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2001 BMW X5 engine ticking/clicking noise


I have a 2001 BMW X5 with some ticking/clicking noises coming from around the engine area and I would like to know what those may be due to. I have posted a couple of videos on youtube but unfortunately have not gotten any replies.

I would appreciate if you could take a minute and tell me what the problem may be. Here are the two videos that I have posted:



I have done my homework to look at a bunch of vids online about cars with similar noises and possibilities for the noise are valves, belt, rods, bearings, spark plugs, etc. To the car expert(s), could you give a narrow answer to what the single answer to this noise problem is?

I appreciate your time and advice.

The noise you hear might be from a worn timing chain and chain guides. If it is, you don’t want to wait to fix this because if chain and guides fail major engine damage is the result.


This 6cyl BMW is making a lot more noise than just some “ticking clicking”. I am sure I could pin-point this very quickly in person. Three things and you pick the order,disable the secondary air injection system, remove the serpentine belt, pull that upper most plastic cover off the head,remove the coil packs and see if the spark plugs are tight.

It appears the short answer is ,“no” I cannot give a narrow answer. That thing sounds like a clothes dryer with a bunch of washers rolling around in it. I would not be operating that engine much.

Yes it could be worn chain guides, but I never had one brought in with that trouble before, not on the 6cyl or the V-8’s. If you had said that you just got the car back from service and they had the valve cover off I would be thinking that some kind of part was dropped down in the gear area.I say I never replaced worn timing gear parts but also no one I ever worked with did either,it certainly is possible.

Thank you for the reply, Tester. Any way a newbie like myself can apply some basic knowledge to test out if the chain/guides are the cause of the noise? I do see a belt in the lower front but the noise is coming from the left side of the engine.

Thank you.

Thank you for the input. Since I’m quite car illiterate, would you suggest I give it to a mechanic to look at or can I perform any of the steps that you suggested (disable sec. air injection system, remove the serpentine belt, check plugs) to get a better understanding? Also are these all ordered steps that you provided or can be performed individually?

Thank you, again.

Since you tell us that you are “car illiterate”, I strongly suggest that you NOT attempt any of this yourself. Take the car to an independent foreign car specialist who is familiar with BMWs.

And, as oldschool stated, you should not be running that engine very much until a qualified mechanic has been able to examine it. If you continue to drive it like this, you could be adding additional thousands of $$ to the repair bill.