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General E46 Forum
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:47 AM   #1
Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo
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steering wheel/seat vibration

Ive replaced my wheel bearings, control arms w/ bushings, rotors, brakes, got alignment but I still get slight vibration in steering wheel and seat. its not uniform and sometimes goes away to a perfectly smooth ride on the same surface for a very short time. My tires still have good tread but my mechanic said that one was a little unevenly worn. Im wondering if its tires or something else that could be the issue? Any ideas? Thanks.

PS: By slight vibration I mean very slight, although I have rotational noise and it seems like my road noise is louder than when i got the car.
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:50 AM   #2
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Only time I ever experienced something similar was when I had a tire with a bulge in it, but you said you had your tires checked.
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Old 08-05-2012, 11:06 AM   #3
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ill deal with it until i need new tires then.
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Old 08-05-2012, 11:31 AM   #4
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Your wheels might not be balanced (maybe threw a weight?)...also the rim can get bent and even though they can be balanced, you'd still feel it.

Then there are those things you didn't do anything about yet...struts/shocks...tie rod ends...that sort of thing.

I chased a vibration for about two years until I discovered the inside rim of my front wheel was bent...and I discovered it because the guy balancing my new tires noticed it on his slow speed balancer. The high speed (expensive) balancing machines can spin the wheel so fast you wouldn't notice the hop in the rim...but if you lift up your car, spin the wheel and look for a hop, you'll see it if it's there. If so, try moving that wheel to the rear where you won't notice it so much. Technically, you'd keep the tires in the same corners they're at now, as bmw doesn't recommend rotating tires.
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:59 PM   #5
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I cannot read/hear the word "vibration" without Marky Mark popping in my head!
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:06 AM   #6
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If it's a cyclic vibration, balancing won't fix the issue. It's most likely buckled wheel/s.
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:46 PM   #7
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kinda feels like its skipping across the road when im going around turns at a decent speed
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Old 08-08-2012, 04:40 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo View Post
kinda feels like its skipping across the road when im going around turns at a decent speed
That description alone makes me think struts or shocks. Look for oil leaking down them.

Maybe swaybar or endlinks.
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:41 AM   #9
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That description alone makes me think struts or shocks. Look for oil leaking down them.

Maybe swaybar or endlinks.
I agree. Sounds suspension related.
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:27 PM   #10
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no oil leaking from shocks or struts
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:49 PM   #11
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Is it an intermittent vibration that you can feel in your seat? I felt them with my worn and cupped tires. New tires fixed it. I also think it could have something to do with drivetrain vibration but I don't know. I could probably do for a guibo change at some point.
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:28 AM   #12
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While I was under the front end the other day I noticed my sway bar bushings were looking a little worn.

I'm getting similar vibration at freeway speeds in the steering wheel. I have Bilsteins about 1 year old and FCAsFCABs also.

Edit: end links were replaced also.

Tie rods seem solid. So what do you guys think about the SB bushings being the cause?
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:32 AM   #13
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Sway bar bushings are serious solid chunks of rubber. I removed mine probably at 180K miles and they looked identical to the new ones. Of course, if the bushing bracket is loose, that's something else.
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Old 09-25-2012, 02:46 PM   #14
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So I swapped out my front driver tire with a spare and the vibration is virtually gone. Now all thats left is a little bit of random shake and more of a clicking feel in the steering wheel.

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Old 09-25-2012, 02:53 PM   #15
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So I swapped out my front driver tire with a spare and the vibration is virtually gone. Now all thats left is a little bit of random shake and more of a clicking feel in the steering wheel.

Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Bimmer App
Sounds like the constant vibration may have messed with something else. Maybe tie rods or end links?
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:31 PM   #16
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Tie rods feel solid as well as end links. Im thinking its my tires.
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