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      10-24-2010, 11:07 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by elmariachi View Post
Its the intermittent cracking/creaking sound. If you don't have this. probably yours is absolutely fine.
Thanks. That's good news!
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      10-25-2010, 10:09 AM   #112
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Does a rythmic clicking sound after an agressive drive with oil temp near 210F point to a bearing issue or is that injector/valvetrain noise. Also, once it starts clicking, does it always click everytime it has warmed up or does it only happen after an aggressive drive.

TIA
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      10-25-2010, 12:12 PM   #113
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Does a rythmic clicking sound after an agressive drive with oil temp near 210F point to a bearing issue or is that injector/valvetrain noise. Also, once it starts clicking, does it always click everytime it has warmed up or does it only happen after an aggressive drive.

TIA
The noise happens regardless of how hard you drive. It happens once the engine is warm. It is not rythmic at all. You won't hear it on top of the motor, it will come from underneath. Most hear it from the driver side wheel well. If you drive next to a building with the window down and have the noise, you will definitely hear a loud clicking just as you give the motor a little throttle. It is not a faint sound like an injector ticking.

Update on my noise: Surprise. The temperature warmed up a little here in Texas (back to mid 80's or higher) and I no longer hear the noise. It (at least mine is) definietly seems to be related to a variance in temperature between the outside air and the engine. The last few weeks, the temp had been between 50 - 70 F (cool for Texas) and the noise reappeared.

This is a strange phenomena, but I really think it is related to the temperature and may be exactly what BMW described it as. Unfortunately, it also sounds like the noise is similar to those who have had problems with the main bearings. I think (at least I hope) these are separate issues, but it may explain a couple of different things.

1. I have over 25000 miles on my car. I first heard it last year after the first oil service around Septemeber. OP were reporting the noise around that time as well. I would think that if it was a true bottom end problem, I would have had some issue with the bearings by now.

2. I heard it first when the weather started to cool (at least what we call cool in Texas) creating a larger temperature differential. Now that the temp has slightly warmed, the noise has gone. Look at the time of year. It is starting to cool off for everyone and people are hearing the noise. I am not the only one to state that it eventuall went away.

3. The sound reminds me of a cooling exhaust (which is due to a temp differential). Its just that this sound can be induced by slightly revving the motor.

@ M3Pilot09 and Lodaka, did you guys happen to pay attention to the weather changes. Any chance the temp varied slightly from the time you first dropped the car off to when you picked it up?
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      10-25-2010, 01:24 PM   #114
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Outside temperature can be an issue at startup, but not at full operating temperature, since engine/oil should always be at about the same temperature. And that's when the 'ticking' (or clacking?) takes place. But yes, if it was a bearing issue, it'd be getting progressively worse. Remember to do the 'bearing test' of slowly revving engine from idle to about 1,500 rpm and back a few times. If you don't hear the dreaded 'clanking', all is well at the bottom end. It might be a normal valvetrain noise we all have to get used to . Good day gang.
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      10-25-2010, 02:16 PM   #115
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Outside temperature can be an issue at startup, but not at full operating temperature, since engine/oil should always be at about the same temperature.
I think you misunderstand what I am saying. It has been established that you won't hear the noise at startup. The engine has to be at normal operating temperatures.

What I am saying is that the reason for the noise may be due to the differential in temperature between the engine block and this "slab of metal panel" that is incorrectly torqued and the ambient temperature.

The higher the differential in temperature, the higher the chance for the noise. I am making the assumption that the materials have vastly different coefficents of thermal expansion. With the slab being bolted to the block, the vibrations create stress in the plate near the incorrectly torqued fasteners. The result is a sound that is very similar to the exhaust / heat shieds cooling.

I am stating this because I have seen the noise come and go with the only change being the ambient temperature. It also lends support to what the BMW SA told the OP. The one thing I see in reviewing the thread is that those who have had bearing issues mention that the noise gets worse as the temp gets higher. I am seeing the exact opposite issue and the timing of this post (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) would seem to suggest that the others are seeing something similar as it is being reported in October when temps are cooling down.

Last edited by NeoE46; 10-26-2010 at 07:44 AM. Reason: Fixed quote
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      10-25-2010, 03:21 PM   #116
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What I am saying is that the reason for the noise may be due to the differential in temperature between the engine block and this "slab of metal panel" that is incorrectly torqued and the ambient temperature.
My bad. Definitely plausible, but only if not rhythmic with rpm IMO. Do you have a picture of said 'slab'? Curious about what part of the engine you're talking about. If not a bearing issue (hope so), we need to start thinking 'out of the box' for an explanation indeed.
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      10-25-2010, 08:04 PM   #117
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Outside temperature can be an issue at startup, but not at full operating temperature, since engine/oil should always be at about the same temperature. quote]

I think you misunderstand what I am saying. It has been established that you won't hear the noise at startup. The engine has to be at normal operating temperatures.

What I am saying is that the reason for the noise may be due to the differential in temperature between the engine block and this "slab of metal panel" that is incorrectly torqued and the ambient temperature.

The higher the differential in temperature, the higher the chance for the noise. I am making the assumption that the materials have vastly different coefficents of thermal expansion. With the slab being bolted to the block, the vibrations create stress in the plate near the incorrectly torqued fasteners. The result is a sound that is very similar to the exhaust / heat shieds cooling.

I am stating this because I have seen the noise come and go with the only change being the ambient temperature. It also lends support to what the BMW SA told the OP. The one thing I see in reviewing the thread is that those who have had bearing issues mention that the noise gets worse as the temp gets higher. I am seeing the exact opposite issue and the timing of this post (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) would seem to suggest that the others are seeing something similar as it is being reported in October when temps are cooling down.
Now that i have been listening to mine more the random creaks and pops (non RPM related) are there from startup, when it quiets down enough to hear it, to when i shut it off. The other day it was windy out and after shutdown it made more pops and creaks than I ever heard with it running.

Curious I put it up on a lift, took the aluminum pan off the bottom and tried to see where the noise was coming from. Its not coming from the bottom end, its coming from the headers or cylinder head area on both sides. Naturally on the rack with it running I can hear all kinds of noises, but I would expect some mechanical noise from an engine like this.

Just for the heck of it I pointed our big blower for the chassis dyno under the engine and shut the engine off and it make all kinds of clicking and popping. Mine still makes more noise with the A/C on, only correlation I can see between the A/C and the noise is when the A/C is on the engine cooling fan is on and there could be some thermal expansion/contraction going on since it moves a lot of air.

After getting up close and personal under the car the random clicks/pops/creaks are a non-issue IMO. If someone gets it fixed I'd be curious to see what it is..
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      10-25-2010, 08:17 PM   #118
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It's not random... It's incredibly repeatable. And it only happens at low RPM with the engine hot. It sounds very bizarre, and until BMW can give me an explanation, I don't think it's normal.
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      10-25-2010, 08:33 PM   #119
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It's not random... It's incredibly repeatable. And it only happens at low RPM with the engine hot. It sounds very bizarre, and until BMW can give me an explanation, I don't think it's normal.
By random I mean not tied to engine RPM like a lifter tick or connecting rod knock.

Mine does it every day, but RPM has nothing to do with it, its the same frequency whether its at 700 or 3000rpm.
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      10-25-2010, 10:21 PM   #120
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just wondering, all of you have aftermarket exhaust?
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      10-25-2010, 11:04 PM   #121
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After getting up close and personal under the car the random clicks/pops/creaks are a non-issue IMO.
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It's not random... It's incredibly repeatable. And it only happens at low RPM with the engine hot.
Two different kinds of noises. It'd have been great if both of you had attached audio/video clips. I wouldn't be worried about one clip with a faint clicking. But the other with loud 'clanks' made the hair on my back stand up . But I have to say it's not the same to hear it in person than on a computer. I know how bad bearings sound like, and hope to never hear that again on one of my cars, especially the M3... after warranty.

The other question many folks have is if driving the car hard causes that, or driving it mildly avoids it. Or if it's only a matter of time before cars with 'bad' bearings have the problem. And I don't have the answer to any of those. That's why I'm worried about keeping the car after warranty, but I have 2-1/2 years to learn more about it .
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      10-25-2010, 11:34 PM   #122
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Two different kinds of noises. It'd have been great if both of you had attached audio/video clips. I wouldn't be worried about one clip with a faint clicking. But the other with loud 'clanks' made the hair on my back stand up . But I have to say it's not the same to hear it in person than on a computer. I know how bad bearings sound like, and hope to never hear that again on one of my cars, especially the M3... after warranty.

The other question many folks have is if driving the car hard causes that, or driving it mildly avoids it. Or if it's only a matter of time before cars with 'bad' bearings have the problem. And I don't have the answer to any of those. That's why I'm worried about keeping the car after warranty, but I have 2-1/2 years to learn more about it .
I posted a vid of the noise mine was making a few posts ago. It sounds a lot louder on the video, on the vid it sounds like a clank but it does the same thing if its just sitting there idling or I'm reving it. I can hear it in a drive through occasionally but you cant hear it when its driving, it 'clicks' maybe once every 5-10 seconds at idle or at 4000rpm and isnt one of those engine noises that you can hear driving next to parked cars at 2000rpm. It sounds like the exhaust heating up/cooling off and I think that just may be what it is. I just couldnt pin it down on the lift.

No doubt there is two (or more) different noises being discussed in this thread and I'm not trying to diagnose someone else's car over the internet so all you can do is if its loud enough to bother you bring it to BMW. Myself I'd rather have them try to repair it 45,000 miles down the road or it it expires on its own before that.
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      10-26-2010, 12:00 AM   #123
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I posted a vid of the noise mine was making a few posts ago. It sounds a lot louder on the video, on the vid it sounds like a clank but it does the same thing if its just sitting there idling or I'm reving it.
Clip on post #84, correct? Heard it with nice speakers, and doesn't sound worrysome indeed. The 'clank' from bearings is unmistakable. If it doesn't change from idle to 4K rpm, it's definitely not coming from the bottom end (whew!). I still don't like it, but monitor it often. An engine with bearing issues is not going to grenade overnight; it takes time to get worse, but it'd get worse if that's the issue. I'd love to poke that engine with my automotive stethoscope. You should buy one to detect where the noise is coming from next time you have a chance to lift your car. Take care.
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      10-26-2010, 12:34 AM   #124
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Sounds like when my rotors get super hot lol, though im sure thats not ur case.
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      10-26-2010, 01:58 AM   #125
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Clip on post #84, correct? Heard it with nice speakers, and doesn't sound worrysome indeed. The 'clank' from bearings is unmistakable. If it doesn't change from idle to 4K rpm, it's definitely not coming from the bottom end (whew!). I still don't like it, but monitor it often. An engine with bearing issues is not going to grenade overnight; it takes time to get worse, but it'd get worse if that's the issue. I'd love to poke that engine with my automotive stethoscope. You should buy one to detect where the noise is coming from next time you have a chance to lift your car. Take care.
I have an automotive stethoscope but it was coming from all over the place near the headers and I couldnt pinpoint it. Even with the pan off there isnt a lot of room, I didnt feel like pulling off the airbox to get behind it from the top.

There is also a couple of valves or solenoids behind the heads right in the area where the noise was coming from, maybe AIR injection valves but I couldnt reach with the hot exhaust from underneath.

I'm very familiar with what main and rod bearings sound like, as well as valvetrain noises and this certainly isnt any of that. I still have yet to see any official explanation from BMW on what is going on. Only thing that can wear main bearings is something moving around, be it the crankcase or the crank. Or lack of oil volume/pressure, pickup suckng air etc. The main caps on these are part of the lower crankcase, similar to the cosworth stuff I used to work on and its a pretty stout setup. Worse thing that can happen is you lose the oil film enough and the crank grabs the bearing and it spins in the bore. Then you have a huge mess, especially on an engine like this, and you would know it.

If they are just simply worn then most of the time you start losing oil pressure from the extra clearance, a main bearing knock is more of a dull thud that comes and goes with load. But I'm sure an engine like this with low oil pressure would start making a lot of valvetrain noise first from the low pressure well before it grabbed a bearing and spun it. Unfortunately (or not) an 8,000rpm engine is going to show any oiling problems pretty quick.

So far I have read about a couple of these with broken valve springs making some racket on forums, along with another guy that had one of the VANOS valves replaced and it went away.

Like I said before I'm really really surprised BMW would let a tech tear into the bottom end of one of these, especially a 2011, if they had pervious main bearing issues. At 20K a pop for an engine I'm amazed they dont insist on it being replaced and the bad one sent back for somel engineers to look at to see whats going on. I just cringe at the thought of a dealer tech covered in oil dry with a craftsman torque wrench going over the main cap bolts after sliding some new bearings in there without checking any kind of clearances.

I'm pretty curious but not curious enough to fool with it any more, I have enough project cars and this is just a daily driver that I'm supposed to not worry about. All I can say is I'm enjoying the car, clicks, pops and all
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      10-26-2010, 03:01 AM   #126
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I have an automotive stethoscope but it was coming from all over the place near the headers and I couldnt pinpoint it. Even with the pan off there isnt a lot of room, I didnt feel like pulling off the airbox to get behind it from the top.

There is also a couple of valves or solenoids behind the heads right in the area where the noise was coming from, maybe AIR injection valves but I couldnt reach with the hot exhaust from underneath.

I'm very familiar with what main and rod bearings sound like, as well as valvetrain noises and this certainly isnt any of that. I still have yet to see any official explanation from BMW on what is going on. Only thing that can wear main bearings is something moving around, be it the crankcase or the crank. Or lack of oil volume/pressure, pickup suckng air etc. The main caps on these are part of the lower crankcase, similar to the cosworth stuff I used to work on and its a pretty stout setup. Worse thing that can happen is you lose the oil film enough and the crank grabs the bearing and it spins in the bore. Then you have a huge mess, especially on an engine like this, and you would know it.

If they are just simply worn then most of the time you start losing oil pressure from the extra clearance, a main bearing knock is more of a dull thud that comes and goes with load. But I'm sure an engine like this with low oil pressure would start making a lot of valvetrain noise first from the low pressure well before it grabbed a bearing and spun it. Unfortunately (or not) an 8,000rpm engine is going to show any oiling problems pretty quick.

So far I have read about a couple of these with broken valve springs making some racket on forums, along with another guy that had one of the VANOS valves replaced and it went away.

Like I said before I'm really really surprised BMW would let a tech tear into the bottom end of one of these, especially a 2011, if they had pervious main bearing issues. At 20K a pop for an engine I'm amazed they dont insist on it being replaced and the bad one sent back for somel engineers to look at to see whats going on. I just cringe at the thought of a dealer tech covered in oil dry with a craftsman torque wrench going over the main cap bolts after sliding some new bearings in there without checking any kind of clearances.

I'm pretty curious but not curious enough to fool with it any more, I have enough project cars and this is just a daily driver that I'm supposed to not worry about. All I can say is I'm enjoying the car, clicks, pops and all








Mine looked like this after 20,000 KM when I had some problems with my engine. Damn it looks really scuffed.
Having seen that they revised the bearing part numbers post 2008, and having apparently having problems on some 2011s, I really think the oil pump is not sufficient in providing adequate lubrication in the engine, especially when driven hard at high rpm through sweeping and tight corners. That's exactly when the bearings take the most hit together with cold start ups.
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      10-26-2010, 10:32 AM   #127
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Mine looked like this after 20,000 KM when I had some problems with my engine. Damn it looks really scuffed.
Having seen that they revised the bearing part numbers post 2008, and having apparently having problems on some 2011s, I really think the oil pump is not sufficient in providing adequate lubrication in the engine, especially when driven hard at high rpm through sweeping and tight corners. That's exactly when the bearings take the most hit together with cold start ups.
Detonation at higher RPM is way harder than cold starts, running dry at high rpm is a killer too. Lot of wet sump engines will run dry at high rpm around corners n high G situations. They went one step further with these with the extra sump, that plus a lot of oil. But as you know thats why some manufactures go to a dry sump from the factory and full time racers add it aftermarket. With 12:1 compression you could do just as much bearing damage lugging it and detonating than running out of oil at high RPM. its hard to believe that after revising the bearings they would do something to cause bearing problems in the newest builds.

Nice clear pics, thoise are the bottom bearings so they take most of the load when running. A couple of them look pretty bad, but I have seen way worse that had less miles and the owner never would have known other than looking at it. Some engines will lose oil pressure much easier with a little wear, and others take it in stride all the way down to the copper.

Like anyone else I'm just armchair quarterbacking this, IMO some are overreacting a little, maybe I'm under-reacting. Time will tell.

Thanks for posting the pics.
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      10-26-2010, 03:59 PM   #128
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Sounds like when my rotors get super hot lol, though im sure thats not ur case.
Yea, I think the reason is that the noise completely goes away the moment you turn off the car.

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I have an automotive stethoscope but it was coming from all over the place near the headers and I couldnt pinpoint it. Even with the pan off there isnt a lot of room, I didnt feel like pulling off the airbox to get behind it from the top.

There is also a couple of valves or solenoids behind the heads right in the area where the noise was coming from, maybe AIR injection valves but I couldnt reach with the hot exhaust from underneath.

I'm very familiar with what main and rod bearings sound like, as well as valvetrain noises and this certainly isnt any of that. I still have yet to see any official explanation from BMW on what is going on. Only thing that can wear main bearings is something moving around, be it the crankcase or the crank. Or lack of oil volume/pressure, pickup suckng air etc. The main caps on these are part of the lower crankcase, similar to the cosworth stuff I used to work on and its a pretty stout setup. Worse thing that can happen is you lose the oil film enough and the crank grabs the bearing and it spins in the bore. Then you have a huge mess, especially on an engine like this, and you would know it.

If they are just simply worn then most of the time you start losing oil pressure from the extra clearance, a main bearing knock is more of a dull thud that comes and goes with load. But I'm sure an engine like this with low oil pressure would start making a lot of valvetrain noise first from the low pressure well before it grabbed a bearing and spun it. Unfortunately (or not) an 8,000rpm engine is going to show any oiling problems pretty quick.

So far I have read about a couple of these with broken valve springs making some racket on forums, along with another guy that had one of the VANOS valves replaced and it went away.

Like I said before I'm really really surprised BMW would let a tech tear into the bottom end of one of these, especially a 2011, if they had pervious main bearing issues. At 20K a pop for an engine I'm amazed they dont insist on it being replaced and the bad one sent back for somel engineers to look at to see whats going on. I just cringe at the thought of a dealer tech covered in oil dry with a craftsman torque wrench going over the main cap bolts after sliding some new bearings in there without checking any kind of clearances.

I'm pretty curious but not curious enough to fool with it any more, I have enough project cars and this is just a daily driver that I'm supposed to not worry about. All I can say is I'm enjoying the car, clicks, pops and all
I also thought about just driving it (especially after I got the car back), but it's just too annoying for me... When I get in the car, this is all I can hear and I try to listen for it, which makes it difficult for me to enjoy the car.
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      10-26-2010, 04:34 PM   #129
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I also thought about just driving it (especially after I got the car back), but it's just too annoying for me... When I get in the car, this is all I can hear and I try to listen for it, which makes it difficult for me to enjoy the car.
I understand, its like a small door ding, once you notice it gets bigger every time youl look at it.

I'm not trying to talk anyone out of taking it to a dealer if its takes away from them enjoying the car. But the sad reality is trying to fix the noise may cause even more problems. Mine isnt that bad, but even if it was I'd hold off for a while, its under warranty for a long time.

I wish the best for anyone trying to get it fixed, its a frustrating thing for sure.
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      10-26-2010, 06:18 PM   #130
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I'm not trying to talk anyone out of taking it to a dealer if its takes away from them enjoying the car. But the sad reality is trying to fix the noise may cause even more problems.
Not only that (which is my same concern with ANY problem, by the way), but until the noise becomes loud and repeatable enough to show something is clearly wrong with the car, you'd probably waste your time, become frustrated with the dealer, risking an altercation that would do you no good, and souring your ownership experience. I'm a perfectionist, and I used to sweat the small stuff, but now that I'm a bit more mature, I don't let small stuff bother me (or I fix it myself), and don't take my car to a dealer until I'm 100% convinced dealer won't send me back (meaning nobody in their right mind will tell me nothing is wrong, plus I can duplicate the issue).

Those noises although not pretty, they're not nearly to the point of indicating something seriously wrong with the car. If it is, they'll get progressively worse. I'm not saying wait until your engine throws a rod, but unless you hear the clear 'clanking' when bearings start to go bad, or some other noise that is loud enough to indicate a problem, it's usually a waste of time in my experience. Hopefully we can get a legitimate answer on this 'clicking' that makes us all feel good . Good day gang.
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      10-26-2010, 07:35 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by elp_jc View Post
Not only that (which is my same concern with ANY problem, by the way), but until the noise becomes loud and repeatable enough to show something is clearly wrong with the car, you'd probably waste your time, become frustrated with the dealer, risking an altercation that would do you no good, and souring your ownership experience. I'm a perfectionist, and I used to sweat the small stuff, but now that I'm a bit more mature, I don't let small stuff bother me (or I fix it myself), and don't take my car to a dealer until I'm 100% convinced dealer won't send me back (meaning nobody in their right mind will tell me nothing is wrong, plus I can duplicate the issue).

Those noises although not pretty, they're not nearly to the point of indicating something seriously wrong with the car. If it is, they'll get progressively worse. I'm not saying wait until your engine throws a rod, but unless you hear the clear 'clanking' when bearings start to go bad, or some other noise that is loud enough to indicate a problem, it's usually a waste of time in my experience. Hopefully we can get a legitimate answer on this 'clicking' that makes us all feel good . Good day gang.
30 years ago I would lose sleep over my expensive new car making noises. Nowadays I have a lot of other things to worry about especially a car like this with a lot of very expensive parts that I cant even find a service manual for. I bought this car to enjoy and not fool with, I'll change the oil between freebies and continue to fix the little rattles inside and other little things since I'm pretty picky about my cars - but I'm not pulling the oil pan

At least if it does throw a rod out the side the dealer has a good chance of successfully diagnosing the problem
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      10-27-2010, 10:44 AM   #132
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So I just talked to my service guy. They are replacing the bed plate, which is what holds the crank in the bottom of the engine. I asked if they could check the bearings when they had it out. I also told him that the two people on this board who had this done said it didn't fix the noise. They already have it apart, so we're locked in. I guess we'll see.

There's a part of me that hopes the 24 year old tech who will be tearing apart my engine forgets to torque down a few bolts and the engine detonates when I get it back
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