The moment you hear it, you’ll notice. It’s a distinctive sound, like groaning when your car is rolling down the highway. The faster you go, the louder it gets. At first, you might not think much about it, but eventually you can’t ignore it anymore. Even with the radio turned up, you hear it.
Your BMW has a way of communicating to you, and it does so in many different ways. For starters, it has an onboard computer diagnostic system that illuminates certain lights if something’s going wrong. You know these lights. The ‘maintenance’ light or the ‘check engine’ light (or that light in the shape of an engine), the ‘brake’ light, etc.
It also tries to get your attention through sounds. So what could this groaning sound be? It could be several, but if it gets louder and increases in pitch the faster you go, you should bet good money it’s one of the bearings in your wheels.
And you should never take that lightly.
Over time, and after many kilometers, the bearings will begin to wear out. Unless you have them repacked with grease regularly, the grease will begin to break down, no longer providing protection to the bearings.
When that happens, it starts making that groaning, or grinding, type of noise. If you fail to do anything about it, you could end up in a very serious situation.
The bearing could seize -meaning it completely stops turning- and the wheel could completely freeze (stop spinning). Imagine that happening at 110 km/hr. Yes, it would likely cause you to lose complete control of your vehicle, leading to a serious accident.
If you hear a groaning sound from your car while driving, bring it to an authorized BMW service center immediately. They’ll diagnose the problem and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.