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      11-04-2012, 05:00 AM   #1
MJ777LR
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Help... Loud clicking noise when turning

Hi all... My car has just started to make a loud click noise when making turns at slow speed. This just started yesterday, and it seems like it has gotten worse today. After reading all the threads on 'clicking noises' associated with steering, I'm starting to get a little (ok, a lot!) worried. I've been driving the car for the past few hours and have consistently been able to replicate the noise. Here's what I've observed:

- A single loud 'clicking' or 'cracking' noise occurs when the steering wheel reaches exactly 270 degrees, when turning right at slow speed (like turning onto a driveway or into the garage).
- A series or similar clicks/cracks occurs around the steering wheel's 360 degree region, if I continue into the right turn.
- Noise does not occur as frequently when turning left, and has only happened once or twice.
- The click seems to happen not only when turning while on completely flat and smooth surfaces, but also happens at the same moment the car hits bumps in the ground while I am turning.
- Click also happens when turning while driving downwards from an inclined driveway onto the road, or when turning while driving upwards from the road onto an inclined driveway.
- Here's the interesting one. I park the car and let it sit for a while (say 5 minutes). Then I shift to reverse, and the same moment I lift my foot off the brake and the car starts to move, one single loud click is heard. This only happens after the car sits for a bit. If I stop, shift from D to R, and immediately reverse, it doesn't happen.
- I can turn lock to lock while stationary, and everything is 100% silent.
- Click sounds like it's a noise made by metal rubbing on metal, or metal 'slipping' off another metal surface.
- Click can be felt in the steering wheel.

I hope I've been detailed enough. Could anyone give me some ideas as to what may be causing this? I really hope it's not something like a bad steering column... Please help...
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      11-04-2012, 05:33 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ777LR View Post
My car has just started to make a loud click noise when making turns at slow speed.

- Here's the interesting one. I park the car and let it sit for a while (say 5 minutes). Then I shift to reverse, and the same moment I lift my foot off the brake and the car starts to move, one single loud click is heard. This only happens after the car sits for a bit. If I stop, shift from D to R, and immediately reverse, it doesn't happen.

Work done on car lately?

Suspension inspected?

Mileage?
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      11-04-2012, 02:23 PM   #3
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Yes... The car has 118,000 miles on it and I recently overhauled my entire front and rear suspension. I had put in new shocks and springs (Eibach Pro Kit), replaced each one of the control arms and stabilizer links front and rear, as well as outer tie rods up front. These have been mostly with BMW parts, but some were Meyle HD, where available. Along with the new shocks and springs, I also replaced the strut mounts, spring seats, and front and rear bearings. I had the car tightened under load and alignment/ride height adjustment done by my local BMW specialist. The car has put about 1,500 miles on the new suspension and everything has been perfectly silent until a couple of days ago.

Could there be some play in the system now that things should have 'settled in'?
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      11-04-2012, 03:08 PM   #4
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should have changed the strut hats, they are prob done at 100k miles, usually they got at 50k.
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      11-04-2012, 03:09 PM   #5
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strut hat moving on perch, thats what that sound is
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      11-04-2012, 03:33 PM   #6
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Neilvosco, thanks for the input. Could you elaborate more on these strut hats? If you are referring to the strut mount (or strut bearing), I did replace those as well. Pretty much everything in there was replaced with new components. The only thing I re-used from before were the bumpstops. Could the strut top nut have come loose on its own? This is the one in the center under the little plastic cap that is surrounded by the three nuts.
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      11-04-2012, 05:08 PM   #7
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I had that same issue. The dealer replaced the entire steering rack and power steering pump. My car is still under CPO so all I had to pay was just the $50 deductable.
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      11-04-2012, 06:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikola View Post
I had that same issue. The dealer replaced the entire steering rack and power steering pump. My car is still under CPO so all I had to pay was just the $50 deductable.

Wow! Solve the problem?

This one does sound like a strut hat....OP, interested to know....
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      11-04-2012, 06:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ777LR View Post
Could there be some play in the system now that things should have 'settled in'?

If was me, I'd have alignment checked. DIY check really easy with iPhone or Android to check camber; toe plates for that. Tape measure for ride height.
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      11-04-2012, 08:51 PM   #10
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Ok, I'll look in that direction. The noise only comes from the front left and it seems like it's coming from somewhere on the upper part of the assembly. Could you also point out which part on this diagram represents the strut hat? The only parts not replaced on that diagram were 11 and 12.

http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...16&hg=31&fg=10

I'm hoping it's not anything to do with the steering column. That would be pretty expensive to fix. I'll be sure to keep you guys posted.

Last edited by MJ777LR; 11-04-2012 at 09:00 PM.
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      11-05-2012, 08:18 PM   #11
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I have a slight click and have been too busy to take it in. Going to check strut hats. I like to know before I bring it in.
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      11-05-2012, 08:33 PM   #12
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I have the same issue, but my click only happens when backing up and turning to the right while backing. I did have the alignment done recently.
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      11-05-2012, 11:41 PM   #13
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I took it by my local BMW indy today. We drove the car around and could replicate the problem. I think I might have a lead on what's causing the noise. When we rocked the car sideways (left to right) with some amount of force, and I put my ear close to the front left wheel, I could hear a slight 'clicking' noise (like metal hitting metal), which seemed to be coming from the upper part of the strut assembly. I think the strut top nut may not be fully tightened. That's strange because there has been no noise for the past two months, until now. The only guess I could venture is that, after 1,500 miles of driving, the new rubber spring seats (or related components) have started to compress/settle and perhaps this has caused some play in the system. I am taking it in again later in the week to have all the nuts/bolts retorqued. Hopefully that'll fix the problem, will keep you all posted.

By the way, is the strut hat the same as the strut mount/strut bearing?
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      11-06-2012, 02:22 PM   #14
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same issue

I have exactly the same problem, dealer told me the front suspension bushings needed to be replaced, but I would like to get a second opinion, can't believe a BMW with 50K miles needs new bushings.
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      11-18-2012, 02:22 PM   #15
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any updates? I was under the car and could see anything that would be making that sound.
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      12-15-2012, 03:51 PM   #16
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I'm having the same issue (have been since 12k miles). The dealer has not been able to figure it out. Is there an easy way to check the strut top hat w/out complete disassembly? Cars still MDer warranty & they have an open PUMA case for it, so I'm not too concerned, but I'd like to get it remedied sooner than later, especially since I have the itch to start modding the suspension bits.

Thanks!
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      12-16-2012, 10:27 AM   #17
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I think I have the same problem and have done a some net research. What I think I did was to install the washer, that sits between the strut mount and the strut, upside down.

The next time that I have cooperating weather and schedule, I will verify. If it is, it will be a cheap fix.

Post #8 in this link has a diagram:
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=539435
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      12-16-2012, 08:10 PM   #18
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Is it possible that you may have reinstalled the bracket that holds the wire for the right front wheel speed sensor to the pinch bracket incorrectly? It's easy to make that mistake. Sometimes people put them in rotated 90 degrees in the wrong direction. If that is the case the bracket will actually catch the sway bar end link and cause the suspension to bind up. It'll actually chew through the link if you leave it for too long so I'd take a look at that if you think that could be a possibility.
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      12-17-2012, 04:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeR1994 View Post
Is it possible that you may have reinstalled the bracket that holds the wire for the right front wheel speed sensor to the pinch bracket incorrectly? It's easy to make that mistake. Sometimes people put them in rotated 90 degrees in the wrong direction. If that is the case the bracket will actually catch the sway bar end link and cause the suspension to bind up. It'll actually chew through the link if you leave it for too long so I'd take a look at that if you think that could be a possibility.
have a pic of what your talking about?
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      12-22-2012, 11:17 PM   #20
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Any updates on this? I have the same issue. I have examined the strut guide mounts and they appear to be perfectly fine. No major wear. I have a 08 328i with 49k on it.

I even greased the bearings to see if that would help. I have not examined the control arms first hand, but was told by a mechanic that all the bushings look fine.

Lastly, I am beginning to think this is related to the steering and not the suspension. Any ideas on what would make a click sound while turning to the left from a complete stop?
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      12-22-2012, 11:24 PM   #21
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This goes back to the suspension being a possible issue, but how likely is it that this part would be the problem?:

http://www.oembimmerparts.com/produc...933-934e9x.htm
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      12-23-2012, 12:27 PM   #22
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I've diagnosed a few cars that had metallic clicking noises when turning the steering lock-to-lock. I think they were both E60's, but the noise was actually coming from the tension strut/thrust rod bushing area. I replaced the complete tension strut and the noise was gone.

The best way to diagnose a problem like this is get a stethoscope and try to get someone to replicate the noise. Sounds like this can travel through the suspension parts, but usually you can tell where it is loudest -- which is the source of the problem.

I've also seen a few issues on E90's where there was noise from the front strut area due to improper assembly. I'd make sure the spring is seated properly in both seats and that everything is in the correct order. Could be a missing washer or even something loose since the car was just worked on.
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