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Old 01-06-2014, 11:50 AM   #1
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Default Got new alternator and along came whistling noise

Sup all,

I've bit of situation which is driving me crazy..hope someone can help or give advise.

So my car died in shopping plaza and had it towed to Indy shop.
got new IBS Cable, alternator and starter replaced..picked up car and now some type of whistling/whinnying noise is coming from engine..revs up n down as rpm goes up and down. if i go above 40mph+ no noise...maybe there is noise but i cant hear it.

opened up hood and i can hear it from alternator area..
could it be new alternator? Idler pully? tension pully?

also can feel that car is not smooth as it used to be...revs up little too much like its in 1st gear..rpm stays about 800...feels like little lower can be smoother.

should i hold indy shop responsible for this or this is whole new issues?

any input and advise would be greatly appreciated.

2004/530i/102xxx.

Thanks
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Old 01-06-2014, 12:54 PM   #2
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Take a look at the belt, it probably is not sitting properly on the pulleys. Also, you should have replaced the pulleys and the belts while doing the alternator.
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:43 PM   #3
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More than likely it is the tensioner next to the alternator. Mine will also squeal until I apply a lubricant spray. A few days later it'll come back and I spray some more.
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Old 01-07-2014, 09:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patelE60 View Post
Sup all,

I've bit of situation which is driving me crazy..hope someone can help or give advise.

So my car died in shopping plaza and had it towed to Indy shop.
got new IBS Cable, alternator and starter replaced..picked up car and now some type of whistling/whinnying noise is coming from engine..revs up n down as rpm goes up and down. if i go above 40mph+ no noise...maybe there is noise but i cant hear it.

opened up hood and i can hear it from alternator area..
could it be new alternator? Idler pully? tension pully?

also can feel that car is not smooth as it used to be...revs up little too much like its in 1st gear..rpm stays about 800...feels like little lower can be smoother.

should i hold indy shop responsible for this or this is whole new issues?

any input and advise would be greatly appreciated.

2004/530i/102xxx.

Thanks
Definitely hold the shop responsible for the noise. Hold their feet to the fire.

Have you been to this shop before and do you trust them? Did they detail what they have found on the repair ticket that caused them to replace these components (example: Alternator output ranges from 12.5V to 13.5V during operation)?

At first glance, without knowing all of the details, I would also be inclined to hold them responsible for churning (replacing parts that are good for additional profit), as it is extremely doubtful that all three of those components went bad simultaneously. But of course you can't begin that discussion until they have first corrected the whistling problem.

Tip for the future: When you drop the car off for repair ALWAYS tell them UPFRONT that you want all of the old parts that were replaced. And when you pickup the car, don't leave until you get them. This is a start towards keeping a shop honest. They can still give you someone else's failed alternator even if yours was good, but at least they know they had better be careful.

Failure of the IBS (typical in the first three years for the E60 due to moisture impregnation which causes the IBS to repeatedly wake up the DME while the car is at rest and run down the battery) could have been the cause of the low battery. However, I would question how long it took them to turn the repair around. IBS failures can be intermittent and identifying them conclusively usually requires either measuring closed circuit current over a period of a day, with and without the IBS attached, or operating the vehicle over time without the IBS connected to discover that the battery no longer runs down. If a physical examination or electrical test exists to determine an IBS is bad I am not aware of it. If the car was in and out of the shop quickly they likely replaced the IBS whether it was bad or not.

Or failure of the alternator could have caused a low battery. They should have documented the alternator voltage output on the repair ticket. After running 15 seconds the alternator output would normally be in the 14.1V to 14.6V range.

Or a failing starter could have caused long cranking, and that coupled with short trips could run a less than perfectly health battery down. But if you had no cranking problems before, why was the starter replaced?

It might even be the case that the Indy discovered the IBS to be bad, and he also discovered the voltage regulator failing on the alternator so both were replaced. But the starter?

Your description of the whistling is sort of unusual. Belt and pulley problems are the most common problems after any belt driven component is replaced or reinstalled. Rubbing belt noise or pulley bearing noise is commonly described as squealing.

The serpentine belt which drives the alternator expects all pulleys and tensioners to be in pretty much a straight line. Any large deviation causes the belt to be pulled out of line and causes it to rub on the edge of the out-of-alignment pulley as well as pulleys before and after it. One cause could be the alternator not seated properly against its holding bracket, which would throw it out of line.

Or the noise could be in the bearing of either a unit being driven (alternator, water pump, power steering pump) or one of the idler or tensioner pulleys, especially on a 2004 as the tensioners are reaching the end of their life.

Also, given the whistling noise, they should check to make sure the air intake system ducting has been reinstalled properly. The whistling noise could be air being sucked through a gap in one of the intake ducts that is not fitted properly.

Last edited by BimmerFan52; 01-07-2014 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:44 AM   #5
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IBS cable was replaced caused I had disconnected it and connected back. They said I broke the pin and needed to be replaced. Before replacing the cable they had code for alternator.

Also they said now I have new IBS which is only 1 wire instead being 3 earlier.

Once they replaced IBS and alternator car still didn't start and then gave code for starter.

Car was in shop for 3 days and it is reputable shop in central NJ.

Called them about the whistling noise and they are willing to take a look at it again.

Have appointment tomorrow; will find out what they come back with.

They did show me old IBS and alternator and starter were returned due to core charges. Which I got discount for.

Total job about $1700 with tax and diagnostic of $95 included.

Had no choice, don't have second car.. Plus towing 150 n rent a car for a week for 180

Thanks all for your inputs, appreciated!
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by patelE60 View Post
IBS cable was replaced caused I had disconnected it and connected back. They said I broke the pin and needed to be replaced. Before replacing the cable they had code for alternator.

Also they said now I have new IBS which is only 1 wire instead being 3 earlier.

Once they replaced IBS and alternator car still didn't start and then gave code for starter.

Car was in shop for 3 days and it is reputable shop in central NJ.

Called them about the whistling noise and they are willing to take a look at it again.

Have appointment tomorrow; will find out what they come back with.

They did show me old IBS and alternator and starter were returned due to core charges. Which I got discount for.

Total job about $1700 with tax and diagnostic of $95 included.

Had no choice, don't have second car.. Plus towing 150 n rent a car for a week for 180

Thanks all for your inputs, appreciated!
I know that car repair is a daunting experience for those not familiar with cars. And I know that if you need the vehicle for work, it is sometimes hard to justify the expense of grabbing a rental car while you assess the problem. But had you posted your original problem of not starting on the forum, we may have been able to directed to what to look for, given you some things to try, and at least prepared you with questions and direction for the repair shop.

If the sequence you describe above is the exact sequence the shop worked in to execute the repairs, I would strongly recommend considering a new shop.

The MAIN problem was the car wouldn't start. Any shop worth its weight in salt works to fix the starting issue FIRST, then assess the rest of the system.

1. Before you had the car towed to the repair shop I would bet you tried to have the battery jumped (the battery is by far the most common reason a car will not start). And I would bet you shared that information with the shop. That clue alone should have directed them to FIRST confirm for themselves that jump starting the car is unsuccessful, and then the starter would have been identified as the problem after it was confirmed that either the starter solenoid was clicking (starter gear was engaging with the fly wheel) and the starter motor was not cranking, or that starting voltage was arriving to the solenoid connection but nothing was happening. Auto repair 101.

2. An IBS, faulty or otherwise, connected or disconnected, will not prevent the car from starting. The IBS should have been ignored until the car was started. Not sure what they charged you for the IBS, but depending upon the model the adapter lead (which is the part you broke the pin on) is generally available separately for $20. Also, there is nothing special about those connectors and new connectors can be put on the leads for $3-$4 and a little labor to strip leads and crimp pins on wires.

3. A faulty alternator cannot prevent a car from starting and any mechanic knows this. The first objective is to find out what is preventing the car from starting. Once the car is started the alternator may not provide the current required to charge the battery and properly supply voltage to the electrical components, but it won't keep the car from starting.

4. If the engine wasn't running how could the alternator be assessed The performance of an alternator is learned from the alternator running either on the car or bench tested (ramp up time, evenness of output and ability to react with more current to added electrical load). Reading an alternator fault code stored in a computer is not a complete or valid way to determine whether an alternator needs to be replace or not. This is a very expensive repair on a BMW, due to the part cost but more so to the very extensive labor required to remove it and should never be performed based upon a code stored in a computer. The alternator needs to be physically turned and the output measured.

Getting core credit for an otherwise good alternator, after you have paid the most expensive portion, the labor to remove it and install a new one, is hardly a good outcome or proof that the alternator was defective.

5. A failing alternator will not kill a starter. A failing or failed starter will not kill an alterantor. The chance of both components going bad simultaneously are very small, which really multiplies my suspicion.

I can't guarantee that the shop was not ultimately correct in it's assessment of your alternator, but the sequence you describe that they worked in makes it highly doubtful.

Please come back to the forum if you have questions or problems. Hopefully the next time we can intercede early and help you save some money.

Best of luck!
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:19 PM   #7
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@bimmerfan52
Thank you so much for all the advice and answering me in full detail.
I did find it fishy when they told me all this over the phone as work was going on the car; you're right I think it's time to find new shop.

Once again, thanks a lot for all your help.
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:19 PM
 
 
 
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