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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Fri, Nov-16-2012, 01:56:48 PM   #1
jpiche1
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Default Possible differential issue?

So I changed my differential fluid with the OE + FM booster stuff about 7 thousand miles ago. and for the last couple of thousand I have been noticing some strange noises coming from under the car.

The noises are not audible with the windows down or with the music on.

I cant exactly place where they are coming from, but after reading some threads on here I feel like it might be the diff.

The noise only occurs with the windows up and no music playing. It can only be heard from 0-25 mph if I am accelerating slowly with little exhast noise, and can be heard making turns in that speed range. It can almost always be heard when slowing down and coasting in that speed range.

It is sort of a revolving noise with a grinding characteristic to it. It becomes very rythmic if I keep the same speed and slows down as I slow down. It also creates a significant amount of vibration in the car as I slow down.

It sounds like Wup wup wup wup wup.... If you say those aloud you can kinda get an idea of the sound then throw in some grinding and a little vibration.



I am almost set on getting some LSD fm booster and just adding some, but I was wondering if anyone could think of anything else that it might be or have any products they reccomend.

Thanks for the input.

JP
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Old Fri, Nov-16-2012, 02:14:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: Possible differential issue?

Does it have a kind of tire rubbing sound to it?
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Old Fri, Nov-16-2012, 02:21:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: Possible differential issue?

I'd recommend at least trying the BG limited slip additive...

It's less than 20$ and has potential to fix the problem.... or at least be a relatively short-term solution

best of luck
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Old Fri, Nov-16-2012, 02:30:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: Possible differential issue?

How many miles on the car?
What's your tire wear look like in rear?
Could be wheel bearing or other problem back there; I'd check for play.

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Old Fri, Nov-16-2012, 02:57:42 PM   #5
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Default Re: Possible differential issue?

Definitely check for wheel bearing noise! Tires can be noisey too, but I'm starting to see pinion bearing failures in these diffs. If you run the car in gear on a lift and listen with a stethescope, it'll be easy to pinpoint.
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Old Mon, Nov-19-2012, 03:41:17 AM   #6
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Default Re: Possible differential issue?

Just over 100k on the car. Tires wear is normal with over 35k on them and the rears just now need to be replaced (advan AD08's). I thought It kinda sounded like a tire rubbing at one point, but I don't see anywhere it could be rubbing. How do you verify wheel bearing? Lateral play in the wheel? Difficulty spinning the wheel by hand? Ill try the BG additive and see if anything changes. Sometimes it seems like its coming from the front left wheel... Other times directly beneath the car... Quite the elusive noise to be honest.
Thanks for all your input!

JP
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Old Mon, Nov-19-2012, 03:13:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: Possible differential issue?

Easier to trace noises with the car in the air, might be worth the diagnostic time from a shop. You'll want to be sure you're replacing the right parts, guessing wrong gets expensive!
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Old Wed, Nov-21-2012, 02:37:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: Possible differential issue?

no kidding... replacing the wrong part sucks.

Could it be tire noise? It vibrates the car a bit, but is only an issue at low speeds. At high speeds there is no noise or vibration or anything. The tires do need to be replaced and there is some camber wear on the front tires with a significant amount of tread left on the outside of the tires.

argghhh this noise is getting super annoying.
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Discussing Possible differential issue? in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)