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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing / Warranty > How to Troubleshoot (Fix) Rear Window / Parcel Shelf creak



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      07-01-2007, 09:50 PM   #1
c3uo
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How to Troubleshoot (Fix) Rear Window / Parcel Shelf creak

My car has had a creak in the rear window / parcel shelf area since new. It has driven me crazy. It seemed worse over bumps and with the HVAC on. I've had it to the dealer, but they could not fix it. I tried to stuff cardboard in the crack between the rear plastic vent and rear window - but it did not seem to fix the problem.

Since my dealer is 240 miles away, I decided to try to troubleshoot it myself following these threads:

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=35298

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=42207

My car is an E90 325xi with fold down rear seats and no HK sound. Surpisingly removing the rear shelf was quite simple and I thought I would summarize the steps I followed to help supplement the above posts:

1. Fold down rear seats.
2. Remove the rear seat back side cushions. Simply pull down and forward towards the front of the car. They easily pivot out.
3. Flip up the three child seat anchors and remove the anchors using a torx socket. Once the anchor assembly is removed, pull out the metal aligning cage.
4. Pry off the two speaker grills. The grills are friction fit and pull up from the front with a flat head screwdriver.
5. Remove the two main speaker drivers. Mine were held in place with three hex head screws. Disconnect the main speaker wire connectors by pulling on the clip and do the same for the second connection going to the tweeter.
6. Remove the five plastic quick connect pins holding the shelf to the steel support. I first pulled the center pins out and then pulled the plastic assembly out. I used a small metal finish nail remover to do this. I first pulled up with my finger nail to prevent scratching the plastic. You could also use masking tape.
7. Remove the rear pillar airbag cover. Just pull out the plastic "Airbag" logo / clip with a small flathead screwdriver and remove the long torx screw. Once the screw is out, pull the cover out from the door trim. Next is the trick to removing it - just slide it up towards the ceiling - the metal clip doesn't pull straight out but slides along the opening. Then it pulls right out.
8. Once all of these items are out, the rear shelf should just slide forward. I pulled mine forward about 8" to reveal the rear plastic vent. I did not bother removing any seatbelts - as it's not required to gain access. You would need to remove them if you were completely removing the shelf.
9. Once the shelf is slid forward I had to remove a little electrical box from the centre of the rear parcel shelf (antenna?). It's held in place with two small torx screws.
10. Lastly - I removed the rear plastic vent by removing the four hex head screws which hold it in - they are behind the thick foam. Remove the screws and it just pulls out.

In general - if you are pulling anything hard you probably are doing something wrong. I found there was a trick to almost all connections. I used my fingernails a lot to prevent scratching things - but I'm pretty anal about scratches that most wouldn't even notice.

Once I had the vent out, I slid the parcel shelf back in place and went for a test drive. NO RATTLES!! :rocks:

At least by pulling out the plastic rear vent you can find out if that is what was creaking in your car. I plan to drive it like this for a few more days to make sure this is the culprit. If it is, I will try hockey tape on the leading edge of the vent (by the glass) and on the steel to hopefully silence the creak.

Hope this helps. Pictures are in the previous threads. Good luck. I was intimidated to attempt this - but it's really not bad.
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      01-26-2008, 03:35 PM   #2
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Thanks for your post!!!

I was on the verge of getting rid of my car as the creaking noise from rear vent upon temperature change was driving me insane.

I was getting very severe creaking noise from the rear shelf area as my car was warming up after sitting in a cold parking lot for a while.

The noise was severe enough to make me seek a new vehicle not made by BMW.

With the help of your post, I took apart the rear shelf area. Here is a picture of the plastic vent piece.



I noticed that the plastic vent piece was rubbing against the metal frame of the car!!! You can see the where the paint was rubbed off.



I have applied felt tape where plastic vent touches the bare metal.



I think the problem was that the metal chasis and the plastic vent piece expand and contract at different rates causing the noise.

I guess I'll keep the car for a little longer now.

Before anyone take apart their car, simply push down on the plastic vent piece right by the rear windshield and see if it squeaks or not. Mine was sqeaking like crazy before. Now, it is dead slient.

Last edited by Luongo; 01-26-2008 at 06:33 PM.
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      01-27-2008, 11:00 AM   #3
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I tơok it to the dealer 3x and they told me unable to find anything!!! those fucking lazy ass techs.

thanks, I thought it was just me.
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      01-27-2008, 04:18 PM   #4
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what is the torx screw size at the thrêe child screws on the anchor latch?
I have the non folding seats, how do I get to the shelf. Im stuck.
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      01-27-2008, 08:38 PM   #5
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T40 to remove the three child seat latches.

You'll also need 7mm socket wrench to remove the 5 screws holding the vent piece to the body.

Good luck!
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      01-27-2008, 09:33 PM   #6
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did you have to removed you seats too Luong?
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      01-27-2008, 11:48 PM   #7
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I have fold-down rear seats, so I only had to remove the wedge shape cushions.
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      07-03-2008, 02:42 PM   #8
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Bump this back towards the top. This fix DOES work. I took a print-out to my SA and said just do this. They argued a bit about it and said this was not an official fix for the rear creaking/popping, but I was firm.

A day later I picked up the car and it is SILENT! Woo hoo!

It's now been about 3 months and it is still quiet, all the way from 20F to over 90F.

If you've got this issue (and I think all 3 series do), just print out this thread and tell them to try it...

-Michael
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      07-03-2008, 03:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrdirosa View Post
Bump this back towards the top. This fix DOES work. I took a print-out to my SA and said just do this. They argued a bit about it and said this was not an official fix for the rear creaking/popping, but I was firm.

A day later I picked up the car and it is SILENT! Woo hoo!

It's now been about 3 months and it is still quiet, all the way from 20F to over 90F.

If you've got this issue (and I think all 3 series do), just print out this thread and tell them to try it...

-Michael
interesting. i hear the creaking/popping all the time. It will be nice if i can get this fixed.
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      07-03-2008, 09:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrdirosa View Post
Bump this back towards the top. This fix DOES work. I took a print-out to my SA and said just do this. They argued a bit about it and said this was not an official fix for the rear creaking/popping, but I was firm.


-Michael
So, did they have an "official" fix they thought was better?
I've been to the dealer twice with no fix. The dealership acted like they had never heard of this noise before and I was first person to complain about it. From the posts I've seen this is a fairly common problem.

The noise in my car seems to get worse as the temperature rises and stops after the temperature reaches a certain point. I hear it in the morning as the car warms up when the sun hits it after being garaged all night. It also gets worse when I get in the car at lunch when the interior heats up more in the afternoon sun.

The second time I went to the dealer to try to get it fixed, they had a tech ride in the car with me and of course, on the way there, when I was about 5 minutes from the dealer the noises stopped and remained silent while the tech was in the car, so they said there is nothing they could do without hearing it.

It is very frustrating and it's very distracting because I can hear it even though I always have the radio on. Music can drown it out, but I listen to talk/news 95% of the time and that doesn't mask the creaking.

Actually, I hear 2 distinct types of noises. Most of the time I hear a plastic tapping noise over bumps in the road and, less often, I hear a fast buzzing noise from the same area when the road has coarse texture that sounds a bit like a Geiger counter. http://hometown.aol.com/redmo/sounds/clicks.mp3

I also heard of one person that said they were able to wedge some rubber tubing between the vent and the rear glass and it fixed the noise without disassembling anything, but the picture above makes it look as if the noise is coming contact with metal parts under the plastic vent, not contact with the rear glass.
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      07-12-2008, 09:53 PM   #11
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I went to the dealer and complained about the noises again. They added padding to both that plastic vent piece and the third brake light area and now the noise seems to be finally gone.
I would have probably ended up selling the car early and buying something other than another BMW if they couldn't find the source and get it fixed.
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      07-13-2008, 03:11 PM   #12
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The noise is really annoying for a $40+k vehicle. Shouldn't this have been caught in quality testing??

Glad to hear the fix worked for you!
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      08-11-2008, 06:55 AM   #13
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Had some time yesterday so I decided to do this fix myself. Very good instructions - thx. No creaking or rattling. Did take me between 2-3 hours though. But at least I know it was done right. I felt taped the hell out of that thing. No way it will make any noises now.
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      10-21-2008, 09:07 AM   #14
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I'll try this myself tonight.

Just one question, how do you remove the seatback if you have the non folding (i.e. fixed) rear seat? I've already taken off the rear seat cushion and felt taped every damn piece of metal I could find and the noise is still there. It was really bad on the way to school this morning. I was supposed to call the dealer and bring it in in the morning, but the SA never answered the phone or returned my message . So f-it, I'll just fix it myself.
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      12-13-2008, 02:42 PM   #15
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HOLY SHIT....I FOUND it

I have exactly the same issue..that plastic vent piece in the rear

As of now, I've spray some lubricant and it fix the squeak sound

I'm gonna work on this in the summer.

THANKS OP

Last edited by ska///235i; 12-29-2008 at 11:23 PM.
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      12-29-2008, 02:05 PM   #16
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I'm scared I will make matters worse.

Has anyone confirmed that there is a fix w/o having to disassembly the parcel shelf?
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      12-29-2008, 11:25 PM   #17
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I spray that area with Jig-A-Loo (lubricant) and so far it works

Quote:
Originally Posted by poiney View Post
I'm scared I will make matters worse.

Has anyone confirmed that there is a fix w/o having to disassembly the parcel shelf?
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      02-28-2009, 07:59 PM   #18
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Hi,

I have the same issue.. is there a DIY for BMW with non-folding seats? How difficult is it to do this? Can anyone tell me what kind of tools would I need and how much time would it require approx. to fix this?

Thanks and I appreciate your help.
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      03-27-2009, 04:26 PM   #19
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My rear parcel shelf rattles like a beyotch with my sub. It woudl be cool if somebody could explain how to get the rear parcel shelf off if your seats don't fold down.

R
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      03-28-2009, 08:16 PM   #20
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subscribed, fucking noise!
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      03-31-2009, 09:35 AM   #21
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could it be mistaken as if it's coming from the C pillars?

I have an E93 and whenever I go over a bump I get this terrible creaking sound as if the chassis is bending with every crack on the road... is that it?
when I convert my top it shuts up for a while and starts again
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      05-14-2009, 12:36 AM   #22
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does anyone have a healthier alternative to jig-a-loo? apparently jig-a-loo is getting banned soon due to high levels of some ill-sounding stuff. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jig-A-Loo
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