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rolypoly49

2001 BMW 320i Ticking Issue

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Hi everyone,

For the past eight or so months my 6-cylinder e46 has been making a ticking noise which has gradually started sounding more like a tractor and less like a BMW. The problem started after I got new tyres put on her although this could be entirely coincidental. She’s driven fine over the last couple of months even with the noise, however ever since it’s become winter the problem has gotten worse. When the engine is cold the revs fluctuate as if the car is about to stall (she’s an automatic), and this is a problem I’ve had before although this time there is no engine light on. When that happened last time one of the hoses were replaced and this was around 9 months ago. The ticking noise increases as you accelerate, and temporarily disappears after a long drive.

I’ve attached a video with the noise with the hope that someone recognises it and has some good news for me. She’s due for a service in 3 months and I’m hoping this isn’t a massive issue.

Thanks in advance!

Edited by rolypoly49
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Can you pinpoint the noise? Ear against a long screw driver would work. Sounds like the lifters but other things like drive pulleys\tensioners, DISA valves etc can get noisy.  Do you know when the was oil was last changed and what grade?   

Sounds like you have a possible vacuum leak with the bad idle which would be the first thing to check when you take it in. 

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The oil is 10w30 and it was last changed in October. I’ve done a little bit of research and I thought it could be the lifters too, but it was difficult to pinpoint  where the noise was coming from 

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Start simple.

Check for exhaust leaks and vacuum leaks 

Your noise and bad idle may or may not be related. 

Screw driver to the ear or a tube/hose to pinpoint noises 

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