BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > Recurring clanking, clunking, and clicking (2011 328xi)

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      05-08-2017, 05:30 PM   #1

Drives: 2011 328xi
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Toronto

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Arrow Recurring clanking, clunking, and clicking (2011 328xi)

Hello everyone,

First-time poster, long-time lurker.

I have a 2011 328xi with BMW extended warranty until 02/2018 that I purchased a local dealership back in 2014.

An issue started back in October 2016 and it's been brought in to the original dealer for repairs several times. However, the fixes don't seem to last for more than a few weeks and all of the problems that were supposedly repaired have now come back again. If possible, I'd like to see what you, as online professionals, can make of my dilemma.

Main symptoms:

Suspension Clank and click:
  • "Clanking" noise from the front (roll windows down to hear outside perspective) going over uneven payment (e.g. patched utility cuts, slight dips/indentations in the roads etc)
  • Clanking noise is worse when wet (e.g. heavy rain, car wash)
  • Clicking noises come from wheel wells when turning

Steering Wheel Clunk and Play:
  • Excess play in the steering wheel even when car is off.
  • The excess play makes steering less accurate at high speeds or on wet pavement

Possible Height Imbalance:
  • Left side seems slightly higher (0.25") than right side (not a professional measurement, just observation)

Attachments for consideration
  • JPEG - Service record snippets
  • PDF - Photos of each wheel well pointing upwards, showing shocks and springs (vBulletin wouldn't let me attach the images individually; PDF it was)
  • YouTube video of the steering wheel play https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbNOZO-xc3k

Unexplored Causes
Additional Comments
  • My indie mechanic on-the-side (does my winter/all-season swaps) also did a courtesy look for me and told me no suspension components had any play in it. He wasn't sure what the issue was and his words were "everything's tight."
  • Rusty rotors but both dealer and indie mechanic said no need to replace them yet. Front pad life: 27000km, rear pad: 6000km

Any insights and expertise that you may have would be much appreciated. Hope the PDF'ed images help.

Thanks again,

Attached Images
Attached Images
File Type: pdf Suspension Images_Small.pdf (4.66 MB, 8 views)

Last edited by dave80; 05-08-2017 at 05:38 PM.
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      05-10-2017, 12:12 AM   #2
Lieutenant Colonel

Drives: 2009 E91
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Bay Area

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FYI, left side is historically higher in BMWs as the suspension levels with the weight of the driver. 1/4" is normally that exact amount.

Sorry can't be more helpful with the other things!
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      05-10-2017, 12:51 PM   #3
Bluewater328iT's Avatar

Drives: 2011 BMW 328iT
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: New Rochelle, NY

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One of the disadvantages of x-drive is the additional hardware that needs to be maintained. And one of the disadvantages of extended warranties is that they do it piece by piece. For example, they replaced the left strut. I would replace all of them.

You have a warranty and you just have to keep returning it to them until they get it completely fixed. You don't mention the miles on the car, but I presume it is less than 60K, probably between 40K to 55K. That seems early*for these components to be wearing out. Makes you wonder what has happened to that car.
BMWCCA member since 1990
Mods: 330 intake, ECU reflash & tune, Magnaflow cat back resonator & muffler, BMW Euro airbox, tinted windows
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