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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 01-31-2011, 12:31 PM   #1
xtascox
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Philadelphia
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My Ride: 325xi
Minor vibration (not cv joint issue)

I had both axles replaced to fix the "shuttering after driving for an hour" problem. All is great, no more shuttering. Though I still do have a minor vibration now that exists randomly while coasting (in and out of gear) and more noticeably during acceleration. It's a mild vibration in the steering wheel. I had an alignment done a few days ago and the car goes straight when the wheel is straight but the wheel veers right when I let go. The alignment issue didn't arise until I had my passenger side axle replaced. The vibration has been there since before I had any axles replaced.

Any thoughts?
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:51 PM   #2
Kubica
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For starters, sounds like you need to go back and get a proper alignment.
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:40 PM   #3
Captainbiceps
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Wheels are balanced too ?
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:06 PM   #4
xtascox
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Balanced (and rotated) and I agree with the proper alignment, Going to go to BMW to get a proper alignment,
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:08 AM   #5
pilotlviv
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before visiting the BMW try to put the wheel back on the front, if the result is the same, the problem may be in axle. I have had the same problem, but apart from the axes (left and right) I had to change the support
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:36 AM   #6
lotar_6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotlviv View Post
before visiting the BMW try to put the wheel back on the front, if the result is the same, the problem may be in axle. I have had the same problem, but apart from the axes (left and right) I had to change the support
great suggestion! See if the problem follows the wheel first. And it could be a bushing or ball joint starting to go bad if it's independent of the wheel. Or, replace the fluid in the diff's. I had a slight vibration (very slight) that went away when I replaced the fluid in the front diff... of course you prolly have new fluid if the axles were just replaced.
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Old 02-14-2011, 12:08 AM   #7
blinkerfluid
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I have a similar problem caused by my front control arm bushings being bad (origional at 130K) This is a really common part to fail, and your car will not hold an alignment at all if these are bad. Do a search and you will find a plethora of threads on FCAB failure.

My car pulls to one side like yours does. Slight vibration, especially under power. It also sort of drifts to the same side under moderate breaking. It enough to be unnerving when driving like an idiot on the freeway. Also, the steering dives to one side when I hit small bumps and potholes. One of my ball joints is going bad, so some of this stuff may be caused by that, but I know most of it is the FCABs.

I haven't done this myself, but I read you can check your FCABs by doing the following: Have a friend watch your front tire from beside the car, while driving slowly. When the brakes are applied, your wheel should remain stationary (front to back direction) with respect to the rest of your car. If it moves front to back when you brake your FCABs are bad.
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:32 AM   #8
dcaron999
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I had a similar vibration problem, even with my wheels just balanced. The next thing on my trial and error list, was to get the rims fixed, as I was told three out of the four rims were bent when I got them balanced. After swapping my fronts with my backs, and the problem getting worse, I tried something simplistic, which solved my problem. Since we are in the middle of winter here in Quebec, and the car and rims get filthy, I decided I would clean the rims thouroughly, by using a thin piece of wood (paint stirring stick) and scraping the dirt off the interior of my rims, then rinsing with a stream of water.

I did this in my heated garage, and let the car dry over night. To my amazement, the vibration and steering wheel shake I was experiencing at highway speeds before, completely disappeared. So it looks like a slight offset in weight due to crud accumulation on interior of rims, caused the rims to get unbalanced. You might want to try this, even though it sounds ridiculous. Steel rims and hubcaps are perhaps less prone to this problem then rims with spokes....

Last edited by dcaron999; 02-14-2011 at 08:37 AM.
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