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      05-02-2011, 08:55 AM   #1
mkoesel
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*** SOLVED ***

UPDATE:

Picture is worth 1000 words so here it is:



This is a clamp that holds the two exhaust pipes together just before the second set of cats. As you can see it snapped clean in half there, and that broken part is what was banging around.

Just want to give a shout out to the guys at my local Belle Tire for helping figure this out. I had the car in to get my summer tires on (yeah I am a bit late to the game, but in my defense we've had such cold temps in the mornings here even into the beginning of May). So, I went out to into the shop as they were finishing up and started talking about the clanking and how it was driving me nuts. I asked them if they had heard it when they pulled the car in but they hadn't (probably since you all you can hear in there is air wrenches whining at insanely high dB levels ). Anyway, they had already lowered the car back down, but they were all too happy to put it back up and take a look. They even let me walk under the car and tug and tap on everything. We finally got a short period of no wrenches whining, and one of the head techs shook the cats real hard and we finally heard the clank once or twice. A few seconds later he traced it to this clamp. Eureka! He went and grabbed a wrench and two minutes later we had the clamp off. And that was it. No more sound. As payment, I ran over to the grocery store and bought them a case of MGD.

So now I can tell the dealership exactly what is wrong and have the car in and out in a few minutes hopefully. Of course, I still have to get them to address that squeaking "belt-slip" noise I hear on cold starts. But at least the rattle snake is now dead.



-- Original Post --

This is definitely not normal. I know there have been discussions about weird sounds (like the recent "More Cowbell!" thread), but I don't think I have seen a thread from anyone with this exact issue. Maybe I just need to search more - which I will do. But let me explain.

Now that the whether is getting warm and I've been able to drive with the top down more, I've noticed some new sounds coming from under the hood and they are not good. The symptom is this: I accelerate and just as I pass through 2000 RPM I get a nice loud rattling sound. It's a tinny, metalic sound that sounds like someone is under the hood vigorously humping a can full of washers. Or like a rattle snake, as I said in the thread title. Or maybe like an old-school ratchety garden sprinking turned on full blast? Anyway, you get me, right?

The heavier the load on the engine, the louder the rattle. If I put in 5th at 2k RPM, and set the cruise, I can drive around with this rattle at full song as long as I want and draw lots of confused looks in the process. If I just accelerate normally from a stop, I only get the rattle for just a second as I pass through 2k RPM in first gear. This is probably why I didn't notice it any sooner, though it could also be that it has only just cropped up in the last couple days. However I know it was not there last fall.

So, who has had this happen to them? And if anyone has, what was the diagnosis?

FWIW, I've got 42k miles on the car now. I guess in a way I am happy this happened now rather than at 50001 miles.
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      05-02-2011, 08:58 AM   #2
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Hmmm I definitely also hear this sound. I figured it was just vibrations from my aftermarket exhaust....not sure. But I know EXACTLY what you mean.
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      05-02-2011, 09:04 AM   #3
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Are you familiar with the sound of pre-ignition, or ignition knock? With today’s ECU-controlled engines, it is not often heard, since the computer retards the ignition timing, if necessary, to avoid it. If your noise was just under load, I would suspect it more strongly. Plus, I think the car might go in limp mode to avoid engine damage. But, it’s definitely something to have professionally diagnosed as soon as you can. If it should be a pre-ignition problem, you can burn a up a piston or valve quickly.
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      05-02-2011, 09:19 AM   #4
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have not heard any such sounds before. Take her in...
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      05-02-2011, 10:12 AM   #5
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check the torque specs on all of your engine valves. 9 times out of 10 when engine gets rough and rattle is caused by loose valves. When having your shop checked the valves, you might wanna have them to check spark plugs and do a compression test. Thay way you will have a good understanding the condition of your engine.
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      05-02-2011, 10:50 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. I am definitely going to make an service apt for the car very soon. Just wanted to gather as much info as possible first so I can have as intelligent conversation with them.

This definitely isn't pre-ignition.
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      05-02-2011, 11:17 AM   #7
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Is there a corresponding vibration? It may be a loose header bolt or even a bolt/washer etc rattling around between the mechanicals and the undertray.
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      05-02-2011, 11:23 AM   #8
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Sounds like an exhaust heat shield rattling to me, I've heard it on an E92 before that was driving away from a light.
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      05-02-2011, 11:25 AM   #9
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If I understood you right, you only get this sound at 2K RPM mark but it goes away if you pass it??
If that is the case It is most likely something loose (not necessarily in the engine compartment at all) that synchronizes with the 2KRPM..Had the same in my minivan and was found to be a loose heat shield, tightened up, sound is gone ($20)..Hopefully it's the same in your car.
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      05-02-2011, 11:57 AM   #10
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I might have this as well. Mechanic friend suspects it is the heat shield. Keep us posted
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      05-03-2011, 06:51 AM   #11
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Thanks guys, I really hope it does turn out to be a heat shield. I am trying to decide whether I want to take this to my private shop first to have them inspect. I think I am going to go that route simply because I think I can probably get them to take a quick look without having to leave the car. I will keep this thread updated when I find out what is gong on.
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      05-03-2011, 09:27 AM   #12
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I had a bad noise that seemed similar to what you are describing. It turned out to be one of the connector clamps from the AA x-pipe contacting the heat shield. My mechanic rotated the clamp and that solved it. It was his fault, not AA's. I would suspect something similar is going on with your car....something is barely contacting something else and causing the noise....I would have my own mechanic check it before I took it to the dealer...much faster service!
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      05-03-2011, 09:50 AM   #13
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i have that same sound, but mine continues through acceleration. let me know what you find!
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      05-03-2011, 12:14 PM   #14
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I've read that aftermarket air filters and intakes can make annoying rattling sounds, but it's really just normal induction noise that's masked by the stock intake/filter.
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      05-03-2011, 04:44 PM   #15
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I feel it could just be something loose at 40k+ miles... Good luck and keep us posted.
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      05-04-2011, 08:57 AM   #16
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Well, I called my shop and the guy told me that he would honestly take it to the dealership since its under warranty. So I have an apt with my dealership... for two weeks from now. Apparently they are very busy. In the meantime, I am going to see if I can get my neighbor to help me try and figure out what it is this weekend. Hopefully it is just something loose as folks have suggested it might be, and we can just figure it out and fix it.
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      05-04-2011, 10:15 PM   #17
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Hey man, what the heck are you dong driving your car 'under load' at freaking 2K rpm???
You didn't say at what rpm it stops rattling, so please clue us in. Honestly, I'm not the kind who drives at high rpm all the time. Not by a long shot, but as the same time, I rarely drive below 2.5K rpm, especially on uphills or under acceleration. Just coasting (or super light throttle) yes. Most of the time I drive between 2.5 and 3.5K rpm.

Anyway, does it happen with car stopped? If yes, how about when you depress the clutch pedal?

My guess so far is something is vibrating, so relax. An engine problem with those symptoms is not going to go away at higher rpm IMO. Are you up to date maintenance wise, including spark plugs? Take care.
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      05-04-2011, 10:41 PM   #18
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mkoesel:
I hope you get this resolved, these kind of noises can be pretty unsettling.
FWIW- I experienced a similar rattle that ended up being an accessory bracket that came loose at the base of the motor. Before taking apart the fan shroud the noise appeared as if it was eminating from the internals (like a bad valve) when it was actually down below the underdrive pully...tricky!
Good luck, keep us posted.
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      05-04-2011, 10:44 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
Well, I called my shop and the guy told me that he would honestly take it to the dealership since its under warranty. So I have an apt with my dealership... for two weeks from now. Apparently they are very busy. In the meantime, I am going to see if I can get my neighbor to help me try and figure out what it is this weekend. Hopefully it is just something loose as folks have suggested it might be, and we can just figure it out and fix it.
Which Michigan BMW dealer is backed up for two weeks???

Btw, is Nicholas Motorsports in keego harbor still around? If so, they're a good shop if you're looking for post warranty service or mod installation.
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      05-05-2011, 10:12 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle S65B40 View Post
Which Michigan BMW dealer is backed up for two weeks???
Ann Arbor. I know there are others, but I only have a relationship with them ATM.

Quote:
Btw, is Nicholas Motorsports in keego harbor still around? If so, they're a good shop if you're looking for post warranty service or mod installation.
Yep. That is exactly who I use - and Bob told me to take it to the dealership. Although if I called him back and explained I am sure he would take a look. But he also might send me over to that other dealership, who, despite their high marks, I do not trust.
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      05-05-2011, 10:23 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elp_jc View Post
Hey man, what the heck are you dong driving your car 'under load' at freaking 2K rpm???
By "under load" I just meant a "higher gear" in this case. By definition, the higher the gear you are in, the higher the load on the engine.

Also, I was deliberately accelerating in lower gears just to see if it would amplify the issue (and it turns out that it did).

Quote:
Honestly, I'm not the kind who drives at high rpm all the time. Not by a long shot, but as the same time, I rarely drive below 2.5K rpm, especially on uphills or under acceleration. Just coasting (or super light throttle) yes. Most of the time I drive between 2.5 and 3.5K rpm.
I usually cruise at right about 2K RPM which is perfectly acceptable. I also use the cruise control a lot to keep myself from speeding. Sometimes I will bump the speed up a bit using the stalk and obviously this causes the car to accelerate a little which increases the load further. When I am not in a hurry and not driving the car hard, I don't see anything wrong with driving like this, but obviously everyone has their own beliefs and feelings for how to drive this car. I don't want to turn this thread into a debate about that (there are enough of them out there already).

Quote:
You didn't say at what rpm it stops rattling, so please clue us in.
It typically tapers off just after 2k RPM.

Quote:
Anyway, does it happen with car stopped? If yes, how about when you depress the clutch pedal?
Haven't tried it when stopped since I don't typically put the car in neutral and rev the engine. No clutch pedal with DCT.

Quote:
My guess so far is something is vibrating, so relax. An engine problem with those symptoms is not going to go away at higher rpm IMO. Are you up to date maintenance wise, including spark plugs? Take care.
I am up to date on maintenance as per BMW's recommendation schedule.
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      05-05-2011, 11:13 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
Ann Arbor. I know there are others, but I only have a relationship with them ATM.



Yep. That is exactly who I use - and Bob told me to take it to the dealership. Although if I called him back and explained I am sure he would take a look. But he also might send me over to that other dealership, who, despite their high marks, I do not trust.
Yeah, we know about that OTHER dealer. haha. Never trusted them either. Tell Bob I say hello next time you see him. He put on the UCC exhuast on my 325 years ago...
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