BMW E46 Fanatics Forum banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
i have recently (this week) replaced on the front end
Anti roll bar bushes
Drop links (sway bars)
Lower front arm rear bushes

the problem i still have is, when im driving 40 - 50+ mph, and start to turn a corner (even a slight bend) the steering starts to vibrate or shudder, only slightly, but enough.

the wheels have been balanced too.

what else could cause this vibration?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
554 Posts
+1 on checking the power steering system. If I were you I would check power steering fluid level and condition (brown or dirty looking?) and listen to how the system sounds under the hood while a buddy moves the wheel from lock to lock a few times. You might be able to get some audible evidence that something is amiss with the power steering this way.

I would also go ahead and check all the suspension linkages and bushings up front, as well as, the hubs and bearings for any sign of play. There may be other contributing factor as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,412 Posts
Slight shake in a turn could be bearings...you'd hear a 'whoop whoop' sort of sound on the loaded side too.

If it's constant irregular shaking, I would have said control arm bushings, but I think you replaced them. With which bushings? OE, poly, Meyle HD?

Could be a loose wheel...check lugs. Could be a worn balljoint in either control arms or on the lower tie rod.

You could have a slight bearing issue combined with improper alignment. Your tires could be bad or the wheel flatspotted...that would lead to a consistent, rhythmic vibration...same as with bearing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
i have been advised by a friend to check the ball joints and tie rod ends.. the parts are OE.

not checked the power steering for leaks, ill do that tomorrow,

if it helps diagnose the problem, when im stationary at the lights, if i turn the steering wheel side to side fast, it knocks very quietely.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,412 Posts
i have been advised by a friend to check the ball joints and tie rod ends.. the parts are OE.

not checked the power steering for leaks, ill do that tomorrow,

if it helps diagnose the problem, when im stationary at the lights, if i turn the steering wheel side to side fast, it knocks very quietely.....
That sounds like low PS fluid. You've checked the level already?

What color is the fluid? If really dirty, then maybe you could help by turkey basting fluid or just draining and refilling.

Try also bleeding once you get level proper. Turn fully side to side a few times.

If fluid has been nasty for a while, that might have affected PS pump. Also, when not moving and turning the wheel, you put a lot of pressure on the system, so try to minimize that. Make sure you are moving when you move the wheel.

Then, the ps pump pulley can crack and the shaft can break apart too. If the fluid isn't low, inspect pulley well...maybe even remove belt and see if you can pull the shaft out..inspect plastic pulley for cracks...inspect belt for dry rot and cracking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
all the fluids seem ok... belts seem ok... i have read up some more, alot of people suggest flexible coupling (guibo)

would changing this solve my steering wobble/slight knock,

as i say my symptoms are: when driving over rough roads, the steering feels loose, and knocks slightly, on smooth roads its fine, feels stiff. although when driving at speed, and start turning bends a feel a slight wobble in the wheel. (they have been balanced.

would anyone confirm a flexible coupling (guibo) as the culprit?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,412 Posts
all the fluids seem ok... belts seem ok... i have read up some more, alot of people suggest flexible coupling (guibo)

would changing this solve my steering wobble/slight knock,

as i say my symptoms are: when driving over rough roads, the steering feels loose, and knocks slightly, on smooth roads its fine, feels stiff. although when driving at speed, and start turning bends a feel a slight wobble in the wheel. (they have been balanced.

would anyone confirm a flexible coupling (guibo) as the culprit?
I won't confirm it, if that helps! Might be, but I'm not feeling it!

You check for bearings' issues. Sounds a lot like how bad CABs are described, but I know you got new ones.

Before getting into major suspension stuff, though, doublecheck the tires. Tires with flatspots, for instance, can still be balanced, even though you'd feel it.

If you have a square set up, you could move the front wheels to the back (I know, against BMW rules to rotate!)...but that would eliminate tire/wheel issue.

Lugs tight?

Anyway, I'm thinking wheel/tires/ or wheel bearings. Where you hearing a 'whoop whooping' sound a few months ago...maybe thought it was a stone in the tire tread? Might have been early symptom of bearing. They'll sound worse in turns and you will feel them.

If you know what CABs you installed, let us know. The poly ones transmit a lot of vibration through them, so you might actually be feeling something from elsewhere (possibly).

You're so needy, Liam! Can't wait for you to get a BMW already! :lmao:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
:lmao: i know, im a fussy mother f**ker arnt i

i want it to purr all the way to the local parts shop :lmao: it owes me that much, the least it can do is drive like a BMW should as im shure you would agree mr dmax :p

if i remember rightly i did check for bearings and they were tight, no movement, lugs are tight, possible tyres (tires to you guys ;) )

if not the flexible coupling, how bout tie rod ends or lower arms... both have ball joints on them.. what you think?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,412 Posts
You can check all the ball joints...many diys on checking them.

If you have large channel lock pliers (don't know the 'English' for that) you can squeeze and wiggle them each directly to see if they're moving around in the socket.

Doubt your tires are bad, but tyres :lmao: is a good possibility too...along with my favorite...a flat spotted wheel.

Lift the car and have someone spin the wheel while you look to see if the rim 'hops' up and down...especially on the inside rim where it's softer and more susceptible to flat spotting (from hitting pothole...er crater).

Must run...if wheels/tires bad, move them to the back, adjust tire pressure accordingly and see what you get. Might be just that. Didn't I mention that before? I must be getting old!

Oh, and of course, balance tires...oops, you did that already! Sorry.

But, I will say, though, on the wheels/tires...since you're only feeling it in a turn, maybe the odds of this are smaller...though if you want something to do...doesn't cost anything!

...sorry, you got a 'random-fest' I know!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
balanced tyres.. again, no flat spotted wheels or buckles :facepalm:, to add to my symptoms, if i drive over a cobbled road or over a speed bump, i feel the knock very bad in the steering wheel, like the steering wheel is loose (obviously it isnt)..

im planning on changing tie rod ends, but im not 100% shure its that, would bad balljoints on the lower arms cause this kind of knock in the steering?

its literely 3-5mph over a bump, curb, pot hole, thats when it is most obvious... at high speeds the steering wheel wobbles slightly, as if the balancing was out (but its not)... there must be someone that has had this problem and solved it already, its really really annoying :banghead:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,412 Posts
balanced tyres.. again, no flat spotted wheels or buckles :facepalm:, to add to my symptoms, if i drive over a cobbled road or over a speed bump, i feel the knock very bad in the steering wheel, like the steering wheel is loose (obviously it isnt)..

im planning on changing tie rod ends, but im not 100% shure its that, would bad balljoints on the lower arms cause this kind of knock in the steering?

its literely 3-5mph over a bump, curb, pot hole, thats when it is most obvious... at high speeds the steering wheel wobbles slightly, as if the balancing was out (but its not)... there must be someone that has had this problem and solved it already, its really really annoying :banghead:
Liam, have you jacked up the wheels and wiggled them side to side/ up and down? Or better...have someone else do that with you underneath feeling things for a click. It seems like you might have a decent shot of finding something.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
hello all.. d.max.. :lmao:

after alot of searching, its the power steering rack, where the column meets the rack

currently searching for a replacement :facepalm:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,412 Posts
hello all.. d.max.. :lmao:

after alot of searching, its the power steering rack, where the column meets the rack

currently searching for a replacement :facepalm:
I don't mean to be a bother, Liam...but...

I reread your first post...picked up more on the standing still rocking wheels back and forth and you hear a knocking.

I don't think rack; I think tie rods, either upper or lower, but not rack.

I know I have a worn spot in the center of my rack. I can wiggle the steering wheel back and forth a 1/2" maybe where it's dead. But, in a turn, it doesn't wiggle. Once I'm pushing to that side in a turn, it's fine as long as I keep in the turn...which I do, because, you know, it's a turn!

Anyway, either upper or lower ball joints on the tie rod. Sorry to be a bother, but I didn't want to think that and not annoy you with it!

I'm sure the mechanic suggesting the rack replacement also suggested doing tie rods, or did he?

Just test thinking tie rod...and also, ask/search around here for symptoms of a bad rack. I always thought that the steering would get harder if the rack was gone. If the seal is broken, it wouldn't push so hard to one side. The play in the center is, my understanding, is pretty common after so many miles. It might be 'bad' technically, but for me, it works fine.

Oh, note, if there's fluid leaking from the upper boot, it means that you might consider a rack repair kit...I've read about them.

The worst thing is that this is doable as a diy...except for the alignment part, which I'm sure you'd want.

The tie rods are really easy...remove upper bolt that's under the boot...remove tie rod end. Measure and match approximately with new one...get alignment.

That said, I don't know that racks 'don't' knock, but do know that failed or loose ball joints would. Easy to check...I know you said you did, but I'm not sure if it was you or your mechanic...and I don't know if either of you knows really. I don't want to question your mechanic...though I have to say, I do mine all the time! The good ones know they can be mistaken and not know everything! Just trying to save you the expense of a rack...I'm sure you'd feel better with a new one, but not sure it would knock when standing still.

Ah, sorry...lie on ground while someone turns the wheel side to side. You listen to components with a hose in your ear. Isolate the source. If at the rack...it still could be the upper balljoint on tie rod upper that attaches to the rack.

Oops...think this was kind of long for just tie rods!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
you make me laugh dmax :lmao: only you could explain tie rods in such detail

you are right though, my mechanic did mension possible tie rod ends, but then quickly turned away saying they were fine, he said he jacked up the front end and held one of the wheels, whilst a friend "wobbled" the steering wheel side to side, thats when he noticed play in the rack.. he said there was no play in the column or the "nuckle" that connects to the rack..

(im not mechanicly minded on steering racks or columns)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,412 Posts
you make me laugh dmax :lmao: only you could explain tie rods in such detail

you are right though, my mechanic did mension possible tie rod ends, but then quickly turned away saying they were fine, he said he jacked up the front end and held one of the wheels, whilst a friend "wobbled" the steering wheel side to side, thats when he noticed play in the rack.. he said there was no play in the column or the "nuckle" that connects to the rack..

(im not mechanicly minded on steering racks or columns)
I was helping my mechanic with his e36 today and asked about whether a rack could make a knocking sound. He said no...or that he hasn't seen that--and like a good friend, agreed with me that it could be ball joints...but he said 'any' ball joint' could knock...so it could be inner, maybe outer ball joint of either tie rods or CAs.

Try listening with the hose...turning while it's not moving. I bet you could isolate it if you haven't tried that yet.

Racks are pricey...so I'd try to save mine if possible. I don't think the play in it is causing the knock.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
277 Posts
I'm at a loss for why people were leading you on a wild goose chase? In a general mechanics sense, there is no way low power steering fluid would create a wobble. It might make your steering be hard, or erraticly loose then hard, but no wobbles.

Right from your first post it was pretty apparent that the problem is either tie rod ends or ball joints. Those are pretty much the only wear items that hold your steering wheel and wheels locked together. So any play between the 2 would cause a wobble or wandering.

If it were me, I would just replace tie-rod ends and ball joints to ensure I got the problem. They are cheap parts, and if you're already under there with the wheels off, might as well do both.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
i see your point yes, i have asked about ball joints and tie rod ends to my mechanic, and he said they were fine... i will probably just do them anyway as i have done alot of things to it lately (i have alot of threads) it is at the 10yr point now so im just doing all the wear an tear parts now so i know there done and i wont need to worry about them in the future..

just to ask, would i need to replace the lower arms or just the ball joints
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top