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Old 12-14-2011, 08:31 PM   #1
2nd Gear Member
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Vaughan
Posts: 123
Need Help: M3 normal noise or vanos issue?

Hey everyone, just looking for some input about whether or not my M3 is making regular noises or if I have something to worry about.

The car is super quiet at idle, has no lights on the dash, gets normal gas mileage and pulls smoothly throughout the rev range. I just got the car about a month ago, so its tough to say whether any decrease in power is real or just me getting used to the car--even if it is a real decrease in power it isn't anything super noticeable as the car still pulls pretty strongly as compared to my limited experience with it so far. The car has 80,000km on it.

Sorry for the crappy vid quality, but using the M symbol as a guide the camera is placed mostly near the vanos unit, then briefly along the left hand side of the engine and then back over to the right where the injectors are. The engine was around 3-4k rpm.

The car is in need of a valve adjustment, so I thought the sounds at 3 or 4k rpm were due to loud valves, but let me know what you think and thanks for your help.



Last edited by anth; 12-15-2011 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 12-14-2011, 11:18 PM   #2
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Your link is no good FYI.

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Old 12-15-2011, 12:01 AM   #3
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Oops! Thanks for the info Axxe

The right link is:
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:57 AM   #4
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Kinda sounds like your timing chain guides or an early-diagnose of spline gear bearing wear. If you suspect your VANOS, go to a shop and have them run adaptation on the VANOS unit via their GT1... if it passes, it's probably still in good condition.
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:15 PM   #5
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Vaughan
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How can I check if it is the chain tensioner guides? Do I need to remove the valve cover for that too?

The car passed the gt1 vanos test done at a BMW dealer during the ppi I got about a month ago, but I'm not sure if that can detect loose cam gear bolts...correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:47 AM   #6
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That's not a good noise. It sounds like either the chain tensioner or your intake gear bolts are loose which is a somewhat common issue with the S54. If it's loose bolts then don't drive it till it's fixed.
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