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Old 04-13-2008, 06:19 AM   #1
Eusaphious
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What else can cause front end vibration / brake issues?

I replaced my rotors and pads last summer and since then vibration in steering wheel has been getting worse by the day. Might have damaged bearings when taking off old rotors with a sledge hammer. So this week I got two new wheel bearings for the front end and replaced both sides. Vibration for the most part cleared up but im still having some issues.

When hitting the brakes my car will pull to one side if pressed hard. When driving at higher speeds and hitting the brakes the car will shake a bit and the steering wheel vibrates. Steering wheel also just vibrates a little bit around 30mph. Driving in a straight line I can let go of the wheel and it will continue straight just fine. Doing that while braking gets mixed results, sometimes it will stop straight, other times it will pull slightly depending on how hard I hit the brake.

Kinda lost on what might be wrong still. Should I replace my front pads again since I drove on them for so long with those bad bearings? What about the rotors?

This is on a '05 325i btw.
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Old 04-13-2008, 10:34 AM   #2
shock29
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Little bit of a shake and steering wheel movement when the brakes are first pressed: Control Arm Bushings

Your car is an 05, don't know if they would fail that prematurely...

I doubt you would do any serious damage when hammering a stuck rotor, but you've already taken that out of the question with the bearing replacement...

Pulling to one side, possible caliper seizing? One is obviously working harder than the other to pull you to one side...


I can hardly call myself a diy-er, im sure some more experienced members will chime in soon. In the mean time if you have a good Indy shop, maybe see what they think during a test drive
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Old 04-13-2008, 10:36 AM   #3
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Sounds like you have an intermittently sticky caliper that's caused some rotor warpage.
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Old 04-13-2008, 11:17 AM   #4
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Tuesday im going to replace my pads again. I put this new anti-squeal stuff on last time, autozone guy recommended, and this stuff more or less glued the damn pads onto the calipers - very tacky stuff. Doesn't seem right to me so I'm going to just replace the pads again and use some other anti-squeal stuff I know works.

How do I test for a sticking caliper?
Bushings look good but I'm not sure what to look for exactly.
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Old 04-13-2008, 11:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eusaphious View Post
Tuesday im going to replace my pads again. I put this new anti-squeal stuff on last time, autozone guy recommended, and this stuff more or less glued the damn pads onto the calipers - very tacky stuff. Doesn't seem right to me so I'm going to just replace the pads again and use some other anti-squeal stuff I know works.

How do I test for a sticking caliper?
Bushings look good but I'm not sure what to look for exactly.

Haha I just put some anti-squeal stuff from carquest and it made the pads stick to the rotor. I couls sit on a hill and not go anywhere until I pushed the gas. I'll never use that stuff again.
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Old 04-13-2008, 11:30 AM   #6
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brakes

Well it sounds to me like possibly the brakes didnt seed right when first broke in.Causing the rotors to warp.Warped rotors are what cause a pulsation at freeway speeds in the steering wheel. It could be the caliper sticking like mentioned here but that does not happen often, to check have someone look at the caliper pin and make sure it is greased.Also remember bmw brake rotors were not meant to be resurfaced either pad slap or replace or they will chatter and warp.
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Old 04-15-2008, 03:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sik330M-Tech View Post
Well it sounds to me like possibly the brakes didnt seed right when first broke in.Causing the rotors to warp.Warped rotors are what cause a pulsation at freeway speeds in the steering wheel. It could be the caliper sticking like mentioned here but that does not happen often, to check have someone look at the caliper pin and make sure it is greased.Also remember bmw brake rotors were not meant to be resurfaced either pad slap or replace or they will chatter and warp.
I put on after market rotors - Drilled slotted when I did the first pad change out.
I also did a proper bed in procedure as described in the diy's.

When you talking about the caliper pin are you referring to the 6mm guide bolts that have the dust caps that go over them?

I know these are not greased on either side. This could be the other noises I'm hearing after having the brake pedal down then releasing and coasting a bit I hear some strange sounds (metal bending sound - best way I can describe it) and this might be the cause. I guess this could also be the reason the pads are not coming off the rotors properly and causing one side or both sides to stick a bit.

Like I said I'm changing out the pads soon as I get home and going to scrape off the old anti-squeal stuff and put on some different stuff. I have axxis ultimate ceramic pads on right now and going to switch to just some plain axxis pads from autozone. Ill be using those little silver packets that autozone sells, its grease rather than that tacky crap. They have always worked for me in the past. Can I use a little bit of that grease on those bolts or is there something else I should use for them instead?
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:58 PM   #8
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Got those new pads on and didn't help any but maybe quieter now.

I had all 4 wheels balanced and full alignment done at firestone.

Most of my previous problems have been fixed by that but now I have a slight vibration in steering wheel at all speeds. Mechanics thought it might be warped rotors and thats pretty much my last thing to fix other than bushings but they seem good so looks like rotors will be replaced yet again.
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Old 04-16-2008, 01:15 PM   #9
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Guys, the anti-squeal isn't supposed to go on the pad, it's supposed to go between the pad and the caliper. Not on the rotor, lol. It's pretty much like a high-temp silicone RTV. From an article:

If new pads are installed without shims, applying a brake noise compound to the backs of the pads will help keep them quiet and reduce the risk of a noise-related comeback. Most of these products are a high temperature RTV silicone based material that forms a pliable and durable cushion on the backs of the pads. The material must be allowed to cure 30 to 60 minutes before the pads are positioned in the rotors. Do not get any of this material on the front of the pads.

Link: http://www.aa1car.com/library/2004/bf80426.htm

Please, for the sake of your safety and others, if you do not understand that you're not supposed to be putting anything between the rotor and pad, DO NOT WORK ON YOUR BRAKES OR SAFETY RELATED CAR PARTS.

To quote '///mechanic', you guys make my head hurt.
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Old 04-16-2008, 01:19 PM   #10
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aftermarket rotors are always warped to a certain degree. go get your rotors resurfaced
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Old 04-16-2008, 01:30 PM   #11
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control arm balljoints/bushings, for sure
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:07 PM   #12
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I was watching a guy changing the front flat tire of his gfriend's VW GOLF from a window of my friend's apartmant. There was his blond girlfriend stood near by reading the own's manual. He was able to jack-up the tire off the ground, and trying to get the lug nuts of the wheel. The harder he turned the lug nut, the faster the wheel spin. After 10 minutes, he told his girlfriend to hold the wheel so he can get the lug nuts off. Anyway, they gave up an hour later without get the tire off.

In short, your car has a vibration issue and you spending time chasing the brake pads, the best grease ever made, etc...By the way, the best grease will not stop your vibration issue.
Just remove those two front tires, take them to tire shop and have them re-balanced. If you have a small bent in the wheel, not proper mounted weight, defective tire ...those could cause vibration. The tire tech will tell you whether your tire/wheels any good. Stop wasting your time on the grease stuff...focus on what could cause the steering wheel vibration...

Like the guy and his blond girl changing the flat tire, they will never get the lug nuts off if the wheel off ground.
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Old 04-16-2008, 05:48 PM   #13
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well hes getting vibration under braking so it has to be a warped rotor.
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Old 04-16-2008, 07:22 PM   #14
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Warped rotors are RARE. Vibration under braking can be caused by several front-end issues: worn tie rod ball joints, control arm ball joints, control arm bushings, contaminants on the rotors, etc. How many miles on the car? Regardless of the year of the car, if you have 40-50k on the car, control arm bushings could well be the problem. You can't tell how good they are just by looking at them, you need to diagnose with a good shaking. Jack up the front end, put it on jack stands, hold the wheel at 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock positions and give the wheel a good vigorous push-pull shake. Have someone look at the control arm bushings while you do this. If there is significant movement, your bushings are shot.
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Old 04-16-2008, 10:33 PM   #15
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Hey I think thrust rod bushing / control arm bushing needs to replace. I have 04 325 CI. I had to be changed. It is not cheep though. Good Luck!!
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Old 04-17-2008, 04:31 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RalphLikeAMofo View Post
Guys, the anti-squeal isn't supposed to go on the pad, it's supposed to go between the pad and the caliper. Not on the rotor, lol. It's pretty much like a high-temp silicone RTV. From an article:

If new pads are installed without shims, applying a brake noise compound to the backs of the pads will help keep them quiet and reduce the risk of a noise-related comeback. Most of these products are a high temperature RTV silicone based material that forms a pliable and durable cushion on the backs of the pads. The material must be allowed to cure 30 to 60 minutes before the pads are positioned in the rotors. Do not get any of this material on the front of the pads.

Link: http://www.aa1car.com/library/2004/bf80426.htm

Please, for the sake of your safety and others, if you do not understand that you're not supposed to be putting anything between the rotor and pad, DO NOT WORK ON YOUR BRAKES OR SAFETY RELATED CAR PARTS.

To quote '///mechanic', you guys make my head hurt.
LOL. I know this. I had to pry off the pads with a flat head screw driver to separate them from the calipers. I replaced the pads because of other noises when braking due to the material the pads were made out of. The trade off for cleaner wheels for noisier brakes wasn't worth it for me so I swapped the pads.
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Old 04-17-2008, 04:35 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by ixtoxi View Post
Warped rotors are RARE. Vibration under braking can be caused by several front-end issues: worn tie rod ball joints, control arm ball joints, control arm bushings, contaminants on the rotors, etc. How many miles on the car? Regardless of the year of the car, if you have 40-50k on the car, control arm bushings could well be the problem. You can't tell how good they are just by looking at them, you need to diagnose with a good shaking. Jack up the front end, put it on jack stands, hold the wheel at 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock positions and give the wheel a good vigorous push-pull shake. Have someone look at the control arm bushings while you do this. If there is significant movement, your bushings are shot.
Just over 55k on the car. Bought at 42k. I tried the shaking bit and all and get no play in it. Before I spend any money on rotors Ill take it somewhere to have the above checked out. I planned on taking it to dealer for Inspection II in May so I tell them to look it over good in the front.
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Old 04-17-2008, 06:25 AM   #18
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control arm balljoints/bushings, for sure
+1 [[esp if you felt the movement, (like he orig said, 'PULL to either side') in the Steering-Wheel WHILE braking.]]

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Old 04-19-2008, 01:38 AM   #19
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+1 [[esp if you felt the movement, (like he orig said, 'PULL to either side') in the Steering-Wheel WHILE braking.]]

I feel it while braking and a slight vibration (steering wheel jerks side to side) while driving down the road pretty much at any speed. *edit* car does not pull side to side or anything, goes straight but when braking it will pull sometimes.

Considering I replaced everything else Ill give that a shot.

For a set of control arm bushings its 89.95 for heavy duty and 69.95 for the other from bavauto. They appear to come with the bushings already pressed in and all.

I only have my stock jack to work with and will do it in my apartment parking lot. I was reading in the diy on here that the engine cover and some bracing needed to be removed to be able to get that second bolt off for the bushings but it looks as if I could get at it without doing that. What you guys think?

Last edited by Eusaphious; 04-19-2008 at 01:41 AM.
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