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Old 09-05-2012, 04:42 PM   #17
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: upstate NY
Posts: 1,484
My Ride: 2002 330 cic
Originally Posted by PrecisionX View Post
I'm starting to get a little steering wheel vibrations in certain braking situations with my 02 330Ci with 56k ish. Any recommendations? Just pads and rotors or more stuff?
It is impossible to tell without careful inspection. It could be simple uneven buildup of pad material on your rotors, it could be loose suspension bits, it could be both. Or it could be something else.

A little history might be useful. How long have you had the car? Did your use change recently (for example, did you take up weekend track days)?
Are you running stock rotors and pads? If not, what do you have? Or do you know?

One thing you might try is to make several hard braking sessions.
In a safe place, go from about 60 (edit, or 80 if it safe and legal) mph to about 5 mph. While you do
this pay attention to the vibration. Normally if the problem is brake related the vibration frequency will slow down as you slow down - if the problem is suspension related the frequency will normally not change much with speed. Do this 60->5 thing a few times. Normally, if it is brake related, each stop will get smoother as you redistribute pad material on the rotor (unless your existing rotor is very worn - measuring it and comparing to specs is a good idea). Note I said 60->5, do not bring the car to a complete stop. Depending on your pads and rotors it might take only one hard stop to deposit pad material on your rotor. Once you have that one high spot it keeps getting worse. Sometimes you can clean it off with hard braking, sometimes you can clean it off with brakeclean and steel wool, sometimes you just have to replace (or resurface) the rotor.

The safe bet is to replace everything. That should give you smooth braking for at least a while.

I'm new to BMW, so this advice is based on general experience, which may or may not apply to your car. The advice I give here is worth exactly what you pay for it.

Last edited by dknightd; 09-05-2012 at 04:44 PM.
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