"Engine making expensive noise" (1985 BMW 535, 171k mi.)
Cam sprocket came loose from the camshaft. 3 bolts retrieved from the sump. Another shop just replaced the head gasket and forgot to tighten the cam sprocket bolts.


"Screechy noise" 2000 Jetta TDI (145,800 mi.)
Dealer replaced the timing belt and tensioner at 120k. To save a few dollars, he did not replace the idlers. (at 2 and 7 o'clock in photo). The worn idlers were screeching. So now, 25,000 miles later, the job must be done over at great expense.


"Belt Squealing..." ('99 Saab 110k mi.)
...so I put some belt dressing on it." When the noisy idler pulley bearing finally seized, the belt rubbed across it until the belt melted and broke.


"Engine noise" ('99 MB E 320, 130k mi.)
We can only guess: Valve stuck open, piston hit it repeatedly. Piston and valve were in chunks in the sump. The bare connecting rod knocked a hole in the block. Click the photo to get the full impact.


'Ticking Noise' ('06 BMW Z4 M, 50k mi.)
The VANOS variable valve timing mechanism is a known failure point in the S54 engine: these bolts back out of the cam gear and shear. Luckily in this case only the VANOS was destroyed, not the entire engine. This is a >$5,000.00 repair nonetheless. BMW has not been righteous about this flaw. We have the special knowledge and equipment to fix these problems.


"Underhood Noise, worse in turns" ('97 MB E320 177k mi.)
The steering column boot tears, letting noises into the cabin, especially P/S pump noise. Replacing the $300.00 P/S pump of course does not solve the problem. Replacing the $4.00 boot does. Common in E320s.


'Loud Exhaust' ('04 Jetta, 73k mi.)
The exhaust pipe broke at the weld just north of the catalytic converter... because the engine was shaking...because it was running on three cylinders...because the customer drove it like that for 3 months rather than replace a defective coil. A coil is about $100.00. Replacing the Cat cost $775.00


"Clacking Noise" '98 Jetta Turbo, (170k mi.)
This plug had become loose. Escaping exhaust gas burned and deformed the plug. The noise was the electrode in the cylinder.


"I've been hearing a screech. Today, Blam." ('00 Jetta, 150k mi.)
Accessory belt tensioner. When the bearing finally seized, the pulley cooked and dilapidated.


"Something went BLAM" ('98 BMW 740, 120k mi.)
Another BMW engineering triumph. The radiator fan explodes. Shrapnel destroyed the radiator, hoses, shroud, expansion tank, and.....the hood. The thermocouple fails closed(!), locking the clutch, and the fan disintegrates at high rpm. Great idea.


Noisy Blower ('97 Lexus, 169k mi.)
A nest with a stash of walnut shells.


"Engine ticking since it overheated" ('08 Mini, 74k mi.)
The overheated head expanded, allowing the valve seat to slip. The valve does seat, but the rocker arm does not contact the dropped valve stem. The excessive clearance causes the rocker to tap before inadequately opening the valve. Not fatal now, but not good in the long term.


"Clunking noises, Clunky shifting." ('00 MB E430 160k)
Oil filled engine mounts have leaked and deflated, allowing engine to hit against frame, and causing misalignment with transmission. New mount is on Right. Dealer diagnosed a worn torque converter.


"Engine is missing" ('79 Volvo 264 DL)
I'd say so! And someone replaced it with a 400 cu in Chevy small block.


"Noisy drivetrain" ('03 MB ML 350)
The engine mount has come apart allowing the engine to vibrate under load. Failed mounts in other makes may allow the engine to rattle against the frame, or cause the fan to hit its shroud.


"Clunking noise in the trunk" ('99 BMW M3)
The rear shock mounts are torn. Original BMW rear shock mounts degrade with age. Eventually the shock can rip completely through the mount, and crash into the underside of the fender, an expensive repair. We caught these before the shocks repositioned themselves into the trunk of the car.


'I hear a whistle. Hubby says I'm crazy' ('01 BMW 323)
Deterioration of the Intake boot. The air leak is a common cause of whistling and often driveability problems. This part of the boot is not readily visible, so you must know to look for the leak.


'Clunks when I step on the brake' ('88 MB 300SE 156k mi.)
The 'Brake Force Bushing' stabilizes the front control arm during braking. It should be tight with no play. The old one was ready to pull apart the next time he backed up and applied the brakes. This car had passed inspection.


"This morning my car vibrates horribly"
Drove over a freshly tarred and graveled road last night. These stones are solidly glued to the suspension and the wheels. The wheels were out of balance until the debris was removed.


"Vibration at Idle" ('01 Volvo C70)
Upper engine mount. The 'Torque Arm Bushing' has lost its capacity to bush.


"My new wheels vibrate even after Balancing" ('97 BMW)
Most BMWs use 'Hub-centric' wheels, meaning the wheel is centered by the hub, not by the lug nuts. Custom wheels have a large center hole to accommodate different cars, so they require 'centering rings' (green thing) to fit snugly on the hub. If they are lost, the minutely off center wheel, however well balanced, will shake. (We use anti seize compound to prevent the wheel from corroding to the hub.)


"I hear/feel a clunk over bumps"
Steering Tie Rod (top) and Sway Bar Link (bottom) contain ball joints filled with grease. When the rubber boot wears or tears, the grease leaks out and the joint clunks (think of an arthritic knee). Decades ago these joints had grease fittings requiring a shot of lube every thousand miles. This is a dramatic improvement, but they do wear out.


"Whirring sound in front" ('98 MB E320 165k mi.)
This is a wheel bearing. It was mirror smooth when new. When the rollers turn inside this race it feels like a grinder. Click the photo to see the wear.


"Whistling sound under the hood" ('00 BMW 525)
"The stupid dealer told me its the alternator and I don't believe him." The Alternator's cooling duct is obstructed by leaves. It overheated, burned the bearings and began to squeal like a banshee.


"Clunks when I brake; Front tires wearing on the inside" ('00 MB C class)
The 'caster bearing' is torn, allowing the wheels to toe out on braking. A common failure on the MB 200 Chassis. Accurate alignment is impossible until these bushings are replaced.


"Engine is making a rattling sound" ('96 3000 GT)
Bearings should be mirror smooth. These mains lasted only 77k miles, about one third the expected life. Ruined bearings make a characteristic knocking sound. Adequate oil level would have prevented this expensive repair.


'Clunk in the Front End' ('02 Volvo)
The last six inches of the spring coil corroded and broke off. The spring should be centered over and riding in the circular cup. This is becoming more prevalent as all manufacturers attempt to economize. Premium cars are not exempt. (What... did you say BMW?)


"Starter makes a grinding sound" ('59 Alfa Romeo)
The starter is not reliably engaging the flywheel because of worn teeth. These teeth are not replaceable, and there is not another such flywheel in our galaxy. So these teeth must be rebuilt by welding them up and grinding them down.


'I hear a whistle when I step on the gas' ('99 Z3)
Cracked boot between the air filter and air mass sensor. The quarter is for illustration. It came out of the passenger seat track.


'My ball bearings won't race.' (99 MB 600SL)
This idler pulley must have been screeching for a while. The ball bearings which roll between the shaft and the hub of the idler wheel have evaporated.


'A screecing noise under the hood'
This is an idler which keeps tension on the flat side of the accessory belt. A worn bearing can sound like a dying water pump or a Banshee. (or Whitney Houston)


'Kind of a clackety nosie' ('01 BMW 330)
Since plastic impellers don't work, lets try a metal impeller (and a plastic bearing?). This bearing is so worn you can shake it and listen to it rattle. We kept it; come in and try it.


'It is making a Thunky Noise'
Plastic again. Soaking in very hot water. Breaks.


'There's a Clunk in the front' (Range Rover)
Clunks are common and can have many causes. In this case the shock absorber sheared its shaft and was rattling around loose. This is the top mount.


'There's a rattle under the car when I accelerate'
One cause: 'Flex disk' connecting driveshaft to transmission...wears out. These are from BMW 3 (top) and 5. The disk is referred to as a 'Guibo' Could someone tell me why?


'I feel a rattling under the car when I step on the gas' (BMW 528)
One cause:The driveshaft's 'center bearing' has torn free of its rubber mounting, allowing it to rattle under power.


Back To Top