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2002 325xi. The drivetrain has a distinct (no doubt about

it) audible and physical rumbling...
2002 325xi. The drivetrain has a distinct (no doubt about it) audible and physical rumbling that changes frequency with the speed of the car and occur from shortly after starting to move and ends abruptly at about 20 mph. Seems to come from under car but hard to tell. Does not happen always but usually. Was told it might be a driveshaft bushing. No other symptoms, runs smooth at higher speeds. Can you identify what this is?
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Answered in 1 minute by:
9/19/2017
Steve
Steve, BMW Expert
Category: BMW
Satisfied Customers: 24,423
Experience: BMW Expert
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Does the car have to be in motion for the noise to occur or will it make the noise of the rear is off the ground?
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hello?
will the noise occur with the rear off the ground?
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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Sorry, got called off to work. Have not checked with the rear off the ground. By off the ground I would need to jack up the rear and put car in drive? This is an XI. Will the front wheels possibly pull the car off the jack?

Please do not forget to click a positive rating as this is the only way I receive credit for my answer, thank you

apologies I missed that it was an XI, no you can't run it with the front wheels on the ground, all wheels would need to be raised.

in any event, as I am sure you can apprecaite it is very hard to identify a noise that one has not heard first hand

based on your description, I would suspect a drive shaft, differential, or transfer case issue as the source of the noise.

ultimately, it won't be possible to identify with certainty until the vehicle is raised and the noise traced with a mechanics stethoscope

if you need a good non dealer option to cut down on costs, check out www.bimmershops.com or www.bimrs.org for options.

Please let me know if you have further questions. Please do not forget to click a positive rating as this is the only way I receive credit for my answer, thank you. Best wishes with your vehicle...

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Please see my question about jacking up the rear of the car. I want to answer your question about if the sound and rumbling still occur but again, this is an all wheel drive car and I'd rather not drive off the jack.
please see my answer above: "apologies I missed that it was an XI, no you can't run it with the front wheels on the ground, all wheels would need to be raised."
Please do not forget to click a positive rating
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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Ok. I'll get the whole car airborne. What should I know if the rumbling remains or fully disappears? Can you send me your thoughts on what to check at that point?
Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Sorry, I reread your prior note. This sound, rumble is pronounced. But abruptly disappears at about 20 mph. I don't see the differential or transfer case reacting so quickly with the problem on and then suddenly off. What is inside these two components that could react that way? But the drive shaft could possibly go from being off center from a worn bushing to centering itself as it speeds up. Make sense? But you do not specifically recognize this problem?

hi, since it is an xi, all wheels will be moving when the car is off the ground so the rumbling will occur, so it is a moot point. Again apologies for initially missing that it was an xi.

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Please do not forget to click a positive rating

I cannot identify a noise I can't hear, it just isn't possible. the gearing inside a tcase or diff can make noise at certain speeds / frequencies depending on the defect. There is no way to guess at the cause without raising the car, running it, and tracing the noise with a stethoscope. Please do not forget to click a positive rating

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