E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > E46 BMW > General E46 Forum

General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 03-13-2017, 12:37 PM   #1
rorymcdaniel
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Frederick, MD
Posts: 45
My Ride: 2003 BMW 325i
Front End Noise and Wheel Shake

My 2003 325i is experiencing some issues between 40mph and 60mph. I have not been able to reproduce the issue, but my wife is the one who drives this car most of the time. When the car gets above 40mph, there is a rhythmic thud that she says sounds like is coming from just behind the driver's side front wheel. The noise doesn't happen immediately, but usually after 10-15 minutes of driving in that speed range. She says the noise goes away once she goes above 60mph. When she drove it on Sunday afternoon, she said it was decidedly louder and the steering wheel shake decidedly more violent than when she had driven it on Friday night.

The front tires still have plenty of tread on them and appear to be wearing evenly. I used a digital meter to make sure they were properly inflated. This had no impact upon the noise and vibration.

Given the car's age, I know it needs new front control arm bushings. I was considering ordering a kit that has control arms, bushings, and tie rods, as these all likely need to be replaced anyway.

Are there any other likely candidates that this could be? I know that stuff all needs to be done anyway, but I'd hate to go through that effort and not have it fix the problem.

Suggestions are appreciated.
rorymcdaniel is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 03-13-2017, 02:20 PM   #2
Score
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: VA - US
Posts: 159
My Ride: 2002 330Ci
Next time it happens, stop the car and feel the rotors. I had a similar issue and it was a partially seized caliper.
Score is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2017, 02:37 PM   #3
rorymcdaniel
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Frederick, MD
Posts: 45
My Ride: 2003 BMW 325i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Score View Post
Next time it happens, stop the car and feel the rotors. I had a similar issue and it was a partially seized caliper.
What symptoms would I be looking for?
rorymcdaniel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2017, 02:39 PM   #4
Score
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: VA - US
Posts: 159
My Ride: 2002 330Ci
If one rotor is hot, then that caliper is the issue. I had three rotors at 60 degrees and one at about 275 degrees - I used an IR thermometer.
Score is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2017, 02:45 PM   #5
cvx5832
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Walnut Creek, CA
Posts: 3,965
My Ride: 325Ci, 325Cic, C300
Quote:
Originally Posted by rorymcdaniel View Post
My 2003 325i is experiencing some issues between 40mph and 60mph. I have not been able to reproduce the issue, but my wife is the one who drives this car most of the time. When the car gets above 40mph, there is a rhythmic thud that she says sounds like is coming from just behind the driver's side front wheel. The noise doesn't happen immediately, but usually after 10-15 minutes of driving in that speed range. She says the noise goes away once she goes above 60mph. When she drove it on Sunday afternoon, she said it was decidedly louder and the steering wheel shake decidedly more violent than when she had driven it on Friday night.

The front tires still have plenty of tread on them and appear to be wearing evenly. I used a digital meter to make sure they were properly inflated. This had no impact upon the noise and vibration.

Given the car's age, I know it needs new front control arm bushings. I was considering ordering a kit that has control arms, bushings, and tie rods, as these all likely need to be replaced anyway.

Are there any other likely candidates that this could be? I know that stuff all needs to be done anyway, but I'd hate to go through that effort and not have it fix the problem.

Suggestions are appreciated.
Given the car's age and miles at this point I would replace the bushings at minimum and go from there. I have 2 E46's of the same vintage. No matter how nice the roads or how gentle I drive it I can't get past 55k miles without the bushing spilling its guts. So now they're an automatic replacement item at 50k.

Your mileage may vary, but I doubt you'd get significantly more than that.

Untitled
__________________






cvx5832 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2017, 10:24 AM   #6
rorymcdaniel
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Frederick, MD
Posts: 45
My Ride: 2003 BMW 325i
So I took it in to my local BMW mechanic and paid his diagnostic fee. Really glad I did. He found that the left control arm ball joints were bad and of course the bushings are shot. He also found that both the left and right calipers were sticking, but the left one was really bad.

The control arm repair I feel is pretty straight forward. For the caliper - should I try to rebuild or just replace the caliper? If replace, any recommended brands?
rorymcdaniel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2017, 10:44 AM   #7
Score
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: VA - US
Posts: 159
My Ride: 2002 330Ci
I got a rebuilt caliper through autozone - seemed to be good quality and has worked so far. If you go with your original plan to replace control arms and bushings and tie rods, I would also do sway bar bushings, end links, and shocks. When I had front end problems I tried to replace a few parts at first, and ended up having to replace everything, which I should have done the first time.
Score is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
e46, front end noise, shaking

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:29 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2016 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use