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Discussion Starter #1
1999 BMW 328i (4-door; e46)

I've got a bit of a problem with my steering wheel. It shakes quite a bit you see. At around 25mph, it has a modest shake/vibration. At 65mph, its got a violent shake and vibration like a freakin' personal massager.

What are your first thoughts about this??

How it all began: [Sunday]
1. "Brake pad low" warning light came on. (FRONT pads were low)
1'. Was going to replace FRONT pads and rotors, but dumbass dealer gave me the wrong rotors. So, with mt car up on jacks and shiet: (below)
2. Rotated tires: front to back, back to front.
~This is when I felt the shaking in the steering wheel.

[Monday]
3. Got correct set of rotors.
4. Replaced FRONT rotors, pads, and sensor. (All OEM BMW)
~The shaking is STILL there!

Arghh!!

Let's see, I think I may have a SLIGHT bend in the lip of my front-passenger side wheel. But it's minor, otherwise everything else seems okay. New rotors and pads. Could it be this bent rim did not affect my steering when it was mounted in the back? Are there any other possibilities causing steering shake? Alignment issues? Tire balancing issues?

Please help...:sad:
 

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Alpha Male
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Move the wheels back to the orginal position and see if it still shakes. The problem with rotating tires is that you have uneven tire wear even with the proper inflation.

Troubleshooting is the process of elimination you have to work backwards.

If it still shakes after "unrotating the tires" get them balanced.
 

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Slow in, slower out
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sbk25 said:
...Let's see, I think I may have a SLIGHT bend in the lip of my front-passenger side wheel. But it's minor, otherwise everything else seems okay. ...
DING! You have a bent wheel.


Ed
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The consensus are the wheels then...I'll give an update shortly...

Although, please continue to submit your opinions...Your thoughts are appreciated...thanks fellas...
 

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Could be front control arm bushings....my '99 323i had to have them replaced two months ago.

First sign of this was a vibrating wheel starting at around 35-40 miles an hour.
I have brand new tires, aligned and balanced and new brake pads.

Jon:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
How much does it cost to replace the front control arm bushings? Are there aftermarket (polyurethane) parts available?
 

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Did you torque the wheel bolts to the specs that BMW recommends (see manual).

My dad also had some vibration in his steering wheel on his new E46 and it turned out that the wheel bolts were tightened to much. After torqueing to correct specs the vibration disappeared.

I dunno if that might be solution :dunno:
 

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St. Louis BMW Fanatic
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sbk25 said:
How much does it cost to replace the front control arm bushings? Are there aftermarket (polyurethane) parts available?

Most dealerships can replace front control arm bushings for less than $500 parts and labor.
 

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dealership quoted me $500 + but I took it to a local BMW shop and he did it for $280.00:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

Runs smooth as ever now
 

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Modelrater
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Wasn't there a service bulleting about the control arm bushings? I believe they changed mine out awhile back. :dunno:
 

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I SHOP @ TURNER MOTORSPORT
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CLEM's probably right. Uneven tire wear sounds like the culprit. Look to see if your tires that you transferred to the rear are feathered (each patch of tread looks like it has a slope on them). Balancing could be another.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm at work right now, and anxious to work on the car, dayum...I hope it's a simple rotation/tire-balancing issue. I mean, I haven't rotated my tires since I first mounted them. 12,000 miles, I believe. Ridiculous, eh? (Please, let it be uneven tire wear.) :tsk:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Update:

This is going to be an issue with the lower control arm bushings, after reading a prior thread who had the same experience as I. When I initially applied the brakes, the steering wheel would give a little kick (in addition to the shaky'ness). I decided to have it inspected. Dropped off my car to my local mechanic Tuesday evening and received a call the next day. He indicated the ball joints were normal, but the bushings were worn and loose. Long story short, he replaced them and I was on my way. Conclusion: No more shake + no more twitch (w/the initial application of the brakes).

So now I'm happy...again...but broke'r than broke, as usual...(stupid bushings...)

I opted to have them replaced with a polyurethane bushing, but he indicated it would change the comfort of driving my car. "Sure it will handle better," he said...but "it's likely they'll begin to squeak and make noise." For me to remove the lower control arm to re-grease the bushings was not worth the task. So I decided otherwise with the OEM stuff...Do any of you have the polyurethane bushings? What's your initial and final impressions?

Thanks for your support fellas...cheers mates!:tsk:
 
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