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      10-27-2010, 07:18 PM   #1
ianc
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Squeaky Armrest Fix

Hi folks,

Like a lot of others, at ~9k mi., I was getting the annoying squeaky armrest. I have seen where others have taken the car back to the dealer and had it replaced, but to me that's pointless because unless BMW have come out with a revised part, you'll get the same thing in another 10k miles, and I don't need the aggravation of dealing with the dealer repeatedly.

When I opened the armrest up and examined it, I noticed that the two halves of it were rubbing against each other toward the rear; I could see marks where they'd been scuffing against each other.

I had a sheet of heavy duty black rubber about 1.5 mm thick, so I cut 5 sections about .5 x 1 cm and glued them to the armrest to prevent the rubbing. I gave it a test today over my 40 mi. drive to and from work and didn't hear a peep out of it. And yes, I know I need to get in there with the adhesive remover and knock off the excess trim adhesive for a nice job, but just thought it worth posting. Here's a pic and hope it helps:


ianc
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      10-27-2010, 09:32 PM   #2
spfdenhugh
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You can also use the adhesive-backed closed-cell foam that you can find in 12x12" sheets at Walmart or craft stores and cut it to fit.
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      10-27-2010, 09:34 PM   #3
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This has become increasingly annoying in my car. I tried to put some soft felt on the hinge before, but not in these locations. I'm going to try this out to see if it works. Thanks for the info!

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      10-28-2010, 03:36 AM   #4
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Honestly I feel the squeaking and noise from the armrest is not from the underside hitting the rest, but rather the hinge of the armrest squeaking. The armrest does not close snug or securely on itself, instead, because it can go up or down, it basically is held down by the hinge. Whenever I push the rest a little is when I hear the noise. And if Im driving with my arm off of it driving over any bumps I hear the same squeaky noise which goes away partially if I press down firm on the rest.

But I really dont see how putting this stuff in those spots would stop the hinge from squeaking. It needs either a different construction or some kind of lube. Suppose ill try this, but I doubt I will get the same affect as you reported.
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      10-28-2010, 10:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
I really dont see how putting this stuff in those spots would stop the hinge from squeaking
If the hinge is making noise, this obviously won't help...

ianc
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      10-28-2010, 08:40 PM   #6
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Ok well thats the whole reason for the armrest making squeaky noises n shit anyways...

The thing does not rest securely on the piece below it, so theres no vibration from that. It may help a tiny bit for the noise when ur arm is on it, but from what I see, the noise is coming from the hinge where the entire upper rest piece works from.
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      10-29-2010, 10:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Ok well thats the whole reason for the armrest making squeaky noises n shit anyways...
That's what I thought at first too...

ianc
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      10-29-2010, 09:45 PM   #8
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Well i may try the felt, but I doubt it will fix the problem. I put my ear to the thing and move it, the noise comes from the hinge and only that.

Anyone try any simple lube like WD40 on this shit? Would that mess with the apolstery (spelling?)
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      10-30-2010, 11:10 AM   #9
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The arm rest is cantilevered off the hinge in back. It is also made of plastic. If it was the movement (rotation) of the hinge, lube might help. But mine makes some noise whenever I lean on it. That isn't rotation, it is flexing of the plastic parts. If it is rotating, it is only very slightly and that is thus only part of the problem if it contributes at all. If the parts were metal, they would flex a lot less but the console would also be a lot heavier. I had my console out this weekend (out last night, back in this morning) for installation of the idrive cup holder. It isn't made poorly but is pretty light and clearly almost all plastic so I am not surprised it flexes and make some noise when I lean on it. My conclusion is that this is a "live with it".

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      10-30-2010, 12:18 PM   #10
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If you examine the front lower half of the armrest, you'll see that BMW has put two small circular rubber pads there to prevent contact between the halves. They did not do this at the rear for some reason, and hence the two halves will rub against each other there and squeak. If you are having this problem, examine the horizontal surfaces toward the rear to check for scuff marks. If you see rub marks, then the armrest is likely squeaking and the noise can be cured by adding pads of rubber to isolate the two halves as I have suggested. I should add that felt is not the ideal material to use for this because it does not have the 'spring' that rubber does to resist compression.

Frankly, I'm a little disappointed in this thread. I had suffered the annoying squeaks for awhile and was able to completely cure them by this method, so I thought others might benefit by my posting it, but instead I'm just greeted with skepticism, condemnations of BMW's part quality (not totally undeserved), or implications that it's not fixable and to just 'live with it' from people who haven't tried it.

Oh well, whatever...

ianc
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      10-30-2010, 07:04 PM   #11
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I am also having this problem however mine still makes noise when the cover is open so I think it is more in the hinge part. I will try this however.
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      11-01-2010, 12:30 PM   #12
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Thanks ianc! I think I will let the dealer replace my arm rest for now, but I'm saving this thread for when they tell me they won't replace it again.
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      11-01-2010, 03:09 PM   #13
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I put the foam in, and while it did make an improvement it didn't solve the problem. I had tried putting something soft on the hinge where the rest sits before and that didn't help either. I think its a combination of all of the above, because the foam inside definitely made a different, but the squeak is still there (mostly with an arm on the rest).

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      11-02-2010, 06:06 PM   #14
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My squeak is diffenately coming from the arm rest hinge. When I lift up the arm rest to the vertical position there is a very loud squeak right at the hinge. It needs lubrication! Anyone know what I can use that will not leave a residue?
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      11-20-2010, 01:38 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ianc View Post
Frankly, I'm a little disappointed in this thread. I had suffered the annoying squeaks for awhile and was able to completely cure them by this method, so I thought others might benefit by my posting it, but instead I'm just greeted with skepticism, condemnations of BMW's part quality (not totally undeserved), or implications that it's not fixable and to just 'live with it' from people who haven't tried it.

Oh well, whatever...

ianc
Don't worry about it. Just think of 1Addicts like New York City. It's shove-y, and pushy, and 1/2 of the comments are from the loud mouths who tend to be flippant and dismissive. They represent like 10-20% of the people here though- the rest of the visitors probably found this post very helpful and had nothing to say or add themselves.

Example: I posted a fun video of a track day battle I had with an M3. I'm a beginner driver and have only been to about 5 or 6 trackdays and had zero instruction up until that day. ANYWAY, I post the video thinking it would be fun, and instead 1/2 the comments are about me missing my apex's, how the M3 was a bad driver, and how I had a typo (I said the 135i had a "V"-6) in my video.

So, anyway- don't worry about it. Keep posting. The other 80% of us enjoy it and find it helpful.
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      11-20-2010, 03:21 AM   #16
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I would try a spray silicon lubricant on the hinge.
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      11-20-2010, 02:11 PM   #17
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Mine has squeaks coming from the inside of the top flat part of the rest and a little from the hinges. Slapped some WD40 on the hinges sparingly and that solved it. Now, as for the squeaks from the flat part, I am just living with it and it's loud.
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      11-20-2010, 06:29 PM   #18
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Mine started squeaking about 800 miles and an application of 1Z einszett Cockpit Premium to the hinges solved the problem. Now with about 4300, I'm getting other squeaks that an application to the hinges doesn't totally quieten. So maybe it's the rubbing on the flat surfaces, I'll have to take a look and see. Not to mention my iPod/USB access also appears to have a short. The whole armrest seems very insubstantial, it even sort of rocks when you put your elbow on it. BMW needs to redesign the armrest, period.

pge
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      11-20-2010, 06:44 PM   #19
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Just buy some of those reusable fabric bags. You can fit so much more in there, and they have a stiff piece of paper on the bottom that helps them sit up right.
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      11-20-2010, 11:46 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ennislaw View Post
Mine started squeaking about 800 miles and an application of 1Z einszett Cockpit Premium to the hinges solved the problem. Now with about 4300, I'm getting other squeaks that an application to the hinges doesn't totally quieten. So maybe it's the rubbing on the flat surfaces, I'll have to take a look and see. Not to mention my iPod/USB access also appears to have a short. The whole armrest seems very insubstantial, it even sort of rocks when you put your elbow on it. BMW needs to redesign the armrest, period.

pge
Yes the armrest on this car is not made well, it almost hovers above the center area below basically resting most if not all pressure on the hinge of the armrest, whereas others (my GTI i remember) have rests that are of solid construction and have a fold up compartment that folds down and latches securely to the also secure armrest piece, never had any problem with those.
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      04-17-2011, 11:49 AM   #21
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worked for me
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      04-17-2011, 03:17 PM   #22
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I think a shorter arm rest will solve the problem so it won't cantilever too far away from the hinge. I wonder if there's any aftermarket part like that though.
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