BMW X3 cabin noise and vibration

pp2009pppp2009pp Member Posts: 228
edited March 2014 in BMW
Another intermittent problem: a rough-sounding noise from underneath the car that comes up through the cabin where it is loud enough to be heard above the radio.

At times, the vibration is significant enough that it can be felt through the bottom of the pedals. Does anyone else have this problem?


  • roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 16,036
    I'd check here.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica
    Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i
    Son's: 2009 328i; 2018 330i xDrive

  • pp2009pppp2009pp Member Posts: 228
    Amazingly, this X3 has now become so dangerous that the other problems pale in comparison.

    Good going!

    Those Corollas are looking ever more attractive in comparison.

    :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • pp2009pppp2009pp Member Posts: 228
    So, from what I understand now the AWD in BMWs creates much more road noise (that's the grinding sound?) than the non AWD cars.

    Apparently AWD tires are noisier than non AWD tires. The AWD also creates the bounciness and roughness in the car as well.

    Whack has been the AWD all along.

  • pp2009pppp2009pp Member Posts: 228
    Bouncing, swaying ride and this?

    "For years, owners of the BMW 3 Series E46 models have been reporting ruptures in subframe structure of their cars. This problem was also common in the earlier E36 models, but they re-occurred in the E46 models from 1999 to 2006. These problems appear in the rear mounting points for the subframe, which can rip out from their spots in sheet metal.

    This happens because the rear differential transmits the torsional load from the engine through the subframe, then into the chassis. This constant loading and unloading weakens the sheet metal and causes it to fatigue and separate from the chassis.

    Some mechanics were reporting that the only way to fix this is to remove the rear suspension, driveshaft and weld some new reinforcement mounts into the cracked areas where support is needed.

    Yesterday, we received an official statement from BMW North America with details on a Class Action Settlement:

    BMW has agreed to a proposed settlement of a class action lawsuit concerning the Sub-Frame structures on 3 Series (“E46”) models produced from 1999 through 2006. Under rare conditions the attachment points of the Sub-Frame may develop a fracture or crack. BMW has prepared an inspection, approved repair procedure, and reimbursement policy in keeping with the terms of the proposed class settlement. Details will be forthcoming, pending the court’s final approval of the proposed class settlement. In advance of the final settlement, BMW customers with questions should visit"

    ---- Someone else posted this in response:

    Our X3 crreaks and cracks like it’s coming apart when I asked my local dealer about the problem and the class action suit I was informed it was a bunch of bull. Can someone tell me what’s going on ??

    ------------------ From wikipedia on subframes of cars:

    "The principal purpose of using a subframe is to isolate vibration and harshness from the rest of the body. For example, in an automobile with its powertrain contained in a subframe, forces generated by the engine and transmission can be damped enough that they will not disturb passengers."

    ------------------ From wikipedia on the X3:

    "The BMW X3 is a compact crossover SUV marketed by the German automaker BMW, based on the BMW 3-Series E46 automobile platform, and now in its first generation. BMW designed the X3 in conjunction with Magna Steyr of Graz, Austria — who manufactures all X3's under contract to BMW.

    Following the X5, the X3 was the second vehicle marketed by BMW as a Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV)."
  • roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 16,036

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica
    Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i
    Son's: 2009 328i; 2018 330i xDrive

  • pp2009pppp2009pp Member Posts: 228
    So the E46 complete model run was from 1999 to 2006? The X3 is based on the E46 but it is still being built up through this year.

    Do not know what the future X3, built in NC, will be based on.

    Although it sounds like heck, this repair appears to be significantly less expensive, say around $1500, than the AT losing its ability to reverse when the drum itself (not the solenoids) is at fault. Some people are saying that this is a wear/maintenance issue but, if that is the case, why the successful suit.

    Modifications to the suspension apparently make the E46 ineligible for reimbursement.

    Video that shows this problem:

    It makes an odd clicking sound.
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