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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:20 AM   #1
bimmer4life88
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Steering wheel viration at hwy speeds, worse during braking...

Hey guys, haven't posted in a while, but having a hard time diagnosing an issue....
Initially I was getting vibration in my steering wheel during breaking. I checked the rotors and pads first of all and they were fine (shop also confirmed that).
After reading many posts on here and having an indie BMW shop inspect it, decided to replace the front CABs. I noticed this tightened up the steering and now the steering wheel vibration is present at highway speeds (approx 100-120 km/h).
The vibration gets worse when braking. I then had the car aligned (was hardly out at all) and replaced the front tires since they were very worn as well. Neither of these changes helped.

What is the most likely suspect here?...I am leaning towards a wheel bearing, but there is no noticeable wheel bearing failure from jacking it up and turning the wheel by hand.
I have read that the vibration that gets worse upon braking is usually a sign of a bad wheel bearing, but is there another way that a shop could diagnose which one is bad? I don't want them to replace the bearings unnecessarily as they are not cheap.

I guess the other possibility could be bad tie rod ends or ball joints? Another thing worth mentioning is that I sometimes get a "clunk" sound coming from the front end when going over large bumps (not sure if this is related).

Thanks in advance for any help!
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Old 07-28-2014, 04:40 PM   #2
TheE46
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Pull the wheel off and post some pictures of the bearings and tie rods, etc. and we can try to see if any of them look to be problematic.

As for the symptoms, it does seem like it could be a wheel bearing. But yes, a shop should be able to diagnose which one it is and if they tell you they cant go to a different shop. They should also be able to tell if its a tie rod, etc.
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Old 07-28-2014, 05:23 PM   #3
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Check if your wheels are balanced. I had a similar problem and it turned out to be that one of my wheels was missing a weight.
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Old 07-28-2014, 10:34 PM   #4
bimmer4life88
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Ok thanks! I will try to get a chance to get the wheel off and take a pic... Hard with an apartment:/


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Old 07-28-2014, 11:13 PM   #5
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I had a truck and all four discs warped one time when I was out driving and braking all day then it poured out and I slammed a puddle and the sudden temp change on the metal caused it to warp, I didn't know they were warped but for about a week every time I braked at highway speeds coming to exit ramps my steering shook and got worse eventually til the whole front end bobbled one day and even the hood was shaking and my guy took a look at it and replaced all four discs and it didn't return.

Go somewhere and have them take the discs out and spin em like a tire to see if they are balanced whoever first told u they aren't may not be able to see it by eye

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Old 07-28-2014, 11:15 PM   #6
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And also is ur ABS and ASC/DSC all good? As in no dash lights...

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Old 07-28-2014, 11:48 PM   #7
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I will have another guy look at the discs, but they don't have that many kms on them, and they are genuine BMW rotors. And nope, no lights on


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Old 07-29-2014, 06:32 PM   #8
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Try...

1) Slam on your brakes from 60-80 mph down to 10-20 mph. Use a lot of force, right before the point that ABS kicks in. Do this repeatedly, do this 5 or more times and really get them hot. This will clean up the rotors surface/remove any uneven pad deposits. (Cost = $0) If the issue gets better but does not completely go away, then the issue could be your rotors or perhaps a frozen caliper.

2) Get all 4 wheels balanced. (Cost = $65)

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Old 07-29-2014, 07:44 PM   #9
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Actually have done both of those things already with no luck... It's going to the shop tomorrow and will post back when I get it fixed


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Old 09-02-2014, 07:32 AM   #10
epistaxis2008
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So 2 months later any new results or pics yet?!!!!!!!!!

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Old 09-02-2014, 07:35 AM   #11
bimmer4life88
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Still no luck... I'm leaning towards wheel bearings as I don't think the vibration would be this significant for "warped" rotors. Trying to find time to make an appointment with the indie shop.


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Old 09-02-2014, 10:29 AM   #12
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Well did you check the tie rods for play? And what about the sway bar end links? A loose bolt? Jack up the front of the car and tug on / whack everything and see if you find something that is loose or makes noise.

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Old 09-02-2014, 10:34 AM   #13
bimmer4life88
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Ya I did that and couldn't notice anything wrong. The shop also had it up in the air and I watched them check the suspension as well...:/

I was wondering if it was a stuck caliper, but another post said that one rim should be heating up during braking, which neither are. I might just take the plunge and get both wheel bearings replaces. With 230k kms on the car, they likely need to be done anyway.


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Old 09-02-2014, 10:45 AM   #14
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I'd replace the rotors before doing wheel bearings... check out Centric rotors online. When I've had a bad wheel bearing, it was obvious by shaking the wheel. Or maybe something in the steering column like the U joint? Or the main axle bolt? Just throwing out ideas.

Edit: Resurfacing rotors cost like $20 each, so you might as well do that first and check it off the list...

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Old 09-04-2014, 08:42 PM   #15
epistaxis2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmer4life88 View Post
Still no luck... I'm leaning towards wheel bearings as I don't think the vibration would be this significant for "warped" rotors.



my steering shook and got worse eventually til the whole front end bobbled one day and even the hood was shaking



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Little contradictory up there



Mine were bad discs/rotors!



Also check this out>>> http://blog.fcpeuro.com/2014/08/08/w...ality-or-myth/


So ur best bet is to have someone at least check the discs, clean em, sand em, grind em, turn em down... For what? U may say, well my dear friend to see if in fact if u would be wasting money on bearings since u have no known associated clicking noises while turning or in motion as u would with bad bearings but u have many of the signs of a warped disc especially since u say u have balanced the tires already!

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Old 09-04-2014, 10:56 PM   #16
bimmer4life88
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Thanks for the feedback, but in my case I actually get vibration at hwy speeds without braking. It sounds like you only had vibration under braking?


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Old 09-07-2014, 09:46 AM   #17
epistaxis2008
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Originally Posted by bimmer4life88 View Post
Thanks for the feedback, but in my case I actually get vibration at hwy speeds without braking. It sounds like you only had vibration under braking?


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Well that's no good if u already balanced the tires and checked the entire front end suspension, do u have any slime or fix a flat in any of the tires?!!!??!!

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Old 09-07-2014, 10:18 PM   #18
wallofgrath
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Re-balance your wheels. I used Firestone last time and they did a bad job and I had to get them re-balanced a couple weeks later.
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Old 09-08-2014, 10:50 AM   #19
87Euro
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One thing i didn't see mentioned, what rims are on it, do you have the larger 74.1 and need the hub ring? I fought this for a while and was mainly on the front, was a hub ring spacer needed, few bucks and issue was gone!
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:50 PM   #20
bimmer4life88
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Wheels were just balanced by a BMW indie, so don't think that's the problem... Also they are the original rims for the car, so they shouldn't require a spacer. Still at a loss, I hear a clunk front end sound when driving over bumps and when I turn the wheel all the way to the left. Starting to lean towards something steering shaft related...


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