Engine tapping noise (not HVA)

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Manufactured from 2004 to 2013

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CoupeSilver
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Engine tapping noise (not HVA)

Post by CoupeSilver » Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:50 pm

I've got a quiet tapping (too low pitched to call ticking) noise coming from my engine that comes and goes, it's can happen when the engine is either cold or hot. At times it goes away completely and then at others it's quite noticeable from inside the car. It's there every day though, it's not a case that it goes for days/hours/weeks then comes back, it's a consistent sound of the engine, it's just not there all the time/continuously. Even at it's loudest it's not loud though, if I open the windows even when sat at traffic lights the road noise outside is enough to completely drown it out, as is the indicator ticking when you turn the indicators on with the windows up. Strangely when i opened the hood to listen for it when i got home today i could barely hear it, the top end of the engine and general engine noise was drowning it out. Moving my head around it's actually easier to hear from the side of the car near either wheel arch. I think its coming from somewhere lower and towards the back of the engine bay. It's actually easiest to hear inside the car with all the windows up.

The engine seems to drive fine, and i have no weird behavior in the steering (well i creaks a bit when i turn the wheel but that's almost certainly the steering column). It's actually more noticeable now i've had the car serviced because the engine is overall slightly quieter and smoother. If it were the alternator or steering pump wouldn't the noise be coming from the front of the car and wouldn't it be pretty obvious with the hood up?? given that it's audible in the car. is there anything else it could be?

The only slightly off thing about the way the car runs is that at idle (hot or cold but more so when cold) the engine sometimes does a very slight stutter (stutter is a massive exaggeration though). It's not accompanied by any audible or visible (on the rev counter) change in revs though. You can feel it slightly through the seat/pedals/floor though, it's like the engine has vibrated very slightly. I was thinking maybe the vanos solenoid needed cleaning. Though I'd never describe the car as running rough, just the other week my dad commented on how it sounded like a sewing machine (in a good way). Just mentioning this in the slight chance the two things might be related.

Anyone have any ideas? had the same thing & fixed it? or is it just the way they are? (they're not the least mechanical sounding engine in the world, which i was rather surprised about given BMW's reputation).

Its the 6 cylinder N52 btw - E82 125i Coupe.

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Toed64
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Re: Engine tapping noise (not HVA)

Post by Toed64 » Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:58 pm

Can you record the engine noise and post it?

As it's intermittent, it's probably just valve gear and nothing to worry about...
2008 E81 130i
2010 E82 135i - now sold

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CoupeSilver
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Re: Engine tapping noise (not HVA)

Post by CoupeSilver » Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:13 pm

Update: I was wrong it's engine temperature dependent. At least to some extent. This morning first thing it was as loud as it ever gets when first started the car, within a minute or two it had quietened quite a lot, and after 10-15 minutes or so of driving I could hardly hear it, and it stayed like that for the rest of my drive to work (another 20 minutes odd).

I thought I'd record it when it was cold coming home, but whilst i could hear it upon starting the car is was pretty quiet and it was practically impossible to hear on the video. Again though as I drove home it got even quieter and by the time I was 20 minutes in to my drive home I had a hard time being able to hear it at all.

I'm just wondering if it might be something internal to the engine that is a little noisy both when cold and not lubricated fully. I'm almost 100% certain it's nothing in the top end (such as HVAs) as it definitely seems to be coming from lower in the engine bay. Is it possible that because I've just had the oil changed (5 days ago - about 60 miles) the oil is working it's way in to all the smallest places(maybe clearing out some partial bockage?) and it's lubricating better after a few days? Is that possible? I'm guessing they don't run the engine up to full temp after they've changed the oil to get it fully worked around the engine.

The previous oil had only been in 7k miles, but the previous owner had been sticking to the CBS intervals (did mostly motorway miles) and the two previous oil changes were every two years, but approx every 15-18k miles. After my first oil change done a month after i got the car, it got a lot quieter. Then after the most recent one it suddenly got more noticeable, but now (it seems) it's gone quieter again. Odd, maybe it's just coincidence. I'll try and record it first thing tomorrow as that's when it seems to be at it's loudest.

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Re: Engine tapping noise (not HVA)

Post by Dano1bfc » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:35 pm

R u sure it’s not the hydraulic lifters mate ? Try holding it at approx 2.5k - 3k when stationary for 30secs. Then a minute if it doesn’t clear it .
Even if it doesn’t it’s just more of a nuisance than disasterous not heard of anything untoward from this . Great choice of motor by the way .

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Re: Engine tapping noise (not HVA)

Post by Twenny » Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:57 am

CoupeSilver wrote:Update: I was wrong it's engine temperature dependent. At least to some extent. This morning first thing it was as loud as it ever gets when first started the car, within a minute or two it had quietened quite a lot, and after 10-15 minutes or so of driving I could hardly hear it, and it stayed like that for the rest of my drive to work (another 20 minutes odd).

I thought I'd record it when it was cold coming home, but whilst i could hear it upon starting the car is was pretty quiet and it was practically impossible to hear on the video. Again though as I drove home it got even quieter and by the time I was 20 minutes in to my drive home I had a hard time being able to hear it at all.

I'm just wondering if it might be something internal to the engine that is a little noisy both when cold and not lubricated fully. I'm almost 100% certain it's nothing in the top end (such as HVAs) as it definitely seems to be coming from lower in the engine bay. Is it possible that because I've just had the oil changed (5 days ago - about 60 miles) the oil is working it's way in to all the smallest places(maybe clearing out some partial bockage?) and it's lubricating better after a few days? Is that possible? I'm guessing they don't run the engine up to full temp after they've changed the oil to get it fully worked around the engine.

The previous oil had only been in 7k miles, but the previous owner had been sticking to the CBS intervals (did mostly motorway miles) and the two previous oil changes were every two years, but approx every 15-18k miles. After my first oil change done a month after i got the car, it got a lot quieter. Then after the most recent one it suddenly got more noticeable, but now (it seems) it's gone quieter again. Odd, maybe it's just coincidence. I'll try and record it first thing tomorrow as that's when it seems to be at it's loudest.
Maybe have a read as your symptoms sound similar to the HVA problem.

https://www.quirkyuncle.com/2013/04/12/ ... fter-tick/
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Re: Engine tapping noise (not HVA)

Post by CoupeSilver » Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:24 pm

Ok I tried to record it.

Engine is cold had literally just been started. The auto choke is still on so it's idling quite fast still.

From inside (doubt you'll be able to hear it it's quite quiet)

http://sendvid.com/kfa0393c

With the window open pointing phone out the window, you can hear the top end sound quite clearly, then there is a lower pitched less frequent tapping, which is the noise i'm refering to:

http://sendvid.com/sla4p5un

It's more like the tock of an old fashioned clock rather than the tick, if that makes any sense, which is why i don't think it's the HVA. They sound like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... jz7ZQWMSwo

Which to my ear sounds higher pitched than my sound even though it is similar i guess.

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Re: Engine tapping noise (not HVA)

Post by Dano1bfc » Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:12 pm

R u referring to the tick pal ? Almost sewing machine ?? That’s ur injectors ?

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CoupeSilver
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Re: Engine tapping noise (not HVA)

Post by CoupeSilver » Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:55 pm

Now I know what the injectors sound like :) thanks!

But no, not that tick. It's the less frequent sound, slightly lower pitched. It's pretty hard to hear on the recordings to be honest. If you listen to the in car video first, very quietly you can hear a ticking/tapping sound behind the deep sound of the engine. That's the frequency it's ticking/tapping at, then listening to the out side video you can hear it a bit more easily.

It's not nearly as easy to hear on the recordings as it is in real life, which is frustrating :(

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Re: Engine tapping noise (not HVA)

Post by Dano1bfc » Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:05 pm

Lol 😂 I didn’t mean to offend pal! Although u do know cold 3.0 straight 6’s do make a bit of a racket! Joshin pal!
Wher u based ? I’m in the nw if u wanna compare ? Again no offence intended .

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Re: Engine tapping noise (not HVA)

Post by Demelitia » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:30 pm

What oil did you put in for your most recent service? Thinner oil is going to run out of the lifters when the engine is sat going cold, then as it warms up and oil pressure increases the noise will drop. I can’t think of anything else it might be, then again, I’m not a mechanic. I’ve watched the vids a few times over but can’t discern much from them. I’m in W yorkshire if it’s of any help to compare.
Failing that I’ll try record mine at work when it’s cooled down.
130i LE. BW Chiptune remap. BMWP: exhaust, intake/ filter, strut brace, alcantara, gear knob, hand brake. Camber pin mod. CDV delete. Carbon corner splitters. Cruise control retrofit. Digital speedo.

Mr Whippy
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Re: Engine tapping noise (not HVA)

Post by Mr Whippy » Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:11 pm

Could still be HVA, depending how drained they get they can get loud.
You don’t park on steep angles/slopes at all do you?


End of the day if it drives ok and sounds go down when warm you’re ok.

If it develops then worry more.

Bit weird it’s more noticeable after new oil. Is it the right spec?

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Re: Engine tapping noise (not HVA)

Post by Demelitia » Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:49 am

This was mine when cold this morning;
https://youtu.be/TU-paW3cWgA

The mic on phones seems to pick up certain frequencies and mute others. Might be worth listening with headphones in.
130i LE. BW Chiptune remap. BMWP: exhaust, intake/ filter, strut brace, alcantara, gear knob, hand brake. Camber pin mod. CDV delete. Carbon corner splitters. Cruise control retrofit. Digital speedo.

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Re: Engine tapping noise (not HVA)

Post by CoupeSilver » Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:25 pm

Demelitia wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:49 am
This was mine when cold this morning;
https://youtu.be/TU-paW3cWgA

The mic on phones seems to pick up certain frequencies and mute others. Might be worth listening with headphones in.
That's identical to mine.

It was a BMW service and they used 0W-30 oil. I asked what oil they had used as my previous oil service at a different dealer had stated bulkshell, this one just said bulkoil without a brand. They said it was Mobil 1. Didn't think any Mobil oil was LL-04 but he was adamant it was BMW spec. The dealer has been around a long time so I highly doubt they would use non BMW approved oil. Would be pretty easy to prove that substandard oil had caused damage i would imagine. There is a Mobil 1 0W-30 oil on the approved BMW list that I found on a link on another post on this forum. Mobil 1 ESP Forumla B it's called, though I can't actually find it for sale anywhere. That said the BMW guy didn't know off the top of his head he had to look at something to check, so it's possible he's wrong.

I drove in today making sure I rev the engine more than I usually do, and in the same parking spot as i made the recording, opening the window i couldnt hear it at all, nor inside the car. So it definitely seems to be temperature dependant. Think i'll just stop worrying about it :)

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Re: Engine tapping noise (not HVA)

Post by Demelitia » Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:46 pm

Yeah, as much as dealers get slated, things like the correct oil I imagine even they would get right.

Relax and enjoy the car!

Its odd hearing the engine up close on this video; having the BMWP exhaust with the golf tee mod on it means engine noise usually doesn’t get a look in!
130i LE. BW Chiptune remap. BMWP: exhaust, intake/ filter, strut brace, alcantara, gear knob, hand brake. Camber pin mod. CDV delete. Carbon corner splitters. Cruise control retrofit. Digital speedo.

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Re: Engine tapping noise (not HVA)

Post by Mr Whippy » Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:05 am

I’d hope a bmw dealer was using ll04 oil!

More likely the grade is wrong perhaps?

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