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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey I guess you could call me a BMW noob, therefore I need some expertise from the gurus here. I have a '02 325xi I just bought a month ago, just recently it developed a noticeable vibration in the steering wheel. It's not constant as some days it will do it for the first few miles of a trip other days it will do it out of nowhere but the faster you're going the more noticeable it is. My first thought was brakes as it was amplified when the brake pedal was depressed. The pads looked great but the rotors looked well used so I replaced them... Didn't help, I made sure the lug bolts where torqued correctly, checked the cv's that sort of thing, still nothing. Anything I'm overlooking? Thanks

-Willie
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'll check for brake dust tonight after work, how do I go about checking the front axles?

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Do you get vibration under acceleration or just between some speeds?

Brake dust is not going to cause your wheels to go out of balance unless you haven't cleaned only one part of your wheel for like 10 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Around 30 mph and up, the faster I'm going the more noticeable it is, but it's worst when braking at these speeds, just slightly touching the brake pedal makes it go crazy!

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There are so many different things that can cause a vibration with these cars. To check axles get under the car and check for rotational play. You should not be able to rotate the axle by hand with your car on the ramps. I'm talking about 1mm worth of play here, nothing crazy. There should be none at all. Control arms, brakes and calipers, wheels and the passenger side axle pedestal can also cause vibrations. I'm guessing that your front diff can cause vibrations, though i've never read about taht. If it were me, I'd be replacing diff fluid.

EDIT: your last post makes it sound like control arms. vibration when braking is also frequently warped rotors.
 

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Your situation sounds very similar to what I experienced this summer. I bought a used set of 18s, put new tires on them and had the wheels mounted and balanced. At 45mph and up I got intermittent vibrations, some bordering on violent at highway speeds. I researched our forum extensively and decided to start with the simple things first and work toward the more complex. I started with my new wheels although I did not want to believe that they were the problem. They were. I put my stock 16s back on and the vibration went away. I hope your solution is something simple like this, a bent wheel.
 

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Your situation sounds very similar to what I experienced this summer. I bought a used set of 18s, put new tires on them and had the wheels mounted and balanced. At 45mph and up I got intermittent vibrations, some bordering on violent at highway speeds. I researched our forum extensively and decided to start with the simple things first and work toward the more complex. I started with my new wheels although I did not want to believe that they were the problem. They were. I put my stock 16s back on and the vibration went away. I hope your solution is something simple like this, a bent wheel.
+1

definitely start by checking your wheels. have them rebalanced at the most reputable shop you can find. and btw, the guys at your local discount tire or big-o are not reputable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have a local indy shop thats going to rotate and balance the tires, I figured while he has it on the hoist he can check the axles and that as well, thanks again for all your suggestions and I'll let you know how it turns out!

-Willie
 

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Same issue here. After changing out a stuck caliper, had the wheels balanced...twice. Two different shops. Most of it went away but it has been slowly getting worse over the months. Now I just had snow tires mounted and balanced and after I double checked and adjusted the air pressure (it was 45 on all tires) and re-torqued the lug bolts (they were over 150 ft-lbs, now 90), the shimmy is bad at 50 mph, almost all the time now. Tomorrow I'll take it to an all-euro shop and see how they do, but I am pretty sure it's a bad control arm bushing in addition to a sensitive balance. And maybe a bent wheel too. And maybe a flat spot on the tire(s). :facepalm:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, I got the diagnosis back today as a defective caliper... All things considered i'll take that as good news, now I hope that solves it! If not, back to the drawing board!

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So just an update, I got the car back Friday and no sign of the vibration to this point so I'll keep my fingers crossed! Now on to the DIY section to get that oil filter housing gasket taken care of... Thanks again for all your help!

-Willie
 
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