The title pretty much sums it up.

If I haven't driven the car in a few days, the BMW E46 engine makes a faint chirp for about 30 seconds when I start up the engine. It's more like a rapid chirp, as opposed to a constant squeal, ahe sound goes away when I rev the engine. When I put my ear up close, it sounds like it's coming from near the power steering reservoir, which is located just above the belt. Image here: http://photos.linquist.net/photos/421026382_Js3AM-M.jpg

What could it be?

1 Answer 1


It's more than likely the serpentine belt at the alternator making the noise. One of two things going on here, either the belt itself is worn out, or the tensioner is not providing the preload to the belt to keep it tight. After the belt warms up a little bit, it sticks a little better so the sound goes away. If you haven't replaced the belt in a while, I'd high suggest you start there, as this is most likely the cause.

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