and/or found a solution for this (best described by this old post):

upper rubber spring pad causing creaking as it rubs against metal

The problem is definitely this, so please don't suggest possible other causes. How do I know? Well, if you get in there with a long, makeshift 18inch squirt-tube of WD-40, a few squirts where the upper spring pad meets the metal of the strut mount, and presto, no matter how cold it gets out, there is zero creaking from anywhere on the car when it is running or when it is just sitting still and you are cranking the steering wheel back and forth.

This problem is sort of infamous (if you Google it, you will find numerous threads on many BMW sites about it). I've had it for what will be two winters now (after replacing the whole front end 4 winters ago), and it is a bit annoying. The upper spring pad hardens as the temp drops (has to be below 40-42 degrees before it starts), and then the creaking starts when the steering wheel is turned (whether the car is sitting and/or moving) and the full strut/shock rotates (especially if you do it when the car is sitting still) causing that temperature-stiffened upper spring pad to rub against the metal of the upper spring strut mount.

Thought I'd take a shot and ask here if anyone had this and solved, before I forgot & just lived with it again. Other than constantly putting WD-40 squirts in there (which is eventually going to cause that rubber to wear out & degrade quicker than normal), anyone come up with a good solution (no way grease will get in there as the fitting is too tight, the shock/strut would have to be removed and disassembled for that).

Thanks for any replies.