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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 12-15-2010, 10:20 AM   #1
SamDoe1
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Shaking like a salt shaker

Alright, first of all I know there are a million threads on this but I just wanted some other people to go through my diagnostic reasoning with me.

Issue:
Car shakes. No vibration under acceleration. Doesn't matter if I baby it or floor it, there is no vibration. Vibration begins at around 40-45mph and becomes more severe from 50-55mph and up. I have very briefly checked the outer CV boots but cannot see any tears or splattered grease on either side. I did not jack the car up so take that with a grain of salt, it is far too cold to be laying on a garage floor under a car right now... I obviously can't see the inner boots unless I do jack the car up.

Diagnosis:
1.) Wheel weight came off during my drive through 15in of snow last weekend.
2.) Bad CV boot, but there is no vibration under acceleration at lower speeds. Also, vibration comes and goes as I cross 50-55mph.
3.) FCABs, these seem ok to me. There is no play in the front control arm. They are in line to be replaced in the spring time though.
4.) Wheel bearing. There's no grinding sounds and no sounds that come and go when I turn the car one way or another.
5.) Something else that I am not considering?
6.) It's not Lupus.

Alright go.
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Old 12-15-2010, 10:34 AM   #2
LD330XI
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Nope, its aids..
1. Check for ice buildup in the wheels.
2. Wheel weight came off? Get 'em re-balanced..

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Old 12-15-2010, 11:58 AM   #3
Mark M
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Speaking of violent shaking - Epileptic bartenders make the best martinis!

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Old 12-15-2010, 12:22 PM   #4
lag 325xi
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check your front ball joints and control arms
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Old 12-15-2010, 12:47 PM   #5
cardsfan007
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mine is doing the exact same thing and i think i had a weight come off on my right rear. lets get them rotated and balanced and see if that helps. my mom used to have a 528i touring that would do almost the same thing, but i dont remember how it was fixed
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Old 12-15-2010, 12:57 PM   #6
feddomw
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Shakes in the front or back: steering wheel shake, or you feel it in your seat?

I had this on an e36. Nightmare to fix. I got HD FCABs that may have made me feel it. Tiny oval rim, tires that did not like sitting still in freezing temps, etc.

In other words, the solution may be numerous fixes, as the shakes are a result of many tiny imperfections which combine to make a serious shake.


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Old 12-15-2010, 01:13 PM   #7
lotar_6
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wheel weight is an issue for sure. also closely examine your tires. I've had steel belts separate in the past that caused vibrations above certain speeds. look on the treads and sidewalls for bubling. usually consistent vibrations during straight line driving above certain speeds means a tire or wheel issue.
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Old 12-15-2010, 01:18 PM   #8
SamDoe1
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Small development. It might have just simply been some ice buildup, I removed several fairly large chunks from the front rims when I got back from lunch. Will evaluate on my way home. Shake was in the steering wheel, not the seat so front wheels being the issue.
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Old 12-15-2010, 01:49 PM   #9
Kubica
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Do you have style 73 wheels? If so, they are probably bent.

Bent wheels.

Final answer.
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Old 12-15-2010, 02:07 PM   #10
SamDoe1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubica View Post
Do you have style 73 wheels? If so, they are probably bent.

Bent wheels.

Final answer.
If those are the million spoke wheels, I do not have those.
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Old 12-15-2010, 02:32 PM   #11
Ivanhoe
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Maybe a front aligment can tell you if something its wrong that is hide from visual inspection ?, works with me once
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Old 12-15-2010, 02:35 PM   #12
TwoDuckDad
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I'd have a trusted mechanic check out all your front end components, axles, shocks, struts first. An inspection of those parts should cost you an hour labor. Have them test drive the car in the same conditions you experience the shaking. Replace any bad components. Take a test drive. If shaking continues consider a road force balance. Just in case you aren't familiar...the RFB machine guides the mechanic to rotate the tire on the wheel to the best position to reduce the imperfections of each. Worth the money for sure. Additionally, lots of guys hate using wheel weights on the outside of their wheels...me included. However, most wheels do not allow weights to be placed far enough out to get the "best" balance. Some aftermarket wheels won't allow outer weights because there is no lip to accommodate. Just my $.02, hope it helps.
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Old 12-15-2010, 05:36 PM   #13
cardsfan007
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when i have my wheels rotated and balanced im going to have all the weights put on the inside. i do have a bubble on my right rear tire, but dont know if i can wait another 2k miles or so till i get new wheels. and i do have style 73 wheels im debating uping to csl replica 18" wheels when i get new tires, but depends on cash flow.
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:13 PM   #14
SamDoe1
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Update: False alarm, it was just excessive snow and ice buildup from the massive storm we got last weekend. Wheels aren't out of balance, all the suspension is still good (for now), and all is right in my world. Also, my wheel weights are on the inside of the rim.

for me, other people feel free to use this thread to discuss anything else about this you need to.
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:31 PM   #15
pcdsl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubica View Post
Do you have style 73 wheels? If so, they are probably bent.

Bent wheels.

Final answer.
do they bend easily? I have them for my winters and I suspect that they are bent... I get a vibration around 100-110km/h in the steering wheel and sometimes when I decelerate coming off the highway ramp.
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Old 12-15-2010, 10:54 PM   #16
mujjuman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamDoe1 View Post
Update: False alarm, it was just excessive snow and ice buildup from the massive storm we got last weekend. Wheels aren't out of balance, all the suspension is still good (for now), and all is right in my world. Also, my wheel weights are on the inside of the rim.

for me, other people feel free to use this thread to discuss anything else about this you need to.
i bet that was a huge relief.
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Old 12-16-2010, 09:57 AM   #17
SamDoe1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mujjuman View Post
i bet that was a huge relief.
You have no idea... I really did not want to roll around on a cold, wet, dirty, salt covered garage floor when it is 5F out side to change my CV boots.
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:17 AM   #18
Rickna
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Have your tires checked for flat spots, it happend to me.
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Old 12-16-2010, 02:51 PM   #19
E-rock
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamDoe1 View Post
Update: False alarm, it was just excessive snow and ice buildup from the massive storm we got last weekend. Wheels aren't out of balance, all the suspension is still good (for now), and all is right in my world. Also, my wheel weights are on the inside of the rim.

for me, other people feel free to use this thread to discuss anything else about this you need to.
Bahaha! I just had the same thing happen to me earlier this week. Booked some time at a shop to have them check the suspension and steering components because I had a light vibration. Appointment was set for Tuesday. Sunday I put the winter tires on. Vibration gone. Very relieved....

...except I spotted a small coolant leak as I put the race jack under the front end, and I have a 500-600 mile road trip coming up on the 28th. Radiator is leaking at the joint right in front of the airbox. New radiator, hoses, and updated expansion tank go in Monday morning!

Glad your issue is all taken care of!
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