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Old 08-04-2015, 02:54 PM   #1
MyBaby330xi
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Location: Grove City, OH
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My Ride: 2003 BMW 330xi
Steering Vibration

Hello, I have an '03 330xi with 100k and recently replaced the front Struts (Koni Sport), Springs(Eibachs), Sway Bar Links, Control Arms (Poly Bushings) and Tie Rods. I had the car aligned and my tires balanced and rotated but I am now getting a vibration in the steering wheel (after I had the tires balanced and rotated). I do know that my passenger half-shaft boot is torn and leaking small amounts of grease and I plan on replacing this soon.

Question, would the half-shaft cause the vibration or did I miss something when I replaced everything?

Full Disclosure. After my buddies and I did all of the work above we had trouble getting one of the shocks to seat properly on the strut and even driving for a few days and having it aligned did not cause it to seat properly so I "Tapped" and took it to the Stealership for help. They tore the strut and spring apart but had the same problem. They finally called uncle and said it was a defective strut so I ordered a new one. It rode MUCH better after the initial alignment and when I got the car back from the dealer. I did take it back for an alignment and at this point had the tires balanced and rotated.

Should I replace the half-shaft or take it back to the alignment shop and have them try again? The car does not pull, just vibrates at all speeds.

Thanks!!

Joel
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Old 08-04-2015, 03:03 PM   #2
BMW-North
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Lots of things from wheel balancing to brake callipers & rotors can cause vibration but having owned two xi's I do know that a bad axle can cause this as I've experienced it - twice. Once the boot is torn it's only a matter of time before dirt & water get's in there.
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Old 08-04-2015, 03:11 PM   #3
MyBaby330xi
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That was my fear. In regards to the calipers, I feel like there is one that is not fully releasing. Did you replace the caliper or rebuild it?

I think I will replace the half-shaft. Should I do both or just the one that I know has the boot issue? Hate to spend the money but also hate to do one and then the other go.

Thoughts?

Thanks!

Joel
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Old 08-04-2015, 03:11 PM   #4
Ceric
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To add to BMW-North's list, another thing that can cause vibrations is bad tyres. If the rubber is worn out unevenly no amount of wheel balancing is going to fix that.
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Old 08-04-2015, 03:15 PM   #5
MyBaby330xi
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I think the tires are pretty good but even if the tread looks alright it might be something unseen. I believe I will replace the half-shaft first then have it aligned again (good thing I bought the Unlimited Alignment for a year option!!) and have them make sure the tires are good.
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Old 08-04-2015, 03:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBaby330xi View Post
That was my fear. In regards to the calipers, I feel like there is one that is not fully releasing. Did you replace the caliper or rebuild it?

I think I will replace the half-shaft. Should I do both or just the one that I know has the boot issue? Hate to spend the money but also hate to do one and then the other go.

Thoughts?

Thanks!

Joel

I had a wheel vibration from a seized caliper - I bought a rebuild kit and ultimately replaced the caliper. Just buy a new or factory rebuilt caliper if you believe this to be the issue. I was able to pinpoint the caliper in this case as one front wheel got very hot.
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Old 08-04-2015, 03:33 PM   #7
joehotpiscopo
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I'm about to replace my front-left CV-axle, already have the parts. I also have a "wobble" in the steering wheel sometimes at highway speeds and sometimes when at speed and then gently braking
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:41 PM   #8
jfoj
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Alignment problems DO NOT cause vibrations, they just wear tires down quickly and COULD cause a balanced tire to become unbalanced, but this takes thousands of miles.

Bent wheels are the MOST common problems after bad tires or tires that have flat spots from being parked in one place too long.

xi have issue with front axles and engine/trans mounts. Driveline vibrations usually are not felt in the steering wheel and are very different than tire/wheel/rotating mass vibrations.

It just drives be crazy how people, even the Pros, cannot easily spot bent wheels, bad tires and other simple things that can cause vibrations.

Need a LOT more details about the vibration(s) you are experiencing, under what conditions and at what speeds.
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Old 08-04-2015, 07:41 PM   #9
MyBaby330xi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
Alignment problems DO NOT cause vibrations, they just wear tires down quickly and COULD cause a balanced tire to become unbalanced, but this takes thousands of miles.

Bent wheels are the MOST common problems after bad tires or tires that have flat spots from being parked in one place too long.

xi have issue with front axles and engine/trans mounts. Driveline vibrations usually are not felt in the steering wheel and are very different than tire/wheel/rotating mass vibrations.

It just drives be crazy how people, even the Pros, cannot easily spot bent wheels, bad tires and other simple things that can cause vibrations.

Need a LOT more details about the vibration(s) you are experiencing, under what conditions and at what speeds.
Thank you for the info.

I am feeling the vibration at all speeds under normal driving conditions. It's not a wobble, just a vibration coming through the steering wheel that's more annoying than anything else.

Thanks!
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Old 08-04-2015, 07:48 PM   #10
Kire118
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do you have factory or aftermarket wheels? a lot of aftermarket wheels have hub rings, so if you happen to accidentally lose 1, that wheel may not be completely centered which can cause vibrations.
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Old 08-04-2015, 07:59 PM   #11
jfoj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBaby330xi View Post
Thank you for the info.

I am feeling the vibration at all speeds under normal driving conditions. It's not a wobble, just a vibration coming through the steering wheel that's more annoying than anything else.

Thanks!
So, try this.

Car in park or neutral and stopped.

Very slowly rev the engine from idle to around 2800 and see if you feel the SAME vibration through the steering wheel as you feel when you are driving.

Report back.
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Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temp, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose temp switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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