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      02-21-2019, 01:44 AM   #13
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Drives: BMW 320D
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Malaysia

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Originally Posted by pHiLix View Post
Hi all,

Unfortunately the drivers front side is knocking on my 2013 320i. It’s not that bad though, and could live with it if it doesn’t get any worse.

Question is, have BMW found a permanent fix? Majority of the threads I read people say the sound comes back not long after they have the rack replaced.

I bought my car from an independent dealer and have 3 months statutory warranty. I’m trying to decide whether to bring it in for them to look at and try to fix, or leave as it. My concern is if there is no permanent fix and I get the rack changed, it might end up being the same or worse. Being a independent dealer, they’ll most likely use second hand parts for repair, so it might continue to knock if changed.

Let us know if there are any of you that have managed to fix the knocking coming from the front right suspension for good.

Thanks very much.

Hello everyone.
I have an F30 320D 2012 model. I had this clunk sound coming from the right side (driver side) 2 years into owning the car. After reading all the forums as with many others, the suspicion was the steering rack issue. I managed to get it replaced under warranty. The sound was gone.

2 years later this clunk/click sound came back. By this time my warranty was over. I decided to leave it as that as I knew that replacing it was just a temporary fix since it was reported by many others that the problem will come back again. Sadly the sound got worse over time to the point it sounded like the whole steering rack was loose. But I somehow I couldn't come to terms that it was the steering rack that caused such a bad sound as the turning of my steering felt smooth and very normal. I didn't have the click sound when turning the steering left and right.

I decided to go to the workshop to check the suspension system but all the workshops concluded that my suspension, bush and shocks were fine. The way they checked it was simply by eyeballing as well as shoving a crowbar and seeing whether there was any movement in the Bush and ball joints. Nothing. None of them suggested tightening any nuts and bolts at this time.

Time went by and I continued to try to pinpoint where this noise was really coming from to no avail. Since it was about time to change the shocks I decided maybe this will help me figure out whether it was a shock or strut mount issue. All was replaced and I even changed the springs. (Bilstein B12 pro kit). The ride and handling improved a lot. The rattle and clunk seemed to have reduced a lot. But after a week the rattle and clunk was still there. Next, I decided to change the lower control arm as I felt the sound was like a ball joint rattling and was not the kind of sound from a worn bush. Again the rattle reduce a bit more but there was still a rattle somewhere. Long story short one by one I ended up changing all the links and arms, and even the dry shaft (it did need replacement). My hypothesis was that worn joints here and there little by little could have cumulatively caused the rattle to be more pronounce. The sound did seem to reduce significantly anyways with every change so to me it there was at least an improvement. This was the only way for me to go about it I.e. bit by bit.

This process took me a year until sometime in December 2018, I found out about the steering rack repair kit. I ordered it and got it installed and it seems to have worked! The sound was completely gone but alas it came back after a day! Again somehow the sound seemed like it was still the steering rack issue and many workshops concluded that the best and last choice is to just get the darn thing replaced. But this really didn't make sense to me as it only seemed as temporary fix. After more scrutiny of trying to listen where the sound was really coming from. (I just got people to sit in the car and try to agree was it from the right rear or front. It was really hard to say). Sometimes it would sound like a rattle from the rear and other times it sound like the front.

Finally I decided to send the car back to the workshop to give a check to all the shocks again to be sure as well as tighten all the nuts under the carriage including the steering rack mounting nuts. I tested it and again it seems to have reduced the sound. I did notice one of the lower sway arm nut could be tightened a full turn. My conclusion was it contributed to movement and hence allowed the rattles somewhere else. So next was to check the shocks/strut mounting again. Aha! By chance we decided to push and pull on the tire and we could hear a click and visually we also saw the whole strut move. Opened and checked the top mount and noticed something amiss. The strut mount could be easily turned without the strut following. This indicated that the screw was lose. Opened up the screw and found that the thread on the strut had worn out and as such the nut was lose. I suspect this was an installation issue. The advise was to replace the whole strut.

Interestingly the workshop suggested putting a washer in hope that this may minimise the movement. Put everything back together and it worked! The strut was rigid. Drove a bit and the sound was vastly gone from the front. But there still seemed to be a rattle. This time we could clearly hear that it was coming from the back. By this time the workshop guy suspected that first and foremost it could he the locking mechanism of the rear bonnet. His idea was to wrap some electric tape over the metal latch. This made the latch rather tight when closing. And it worked! I am happy to report that all the sound is gone and my BMW ride is quiet and firm. It's so satisfying to have finally solved all the noises that many had gaveup and concluded as coming from the steering rack. I'm sorry that this is a very lengthy response but I felt it would be useful to share to others to see what I had to go through before finally solving the clunking noises and the lessons and observations as from my own search on Google I could not find one single article or sharing that finally resolved the noise for me without jumping straight to replacing the steering rack. Happy ride all!

Last edited by ally73; 02-21-2019 at 01:53 AM..