2000 BMW 323 Warped sound from engine

Tiny
JASONUST
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 BMW 323
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 71,000 MILES
I have an odd problem, where my engine sounds like it has a warped sound when running. At idol, it sounds like when something is off center anh has a kind of a "wha wha wha" sound. I thought it was initially a warped fan, but further inspection puts the sound farther back. A BMW mechanic said he thought it could be a tensioner bearing and would take a look at it, but estimated 450 for the tensioner and the belt. I would replace that but the sound seems to be coming more from the mid to rear of the engine. I have fair mechanical knowledge and have never herd a sound like this. It isn't something like a valve tick, and motor only has 71K on it. I ahve had the car for 11k miles and it has always had the sound. I know it is hard to diagnose without seeing the vehicle, but any help would be great!
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Thursday, January 29th, 2009 AT 4:01 PM

7 Replies

Tiny
DR. HAGERTY
  • MEMBER
It could be the cyclone separator making the noise. To pinpoint, remove the vent line going to the valve cover and if it makes a honking noise (with the engine running) then it is the separator.
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Thursday, January 29th, 2009 AT 4:08 PM
Tiny
JASONUST
  • MEMBER
I think we are on the correct path bcasue it is somewhat of a honking noise. I read on another post, that just removing the oil fill cap would yield a higher pitch honking noise as well and would mean that the cyclone seperator is bad as well. As I read, I notice the vac lines to the seperator are poorly manufactured, so perhaps I ahve one of them that is severly dryrotted. I will look monday when I can get it into a dry garage and remove some covers. Thank you so much for the help.
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Friday, January 30th, 2009 AT 9:22 AM
Tiny
DR. HAGERTY
  • MEMBER
A visual inspection may not be revealing as the separator fails internally. The hoses should all be inspected and replaced if they are not serviceable, they are fragile and often break when disassembling.
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Friday, January 30th, 2009 AT 11:27 AM
Tiny
JASONUST
  • MEMBER
I purchased the cyclone valve kit from my dealership, which was the two primary hoses and the valve and did the replacement today. Unfortunitly that was not the solution, now I may have to break down and go to the dealer.
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Friday, February 6th, 2009 AT 5:20 PM
Tiny
DR. HAGERTY
  • MEMBER
Sounds are notoriously difficult to pinpoint from cyberspace. The information superhighway does not yet allow sounds and smells to be transmitted as easily as the printed word. If you could call me and hold the phone up next to the car, we might have something, what do you think?
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Friday, February 6th, 2009 AT 10:07 PM
Tiny
JASONUST
  • MEMBER
If you are willing to listen over the phone, that is awesome. That is far more than I expected, but I would certainly be greatful! Putting in that cyclone valve was a pain, and took me about 4 hours, and I think I was just let down because that is such a common problem for e46 owners. My email is jasonust@hotmail. Com if you want to send me a number. Thank you so much for all the help,
Jason
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Saturday, February 7th, 2009 AT 8:51 AM
Tiny
DR. HAGERTY
  • MEMBER
I'll be in touch Jason.
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Sunday, February 8th, 2009 AT 12:07 AM

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