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      05-26-2011, 02:45 PM   #1
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Annoying popping plastic noise out of my dash driving me crazy!

So lately the temperature has risen to about 85-90 degrees and pretty much every time I drive I get a popping plastic noise from my dash, as if someone had just flicked it.

At first I thought it was a loose object somewhere in the car or glove box so after an hour of searching and finding nothing I concluded otherwise.

Then I thought it might be the transmission or exhaust, because for some reason it mostly happens when shifting (again, only happens once or max twice every time I drive somewhere regardless of whether it's 2 miles or 200 miles). But then yesterday I was parked waiting for someone (had the windows open probably) and it happened again.. so I was like WTF...

Then today I mentioned this to a co-worker and he told me his Sonata does the same thing. If it's too warm outside and you blast the air conditioning, the plastic cools down fast and snaps, or clicks..

Makes A LOT of sense but I was wondering if you guys have experienced this. It's driving me nuts..
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      05-26-2011, 03:03 PM   #2
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.....short trip.
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      05-26-2011, 03:41 PM   #3
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this has been going on forever. known issue with a bulletin. (Not to be confused with the dashboard that sinks in near the airbag... also a known issue). My 335i and M6 never suffered any of these defects... it's a shame, my 135i is so fun, but the fit and finish is clearly lacking.
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      05-26-2011, 03:46 PM   #4
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What exactly is the bulletin? And can this issue be fixed or is it just one of those things you gotta suck up?
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      05-26-2011, 05:10 PM   #5
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Mine has started doing this too, but not too often. Doesnt really bother me.
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      05-26-2011, 07:11 PM   #6
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Ksparks, since its a known issue and there is a bulletin, has there been a recall issued, will BMW replace the dash? Thanks


Quote:
Originally Posted by ksparks View Post
this has been going on forever. known issue with a bulletin. (Not to be confused with the dashboard that sinks in near the airbag... also a known issue). My 335i and M6 never suffered any of these defects... it's a shame, my 135i is so fun, but the fit and finish is clearly lacking.
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      05-26-2011, 07:19 PM   #7
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First time mine did it, I thought I had taken a rock hit on the windshield. The second time it happened, I remembered my Mazda MX3 dash popped like a gunshot when using air conditioning on a very hot day. Had something to do with an interference fit between the dash and the bottom of the windshield.

I learned to live with it. Hope you can too.

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      05-26-2011, 09:23 PM   #8
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kind of annoying in a $40,000 car to speak the truth... don't think i should learn to live with it...
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      05-26-2011, 09:40 PM   #9
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I occasionally get a loud popping sound, as if someone had thrown a rock the windshield, when I go over bumps. it's coming from the right side of the dash...or could it be from sunroof...not sure, but it's annoying. Took her to the dealership and they don't know what it is cuz it cannot be reproduced every time.
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      05-27-2011, 06:21 AM   #10
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So were running into a problem that a lot of people see but has never been fixed..?
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      05-27-2011, 08:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by litebulb View Post
Ksparks, since its a known issue and there is a bulletin, has there been a recall issued, will BMW replace the dash? Thanks
last summer when I got an oil change I mentioned it. (Loud popping noise on hot days, usually happens when I back out of my driveway)...

The SA told me this was a known issue with a bulletin. I never got around to taking it in. It's not my main car. We use the 135i at our beach house, so for the limited times I drive this thing, I can overlook it.
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      05-27-2011, 08:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sardius View Post
I occasionally get a loud popping sound, as if someone had thrown a rock the windshield, when I go over bumps. it's coming from the right side of the dash...or could it be from sunroof...not sure, but it's annoying. Took her to the dealership and they don't know what it is cuz it cannot be reproduced every time.
thats exactly what I am talking about. Backing over a 1/2 inch lip of my driveway sets it off; especially if the car has been sitting for awhile.

The SA I spoke to knew about it. This was in Circle BMW down in Jersey.
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      05-27-2011, 09:11 AM   #13
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Been dealing with this since day one. Only happens when the AC is running. If there is an SB it's recent. I took mine in to the dealer to diagnose about a year and a half ago, and of course I could not get it to happen with the SR in the car. They didn't have a clue.
Honestly, it's gotten to the point where I just tune it out. Barely notice it anymore.
But if it bugs you that much, go ahead and have the dealer tear the dash apart to see if they can fix it. Then see how many rattles and pops you have.
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      05-27-2011, 09:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMR013 View Post
Been dealing with this since day one. Only happens when the AC is running. If there is an SB it's recent. I took mine in to the dealer to diagnose about a year and a half ago, and of course I could not get it to happen with the SR in the car. They didn't have a clue.
Honestly, it's gotten to the point where I just tune it out. Barely notice it anymore.
But if it bugs you that much, go ahead and have the dealer tear the dash apart to see if they can fix it. Then see how many rattles and pops you have.
I wouldnt be surprised if the SA was lying. This was end of last summer.
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      05-27-2011, 09:24 AM   #15
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2010 135i convertible. Same problem. Unfortunately my services have alway fallen outside the hotter months and by then I've forgotten about it. My dealer is 60 miles away and I would hate to make the trip just for that. Unless I had something concrete to hang my hat on
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      05-27-2011, 09:32 AM   #16
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I used to have the same problem. Funny enough, the day I took it in to have it checked out, I personally couldn't reproduce the noise again and it hasn't shown it's ugly face yet again...

Yeah it mysteriously went away.
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      05-27-2011, 09:40 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksparks View Post
I wouldnt be surprised if the SA was lying. This was end of last summer.
Nah, he did try. He actually thought it might be the fasteners on the body stiffener bar (yeah, I know, really technical term) under the hood. He loosend and retorqued the 2 he could get to. He was genuenly stumped.
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      05-27-2011, 10:14 AM   #18
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Annoying popping noise from dash!

I have had the same issue since day one. Have about 7900 miles on my blue beauty. Problem with mine is the popping is so loud and on both sides of the pillar and dash that it sounds like someone is shooting at me or throwing rocks at the windshield. I have taken it in 5 times to the dealer and they stated it was the heat and cold having fun with the air ducts. When it is 95 outside and you blast 65-70 degree air through the vents the plastic is too sensitive and warps, shifts and pops. I agree, a $40,000 car should not do that, but I guess its on the level on intensity. I had a loaner that did it, but it was very faint. Mine would scare anyone sitting with me it is so loud. The dealer finally told me to file a claim with BMW to buy it back and they are unable to repair the issue. I agree with the dash comment though, if they pull the actual dash apart and put it back together it will be worse.
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      06-23-2011, 02:04 AM   #19
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This!
I get this too in my 2008 128i. My friend thought it was my right strut, but I've always thought it was something with the vents or the AC. My car's under warranty but I never thought I'd be able to reproduce it with them in the car. It makes sense that it happens when it's hotter, it happens to me when I go over bumps but generally when I'm using the AC.
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      06-23-2011, 03:13 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMR013 View Post
Nah, he did try. He actually thought it might be the fasteners on the body stiffener bar (yeah, I know, really technical term) under the hood. He loosend and retorqued the 2 he could get to. He was genuenly stumped.
This actually makes sense to me! I had the exact same problem on a BMW Z4 about a year ago. Popped when pulling of my driver, braking over bumps, accelerating and sometimes randomly. After trying everything behind the dashboard I searched some forums. I was advise to tighten the strut bars pictured below. When trying the top (boxed in yellow) strut fitting, the bolts where a bit loose.

After tightening all fittings, the popping stopped.

I have just checked the 135 and the top ones are very hard to get to. If I get the popping noise it will be the first thing I try. Has anyone managed to do this to rule it out?

My theory is that they are right behind the dashboard and will loosen over time, this causes the bars to knock/pop when the cars flex. Worked on the Z4 which had the exact same design.

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      06-23-2011, 03:38 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbydm View Post
This actually makes sense to me! I had the exact same problem on a BMW Z4 about a year ago. Popped when pulling of my driver, braking over bumps, accelerating and sometimes randomly. After trying everything behind the dashboard I searched some forums. I was advise to tighten the strut bars pictured below. When trying the top (boxed in yellow) strut fitting, the bolts where a bit loose.

After tightening all fittings, the popping stopped.

I have just checked the 135 and the top ones are very hard to get to. If I get the popping noise it will be the first thing I try. Has anyone managed to do this to rule it out?

My theory is that they are right behind the dashboard and will loosen over time, this causes the bars to knock/pop when the cars flex. Worked on the Z4 which had the exact same design.

hmmm interesting. however this wouldn't explain how I once got the same exact popping noise with the car parked and on neutral.. windows were down, outside temp was like 95 degrees (like 35C), AC was blasting at close to max, and the damn thing popped....

i do agree tho that most often it happens when going over a bump, jerking the car from shifting, or some other motion like that.

on another hand, if it were a problem with tightening something, how would it make sense that the car does not pop when the AC is off or when the temperature is below ~80F (~25C)?
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      06-23-2011, 03:46 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N55_BBM View Post
hmmm interesting. however this wouldn't explain how I once got the same exact popping noise with the car parked and on neutral.. windows were down, outside temp was like 95 degrees (like 35C), AC was blasting at close to max, and the damn thing popped....

i do agree tho that most often it happens when going over a bump, jerking the car from shifting, or some other motion like that.

on another hand, if it were a problem with tightening something, how would it make sense that the car does not pop when the AC is off or when the temperature is below ~80F (~25C)?
I take your point entirely, it does sound more like plastic changing shape with temperature change but it would be great to rule out the issue with the strut! The only basic explanation of the popping whilst the car is sat still is that the strut is also changing shape with temperature. I wonder how close the AC vents are to the strut fitting?

Would be great to have a good diagram... I hope mine doesn't start popping soon! It would be interesting to see if it happens to cars with a certain milage or age? All I do know is, I hate random noises like this in cars
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