1998 BMW Z3 - Whines

I have a high pitched whine, almost like an alarm buzzer when I drive anywhere between 55 and 90 but it’intermitant

That’s a nice car you got there @steff00 , considered by many to be a future classic, and is featured in this months (July, 2024) Classics Monthly magazine . Sorry you are having this difficulty. I’ve no personal experience w/the make/model, but I’ve heard similar sounds on my cars over the years caused by differentials low on gear oil, fuel injectors, and once it was the alternator. Suggest to ask your shop to make sure the differential and transmission fluid level are both correct. Ask them to evaluate what they think is causing the noise and where it is coming from. They may have a gadget called “chassis ears” which allows them to hear microphones placed here and there on and in the car as they do a test drive. They’ll also test drive the car in different gears, coasting in neutral, accelerating, decelerating, etc to ferret out some more clues. There’s many possibilities for this sort of sound, and you are correct to want to figure out the cause asap, as it could be a warning of a more serious impending problem.

One more consideration: Is it possible this noise has always been present from day 1, but for some reason you just started noticing it? I’ve had that happen too.

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Front or rear? Left or right? Does it change pitch or volume as you accelerate?

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In addition to posting here, I’d ask this on Z3 forums.

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A couple of other ideas

  • Noisy hydraulic lifters. Esp if there are any clogs in the PCV system. Check engine oil level.

  • Noisy timing chain components

Do you notice an engine power loss?

Do you have the manual transmission, or the steptronic automatic?

What engine has it got? 6 or 4 cylinder

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