Grinding/rubbing noise coming from front wheel wells when full lock turning

Tiny
E39CHRIS
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 BMW 530I
  • 3.0L
  • 6 CYL
  • RWD
  • MANUAL
  • 145,000 MILES
Hi, I have a 2001 530i and when I turn the wheel fully to either side, there is an audible rubbing/grinding noise that comes from the front wheel wells. The noise seems to go away after the wheel has been turned several times in each direction, and mechanics have told me it is due to age and the cold weather and is not a safety issue, but I would still like to solve it. On a side note the car recently got new front struts.
-Thanks a lot and please let me know if you need more details
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Saturday, January 31st, 2015 AT 5:21 PM

6 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
First you have to consider that all the rubber bushings are old and dried out, the body sheet metal is fatigued, the ride height has sagged from aged springs, and some parts will have rust on them. Any of these things can lead to noises that weren't there when the car was new. While it may be true there is no safety issue involved, there's no way to be sure the cause of the noise won't lead to some other break down or problem later. I'd at least want to know what is causing the noise.

There is a tool you might be able to borrow or rent from an auto parts store that borrows them called the "Chassis Ear". It is a set of six microphones, a switch box, and headphones. You clip the microphones to suspect points, then drive around while listening with the headphones. You can move the microphones around to zero in on the source of the noise. Be aware that many mechanics have never seen or even heard of this tool. Suspension and alignment mechanics use it to find rattles, squeaks, and other noises.

This tool is available now on Amazon for about one third the cost on the tool trucks that visit repair shops every week, and there's a newer version now that has four wireless microphones and two still with wires.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, January 31st, 2015 AT 6:16 PM
Tiny
E39CHRIS
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the suggestion. The noise can actually be replicated when the car is not even moving. Just turn it on and turn the wheels and you can hear it. I've read that it could be related to the power steering fluid so I will check that and add it if needed.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, January 31st, 2015 AT 7:46 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Let me know how it goes. Air will cause a buzzing noise if the fluid is low, and while it is possible that will go away when it warms up and expands, that sounds a lot different than typical rubbing sounds.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, January 31st, 2015 AT 7:52 PM
Tiny
E39CHRIS
  • MEMBER
I will definitely update. Thanks again. I had never heard of the chassis ear before.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, January 31st, 2015 AT 7:59 PM
Tiny
E39CHRIS
  • MEMBER
Turns out it was part of a blue tooth system the previous owner has installed that was rubbing up against the steering rack.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, March 6th, 2015 AT 12:30 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Dandy. I never would have guessed that.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, March 6th, 2015 AT 3:54 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides