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3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

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Old 02-20-2006, 01:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Faint "knocking" sound when window fully closed

I bid hello to everyone here! I am new to the forums and hope I could get some tips and help as I couldn't find useful help at my dealers.

I have recently acquired a 2 year old 318i E46 from an authorised BMW dealer. Everything is fine but I have come to notice a faint "knocking like" sound that seems to come from the driver (right) side doors. The sound is more obvious when the car is under tension, such as when it is just accelerating, braking or sudden jerk. There is usually a succession of 2-3 "knocks". The best I could explain is that it sounds like the window glass is knocking against something. I used to have squeaking sounds as well but I fixed that with some silicon lubricant to the wood trims on the door.

I have tried winding down the window and that seems to have stopped the sound. It seems that the sound is only there when the window is fully up. I have tried sending the car back to the dealers and they claimed to have fixed it. The sound was gone for the first day but came back after that.

I am wondering if there is anything I could do myself before I submit the car for another service review. Although the sound is faint but during long drives it really affects my mood, especially in a "premium" car as a bmw.

I have tried lubricating the window seals once but I am not sure of the right location or how to lubricate it effectively. I really hope someone could help me. I really don't feel like going back to the dealer unless I have no other choice. I was wondering if repeat treatment of lubricating the seals could help the situation as it worked with my trims. (I have to lubricate them 3 times) Thank you in advance!
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Old 02-20-2006, 02:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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i would suggest that as they had "cured" the problem and then it came back,,,i reckon it is the window that is slightly out of adjustment

only very slightly but it sounds like it isnt quite at the top of the frame...and therefore it has a slight amount of movement....unless it is the coupe(u dont say)

if it is the coupe then the same applies but it is the wind that slightly moves out the window under wind pressure

i had my windows adjusted on my bmw mini and it made them better
i aslo use petroleum jelly to lube my window seals..and that makes em very quiet
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Old 02-20-2006, 06:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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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.

Last edited by jonnyc; 02-20-2006 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 02-22-2006, 11:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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check out my thread i just posted on regulators--that may be the issue. However, I have the factory service manual that tells you how to adjust them, and although not complicated, it is precise and somewhat involved, and it sounds like someone may not be doing it correctly. If they are, then either the regualtor is junk, or there are broken parts laying in the bottom of the door.

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Old 02-22-2006, 12:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for your input. I would try to push the dealers to replace the regulators if possible I guess. It is hard to let them hear the noise because it is kind of faint and I think only audible to the driver. (or someone picky and with sharp ears like me behind the wheels :P ).

I have tried to wind down the window a tiny bit (maybe 1mm or less) by depressing the scroll window down button 1-2 seconds after it fully close automatically. This seems to have reduced (or even stopped) the sound but I fear that water will leak into the car if I make this a perma solution. I also dislike the higher wind noise at speed.

edit: I have found your thread ! However, my window doesn't pop and grind. Everything runs smoothly and the window close fully with a secure sound. However, its the rattling-knocking sound that seems to come from the driver's side door (right side in my country) when it is fully close. I have tried winding the windows down a tiny bit and it seems to have solved the problem. It sounds like something is loose in the door but I suspect it has to do with the window mechanism since it only happens when the window is fully closed

Last edited by jonnyc; 02-22-2006 at 12:58 PM.
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