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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 04-24-2014, 05:41 AM   #1
BLACK E46 SMOKE
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Steering wheel shakes

When I drive at high speed and brake the steering wheel shakes while the car is braking anytime I am in the 45-55MPH range. I changed both front tires and had both tires high speed balanced. Yet problem still persists. Any ideas on what this problem could be?
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Old 04-24-2014, 05:45 AM   #2
phildobaggins
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could be slightly warped brake rotors or control arm bushings
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Old 04-24-2014, 07:46 PM   #3
Arnezie
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Drive shafts ?
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:13 PM   #4
Old Rum
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Most likely front brake rotors.
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:14 PM   #5
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When you come to a full stop does the steering wheel turn to the left or right?
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Old 04-25-2014, 12:09 PM   #6
teknokraze
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I had the same problem. Changed my brake rotors and pads. They were bad enough I also had some light vibration in my steering wheel while not under braking. This fixed it though, no more brake wobble or vibration.

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Old 04-25-2014, 02:22 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by phildobaggins View Post
could be slightly warped brake rotors or control arm bushings
This.
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Old 04-25-2014, 03:39 PM   #8
tomoyer
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Gotta agree with those that have said that your front rotors are warped. Why? probably incorrectly/unevenly torqued lug bolts. Solution, new rotors and while at it, I'd also replace the front pads, clean the caliper holder where the pads fit and put a thin coating of never-seize on those areas so that the pads can move more freely, clean and polish the caliper pins and lubricate them and replace the caliper pin rubber guides. Don't forget to glue the backs of the new pads with Disc-Brake Quiet.
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Old 05-07-2014, 03:43 PM   #9
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Just trying to be clear, when "When you come to a full stop does the steering wheel turn to the left or right?" this happens, is it the rotors then. It has been doing that as well as shaking while braking. Started about a week ago.
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Old 05-07-2014, 05:32 PM   #10
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Sounds like it's your FCABS. I had the same exact issue and that immediately resolved it. You may need to do those if you haven't already.
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Old 05-07-2014, 06:11 PM   #11
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I havent but the wheel has been shaking while braking. I will check them but I am sure I need new rotors. Is it ok to replace the fronts wothout the rears? I will try to check the FCABS soon, it could have been the road since they suck here and are so uneven. Right?

Also the shaking started a couple of weeks ago.

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Old 05-07-2014, 08:08 PM   #12
Old Rum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PosingOwl View Post
Just trying to be clear, when "When you come to a full stop does the steering wheel turn to the left or right?" this happens, is it the rotors then. It has been doing that as well as shaking while braking. Started about a week ago.

Yes rotors warped! I can almost guarantee this. I brought mine to my mechanic after this (ive had my car for 10+ years) and he said replace the font and/or back rotors. I replaced both. Now the car is perfectly fine. I'd do the pads as well. Went with OEM and Akebono.
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:29 PM   #13
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Yes rotors warped! I can almost guarantee this. I brought mine to my mechanic after this (ive had my car for 10+ years) and he said replace the font and/or back rotors. I replaced both. Now the car is perfectly fine. I'd do the pads as well. Went with OEM and Akebono.
Thats what I was thinking.... I was talking with one of my customers and he said the same. He also said that I can take it to a mechanic and they would be able to shave it down to make it flat again. If that makes sense. If I need to I can purchase the fronts now and then have to wait like a month for the rears, would that be fine and do they need to be exact/matching rotors for the front and rear, if I went that direction?

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Old 05-07-2014, 08:40 PM   #14
Old Rum
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I bet you could shave them down, but for the cost of parts, might as well just replace them- I think the whole cost was $400 and maybe twice that for the complete install. My problem is my work schedule- I didnt want to rely on just doing the front if the was a chance the back was causing the issue- so just to be sure that this would fix it, I did both. My mechanic said my warping was so bad that he wouldn't be able to tell if just the front change would fix the problem. My steering wheel literally turned like 45 degrees when stopping hard.

I would definitely do matching rotors without a doubt and change the pads if you havent in the past two/three years miles- I mean the labor for that is basically $50 once the wheels and all are off the car.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PosingOwl View Post
Thats what I was thinking.... I was talking with one of my customers and he said the same. He also said that I can take it to a mechanic and they would be able to shave it down to make it flat again. If that makes sense. If I need to I can purchase the fronts now and then have to wait like a month for the rears, would that be fine and do they need to be exact/matching rotors for the front and rear, if I went that direction?
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:52 PM   #15
PosingOwl
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The only problem I have right now is that I might have enough money for fronts and rears... I put most of my money away in another bank (savings) that I do not have a card for and I have to drive to... lol that way I cant buy anything on impulse really.... I do have enough to order fronts.

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Old 05-07-2014, 11:38 PM   #16
PosingOwl
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maybe add no non bmws or we can have a seperate section for non bmws
I am not understanding this....
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Old 07-01-2014, 03:32 PM   #17
BLACK E46 SMOKE
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Changed front rotors and now braking is extremely smooth. Still very slight shaking at high speeds but mechanic showed me that both of my control arm bushings need to be replaces. There is play in them. I guess this is causing the slight vibration. Correct?
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Old 07-01-2014, 04:28 PM   #18
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Yes. Most likely.
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