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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 07-08-2011, 08:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Strange Noise at High Speed

This pertains to a 2008 528i.

Yesterday, while driving on the highway, I started hearing this strange deep whistling sound. It started occurring as I drove into an area where the outside temp was rising above 95 degF. It seemed to be caused by the air flow somewhere through the engine compartment. If I slowed down it went away. If I sped up, it came back. Once returning to outside temps below 90 degF, I could not reproduce the sounds.

Any ideas of what it might be?
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Old 07-09-2011, 06:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Is it happening at road speed or engine speed?
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Old 07-09-2011, 10:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It is road speed dependent. Engine speed (RPMs) had no effect. While accelerating, coasting, or maintaining speed, the noise only got more intense or began to fade based on road speed.

To try to explain the type of sound....it's as if some of the engine compartment air seals or cowling (if there is any) were giving way when the outside temperature was high. My wife was in the car with me and we both thought the sound was coming from under the hood...possibly orignating more form the drivers side than the passenger (based on some crude triangulation).

The very next day I drove the same road at the same speed with the outside temps at 80 DegF vs 95+ DegF. No noise.
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Body vibrations... maybe the kidney grills or something similar !
Even the bottom engine cover...
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Old 07-09-2011, 01:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Somone suggested the rubber in the front hood seals is contracting in the heat causing an air leak. What do you think?
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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As far as I know, things expand in heat and not contract!
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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You talkin' about the corner rubber adjusters?
If yes then unscrew them Half a "Turn"...
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Last edited by Jack Dabsy; 07-10-2011 at 10:41 AM. Reason: adding
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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You talkin' about the corner rubber adjusters?
If yes then unscrew them Half a "Turn"...
Thanks. I'l try that.
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by SanDiegoBMW View Post
Thanks. I'l try that.
Unscrew afurther half turn if the vibration/whistle persists....
This may make your hood "Lift" at one corner... If it does then raise the opposite side or lower the "raised" side... You will find the right setting eventually... Good Luck mate
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Old 07-10-2011, 08:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Outside temps have cooled off. As is...there is no noise at temps <90 DegF. I'll have to try the adjustments during the next heat wave. Again thanks!
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:46 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Head out to Anza Borrego - you have a great test-bed clear to November it'll be over 90 out there.
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Old 07-12-2011, 07:43 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Good idea.
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:00 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I had a strange and loud noise at speed above 90 kph, sounded like a buzz in the area of the speedo but turned out to be lack of fasteners on the plastic grill over the plenum chamber. Temp fixed with duct tape.then finally got new fasteners and no more noise.

Of course headwinds or tailwinds will affect this particular noise (airspeed) and the indicated speed it will occur at may vary.
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Old 07-22-2011, 05:48 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I'd like to check this out, however I am hindered by ignorance....where is the plenum chamber?
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Old 07-24-2011, 06:46 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by SanDiegoBMW View Post
I'd like to check this out, however I am hindered by ignorance....where is the plenum chamber?
The big hole under the plastic grill around the wipers, where the air goes into the car through the heater/aircon. (at least that's what I thought it was called)
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