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03-31-2003, 04:40 PM
Hi Guys and Gals,

Friend of mine has a 2002 M3 that has had a clunking noise coming from the tranny ever since delivery of the car (according to him). He does not drive it hard all the time and before anybody starts saying "Get a new engine", believe me the noise is from the tranny and not from the engine. It is louder when shifting from 1st to 2nd, (probably because of the higher torque in 1st gear), and becomes less obvious as he shifts from 2nd to 3rd, and then 3rd to 4th. It mostly makes the clunking noise after he has shifted into gear and just around the time he engages the clutch. It seems like a internal tranny component is loose that has to take up slack when the clutch is engaging. The car is running just fine, pulls as strongly as new, is not slipping the clutch, and is not having any drivability problems.

Has any one experienced this clunking noise, and if so what did you/dealer do to fix it.

Thanks in advance.

03-31-2003, 04:47 PM
A majority of us have it to some degree. Turn up the radio!

M3 Canada
03-31-2003, 04:56 PM

03-31-2003, 05:08 PM
more that of unmeshed gears grinding, not a clunk. The clunk is more associated with slack in the differential.
Mine is only prone to "synchro clash," or whatever it should be called, when the transmission is cold.
I can "finesse" the shift until the gearbox warms.
You might find that your friend is experiencing difficulty getting into second and that it gives a binding sensation.
That may well be it rather than a clunk.
Good luck.

03-31-2003, 05:22 PM


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'02 M3 Cab JB/IR

03-31-2003, 05:24 PM
Thanks for giving my friend credit of knowing how to shift.

The noise is not like that of grinding gears that occurs when the gears are not synchronizing properly due to poor lubrication during cold weather.

Its more of a clunk and like I mentioned in my post, seems like "a loose tranny component that is taking up slack while the clutch is engaging". If its slack in differential, I am a little disappointed in BMW, as my friend has really not bought a GM truck that develops tranny clunks after two years. It almost seems like BMW engineered it like that for a reason I or any one else on the board has not discovered yet. I have a 2001 330 myself and the differential thumps on it too when shifting out of P.

Oh well, I think he will have to just live with it.

Thanks for your post.

03-31-2003, 05:26 PM

03-31-2003, 05:27 PM
The "clunk" won the topic of the year last year, only to be revived by ME a few weeks ago. Some say my clunk post was the largest thread they've seen in months. Basically, I have been on the board for many years, saw the clunk posts, didn't know what the heck ppl were talking about until I took delivery of my car and heard it myself. I freaked out, thought something was wrong with the car. People were babying me, laughing at me, pat me on the back, etc etc to try to clam me down. Well, I have. After hearing EVERYONE say it is common, from service advisor, to BMW tech, to SteveMedina, to Agent7, to trolls, to my 2 little dwarf hamsters, I've finally accepted it.

Now I think it sounds cool. Tell him to drive smoother. I have SMG so I can't do too much other than treat the gas pedal with care.

Good luck.


03-31-2003, 05:35 PM
the throw-out bearing is involved.
The "thing" that I have is fairly common, what you've described is not. IMHO, your friend should pursue this vigorously with BMW.
Again, I wish you and your friend good luck.

M3 Tampa
03-31-2003, 05:43 PM
I have had mine since 2001 and it only has 6300 miles on it. I just dont even like driving it anymore makes me sick.I think i have driven some old trucks with 3 on the tree that sound better than this.This is a true embarisment for a 50k car.Oh i forgot there is one bigger than that and that is starting it up after sitting a few days this is truley a joke.Good thing im alone when i do this i hate to start it in front of friends and have it stall 3 to 4 times befor running smooth.I think this will be my first and last bmw.I guess i need to try a 911 and give 20k more away for i hope a better car.

03-31-2003, 05:53 PM
My friend will check with the Service Advisor when he is at BMW next week for fuel filler cap light problems.

Just so you know, I am very sure its not the throw out bearing, its more of a clunk sound which throw out bearings dont make. They normally squeal. But he will make sure he checks with BMW.

Thanks again. I am sure he will feel better next week, right now he is throwing up from being worried sick. :)

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