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In my years of ownership, yesterday was the first time I've heard that dreadful noise. Even by being well-read here and knowing about the phenomenon in advance, it still puts you aback - until reason sets it.

It's the ticking / tapping / knocking / clicking sound when you haven't started the beast for a while. In my case, it was 14 days. But my beast has been asleep for at least that duration before, in similar conditions.

Why now and never before? Can't say. She's error-free and 3k miles into an oil change. She was last driven on a 30deg F day. The ambient temps have been rather constant until yesterday, when it spiked up to 45deg. That's the nicest day I've seen in a while, so I went for a ride.

Upon startup, the racket is so startling you think "OMG Rod Bearings !!!???#@!". It's really loud. Perhaps 5x louder than "normal VANOS rattle." It's louder from the bottom or wheel wells, than the kidney grills or windshield. You can hear it from the cabin. It's RPM-sensitive. There is no added-vibration.

It doesn't diminish by idling. You drive off gingerly. It's still there. Have faith. It goes away in about 10mi -- pretty much whenever the engine gets up to temperature.

In summary:
  • the scary noise happens when you don't start her for a long period of time
  • it's not rod bearings
  • don't panic -- it's not going to explode
  • go for a ride

Here are some consolidated reference threads:
http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e3...n/169592-non-vanos-ticking-noise-video-2.html
http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e39-m5-e52-z8-discussion/154057-weird-noise-engine.html
http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e39-m5-e52-z8-discussion/152001-werid-clicking-noise.html

Hopefully, this post contains enough searchable keywords for others to find.

A question:
For those rare amongst you that have heard both this sound and actual failing rod bearings, can you contrast & compare them?
 

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It is pretty easy to separate these two different noises from each other....

Stuck lifters have a ticking,very high pitched noise...

Rod bearings have a low tune knock-knock noise.


Take a screw driver,hold the handle against your ear and the blade against the valve cover on the individual cylinders.

Lifter noise you will hear transmitted through the screw driver very well.

I remember when I first started up a mate's S62 with him and another board ,member.
Their faces were priceless when the lifters started making noise(engine did not run for 4 weeks)...hiha
 

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I had to replace an engine on a 2.0 16 valve cavalier years ago, and every lifter was tapping, wouldn't shut up; took a few miles then was a very quiet engine.
Must have been sat for a while...
Mate's sapphire cosworth wasn't started for over a year, and was silent instantly; other cars tap every cold start.
Doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason to it.
 

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The bird's TT180 does it every start and sounds awful for 5-10 seconds but she's not bothered. And one car is enough to be paranoid about...
 

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This happen to me once too, Frank. I started the car up after it had sat for a few days and there was a horrible ticking coming from what seemed to be the valve cover area. I tried not to panic, knowing that it was probably just a stick lifter. But it sounded so bad that I was fairly feaked out. Not a nice feeling. I drove gently around my nieghborhood for about 10 minutes when suddenly the noise stopped and thankfully has never returned. Feeling tremendously relieved, I come to the conclusion that life is short and buy a supercharger!

:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Stuck lifters have a ticking,very high pitched noise
Rod bearings have a low tune knock-knock noise.
Thanks -- as always -- for the insight, and adding the keyword "lifters", Raikku. My oversight.

I remember when I first started up a mate's S62 with him and another board ,member.
Their faces were priceless when the lifters started making noise(engine did not run for 4 weeks)...hiha
That's not nice. I guess you could have been even meaner though :hihi:
 

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Had the same exact thing happen to me on New Years Eve Frank. Beast had been in hibernation for weeks, we had, a few nice days in a row with enough rain to wash away the salt... I took the beast out and OMG those lifters were NOISY!

Went away soon enough but like you and Adam, I tried my best not to chyt my pants.
 

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Collapsed lifters. Sounds like you could use a bit of a tuneup!

An easy remedy I've found is that you add a quart of ATF to your oil about 50-100 miles before a change...then make sure to do the oil change hot. change the filter/refill as usual and enjoy silent running.

The ATF will clear out the gunk in the lifters and allow them to pop up faster. I had the same thing happen about 30k miles ago and it hasnt happened again since.
 

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Wow. Nice to read this thread. I just received my new (to me) 2000 M5 yesterday, and as the driver moved it onto the elevator of the truck, I could hear the ticking noise. Natch I'd already paid for the car and I'm standing there thinking, oh great, here's a nice engine rebuild that I get to do on my first day of ownership! So I drove it gingerly, and then forgot about it when I goosed it for the first time. Oh yeah! That's why I bought another M5. When I got home later that day, I listened carefully and there were no noises. The car had sat for several weeks before it was picked up and then it sat for another 4 days on the truck. Thanks Chowdah!
 
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I learned my lesson

Frank,

This situation happened to me a couple times early in the purchase of my car....partly due to not driving the car for several weeks at a time. Lessoned learned for me was to drive the car about 1 time per week and make sure the oil gets up to temperature....which means a trip up to Tucson on I 19. I too freaked from the sound, but the "wise ones" on this board set me straight. However, I don't remember the recommendation for a supercharger:tonquesmilie:

Happy Motoring,

James
 
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This is an exceedingly common BMW issue... so much so that there's a service bulletin on it (that has existed since the early 90s) which includes a description of the problem, its cause, and solution. I can't post a copy here, but the number is SIB 11 01 01 issued June 2001.

Be sure you look at the June 2001 version and not the March 2001 version as the earlier one identified some fixes which didn't fix anything.

You can find the text via Google... "group 11 11 01 01"
 
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Happened to me too. Clearly a lifter noise. It went away after awhile, but does scare you when it happens. Only happened once in the last three years.
 

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Happened to me too. Clearly a lifter noise. It went away after awhile, but does scare you when it happens. Only happened once in the last three years.
Once in 18 months here, does worry you - if happened every time would live with it, but a 1 off, what's going on there!
 

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Thanks Chowdah. Can you please add additional FAQs for all the other noises that I think are rod bearings, diff, drive shaft or wheel bearings? My Paranoid Maintenance bills are starting to add up :)
 

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I can also attest to experiencing this noise. My car sat for about 4 weeks and when I turned it on it made the loud tapping sound. Like the rest, it caught me off guard but it went away after idling for a bit. Whew!! ..hehe.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks Chowdah. Can you please add additional FAQs for all the other noises that I think are rod bearings, diff, drive shaft or wheel bearings? My Paranoid Maintenance bills are starting to add up :)
hiha

Well, I do consider myself quite sensitive to anomalous noise and vibration. Unfortunately for the FAQ -- but fortunately for me -- I have no experience with other aforementioned kinds of NVH.

I came from decades of Toyota/Lexus prior to owning this car. At first, I too was paranoid about maintaining an //M car. But none of that has proven justified. She's a gem.

Just enjoy the ride.
 
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