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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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Old 06-01-2012, 07:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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1998 540i squeals like air being let out of a balloon

My 1998 540i makes a strange sound, usually starting once the car reaches 30mph. It's a high pitched squeal, sort of like letting air out of a balloon.
It's coming from the front end somewhere (sort of sounds like its underneath the car), though difficult to pinpoint because it doesn't make the noise while idle.
Any thoughts?
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Does the pitch of the sound vary with the revs or the speed of the vehicle?
Will it do it when you are stationary?
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Old 06-01-2012, 11:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It gets a bit louder as the speed increases. It also seems to slow while braking. It doesn't make the noise while stationary, and the only time I've heard it below 25 or 30mph is while braking to turn a corner etc.
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Old 06-01-2012, 06:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Check your brake discs, there is an anti rattle clip that can come into contact with the rotor if the pads are really worn down.
Has there been any work done on the car recently?
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:18 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I had this problem on sons 525i (except for the braking bit which makes it different)

Put duct tape from the windscreen over the top of the grill below the wipers.
The grill vibrates and makes horrible noise which gets worse in a headwind.
The noise was really loud too.
Permanent solution would be to pack the grill with some rubber strips maybe?

If that doesn't work maybe what Brett said or check wheel bearings?
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