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Discussion Starter #1
I have been having an issue with my car that happens on a daily basis, but that I can't seem to recreate it with the BMW service manager in the car.

When driving at slow speeds (pulling in/out of a parking spot, etc) and only when turning hard right (not all the way), there is a rough, intermittent vibration/rubbing sound coming from the front right wheel area, and can be heard through the floorboard. The tone of the sound is like road noise, so low pitch. The noise goes with the speed of the wheel, and is not constant. It seems to come with the rotation of the wheel. It happens daily when the car is cold or warm, but for whatever reason, I can't recreate it with the service guy in the car.

The first time I took it to the dealer they filled the power steering fluid, but since I couldn't recreate it, they couldn't do much else. Prior to bringing it in a second time, I recorded the noise with my iPhone and sent it to the service team so that they could have a better idea of the noise before bringing it back in. I brought it back in this morning. The sound was there when I got gas, and made some other turns, but again, was unable to recreate at the dealer. I talked about breaks, wheel bearing, etc with the service manager. He said it could be a number of things, but not likely a wheel bearing. He really needed me to recreate the sound to proceed. They still have the car, and will attempt again on a later drive. He said that they will take off the wheel and do a visual inspection, but can't go any further without hearing it.

Attached is the sound file that contains 3 different instances of the sound that I recorded. The first 2 are when the wheel is turned almost all the way to the right, the first at a very slow speed and the second a little faster (as you can hear). The third sound occurs when the steering wheel is on it's way back to straightening out, but still turned to the right. This sound causes a little more vibration, but both come from the same area, the front wheel.

I have scoured the internet for similar issues, but none of them seem to be quite the same issue. I'm not sure what to do at this point, so I'm hoping someone here can offer some advice/direction.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Are you sure it's coming from the front?

Are you sure its coming from the front?

I have a very similar noise, which only happens when I am leaving work. I make a pretty tight right hand turn out of the parking space (slow speed) and the noise appears to come from the right side of the car, but on mine more towards the rear. I believe on mine it's coming from the rear differential. It only does it during that turn when I first start off and everything is basically "cold", and at no other time driving have I heard it. But it has happened at least 50% of the time when I am making that turn out of my parking area after the car has sat there all day. It hasn't gotten worse, but always sounds about the same....sometimes I can feel a VERY slight vibration.

I read somewhere that there was a TSB for a rear end noise on the E60 M5 when turning sharply and supposedly they add a different type of fluid to the rear end to try to quiet it down. My Camaro does the same thing if I don't have the limited slip additive in it's rear.

It doesn't bother me much so I'm not going to worry about it since I believe it is the differential making the noise due to the speed difference in the tires while cold. You know, close my eyes and maybe the monsters won't come out of the closet... :)

BTW: I have a 2008 M5 with a manual transmission.

-Dave
 

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Can't really tell by the MP3 file but I may also have the same noise while cold and turning right at slow speeds. Doesn't bother me but interested to hear the outcome.... I have a 2008 Manual as well.
 

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sound like rear diff. have the dealer check the fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the responses.

I got the car back, and the service manager said they thought they solved the issue. They found that the tire was rubbing on the driver side front fender liner. I was skeptical that this was the issue, because it feels like a vibration that resonates much more than a tire rubbing on a liner. I picked the car up late, drove it out of the dealer, and immediately heard the sound again. After driving it for a couple days, I noticed that, although the sound occurs more when turning right at low speeds, it also is doing it when I turn left. I just don't know why it's not doing it when I take the car out with the service guy.

Also, I always though it sounded like its coming from the front right, so I never considered the rear diff fluid, but I think it was just because that's the direction I was turning. Now that it is doing it when turning left, I can't really tell where it's coming from, so it could very well be the rear diff fluid.

Anyway, I sent an email to the service manager explaining the responses in this thread about the differential fluid. They called me and asked that I bring it in, and still think it has something to do with the fender liner.

Is the rear diff fluid issue a known issue by BMW?

Thanks again for the responses.
 

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Definitely the diff fluid issue. The bulletin calls for a different fluid and it works like a charm. The bulletin requires the car to be driven in circles briefly to distribute the new fluid. Once that is done, you should not have this noise.
 

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Mine has this too, sorry for reviving an old thread, but should this be fixed right away, or is it just a sound that one can live with?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I had the dealer change the fluid and the sound is pretty much gone, with the exception of pulling out of the driveway on cold days.

I was told by the dealer that it is a nuisance, and should not have any negative impact if left untreated.

Hope this helps!
 

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I think I'm due for this as well. The car has been doing it very intermittently for a while now and it seems to have gotten worse. I also notice that when I back out of my garage after a cold start, I hear a loud squeal from time to time...is this a related issue?
 

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Bringing this thread back as im having the save issue.. But its only when the car is cold or has been sitting for a while. I make a slow sharp right turn and I get a vibration from the passenger side front. I checked and I see some marks on the inner plastic lining looks like the wheel rubs slightly, but im on oem rims and tires. Anything ever came from this?
 

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Join Nascar so you only have to turn left... ;)
 

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It's the rear diff.

Mine was cured with a fluid change and making 10 revolutions at a slow pace, with the steering wheel end to end. First one way, then the other. Looks and feels silly, but it cures it. The sound is back now from the car sitting for 3 months. But I won't change the fluid this time, as it has less than 2000km. I'm sure the circling will cure it once again.
 

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It's the rear diff.

Mine was cured with a fluid change and making 10 revolutions at a slow pace, with the steering wheel end to end. First one way, then the other. Looks and feels silly, but it cures it. The sound is back now from the car sitting for 3 months. But I won't change the fluid this time, as it has less than 2000km. I'm sure the circling will cure it once again.
Thanks for the reply and advice..

I have a late model 2009 M5 so I would think the new diff fluid is in there. But I will try 10 circles each way lock to lock and see if it cures it. Just not sure if its the diff or the small contact the wheel has on the fender lining in the front, gotta listen to the sound more closely, seems to be coming from the front.

But weird thing is that it only happens when I first drive the car while its been sitting, its not consistent.
 

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I could be wrong here, but I imagine it like this... (I know it sounds silly, but this is a simplistic way I see it in my mind)
The gears are bathed in fluid, but not completely immersed (meaning part of the gears are exposed from the fluid.) When the car sits for a while, some of the fluid "drips" off the gears into the bath, leaving the gears free of "anti grind" compound. By driving in hard circles (or figure-eights) you cause the rear diff to lock to varying degrees, causing each surface of the gears to get covered by fluid. Let the car sit: rinse, repeat.

It's either that or the magic diff fairies took the day off! (I could never really wrap my head around how limited slip diffs and automatic transmissions work)
 

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Does anyone know if this should be covered by the extended warranty? My dealer is trying to charge me $400+ for the job, that's insane it cant take more then 30min. That's including racking the car. So they won't change the fluid but will pay for a diff rebuild...
 
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