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      04-26-2011, 08:47 AM   #89
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After a long drive this weekend (about 500 miles round trip), the sound is completely gone. Haven't been able to reproduce it. Has to be pebbles/rocks, and either they are stuck in something or they dislodged and are gone.
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      04-26-2011, 03:05 PM   #90
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I've had the same noise for a few months but it always seems to go away once the car warms up. I need to check for pebbles I guess.
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      04-27-2011, 12:45 AM   #91
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I had a cowbell noise that would happen whenever i would put load on the drivetrain or whenever i would come off the throttle and there would be negative load on the drivetrain. Loud cowbell/ping noise. It turned out to be the driveshaft and the dealer replaced it under warranty.
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      04-27-2011, 01:27 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by ChrisAW View Post
I had a cowbell noise that would happen whenever i would put load on the drivetrain or whenever i would come off the throttle and there would be negative load on the drivetrain. Loud cowbell/ping noise. It turned out to be the driveshaft and the dealer replaced it under warranty.
Yet another alternative source to the sound. Interesting. Diagnosis of this problem could be harder with so many different possible causes. The same can be said for recreation of the problem for service techs. Luckily when I took mine in the second time, it was continuous, and the tech knew right away what was up (in my case, pebble INSIDE RR rotor - not between rotor and heat shield).
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Last edited by Seattle S65B40; 06-02-2011 at 03:16 PM.
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      04-27-2011, 04:53 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by Seattle S65B40 View Post
Yet another alternative source to the sound. Interesting. Diagnosis of this problem could be harder with so many different possible causes. The same can be said for recreation of the problem for service techs. Luckily when I took mine in the second time, it was continuos, and the tech knew right away what was up (in my case, pebble INSIDE RR rotor - not between rotor and heat shield).
My Cowbell/ping issue was pretty easy to repeat for the techs to listen to and diagnose.

I just thought I'd throw it out there because I came across this thread while searching for any info on my problem.
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      05-16-2011, 10:22 AM   #94
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COWBELL IS BACK!!
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      05-16-2011, 10:52 AM   #95
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I had this issue years ago with my then-new 2003 330ci with only a couple hundred miles on it. The sound was coming from the right rear area. I took it in actually thinking it was a pebble and a quick fix. After a few minutes of waiting, I ventured to the service area where the car was to see my car on the lift, in the air, with the wheel off and 6 service ppl and my service mgr all huddled around the open wheel well and looking like they were scratching their heads. Soon thereafter my mgr came in to give me an update. He said that he doesn't know why it happened but one of the bolts holding the brake caliper in place had lost it's nut and the bolt was rattling around. He said he was going to get on the phone with BMW NA to discuss. That was the last I heard of that. Getting the bolts checked could be an option to try if you've hit a wall trying to figure it out. All the best!
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      05-16-2011, 02:10 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by Seattle S65B40 View Post
COWBELL IS BACK!!
I've had this happen once last summer. I had valet park my car in a small lot and they backed it in. When I walked out and gave him my ticket they pulled it up and it was making the horrid noise. I assumed they backed it up too far and hit something underneath the car.

It went away and hasn't come back since. At the time I first heard it, it was so obnoxious I stopped and called a friend to let him hear it. I obviously got under the car and did the best I could to notice something. Either way it is embarrassing as hell. Now that Ive registered and made this post I am sure the noise is going to come back.
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      05-16-2011, 02:16 PM   #97
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I had the sound come back the other day when I accidentally spun the rear tires exiting a parking lot with gravel. I heard some gravel kick up and then when I was slowing down at the next light, the cowbell sound started. Luckily it fell out after the 2nd day.
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      05-17-2011, 07:10 AM   #98
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Guys - here is what caused my "cowbell".

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?p=9505484

There's no way I'd have found this if I (we, actually) hadn't had the car on a lift and been able to shake the hell out of everthing under the car, and then been able to visually inspect it all to track it down.

And, it could very well be that there are other exhaust clamps, hangers, etc., that could cause the same thing, some of them perhaps hidden even better than mine was.
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      05-17-2011, 12:13 PM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
Guys - here is what caused my "cowbell".

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?p=9505484

There's no way I'd have found this if I (we, actually) hadn't had the car on a lift and been able to shake the hell out of everthing under the car, and then been able to visually inspect it all to track it down.

And, it could very well be that there are other exhaust clamps, hangers, etc., that could cause the same thing, some of them perhaps hidden even better than mine was.
I believe your issue would be a vibration noise rather than the cowbell noise that goes clunk clunk clunk (from the rear wheel) as you move slowly.

However, I did see that thread you posted. That's scary that the hardware BMW is using would breaks so easy!!
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      05-17-2011, 12:37 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by BimmerM View Post
I believe your issue would be a vibration noise rather than the cowbell noise that goes clunk clunk clunk (from the rear wheel) as you move slowly.

However, I did see that thread you posted. That's scary that the hardware BMW is using would breaks so easy!!
+1. Thanks for chiming in though, Mkoesel. I'm glad you got your issue sorted out. It appears that pebbles are primarily involved in the cause of the cowbell sound. I was able to "drive mine off" yesterday, and it's now back to normal. I just wish it didn't happen so often! SO EMBARRASSING for a car of this stature.
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Last edited by Seattle S65B40; 05-17-2011 at 01:34 PM.
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      05-17-2011, 12:38 PM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle S65B40 View Post
I guess that is somewhat reassuring, but its pretty loud and embarrassing. Should be a quick fix I would think, but if that's what it is, it could probably happen again at any moment too.
Exact same sound has happened twice to me---it has just recently spontaneously disappeared (before taking it back), the second time it was immediately after I put new rear tires on. It is loud and embarrassing like the car came from K-mart. I don't think it's the exhaust, but something that drops in the wheel....but it's gone for now...
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      05-17-2011, 01:18 PM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerM View Post
I believe your issue would be a vibration noise rather than the cowbell noise that goes clunk clunk clunk (from the rear wheel) as you move slowly.
Could very well be, yeah. Hopefully I didn't confuse the issue. I have never really heard the cowbell noise (don't have youtube access at work currently and rarely have the wherewithal to check threads with youtube videos in them when I get home). I just figured I'd bring it up here just in case it was a similar thing, or in case someone's noise fit my symptoms.

FWIW, while I would consider my noise more of a rattle, there was a definite repetitive metallic sound to it. It's probably a stretch, but some that heard it might describe it a little bit cowbell-ish.

Quote:
That's scary that the hardware BMW is using would breaks so easy!!
Yeah, I showed it to my buddy and the first thing he said was - that's not German engineering, that's Chinese engineering. Not sure if that is at all accurate, but either way its
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      05-17-2011, 03:47 PM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle S65B40 View Post
+1. Thanks for chiming in though, Mkoesel. I'm glad you got your issue sorted out. It appears that pebbles are primarily involved in the cause of the cowbell sound. I was able to "drive mine off" yesterday, and it's now back to normal. I just wish it didn't happen so often! SO EMBARRASSING for a car of this stature.
this may be pure coincidence but i also have the cowbell noise, also in the RR wheel area, and i'm also located in WA state

the noise comes and goes. i'm not certain that its a pebble in the rotor? alex long who's my SA at bmw seattle said he's never heard of any customers reporting this type of noise.

i plan to put my car up on my lift and check around the area. i'll report back what i find.
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      05-17-2011, 04:19 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by ex10psi View Post
this may be pure coincidence but i also have the cowbell noise, also in the RR wheel area, and i'm also located in WA state

the noise comes and goes. i'm not certain that its a pebble in the rotor? alex long who's my SA at bmw seattle said he's never heard of any customers reporting this type of noise.

i plan to put my car up on my lift and check around the area. i'll report back what i find.
Elle was my SA at the time - she's now gone apparently. I believe Trent, one of the shop foremen, was the one to take it out so ask your SA to ask Trent about this. I'm sure he remembers - it was in February. As mentioned throughout this thread, there appear to be several different causes (ie e-brake, heat shield, rotor, etc). Good luck and keep us posted.
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      05-20-2011, 03:35 PM   #105
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I just noticed the exact same sound as the videos before so I'm hoping it's just a pebble. Only happens at low speeds with or without the clutch engaged.

I'll try to give it a spin to see if it goes away, if not then I guess I'll take it to Seattle BMW.

I'm fairly unfamiliar with the car so I'm not sure how everything looks. Is there a link anyone can recommend where it shows the wheel/brake components, to know where to look for the pebble??
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      05-21-2011, 03:30 PM   #106
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so here is what happened to me....
same sound as the vid (thanks for loading that btw...we need more forum users like you)
for those how have had it know the following....
1) it happens only at low speed (below 5mph)
2) if you roll/push the car out of gear you still get it
3) it is a horrible sound that makes you feel like the wheel is ready to pop off
4) morons like me deem the car "not safe to drive" and go to the dealer...
too it to devon hill bmw in devon pa...
shop foreman came out... looked... heard the sound and said...
"you caliper shield is touching the rotor!"
got on his knees with a screw driver and fixed it in 5 sec...
told me it was safe to drive and to drop it off the next day so he could be sure and give it a "once over" to be sure...
got the car back friday and no issues since...
paper work says "right rear caliper shield touching rotor.Pushed back caliper shield..$0.00"
no problems since...
will repost if it reappears
hope that help....
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      05-21-2011, 09:30 PM   #107
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Drove it around a bit and the sound went away. Will keep an eye on it.

I'll take a look at the rear caliper to see if it's close to the rotor.

Has anyone tried tapping around the rotor area to see if sound can be reproduced??
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      05-22-2011, 02:45 AM   #108
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I just picked the car up from the dealer yesterday for oil service and today the noise is back for the first time in thousands of miles. It's frustrating leaving my garage, I'm embarrassed to drive it with that noise.
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      05-22-2011, 05:58 AM   #109
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Everyone seems to have ignored my previous post with photo (p. 2 of this thread). If you would ask your tech to clean and lube this spring, I think you will have found your problem. It has been a demonstrated fix in at least three M3 cars that my tech has inspected for this noise. You can push and bend on your disc shield forever, but that is not the problem (unless, of course you actually have a stone or something in there, which can happen).
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      05-23-2011, 11:25 AM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elh0102 View Post
Everyone seems to have ignored my previous post with photo (p. 2 of this thread). If you would ask your tech to clean and lube this spring, I think you will have found your problem. It has been a demonstrated fix in at least three M3 cars that my tech has inspected for this noise. You can push and bend on your disc shield forever, but that is not the problem (unless, of course you actually have a stone or something in there, which can happen).
That is because your initial post save for the picture lacked content. Respectfully saying.

But now I see what you are getting at.

I ignore my noise, and that make sit go away. In my case it was rocks. Lots of gravel on roads after winter, and since it fixes itself... I assume it has to be a rock.
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