Hi, sorry about the details. I am tired from work and also the sound is making me loose sleep
My E46 is a saloon version. I am thinking of asking the dealers for a window readjustment or even a regulator replacement. However I remain sceptical after reading a comment from another forum. This guy seems to have the same problem as me and apparently he tried most of the things I would have thought of :
" have a late '99 318i SE (E46). At low speeds, particularly when accelerating/braking in start/stop traffic and on uneven surfaces where the body flexes, all my windows 'creak' at the top of the door frames. It's very, VERY irritating. If I drop all windows by 1/8th inch, or open all the doors, the creaking all but disappears. At high speed, I don't really get it at all.
My independent garage applied liberal silicone. It didn't work. Then I went to my BMW dealer. They said silicone reacts with the window guide seals and replaced them. Didn't help one bit. Next, they replaced the front window motors/regulators. Still no joy. They took the car a third time -- for SIX days -- tried another seat of seals, coated the glass with Aqua-something-or-other, and replaced some runners inside the doors. It's STILL the same. I'm tearing my hair out.
I've been on the www.bimmernut.com website. There are seven other people there with the same problem. Only one guy feels he has come up with a solution; he got his dealer to replace the "door jamb body seals" and the noise disappeared. I'd like to try it -- but I think my dealer should pay for it, having already benefitted to the tune of £600.
-quoted from www.bmwcarclubforum.co.uk
I would be better off if the noise is a little bit obvious and also occurs frequently so that I could demonstrate it to the dealership servicemen when they sit in the car with me but apprently the noise seems faint and sometimes it dissapears for a bit. I suspect weather might have a big influence on this.
I plan to frequently lubricate the seals and see if the noise will go off. I suspect it won't as I think the window alignment when fully closed has something to do with it. I am really frustrated at this problem as it really spoils the driving experience and makes the car look "cheap".
Edit: I have been told by a seasoned BMW owner that the window regulators are most likely to be the culprit. Might try to ring my dealership and see if they would cover that under my warranty.