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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 09-11-2010, 01:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What is this sound? Take a listen....

First off: 1998 540i auto with 145,000 miles. My mechanical wrench skills are limited to oil changes etc, rotating tires. etc.

Yes - I searched EVERYWHERE for a similar noise but found nothing that describes what I'm hearing. Here is the issue/ symptom:

Here is the sound clip:
Car Noise

IF I am traveling over 45 in top gear (automatic transmission) and slightly apply throttle - such as going up a slight hill, I hear and feel a low rumble/ flutter somewhere under the car. It sounds like it is directly under the armrest if I had to take a wild ass guess.

The closest way to describe the sound: It is like air leaving a large ballon - not a high pitch squeel but an intermittent mid to low vibration flutter - sort of squirelly. It just doesn't make the noise at 45, I have noticed it up to 75 MPH and does this all day long unless it gears down under power and then everything is fine.

My thoughts are:

1- I have a bad catalytic converter on my passenger side. The drivers side was just replaced. - Yes I am gonna change the passenger side soon. I don't have a code or CHECK ENGINE light for this though. These things cost money. lol...

2 - Transmission mounts / center support are bad

3 - bad exhaust hanger bushings/ broken hanger

4 - Guibo / flex disk

I tried to take a short video of the sound but it is so hard to hear the problem when I wateched it on my computer.


BTW - I love this car and I will never get rid of it. This is a long term relationship!
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Old 09-11-2010, 02:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think I found the problem: I just got under there and banged on the passenger side catalytic converter and it made a horrible clunk/ something is loose sound.

When the engine is cold, I can really feel this sound under the armrest. When the car is warm, I think whatever is loose may be expanding a bit. Under very slight load, it is enough pressure to wiggle the thing around slightly - making the fluttering sound.

Any other thoughts?
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Old 09-11-2010, 03:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
OMFG another one!?
 
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Corrosion may have caused bits to come loose in the cat. Could need replacing.
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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For inquiring minds it was a broken exhaust hanger causing all the clatter - IN ADDITION to the bad cat.. It finally got to the point it would clunk so hard I could feel it in the armrest starting out in first gear. I am not sure where it was broken but my shop fixed it free of charge - just needed a spot weld. He replaced the passenger side cat with a Magnaflow 49 state and welded it in. Both are done now.This is the second BMW I have replaced the CATS with Magnaflow universals. No problems yet - knock on wood....
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
OMFG another one!?
 
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Very nice; thanks for sharing the solution!
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