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Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > Suspension & Braking

Suspension & Braking
Have some questions about suspension or brake setups for your E46 BMW? Get all your answers here!

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Old 02-04-2013, 01:46 AM   #1
Speed Density
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 86
My Ride: 2001 XiT
Violent Steering Vibration, don't know where to start.

I've got a 325xiT but I figure this will fit in the general section and hopefully ya'll can help me get started on trouble shooting it.

I've had some sloppy, clanky (if i turn the wheel back and fourth quickly, I can hear a noise like metalish) for about a month. It doesnt feel as firm, tight as it used too. I was driving home last week and my car started to pull to the left more than normal, even with the road crown here and then all of the sudden the steering wheel was vibrating a ton and almost shuttering left and right a bit. I pulled over, inspected and couldnt find anything obvious.

I was close enough to home that I could limp the car there, once in my neighborhood I could hear like a drum sound from the rear, something not right.

Update to today, I pulled my intake charge pipes (air filter, maf) and was looking down at the side of the engine, case and there is red fluid on top of the case, dripping down on the ground. The power steering reservoir is 3/4 full.

So, any ideas where I should start?
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:22 AM   #2
warriorpluto
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: monroe
Posts: 135
My Ride: 2000 323i
Check for leaks in power steering hoses and maybe check condition of your front control arm bushings

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Bimmer App
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:32 AM   #3
NukeMiller
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 98
My Ride: 2005 325i
If you heard something from the rear also, check your differential and the ball joints where your axle connects to your wheels
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:29 AM   #4
vandyboy
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Nashville, TN
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My Ride: 2001 325i
I would also inspect power steering pump and/or steering rack.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:09 AM   #5
KKB-BMW
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Columbus
Posts: 44
My Ride: 2004 330ci six speed
Hi Everyone
Hope this may help other Fanatics, My 2004 BMW 330ci's power steering all of a sudden started to vibrate when trying to turn wheel. Also got the screeching sound. Took it in to trusted mechanic. He checked it over and said it was the pump. I said before you install new pump clean and flush reservoir and lines for power pump. He call back says pump is working and returning ATF to reservoir. He stated must be the rack. Ok grabbed new pump and begin search for steering rack. Made one stop paid bill re-start vehicle and noise is gone vibration is gone vehicle steers great. Point is a good clean and flush should be performed first. Of course if you take belt off power steering pulley and pulley can be pulled away from pump then you need a new pump. Hope this helps. KKB
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:29 PM   #6
Speed Density
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 86
My Ride: 2001 XiT
Update on this:

I put the car in the air and started to inspect the front CAB's, Tierods, and ball joints. Everything is kosher, there isnt anything that is extremely hammered to where it should be obvious. So, I decided to take it for a little spin around the block to replicate what issues I may have been having originally.

Well. When driving, about 15mph the steering wheel starts to shutter to the left. Driving straight it will jolt left some, some more and about 25% of a turn until you fight it back and correct the wheel. If you let it go the whole car will wobble and feel really unstable.

At this point, I think it could be the rack considering I can't find any suspension that is trashed. However, the shaking, wobbling, shuttering is really violent.
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