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      12-21-2011, 09:40 AM   #199
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Originally Posted by Rolf-Dieter View Post
Your post so inspired me to say it again so here it is

Reminds me of the time someone asked me in Switzerland;-

"Why do the cows here wear cow bells?"

I simply said ...

"So they don't fall asleep while they are grassing" (feeding of course on the grass LOL).
Its actually so they can hear when one falls down an Alp. Local farmers take bets on how long it will take to hit the bottom.
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      12-21-2011, 10:48 AM   #200
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I had it a few times, but it always resolved. I do not believe "the pebbles". It is way to loud. Strange, but was never a big issue on my car. Always went away shortly after it started.
Same here. I removed my wheel and inspected it. No pebbles/debris, etc. I agree that it is way too loud to be a pebble also, but I did inspect it and found nothing.

I have had tires mounted between that time and the TMPS are intact, so it's not that (although I doubt it would be that loud anyways if that happened).

I still think it has to do with the e-brake pads binding inside the hub.

After driving and applying the e-brake a few times while driving (not lock up, just a good hard drag), it has never come back (and that was about 1.5 years ago).
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      03-05-2012, 03:56 PM   #201
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The Continuing Cow Bell Story

My car has now released the dreaded cow bell sound twice. The car was built about 6 months ago, and has 4,000 miles on the clock - kinda new for nasty sounds coming from the wheels. I do live in a rural area, and it seems to do this after the town has sanded the road during a snow event.

In agreement with other posts I have seen here, my 2005 E46 M3 did exactly the same thing, and at about the same times. The first time the E46 did it, I took it to the dealer and was told it was the ebrake adjustment. The mechanic loosened the ebrake to the point where it hardly worked anymore, but I had less cow bell noise after that. I was hoping I'd not hear this sound again, especially since the E90 is a such a different car, but I guess that's wishful thinking at this point.

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      03-05-2012, 10:34 PM   #202
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Me too.. goes in on Wed.

I first noticed the noise when I got back to PA after taking PC delivery last June. Pulling into the driveway after driving 800 miles.. sheesh..
Had the problem off and on for a bit, then it went away. So embarrassing when others are around. And now it's back again with 9K miles.
It goes in this Wed. for an oil change, driver's rear-view mirror not dimming and the 'cowbell' noise. The service tech seemed like he had never heard of it. I said it could be a pebble or could be the e-brake spring. Hope to talk with the guy doing the actual service before he starts.
Will let you know what happens.
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      03-12-2012, 09:46 AM   #203
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Now I've had the dreaded cowbell noise. It just started recently. I only hear it at low speeds and it is intermittent but can be quite loud. It does sound like a cowbell or perhaps a pebble tumbling slowly in a metal garbage can. I'm going to take a copy of this thread into the dealership with me. This has been most helpfull.
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      03-12-2012, 09:57 AM   #204
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Put it up on a hoist, and spin the tires. If you are in the car (on a hoist) put it in first and let off the clutch. You will diagnose this in no time. It does sound like a pebble. I had that noise before, but it was stuck on the inside of my brake rotor.

Good luck.
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      03-12-2012, 10:13 AM   #205
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Update

I took the car in last week to add 1qt. oil and to check the 'cowbell' noise. I explained to them that it is heard when driving very slowly, barely moving, both forwards and backwards. Also told them there were various posts on a forum re: the noise. I told them it could be a pebble or it could be the e-brake spring.
When I picked the car up, the sheet said:
"Test drove vehicle, found noise from rear. Added special diff fluid SAF W/XJ and FM booster. Test drive, noise gone."
Well.. it isn't gone. Still there.. and wtf... why a diff fluid???
I need to take it in when I can demonstrate the noise for them.
Really discouraged with dealership. They also put 25 miles on the car for this!!! But that's another story.
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      03-12-2012, 10:14 AM   #206
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GT3 Tim View Post
Same here. I removed my wheel and inspected it. No pebbles/debris, etc. I agree that it is way too loud to be a pebble also, but I did inspect it and found nothing.

I have had tires mounted between that time and the TMPS are intact, so it's not that (although I doubt it would be that loud anyways if that happened).

I still think it has to do with the e-brake pads binding inside the hub.

After driving and applying the e-brake a few times while driving (not lock up, just a good hard drag), it has never come back (and that was about 1.5 years ago).
+ 1,000,000!!

I know the cow bell noise that I have heard in my car is way too loud and consistent to be a pebble. It sounds to me like a spring or bearing of some sort.
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      03-12-2012, 06:49 PM   #207
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oreokid24 View Post
I took the car in last week to add 1qt. oil and to check the 'cowbell' noise. I explained to them that it is heard when driving very slowly, barely moving, both forwards and backwards. Also told them there were various posts on a forum re: the noise. I told them it could be a pebble or it could be the e-brake spring.
When I picked the car up, the sheet said:
"Test drove vehicle, found noise from rear. Added special diff fluid SAF W/XJ and FM booster. Test drive, noise gone."
Well.. it isn't gone. Still there.. and wtf... why a diff fluid???
I need to take it in when I can demonstrate the noise for them.
Really discouraged with dealership. They also put 25 miles on the car for this!!! But that's another story.
I recently sold my M3 (no problems, great car), but I also had this noise, and my dealer tech accurately diagnosed it as the e-brake spring. If yours is the same thing, any tech who would mistake it as differential related is a nitwit, sorry.
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      03-13-2012, 09:26 AM   #208
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I can't see it being the diff. It is so intermittent. I backed my car down a hill for a couple of hundred feet last night and the sound is now gone. (Will probably come back.) Also, when I hear it the sound is coming from outside the car echoing off of parked cars and nearby buildings or structures. I don't hear it as a sound source inside the car, which is what I would expect from a diff issue, it being bolted right to the unibody frame.
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      03-13-2012, 11:09 AM   #209
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Just take a screwdriver and lightly tap the backing plate. When I talk about cowbell sound, that's the sound I hear. It's debris trapped behind the backing plate, as far as my car is concerned.

Maybe because it's cupped on the edges, when spinning at high speeds it flexes out slightly and pebbles, sand, etc can bounce around and maybe be held in the plate by centrifugal force, and when you slow down, the plates unflex, trapping the larger bits until they break up or you let them loose. Just a wild guess.
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      03-13-2012, 12:10 PM   #210
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Conclusion:
The 10 pages have it.
E brake spring is the culprit.

Move along people. Nothing to see here.
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      03-13-2012, 01:08 PM   #211
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Originally Posted by H8onM3 View Post
whats the solution?
Really?





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      03-13-2012, 02:15 PM   #212
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elh0102 View Post
Believe me, it is not, although it sounds very similar. It is the e-brake.
i have this problem as well. i originally thought it was the heat shield or even a pebble rolling around the wheel.

if it is the e-brake, what should you do to fix it?
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      03-13-2012, 08:30 PM   #213
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattE92 View Post
i have this problem as well. i originally thought it was the heat shield or even a pebble rolling around the wheel.

if it is the e-brake, what should you do to fix it?
Take it to the dealer and tell them to fix it. The tech at my dealer corrected it with a thorough cleaning and lubrication of the springs. He said if that did not correct it, he would replace the springs. I can't say it was 100%, because I did hear it a couple of times again, but it went away quickly, never persisted as it had before.
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      03-31-2012, 11:39 PM   #214
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Infamous cowbell

So I picked up my new m3 today, now I have the cowbell noise coming from my rear. My question is will it go away by itself or do I have to take it in for service? And don't say because I tried that and couldnt really get a clear answer.
P.S. (sorry for the typos, I wrote this on my iPhone)
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      04-01-2012, 12:30 AM   #215
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You most likely have a small pebble in your rear brake dust shield. This has happenened to me a few times. Each time I simply took a screwdriver and pushed in on the dust shield at the 5 o'clock position. I never heard or saw the pebble fall out ( strange) but, the cow bell went away.

This has happened to many folks here.
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      04-01-2012, 07:13 AM   #216
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The cowbell noise is caused by the e-brake sprngs. The tech at my dealer cleaned and lubed them, which was a 90% fix; the noise returned occasionally for brief periods only. If you have heard both, you will not confuse this with a pebble caught between the rotor and shield; one sounds like a pebble, the other a spring. The latter is louder, and has an audible "boing" quality to it, not a rattle or shaking sound like a pebble caught in there.
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      04-01-2012, 09:23 AM   #217
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I had a few rattles that were fixed by the dealer immediately under warranty you just need to replicate the noise with a technician and the will take care of it... I didn't wait til the service was due, I took it right away...
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      04-01-2012, 10:18 AM   #218
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rshane View Post
You most likely have a small pebble in your rear brake dust shield. This has happenened to me a few times. Each time I simply took a screwdriver and pushed in on the dust shield at the 5 o'clock position. I never heard or saw the pebble fall out ( strange) but, the cow bell went away.

This has happened to many folks here.
Has happend to me too when I drove thru the Alps (lot's of gravel). While I was checking it out a nice fellow came along and stopped. He overheard me talking about "cow bells" then he told me this story ...

"You know why our cows wear them cow bells"? No I said and he went on "So that the cows don't fall asleep while they are grassing"

We both had a good laugh.
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      04-01-2012, 10:33 AM   #219
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It will go away by itself, and then might come and go. A bit weird when it happens, and freaky the first time for sure, but nothing to worry about.
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      04-01-2012, 01:41 PM   #220
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Thanks guys, I'll just take it in for the 1200 mile service, I put 550 miles on it in 2 days so it should be soon.
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