but didnt notice any sound(s). Brakes look great, they must have been replaced not long before I got the car.

Any suggestions guys? Am I right in thinking wheel bearing? Any help would be much appreciated, Im scared to drive it like this and I'm currently without a car!

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Old 09-29-2012, 09:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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would say its the diff bearings or possibly driveshaft bearing.MY e36 320i was doing the same.Ended up being the diff.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have a 95 318i. 211 K and still running strong. (Well besides the Emissions problem at this time. LOL) I had two similar problems your describing. If the differential fluid change didnt work (it did for me). It could be your transmission. I also had noise coming from rear, like a whining noise. I changed the tranny filter and fluid and it stopped the noise. Not too costly either. (Not a bad preventative maintanance job anyways) Its more work getting the fluid level correct than anything. If either dont work then it could be your rear drive shafts or differential. Good luck
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Try reversing the car at speed (obviously find somewhere safe to do this) and see if the same noise is present.
Have a friend drive alongside you (both vehicle moving forward) and see if he can identify whether the noise is worse on one side relative to the other. If its the same from both sides then likely to be an issue with the diff. Did much metallic material come out in the diff oil when you changed it?

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