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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 02-05-2010, 01:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Whining noise when engine cold!

Hi guys! Ok I seem to be having a problem with my car and I can't seem to figure out where the problem is. It is winter time right now so the engine gets pretty cold when the car has been off overnight. When I start the car in the morning, I hear a sort of a whining noise coming from the engine. When I accelerate, the noise seem to increase in pitch and becomes high pitched until the car gets to about 60km/h or so and then it fades out. It returns again when the car comes to a stop. However, the noise goes away once the engine has fully warmed up to normal operating temperature. Also, when I'm turning, I can hear sort of a rattling kinda like something is skipping as it rubs across something else? What could this problem be?
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Old 02-05-2010, 01:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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sorry, i forgot to mention its an automatic 1997 328is.
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Old 02-05-2010, 05:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Air pump?
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Old 02-06-2010, 01:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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i dunno. It seems more mechanical. I just came back home and I was on the highway and the car was vibrating. It felt like something was wobbling. Its really strange, and I think one of the ABS sensors is gone.
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Old 02-06-2010, 04:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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abs wouldn't whine, and if it were defaulting, the abs warning light would be on. i do not belive this is the noise culprit. (that being said, you may still have an abs issue, just not related to the noise...)

here's what i suggest. start the car with the hood up and listen to where the noise is coming from. it could be the power steering pump, it could be the trans pump, it could be the air pump, or even a belt or bearing noise.

a mechanics stethescope or a long screwdriver or wooden dowel (like from a 4th of july flag) can be used to listen in on areas or components where you think the noise may be coming from.

good luck, and be careful around the moving parts.


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Old 02-07-2010, 09:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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hi guys, thanks for replying. I think it could possibly be the power steering pump. When i start the car and its cold, the steering is really heavy but as the car warms up, it gets better. That seems to me like the pump. I'll try what you said drivinfaster and see what i can get it.
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Old 02-07-2010, 09:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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oh and as for the abs issue. the abs light is on, but its strange that its been on for weeks and for the last few days it actually doesn't come on and when its off, i feel the sensor acting up. I guess I just have to replace that.
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Old 02-15-2010, 05:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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hi..I have a 1999 528i that was having what seemed to be the same whine. symoptoms were exactly the same. I pulled the belt and found that the upper idler pully was going bad. good luck
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I had the same problem. Squealing alternator belt. Went away went I would rev up the engine. Has to be replaced.
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Old 02-21-2010, 03:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by zsarfraz View Post
Hi guys! Ok I seem to be having a problem with my car and I can't seem to figure out where the problem is. It is winter time right now so the engine gets pretty cold when the car has been off overnight. When I start the car in the morning, I hear a sort of a whining noise coming from the engine. When I accelerate, the noise seem to increase in pitch and becomes high pitched until the car gets to about 60km/h or so and then it fades out. It returns again when the car comes to a stop. However, the noise goes away once the engine has fully warmed up to normal operating temperature. Also, when I'm turning, I can hear sort of a rattling kinda like something is skipping as it rubs across something else? What could this problem be?
check steering fluid level. Check also for proper brake fluid level - lack of brake fluid can cause a whine also in the ABS pump.

other than that, whining noises are always, always the result of a part that rotates, turns, or spins.

the rattling you complain of in a turn, could be a loose wheel bearing. and it could be the reason for your abs light to come on(i.e. sensor damage). A scan of your DME will confirm this. or u can try an rock your front wheels manually to check
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Old 10-11-2010, 05:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I had exactly the same problem with my car. The belt tensioners (and their bearings) were defective. I actually lost the belt while driving. Take it to the shop, great dame can occur if you keep driving the car that way.
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:16 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Might be your gears lack of lubrication can cause whining, check trans fluid level....
Could also be worn out rack and pinion so check that....

As for the vibrations it could be a wheel hub or contral arm, so check that...
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Old 12-27-2010, 07:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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the vibration can also be caused by a lack of suspension, check inside the rims too
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