2001 BMW 325i Flapping sound

Tiny
HEY JENN
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 BMW 325I
  • 157,000 MILES
When I drive my car slowly this sound comes from what I think is the rear left of my wheel. I thought it was a bearing but mechanic said its not. Over the last month the sound has got louder. From inside the car it sounds like flapping. When I wind the window down to listen whilst driving it sounds like scraping. When idleling while engine running she purrs. Drive slowly she sounds like scrapping etc, speed up it gets faster. I haven't had it a year yet. I had it 5 months and a near new transmission had to be installed. Now just more problems. I'm worried my $18000.00 vehicle s a lemon.
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Wednesday, July 24th, 2013 AT 6:26 PM

14 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Have the brakes been checked? There is a sensor on the pads which is to make a scraping noise when the pads are due for replacement.
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Wednesday, July 24th, 2013 AT 9:50 PM
Tiny
HEY JENN
  • MEMBER
Thank you for your response. I can not begin to tell you how much money I have spent on this car. Yes 8 weeks ago I had all new brake pads all discs machined a new brake sensor AND ABS brakes as well done. Maybe I have a shoddy mechanic?
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Thursday, July 25th, 2013 AT 3:01 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Does the sound change when you apply the brakes?
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Thursday, July 25th, 2013 AT 10:01 PM
Tiny
HEY JENN
  • MEMBER
Check this out, I did take my car back in last week and insisted that thy find out what the sound was. They couldn't find anything but said maybe it was the flexiplate? I don't know what that is. Anyway thy adjusted it and I also insisted they take off all the tyres because I thought it was a bearing. It wasn't. He said its probably something minor. I wasn't happy an got real paranoid. When I left the sound seemed louder. I called mechanic and told him and he said bring it back when you can. I haven't yet. I do go on sorry. What's happening is when I apply the brakes they seem fine it's when I slowly drive off it sounds more like a clanking now, like I said I'm getting paranoid. When I brake now the suspension is making little pressure point sounds if that makes any sense? So I have this ticking clanking flapping scraping whatever the hell it is sounding from the left of my car with the suspension now making tunes in unison with my damn complaint! Lolololol. I've even looked. I'm sure it's not the engine. I can hear it louder with windows closed when I'm driving slowly, speed up and can't hear much. When I put the window down I can hear it and I'm sure it's heard by other motorists and side walkers.
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Friday, July 26th, 2013 AT 12:18 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
The flex plate is a flywheel between the engine and transmission. I have to be honest, I never heard of anyone adjusting one. It bolts into place and that's it. Does the sound stop or change pitch when the brakes are applied?

Jen, you feel the problem is in the rear. Are you able to safely lift the rear of the vehicle? If you can, safely place it on jack stands with both rear tires off the ground. (Please make sure it is secure and not going to fall off the jacks). This is a rear wheel drive vehicle, correct? It isn't AWD, correct? If it is rear wheel drive only, start the engine put your foot on the brakes and place it in drive. Slowly release the brake so the back wheels spin. You may want to have a friend doing this in the car so you can move around outside to listen for the noise. See if you are correct and if the sound is from the rear. When it is time to stop the wheels from spinning, stop them with the brakes and DO NOT just shift it into park while the wheels are still spinning.

If you can do that, let me know what you find. Also, see if the noise changes when the brakes are applied.

Joe
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Friday, July 26th, 2013 AT 6:57 PM
Tiny
HEY JENN
  • MEMBER
The sound stops when I apply the brakes. I'm not sure if my car is a RWD? Il have to check the manual. All I know it's a 2001 BMW 325ci. Ill try what you have suggested tomorrow and get back to you. Thank you.
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Saturday, July 27th, 2013 AT 12:59 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
If it is a CI I believe it is rear wheel drive. The XI is the AWD. However, please confirm.

As far as the noise going away when you hit the brakes, it sounds like you have a rotor that is slightly warped. That is my first guess.
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Saturday, July 27th, 2013 AT 6:11 PM
Tiny
HEY JENN
  • MEMBER
I didn't get a chance to do that task you set for me today I just had no time. The warped rotor thing? If this could be the case how does that happen? Could my mechanic be an untidy shoddy one? Would he not know this? How severe is this if that were the problem and how could it be remedied? Also if this is the poblem shouldn't my mechanic have picked this up when they took the tyres off? The rotor is in this area? Or no? I'm a bit dizzy!
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Sunday, July 28th, 2013 AT 1:22 AM
Tiny
HEY JENN
  • MEMBER
Hi there,

I took another look and I noticed little metal scratches on my back left wheel. The thin plate behind the hub I think it's called has clean metal little scratches on it. Does that mean anything? I checked the other side and it has none at all. I also checked the front ones but the thin metal plates don't look like the back ones so I'm hoping I found where the noise is coming from but just need to know if I'm correct and what is making the plate get these scratches? Does that make any sense?
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Monday, July 29th, 2013 AT 11:39 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Jen:

Warped rotors are caused by heat. It is very common. What happens is the rotor (which is the round plate behind the tire) gets hot and is no longer true. It wobbles a little. It could be ever so slight and not seen by the naked eye. Even if it was bad, you wouldn't be able to see it. There are two options that can be done. If the present rotor is still thick enough to be cut, it can be trued up on a lathe. If they are too thin to cut, they would need replaced.

As far as what you mentioned, it sounds like you are looking at the rotors. It is common for them to have scratches in them just from normal use. Yes, what you said makes total sense.

As far as your mechanic, I would think he would question the rotors. Based on what you have told me, (the noise stops when you hit the brakes) tells me that the problem is brake related. If a rotor is warped, it could be rubbing against the brake shoes at its high point and then be away from the rotor on its low point. Thus, you hear the sound.

Think about it. The sound speeds up when you speed the car up. Therefore, it has to be something turning at the speed you are going.

Jen, I am not there to actually hear it, so at best, I can hope I'm giving you good info about your problem. Hang in there and let me know if you are able to do the test I described. Or, call your mechanic and ask if he can cut the rotors on the rear of the vehicle. It is usually a cheap job to do. I live in PA and would estimate 10.00 a rotor to cut and 30 minutes labor. It may be different based on where you live.

Let me know what you find. I want to get this fixed for you. Let me know if you have other questions.
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Monday, July 29th, 2013 AT 7:09 PM
Tiny
HEY JENN
  • MEMBER
It's so awesome that your helping me. A problem shared is a problem halved and I feel so much better that I'm able to tell someone about this. I'm just letting you know that my car is booked in for tomorrow the 1/8/13 at 10.30am to have the rotors seen to. I will get back to you as soon as I get home. Fingers crossed this is the problem and I won't have to listen to that cruddy sound anymore. She is a cute car. Be in touch soon. (-:
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Tuesday, July 30th, 2013 AT 10:23 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Good luck, Jenn. I hope it takes care of the issue. Let me know what happens.
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Wednesday, July 31st, 2013 AT 3:36 PM
Tiny
HEY JENN
  • MEMBER
Whoa! All fixed. I'm not crazy! I was right it was coming from the left wheel. I explained to my mechanic about the rotors that you had said that it can't be seen with the naked eye so as not to offend or patronise him. So they did what you had explained to me to do, you know lift the rear of the car on jacks and bingo sure enough! It wasn't the rotors though but close enough, it was a faulty brake shoe. It was slipping or something making that ugly noise. So yippee hooray all gone no noise. They just put new brake shoes on even though they had been replaced just recently. Thank you so much for my success.(-:
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Wednesday, July 31st, 2013 AT 7:49 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
I knew it had to deal with your brakes in some way since you told me it stopped when you applied the brakes. Jen, I am so glad you got it fixed. See that, you had to tell the mechanic what to do. Lol

It has been a pleasure helping you. I will miss our long posts. Lol You take care of yourself and let me know if you ever have a question in the future.

Joe
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Wednesday, July 31st, 2013 AT 7:58 PM

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