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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 07-12-2012, 10:24 AM   #1
SilverBullet99
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Amstelveen
Posts: 154
My Ride: 323ci
Intermitent steering wheel shake

So I have no clue why, but sometimes I get a shake in my steering wheel as you would if your car needed to be aligned. It doesn't happen all the time...and is especially prevalent at slower speeds..under 60 mph. But again...it only happens sometimes.

I had the car aligned not all too long ago and although one of my summer wheels is slightly off..it's certainly not the cause of the shake as I would then feel it all the time.

I had my indy take a look when I changed my winter wheels out for the summer ones but everything under the car looked good. The wheels and tires were re-balanced when I mounted them too. No immediately identifiable suspension issues to be found.

Anybody have a clue as to what this might be or where to start my investigation? Really don't want to have to go to the stealer for this.
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:01 AM   #2
hummer
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Haverhill, MA
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For me the shake would point first to CABs and the intermittent shake would point to struts. How can we really help when you don't give any info on miles?
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Old 07-13-2012, 04:23 PM   #3
SilverBullet99
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Sorry, car has +/- 90K miles on it, has always been serviced by the dealer. I replaced one of the lower control arms about a year ago and the rear bushings last winter.
When we had it on the lift last we grabbed both front wheels and did the 3 & 9 o'clock pull and push to check for play and there was none.
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:33 PM   #4
awtathome
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Join Date: Dec 2011
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My M3 had intermittent steering shakes. My mechanic suspected front brake lines causing a hydraulic lock... Got the lines replaced. Still got the shakes. The mechanic suggested I check for a sticking caliper - after the shakes you stop and put your hand near (not on) the wheels to check for excessive heat. Sure enough the front right wheel/caliper was red hot.
I took it to my 'brake' guy to get the calipers serviced - he put in new seals and new pistons. All fixed. You cannot check the caliper piston without dismantling it.

If this is your problem you can either get the calipers replaced (BMW does not sell the pistons separately) or get a brake specialist to source a piston. There is a cost difference.
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:47 AM   #5
SilverBullet99
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Join Date: May 2009
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My Ride: 323ci
Thanks for the info all...
I'm almost ashamed to post it but I found my issues.
It was the control arm bushings

But to be fair, it took me three times going back to my indy and putting the car on the bridge and finally looking with a flashlight deep into the back of the control arm sockets to spot the small tears in the bushings.

Car drives like new again now though!
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