My name is Roger and I will do my best to help you with this strange symptom.
Two items come to mind that you may be hearing. First is that it may be a stepper motor controller for the AC and heating system. These motors are difficult to get to and sometimes the dash needs to be removed to access them. But to see if this is a stepper motor you can remove the fuse for the heating and AC control module. Take a look at the fuse diagram list you have and remove the fuse for the heating and air conditioning control module. It may be fuse 28.
If the noise is no longer present then it proves it is one of the stepper motors.
The other item I suspect is the small fan in the E-box. This is like a computer fan and can sometimes make noise. This is fed by a fuse in the E-box and this fuse cannot be removed as it also gives power to the engine computer. If you take the kick panel down from under the foot well area you may be able to see if you have this fan and if it is the source of the noise. Replacement of the fan or the failed stepper motor would be then needed to correct the noise.
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Please provide positive feedback for my honest answer. An excellent rating is much appreciated. I wish you the best with your vehicle and than my information proves helpful.
I'm sorry I have been so long in responding but I have been away from home at a relatives funeral since Sunday and I have not had time to check my emails. It is now Wednesday evening so tomorrow I shall check the info you have given me and will advise you then.
\hope that is ok with you.
Thank you for the response back. I am sorry to hear that you had a loss in the family.
There is no time frame to worry about so take your time.
I have tried removing fuse 28, AC and heating, but it had no effect. on the problem.
I wouldn't like to try your second option as I know little about cars
I was reading an on- line blog last night about strange noises in BMW's and one of the blogs suggested that the fuel pump could have been the problem one of the bloggers had which was a similar problem to mine.
Anyhow I tried removing the fuel pump fuse on my car, 52 I think, and the problem didn't come on when I turned the key to position 2. I switched from off to position 2 several times and the motor ( ?? ) noise didn't come on at all. Obviously I couldn't start the car so that is as far as I could go. Do you think there is any possibility the fuel pump could be the problem?
The fuel pump is located in the fuel tank which is located below the rear seat. Do you think this may be where the noise is coming from?
So far as I can tell the noise is coming from somewhere on the front left hand side of my car close to the glove compartment, I believe.
I have assumed it is an electric motor noise/problem as I have very limited knowledge of cars.
I have tried listening from under the bonnet but I can not hear anything there.
Just thought it might be relevant that the noise disappeared when the fuel pump fuse was withdrawn.
Pretty interesting problem. With the fuel pump fuse removed you are removing power to the fuel pump relay. The relay is located behind the glove box so the noise you hear may actually be the fuel pump relay :)
Here is the location picture.
I hope I have been helpful.Please leave a positive rating or let me know how I can help further.