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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all I’ve been noticing lately my e46 has had an occasional dog whistle like whine coming from the engine bay. This usually happens when I am in second or third gear but just started happening in idle sometimes too. Whenever it happens it’ll slowly fade in, last forever a few seconds to a few minutes then fades away. I have a number of guesses for what it may be, for a little background, I replaced my valve cover gasket a few thousand miles ago and the problem started occurring around that time. Could I have done it wrong or is the new gasket warped? Also, I have a pop and squeak (no groan) in my steering mechanism somewhere when turning at low speeds, this might mean something if the whine is from my power steering system. These two things might not have anything to do with it but you never know.
So here’s what I’ve narrowed it down to:
1. Bad tensioner/pulleys
2. Air leak in valve cover
3. Power steering pump
4. vacuum/air intake leak
5. Might need to flush my transmission
I will try to provide a video of the noise
Any ideas are appreciated thank you
 

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E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
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When the whistling noise happens, pull over and leave the car running. Remove the oil fill cap and drive only for a minute. Does the noise go away?
 

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Is it safe to drive without the oil filler cap on?
Don is one of few here you can 'probably' trust. :) He did say 'only' a minute. I suspect he suspects your ccv is whining, or your vcg isn't quite on right, but I won't speak for him. :)
 

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E46 '04 330Ci convertible 750K km
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What Don says, if you have heavy vacuum in a crank, air could be sucked trough front or rear seals. You open oil cap, no vacuum, sound is gone. If it (sound) still there, then you exclude extensive vacuum as reason.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I will definitely try this next time it occurs, I will let you know how it goes.
 

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'03 325iT Mystic Blau
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If you don't know if your belts and pulleys have been serviced I'd recommend doing those before they leave you stranded, possibly breaking important stuff under the hood when the belt starts whipping around.
 

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2003 330ci Convertible Sport package
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keep us updated! I have a small whistle under light load coming from what seems like driver side of car with window open, I can hear it. If I give it gas it goes away. Doesn't do at idle though
 

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Discussion Starter #12
If you don't know if your belts and pulleys have been serviced I'd recommend doing those before they leave you stranded, possibly breaking important stuff under the hood when the belt starts whipping around.
I just replaced both my belts and my water pump pulley a thousand miles ago, it could be any of the other pulleys though. here is a link to a video of the nose in my car if it’ll help

 

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Water pump pulley is one of the least likely to need replacement since there's nothing to wear out on it. It's the two belt tensioners and the serpentine idler pulley that you need to replace.

I couldn't hear anything in that video over the usual noises at my work, will try again when I get home.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Water pump pulley is one of the least likely to need replacement since there's nothing to wear out on it. It's the two belt tensioners and the serpentine idler pulley that you need to replace.

I couldn't hear anything in that video over the usual noises at my work, will try again when I get home.
okay thank you so much! it is a very high pitch whine so it’s hard to capture on video but you should be able to hear it somewhere quiet with the volume completely up. I also noticed that the noise disappears when I press in the clutch if that means anything to you.
 

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E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
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Well that's a DIFFERENT issue?........
 

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I recently got a whining noise in my 330ci manual transmission as well.
The noise sounds a bit different for me and it's sometimes there and sometimes not.
Best noticeable at low RPM and coming from the engine bay.
Im not sure if it's the exact same sound but your description matches mine.

Today after driving around I have a new noise added to it. It's a low grumble ands seems to come from the front part of the exhaust. When revving you can hear a grumble followed up by a painful squeaking noise. It sounds like there is a hole in the exhaust but I don't see why there would be a squeaking noise. Hopefully it's some part from the exhaust and not the turbo or something like that. After the car cools down the noise slowly vanishes.

Does anyone have an idea what this could be?
Link to noise
 

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High pitched faint whistle?

Mine is doing something with acceleration - it quits when I let off.

I have read elsewhere that it could be a vacuum leak.

I need to do a smoke test.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #19
High pitched faint whistle?

Mine is doing something with acceleration - it quits when I let off.

I have read elsewhere that it could be a vacuum leak.

I need to do a smoke test.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
that’s what mine has been doing, the whine will slowly fade away when I let of the gas or push in the clutch.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
keep us updated! I have a small whistle under light load coming from what seems like driver side of car with window open, I can hear it. If I give it gas it goes away. Doesn't do at idle though
Did you see the video I uploaded into this discussion? Is that the same noise you’re hearing?
 
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