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      09-06-2014, 03:22 PM   #1
RJD_25
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Question Dragging noise from below centre console. (Nothing dragging under car)

Hi Guys,

I've floated around these forums for a while, but never had need to use them, (nor much experience to provide support) but tonight I've had a weird one and I need to drive 100 miles tomorrow to the airport, so want to see if anyone has a clue about this.

Firstly the full background. The car's been sitting in my garage for over a week. I've just plucked up the courage to do a full paint correction on it and I'd left the boot/trunk open a lot.

When I went to start it tonight it wouldn't even turn over. Once I jump started it (don't try to use a Q5 to start an e90, it's a pain) the car started fine.

After 500 yards I started to hear what I can only describe as a dragging noise from beneath the arm rest/centre console area. If you've ever had an exhaust drop on you, it was like a quiter version of that!

I got out and there was nothing dragging. I carried on driving and it came and went, came and went. The one thing I did wonder was the drinks cooler in the arm rest. Is there a fan in there that drives that system? I don't have a massive garage and to get my car in and have space to work on it, I had to drive in and then get out the passenger side. Half way over getting out I did sit on the arm rest.

I was wondering if there's a fan in there, then maybe I somehow stressed it and the fan is knocked off centre on its spindle and dragging on its cowling!? (If there's not a fan, then this theory is out the window!)

Anybody know what else could be in that area or beneath it that could make a similar noise?
I had the drive-shaft rubber donut replaced about 5k miles ago, so don't think it's anything to do with that.

Any help appreciated, I'll be setting off tomorrow with my fingers crossed - I hope I don't need the breakdown services as I'll definitely miss my flight!,


Cheers in advance.
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      09-06-2014, 04:31 PM   #2
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Much to your amazement it is not a drink cooler.. Lol!! It is actually slots to hold coins; a coin holder.. Would have been nice if it is was a drink cooler though..

As to the dragging noise, no clue? Sure something is not loose underneath?
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      09-06-2014, 05:13 PM   #3
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...it's a drinks cooler. .... The switch near that phone's screen allows you to open or close a vent which directs air to that section. I just don't know whether there's a fan in their too. Mine's Pre LCI BTW. I understand this was removed with the LCI.


Last edited by RJD_25; 09-06-2014 at 05:23 PM. Reason: New info.
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      09-06-2014, 05:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJD_25 View Post
...it's a drinks cooler. .... The switch near that phone's screen allows you to open or close a vent which directs air to that section. I just don't know whether there's a fan in their too. Mine's Pre LCI BTW. I understand this was removed with the LCI.

<image>
Yup cooler/heater - but no fan. It just redirects air from the main vents.
No idea what that dragging would be. There's nothing in there.

My best guess - something caught / wrapped around the drive shaft? Like maybe a cat?
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      09-06-2014, 07:51 PM   #5
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Is it constant at any speed or does it change with speed?
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      09-06-2014, 10:01 PM   #6
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Guys.. As stated it is NOT any sort of cooler\vent, etc.! Officially it is a Coin box! ...

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...22&hg=51&fg=35

Part no., 7
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      09-06-2014, 11:51 PM   #7
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huh. This coin holder routinely cools my ice cream sundaes when I'm driving home.
Keeps it from melting much.
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      09-07-2014, 01:25 AM   #8
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Hey BMRSEB, genuinely appreciate the input but you're talking about a different car, especially if yours is LCI. Also believe you need to have Climate control for this.

There's plenty of threads I've found tonight that ref the drinks cooler and there's also four points that confirm it.

1. It's in the manual:

Ventilated storage compartment
The storage compartment in the center armrest
can be ventilated: slide the switch backwards.
The temperature is controlled via the knurled
wheel for adjusting the temperature of air ventilating
the rear of the passenger compartment.

Columbo would stop there, it's pretty damning evidence.

2. There's a switch that when moved you can actually feel the difference in air flow in their.
3. Items left in there actually get very cold.
4. If BMW were just going to give you a drinks holder, then the best design would be a sealed receptacle so if you were to spill anything, you could just give it a wipe and you're done. This one as you can see in the pictures and in the diagram you referenced, has square cut outs in it all the way around.
That's exactly what you wouldn't want if all it did was to hold a drink - as it makes it convenient for the drink to drip down into the body of the arm rest....

Also in the diagram, you can see that the switch is linked to the cup holder - what else could it do?

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=284864

Smithe90, I've not managed to identify any correlation between drive/turning yet. It's a head scratcher.
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      09-07-2014, 02:47 AM   #9
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I have opened the center console about 4 times already.
The only moving part in there is the hand brake.

So try reproducing the noise by driving approx 20-40.
And in very very small increments engage the parking brake.
See if the noise is reproducible that way.

2nd thing.
The only moving component under you car, other than wheels is, the drive shaft.

Did anyone get under your car and did some work and possibly bend the heat shield sheet metal to make contact with the drive shaft?

Other than the above, run the car on a hoist to see anything else.

DN
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      09-07-2014, 07:32 AM   #10
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So I got to the airport without incident. (Sort of).
The noise became constant for a long while and I managed to record it on my iPhone. Will upload it if anyone has any suggestions.
It went away totally for the last 10 miles and never came back.

Fingers crossed for the return journey on Thursday night!!
I had a look under the car again, with full lock in both directions - nothing.

Will get it booked in for Friday as a precaution.

Cheers for the suggestion. Will update if they find anything.

Last edited by RJD_25; 09-07-2014 at 07:33 AM. Reason: Error
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      09-07-2014, 08:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJD_25 View Post
Hey BMRSEB, genuinely appreciate the input but you're talking about a different car, especially if yours is LCI. Also believe you need to have Climate control for this.

There's plenty of threads I've found tonight that ref the drinks cooler and there's also four points that confirm it.

1. It's in the manual:

Ventilated storage compartment
The storage compartment in the center armrest
can be ventilated: slide the switch backwards.
The temperature is controlled via the knurled
wheel for adjusting the temperature of air ventilating
the rear of the passenger compartment.

Columbo would stop there, it's pretty damning evidence.

2. There's a switch that when moved you can actually feel the difference in air flow in their.
3. Items left in there actually get very cold.
4. If BMW were just going to give you a drinks holder, then the best design would be a sealed receptacle so if you were to spill anything, you could just give it a wipe and you're done. This one as you can see in the pictures and in the diagram you referenced, has square cut outs in it all the way around.
That's exactly what you wouldn't want if all it did was to hold a drink - as it makes it convenient for the drink to drip down into the body of the arm rest....

Also in the diagram, you can see that the switch is linked to the cup holder - what else could it do?

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=284864

Smithe90, I've not managed to identify any correlation between drive/turning yet. It's a head scratcher.
I stand corrected if so.. I have a pre-LCI model (2007). Will check it out today..
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      09-07-2014, 09:35 AM   #12
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I would suspect the driveshaft center bearing if it were my car.
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      09-07-2014, 12:22 PM   #13
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It may be a pre-lci thing but my car has a cup holder there and by flipping a switch it cools or heats that compartment.
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      09-07-2014, 08:51 PM   #14
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I had this type of thing happen to me while i was driving with no bumper for about 5 days waiting on my M3 rep to be painted and what I think your problem is one of the bolts on the under tray (or many bolts) has either come off or is missing.
My scraping sound would occur when I would go faster than 25 mph.
Get underneath somehow to see if there are any missing bolts down there.
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      09-07-2014, 09:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddien123 View Post
It may be a pre-lci thing but my car has a cup holder there and by flipping a switch it cools or heats that compartment.
Well, I was half right. I had the A/C on and that console cupholder was cool with the little switch in the on position.. Now there is also a coin holder in that same area, directly above/in front of the cupholder cooler thingie..
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      09-08-2014, 12:15 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkNemesis View Post
I have opened the center console about 4 times already.
The only moving part in there is the hand brake.

So try reproducing the noise by driving approx 20-40.
And in very very small increments engage the parking brake.
See if the noise is reproducible that way.

2nd thing.
The only moving component under you car, other than wheels is, the drive shaft.

Did anyone get under your car and did some work and possibly bend the heat shield sheet metal to make contact with the drive shaft?

Other than the above, run the car on a hoist to see anything else.

DN
It was in for work on the 26th to check what the CBS computer was telling me vs. the service book. My new garage is a German car specialist and didn't think the two matched up, so I'm hoping it's not something they've done. I'll find out on Friday I guess. It's been in my garage since then, so I guess if I drove home with the radio on I may not have heard it.

Last edited by RJD_25; 09-08-2014 at 12:24 AM. Reason: Additional info.
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      09-08-2014, 12:16 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
I would suspect the driveshaft center bearing if it were my car.
If that's the same as the rubber donut then that part's not that old.
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      09-08-2014, 12:17 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRD1234 View Post
I had this type of thing happen to me while i was driving with no bumper for about 5 days waiting on my M3 rep to be painted and what I think your problem is one of the bolts on the under tray (or many bolts) has either come off or is missing.
My scraping sound would occur when I would go faster than 25 mph.
Get underneath somehow to see if there are any missing bolts down there.
Sounds like an interesting option, would explain why I saw nothing when I stopped. Will have a pull and push when I get back!
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      09-08-2014, 12:21 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMRSEB View Post
Well, I was half right. I had the A/C on and that console cupholder was cool with the little switch in the on position.. Now there is also a coin holder in that same area, directly above/in front of the cupholder cooler thingie..
I didn't doubt you had a coin holder (although mine doesn't have that, I looked yesterday) I just knew I did have a drink cooler!
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      09-08-2014, 08:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJD_25 View Post
If that's the same as the rubber donut then that part's not that old.
Nope. There is an actual bearing in the center of the drive shaft. It bolts to the transmission tunnel. If it goes bad, it can transmit noise to the trans tunnel, thus it sounds like it comes from the arm rest.
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      09-12-2014, 10:15 AM   #21
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Thumbs up

Ok, so we have an answer.....

My return journey from the airport was uneventful, not a sound. Which is very strange for a fault, as they don't often disappear totally.

This morning I set off for the garage and straight away there was a noise and then there was a 'ping' noise as something gave way. It also now sounded like it was coming from the front left, not underneath.

It was clearly affected by the speed of the car, but it wasn't affecting the drive and breaking made no difference to it.

Got the garage and the mechanic got in, we did a short drive of 100 yds and he agreed straight away, front left.

Got it up on the ramp and gave the wheels a spin and the BACK left was making a scratching noise.
Took it and the brake disc off and the hand brake shoe spring had come off at one end!

Apparently if you leave your car parked for a long period, the shoes can seize to the inside of the drum and on rare occasions the release snap force can be enough to make the spring fly off! (Perhaps if not set to the correct tension in the first place he mentioned)

So cheers for all the help guys. Much more simple and cheaper than it could've been, very relieved!
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      09-12-2014, 03:16 PM   #22
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Bizarre!
Congrats!
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