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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
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Old 10-01-2011, 02:36 PM   #1
gman31
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2002 e46 325ci still has brake shudder ... wtf!

After about a year of having an issue when braking the problem is still not fixed. (When I brake you feel a vibration in the steering wheel)

Items fixed in the last year:-

New rear bearings
New front wishbone and bushes ( i noticed wheel movement on braking, gone now
x2 front calipers as were sticking
All 4 shocks absorbers replaced
All 4 tyres rebalanced
New front Brake discs and pads (mechanic replaced first discs as said warped, but still have the problem)

My worry now is that the mechanic has said the car drives like new and can not see any problems, suggesting that the shuddering does not exist?.

But after getting an MOT done today the guy noted down "Nearside and offside front brake juddering slightly" and that was without even driving the car?.

I'm glad its not just my wife and me going crazy as this problem seems to be evident with the car and is clearly not fine. Can any of you help me solve this annoying issue ?

Thanks for reading
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Old 10-01-2011, 02:51 PM   #2
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You replaced the FCAB and RCAB's and it still shudders?
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Old 10-01-2011, 03:01 PM   #3
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erm .. sorry not much of a mechanic, if you are talking about the bushes ? only the front were done, which did fix the shudder/wheel movement. But shudder has come back.

Also when he fitted the second new front discs the shudder was gone, but after about a week of driving came back
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Old 10-02-2011, 06:33 AM   #4
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Also note that it is not all the time bad, sometimes when I break its hardly noticeable other times worse, but does always happen when driving
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Old 10-02-2011, 06:43 AM   #5
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To exactly describe what happens here gos:

When breaking, especially coming of a motorway junction, the steering wheel will shake from left to right, sometimes more aggressive and other times not very much. I also have noticed that on short journeys you sometimes hardly get anything that is noticeable, ( guessing heat related?, not sure)
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Old 10-02-2011, 07:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gman31 View Post
After about a year of having an issue when braking the problem is still not fixed. (When I brake you feel a vibration in the steering wheel)

Items fixed in the last year:-

New rear bearings
New front wishbone and bushes ( i noticed wheel movement on braking, gone now
x2 front calipers as were sticking
All 4 shocks absorbers replaced
All 4 tyres rebalanced
New front Brake discs and pads (mechanic replaced first discs as said warped, but still have the problem)

My worry now is that the mechanic has said the car drives like new and can not see any problems, suggesting that the shuddering does not exist?.

But after getting an MOT done today the guy noted down "Nearside and offside front brake juddering slightly" and that was without even driving the car?.

I'm glad its not just my wife and me going crazy as this problem seems to be evident with the car and is clearly not fine. Can any of you help me solve this annoying issue ?

Thanks for reading
A few things I can think of for you to study up on here and consider--you're running out of possibilities, so that's good!

Front wheel bearing

Improper, insufficient brake line bleeding

Runout

Flat spotted wheel combined with some front bearing issue

Improper 'anything' you already did--either the part or the install

Brake bedding

Still sticking caliper (you can test if a caliper is sticking by its heat--run on the highway a short bit, pull over without using brakes, and feel the temp of rotors (including inside half of disk) with a finger dampened with spit. Count how long until you have to remove your finger--it's a great thermometer!)

Wrong mechanic--you suspect this already. He's thrown a lot of parts at a problem already!

I was going to go with 'bedding' 'as my number one guess, but then you said it happened when the car had a MOT (which I guess is a 'motor vehicle inspection') and hadn't been driven...though I guess you did have to drive to get an MOT, right? Still might just be an issue with build up on the rotor and that a proper bedding might help.

If not, my second guess is sticking calipers in the rear--you'd still feel a vibration from the rear through your steering wheel. The car is pretty tightly put together!

Sorry, no help at all, I know! You should read up and investigate the possibilities...you can rule a lot of stuff out easily. Also, you can do a lot of brake work yourself with tools and the diys here!
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Old 10-02-2011, 09:32 AM   #7
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tbh the mechanic did fix the bushes which corrected wheel movement on braking ( and x2 of the shocks did go), but I think he needs to spend more to investigating my issue, I guess because hes so busy - my problem is not a money making job for him
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Old 10-02-2011, 01:08 PM   #8
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Just remembered when he replaced the discs, that he said were the cause of steering wheel shake while breaking, the pads were not replaced as they are pretty much like new.

just read this:- "it is necessary to replace your brake pads so that it will mate and align to the brake disc"

then again read something about car front wheel bearing.

nightmare this!
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Old 10-02-2011, 01:12 PM   #9
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When you brake it shudders?

Feel the lip of the rotors on the outer side and inner side. I'd bet one side is wearing faster due to a seized caliper. I've changed calipers on every car I've owned. Pesky buggers. Same symptoms.

Nvm you said you've changed the two front out. Did you also change the rotors?

Ok I'm impatient with reading today. I see rotors also changed.

Tie rod? Also, you can try changing wheel sets? If you have another set of BMW alloys with the correct hub bore measurements.
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Old 10-02-2011, 01:17 PM   #10
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yes he put on new rotors a couple of months ago, the mechanic replaced them again! saying this was the problem (bad batch, he did seem surprised that this was the problem), but I am now getting the steering while shake with another set of brand new ones

Last edited by gman31; 10-02-2011 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 10-03-2011, 11:39 AM   #11
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Car booked in again to hopefully get this problems sorted out.
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Old 10-03-2011, 11:47 AM   #12
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Just for GP, replace the RTABS.
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Old 10-03-2011, 11:51 AM   #13
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I have a very simple question for you, OP.

What brand rotors did your mechanic install?

Here's the deal with a lot of "mechanics". A lot of them (if not all) will install the most generic brake parts on your car while charging you for "OEM." If you don't know which brand he installed, assume he installed a generic chinese part.
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Old 10-03-2011, 02:47 PM   #14
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not sure what brand, but these are his second set he has fitted to my car. not sure if this is the issue though
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:20 PM   #15
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Find out. When I got my car it had brand new chinese OP Parts rotors on them with new op parts brake pads. The cheapest brakes for our cars. i had a brake vibration as well. new control arms and new bushings didnt cure it. i changed to brembo rotors and textar pads and braking is perfectly smooth.
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Old 10-03-2011, 04:44 PM   #16
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hm, should of done my own pads/discs like I usually do. Was just being lazy this time round
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Old 10-04-2011, 12:02 AM   #17
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Does the car still stop with force or does it feel like it's travelling a little further?
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Old 10-04-2011, 01:43 PM   #18
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*UPDATE*

ok tested the car on the motorway today with speeds of 50+ and I am getting a vibration/shake in the pedal, steering wheel and gear knob (only some gears, like 4th).
Also in traffic when I lightly press the brake pedal it does not feel very smooth, hard to describe - like the pads are fully gripping then slightly releasing, giving a not so smooth slow down.

on normal roads it sometimes can be hard to notice anything wrong with the car ? but when you brake it is very efficient, very tight, i guess as nearly new.

Well the car gos in tomorrow any advice that I can give the mechanic would be much appreciated - will keep you updated on the conclusion to this problem
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Old 10-05-2011, 04:16 PM   #19
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Ok mechanic has had the car today and replaced pads and discs for the 3rd time, could not see anything else wrong I guess. Said let me know how this go's. Not charged me a penny again which is good
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:47 PM   #20
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Ok mechanic has had the car today and replaced pads and discs for the 3rd time, could not see anything else wrong I guess. Said let me know how this go's. Not charged me a penny again which is good
Read as many brake bedding threads as you can. You shouldn't really need to if you use the brakes correctly, but there are many ways you could be inadvertently messing up your brakes without knowing any different.

If you have a route to work, say, that takes you down a long hill and you're on the brakes constantly, and they get really hot, and then you hold the pad onto the hot rotor at the bottom of the hill, that could deposit brake pad material on it to the point that you think you have 'warped' the rotors, but in fact, you're just running into and out of deposits that will give you the sense the rotors are warped. There's a good explanation of the warping myth somewhere online that I've read...can't remember where.

I only use the brakes hard when I use them...which is not too much as I have a manual, but if they're hot and I'm stopped, I'll slowly move forward to allow the rotor to cool...just a few inches at a time. Still, though, keep an eye on it, and do some learning up about brakes...it could be you, but if it isn't, knowing about them can help you diagnose what's wrong.

Next step is looking at caliper...clean guidepins/grease (though bmw tis says don't), clean all mating surfaces really well and use a light coating of anti-seize without getting any near the threads for the lug nuts.

Don't assume the issue is in the front, though it probably is. But you would feel vibration in the wheel from bad brakes in the rear as well...or frankly, from failing/failed suspension components. After a certain point, be sure to check your assumptions and check everything.
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