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Old 12-04-2013, 01:42 PM   #1
Piedmont
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What is causing this vibration?

Hello, I just purchased a 1999 323i w/ 205k miles. Previous owner said it needed a wheel bearing, but I am not so sure. Here are the symptoms:

Vibration in the rear similar to a wheel off balance at every speed ( worse when going faster) when no throttle is applied.

While accelerating, there is no vibration.

There is vibration in neutral, and in every gear when NOT accelerating.

Clutch in or out doesn't matter.


Could this be a wheel bearing? Any tests I can do to eliminate certain things? Thanks for the help!

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Old 12-04-2013, 02:11 PM   #2
zabalzae
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What is causing this vibration?

Yes it could be, bad bushings too.


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Old 12-04-2013, 02:28 PM   #3
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Is this a 5sp or auto? I recently had the exact same problem and it ended up being the clutch. Hopefully this is not the case for you.
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:48 PM   #4
Piedmont
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Is this a 5sp or auto? I recently had the exact same problem and it ended up being the clutch. Hopefully this is not the case for you.
It is a manual. I don't see how the clutch could cause it, seeing as how it happens whether the clutch is in or out...
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:59 PM   #5
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anyone else have any ideas?
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Old 12-05-2013, 05:09 PM   #6
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Even if you don't need a wheel bearing, you need one. It has to be done. Even 09 BMWs are having bearings fail. Your car is likely 14+ years 200k miles. It needs it!! you likely also need a center bearing and driveshaft coupler. Do the latter first since its easier and more straightforward.
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Old 12-05-2013, 05:56 PM   #7
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If the bearings have never been replaced, for sure it needs them, but worn bearings also cause horrible whining sound at higher speeds.
Jack up the rear and wiggle the wheel grabbing it 6-12 and 3-9, if you feel any free play, the bearings are gone.
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:07 PM   #8
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If the bearings have never been replaced, for sure it needs them, but worn bearings also cause horrible whining sound at higher speeds.
Jack up the rear and wiggle the wheel grabbing it 6-12 and 3-9, if you feel any free play, the bearings are gone.
FWIW, my rear wheels had no play whatsoever but the bearings were beyond fried at an autocross which made it way worse. one was anyway. Extremely loud under load.
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