Bearings going bad? - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 12:28 AM
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Bearings going bad?

Last week I noticed sort of a rough, low key, grinding noise mostly around 45 mph. The sound closely resembles the sound you get if you drive over rumble strips along the side of the road - but without the intense vibration. Above 45 mph the sound turns into a higher pitched whine especially above 65 mph. The problem is I can't tell exactly where the sound is coming from - but it seems like it is coming from the front end. I can also feel a slight constant vibration under my feet through the floor board. I am thinking my bearings need replacing or repacking - I just don't know. I am fairly certain it is not the tranny as I just replaced it about a year ago and when I shift into neutral, the sound doesn't go away. The car seems to not roll as freely since I noticed the sound. Sorry this is the best I can describe the noise and yes I did a search and found a thread with a similar issue in a 540i.

Any ideas? How much is it to replace or fix the bearings?

It is a '98 528i with 163,000. Thanks!

1998 528i - sold 222,000 miles
1998 540i - sold 159,000 miles
2007 328i Coupe - 30,000 current
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#2 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 10:10 AM
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you can throw it in to a turn right, then left...if it is a wheel bearing it will get worse in one direction or the other because you are shifting the load. A right turn will put more pressure on the left etc. Wheel bearings normally do not give a high pitch sound. Normally a low rumble or grinding sound.

What happens when you rev the engine in neutral at a stand still?
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#3 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastshivy
you can throw it in to a turn right, then left...if it is a wheel bearing it will get worse in one direction or the other because you are shifting the load. A right turn will put more pressure on the left etc. Wheel bearings normally do not give a high pitch sound. Normally a low rumble or grinding sound.

What happens when you rev the engine in neutral at a stand still?
Fastshivy - you are right, I learned today if I throw it into a left hand curve it goes away. If I turn right it gets a bit worse. Therefore I think you are right, it is probably the front left bearing. It has gotten a lot worse in the past day.

As for revving the engine at a stand still, everything sounds completely normal.

Not sure how much this is going to cost but I have to do it.

Thanks for diagnosis help!!!!!

1998 528i - sold 222,000 miles
1998 540i - sold 159,000 miles
2007 328i Coupe - 30,000 current
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#4 (permalink) Old 02-15-2007, 01:26 PM
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EEE-gads

the stealer wants $515 to replace the bearing and can't fit me in until mid March!!!!!


Soooooo with that, I went out and bought a Mazda 3.....but I still have my BMW. At this point in time it is worth me keeping considering how much I have put into it. I have to have a car that is reliable and I got a good deal on a 2006 Mazda 3 s 2.3 GT. Love it. Black on Black, Bose, 5 speed manual.

Now I have to find a way to buy food. lol....

1998 528i - sold 222,000 miles
1998 540i - sold 159,000 miles
2007 328i Coupe - 30,000 current
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#5 (permalink) Old 04-02-2007, 12:57 PM
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GDMFSOB!

I replaced the front left wheel bearing and the damn thing is still making the same sound!
Maybe I need to replace the left rear bearing now? It sure seems like it is coming from the front. What are the chances I bought a defective new bearing?

1998 528i - sold 222,000 miles
1998 540i - sold 159,000 miles
2007 328i Coupe - 30,000 current
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#6 (permalink) Old 04-02-2007, 02:18 PM
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Check flex disc (commenly referred to as guibo). I have a real similar problem. Rumble @ 40 mph or so, car seems to not roll as freely. I recently had been following a post by BALKAN, labeled "e39 vibration and noise at 65mph (help)". Seems like a somewhat similar problem. My car goes in this Wednesday. Keep me infomed, as i will you.
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#7 (permalink) Old 04-02-2007, 05:11 PM
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I don't think is defective.
Check the repair manual for the E34 on this forum and look under Drive train/shaft. It tells you the symptoms and possible fixes for the drive shaft.
Crap! I just noticed the link to the manual does not work. I'll look it up tonight on my manual and let you know tomorrow.

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here is the Balkan's link
http://www.bimmerwerkz.com/forum/5-s...elp-51071.html

Last edited by LOS; 04-02-2007 at 05:34 PM.
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#8 (permalink) Old 04-02-2007, 09:48 PM
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Did you check your tires?
It could also be just tire noise. They can sound really bad on some tires especially if they are not worn properly.
And tire noise do go away slightly on curves/turns.

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#9 (permalink) Old 04-03-2007, 01:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e39 5ive
Rumble @ 40 mph or so, car seems to not roll as freely. I recently had been following a post by BALKAN, labeled "e39 vibration and noise at 65mph (help)".
This is exactly what I'm experiencing. I will look into the thread you gave me.

Yea Cosmo, I thought it may be a tire noise issue but the tires are new and this all started a few weeks after I put the new tires on. Again, if I turn to the right at at any speed, it sounds like a low groan, rumble.

Thanks for your advice everyone. I really appreciate it! Of course I will keep everyone posted.

As much as I love this car, I really hate it when things like this crop up. It is still the best car I have ever owned after everything I have put into repairs. lol...

1998 528i - sold 222,000 miles
1998 540i - sold 159,000 miles
2007 328i Coupe - 30,000 current
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#10 (permalink) Old 04-03-2007, 06:45 AM
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It could be tire noise, but they don't normally make grinding noises. High pitched sounds are suspect for tires.. You could try rotating them to see what happens. Normally when you do wheel bearings you do them in pairs. Unfortunately BMW uses sealed bearings and you can't just pop them out and examine them for pitting etc.They are also expensive! It is possible the right bearing is bad...(bad inner race on top or lower race on bottom). You could try jacking the car up and spinning the wheels to see if there are any abnormal noises.Check all your shock mounts, brakes and all suspension components while you are there. A front end alignment may be in order as well. Very difficult to diagnose over the internet....you might need a trained ear. All four areas talked about here would be suspect...Bearings, tires, drive train, suspension....hope some of these ideas help and you get it solved.
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#11 (permalink) Old 04-09-2007, 09:06 AM
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Sorry for taking long...

Did you guys find out the problem?
If you are having vibration & audible noise (RUMBLE NOISE), it could be the following:
1. Loose mounting bolts on your flex disc (drive shaft)
2. Damaged flex disc or center bearing
3. Drive shaft out of alignment.

RealOEM.COM BMW E39 540i DRIVE SHAFT-CEN.BEARING-CONST.VEL.JOINT


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Last edited by LOS; 04-09-2007 at 09:09 AM.
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#12 (permalink) Old 04-09-2007, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastshivy
It could be tire noise, but they don't normally make grinding noises. High pitched sounds are suspect for tires.. You could try rotating them to see what happens. Normally when you do wheel bearings you do them in pairs. Unfortunately BMW uses sealed bearings and you can't just pop them out and examine them for pitting etc.They are also expensive! It is possible the right bearing is bad...(bad inner race on top or lower race on bottom). You could try jacking the car up and spinning the wheels to see if there are any abnormal noises.Check all your shock mounts, brakes and all suspension components while you are there. A front end alignment may be in order as well. Very difficult to diagnose over the internet....you might need a trained ear. All four areas talked about here would be suspect...Bearings, tires, drive train, suspension....hope some of these ideas help and you get it solved.
Its so frustrating....thanks for all the input. I found a reputable import mechanic that I want to take it to. If it is the drive train I am screwed.

1998 528i - sold 222,000 miles
1998 540i - sold 159,000 miles
2007 328i Coupe - 30,000 current
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#13 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 10:03 PM
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Update - It was the right front bearing!

FWIW - just replace both the damn things when you start getting that low growl/vibration. Although turning the car to the right indicated the left front bearing going bad it was actually the right. The indy mechanic apparently is familiar with this misconception when trying to determine which wheel.

Fastshivy - you nailed it. Thanks!

"They are also expensive! It is possible the right bearing is bad...(bad inner race on top or lower race on bottom). You could try jacking the car up and spinning the wheels to see if there are any abnormal noises."

1998 528i - sold 222,000 miles
1998 540i - sold 159,000 miles
2007 328i Coupe - 30,000 current

Last edited by ozarkmark; 05-01-2007 at 10:22 PM.
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