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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bought my first BMW (323ci) last weekend, fantastic looking car!

*I searched the forum for posts like this but couldn't find anything that had this amount of issues in one post, so I hope its all OK.

I was driving it home after picking it up from and span it at low speed (20/25mph) coming off a roundabout. :cry: It was wet and I wasn't used to rear wheel drive. I span 180 and slid sideways over a curb and ran off into a grassy patch. Thinking I was lucky not to have totalled the car I drove it home. Car had developed a vibration and the steering was very loose and unresponsive through the steering wheel. I also had dents on driver’s side alloys. On closer inspection the alloys seemed ok.

Took it to a garage the next day to have it inspected, report back was the front control arms on both sides + bushes were knackered and needed replaced (£400). I went ahead and got this work done which improved the wobble I was having from the steering and feels a lot better but I still have a small vibration at all speeds which gets faster as the car accelerates. I also have a squeaky brake after the accident. I had to two front wheels aligned, but it hasn't made any difference.

Also when I also drive over 85mph on the motorway this massively loud vibration sound appears from the driver side, it gets louder and louder the faster you go. Its gets so bad it drowns out all other noises and I can feel the whole car vibrate.

Garage also mentioned to me that the rubber on the front is the wrong size for the alloys (18” msports) and that it might need replacing.

All I can think of for the cause is wheel bearings, wheel balancing or warped rims. Could it be anything else?

Has anyone done something similar or got any advice for a rather embarrassed RWD noob :bow:
 

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Take you car to a tire shop and get them to put all of the wheels on a balancing machine. Make sure all of your wheels are still round and have no sideways play. If they are good then have them balanced as there is a good chance you may have lost wheel weights.
 

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Another thing to try with the car lifted with a jack, or the front on jack stands: grab the wheel at 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock and wiggle it back and forth to check for movement. If it moves this signifies bad tie rods usually. Then, grab the wheel at 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock and wiggle it back and forth. If it moves in this direction, that means it could be a bad wheel bearing or hub. Also spin the wheel when the car is lifted, if you hear any grinding, scraping, or rattling noises, that could be a bad bearing or warped rotor. If the wheel is hard to move rotationally, you could have a seized caliper.
 

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2003 M3 6MT Slicktop
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I was driving it home after picking it up from and span it at low speed (20/25mph) coming off a roundabout. :cry: It was wet and I wasn't used to rear wheel drive. I span 180 and slid sideways over a curb and ran off into a grassy patch.

All I can think of for the cause is wheel bearings, wheel balancing or warped rims. Could it be anything else?
it could be other things but for sure your wheels/tires will need to be rebalanced and inspected for warping or flat spots. get this done and proceed from there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks folks, quick replys :)

Tomorrow il stick the car on axle stands and see if there is any play, then take the car to a tyre shop and get them to check. On closer inspection today it seems ive lost some weights on the drivers side alloys, I don't understand how such little weight can make a huge difference. Any ideas about the very loud vibration/pulsing noise over a certain speed? Would bearings or bad alloys cause this, or would it effect it at any speed? Honestly sounds like the noise is coming from the side of the car but its hard to tell.

Thanks.
 

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Thanks folks, quick replys :)

Tomorrow il stick the car on axle stands and see if there is any play, then take the car to a tyre shop and get them to check. On closer inspection today it seems ive lost some weights on the drivers side alloys, I don't understand how such little weight can make a huge difference. Any ideas about the very loud vibration/pulsing noise over a certain speed? Would bearings or bad alloys cause this, or would it effect it at any speed? Honestly sounds like the noise is coming from the side of the car but its hard to tell.

Thanks.
Your wheels need to be balanced and the runout needs to be checked before you can move on to smaller things. And yes, losing wheel weights will cause large vibrations.
 

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Another thing to try with the car lifted with a jack, or the front on jack stands: grab the wheel at 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock and wiggle it back and forth to check for movement. If it moves this signifies bad tie rods usually. Then, grab the wheel at 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock and wiggle it back and forth. If it moves in this direction, that means it could be a bad wheel bearing or hub. Also spin the wheel when the car is lifted, if you hear any grinding, scraping, or rattling noises, that could be a bad bearing or warped rotor. If the wheel is hard to move rotationally, you could have a seized caliper.
+1^

Also the ball joints on the lower control arms. These wear out at 150k anyway.
Whatever is causing it probably needed to replaced anyway. At around 115 to 150k you replace most of the suspension because it's just worn out. Even the steering guibo......look into that as well.

Also.....look at my sig......for new members

And update what was causing it
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks folks, really helpful. Would you recommend fitting new tie rods, guibo for standard mantenice? Only thing to do is wait to see what the garage says. Strange about the vibration and noise over a certain speed. I really hope I can get these things sorted so I can get on with minor tuning. :)
 

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Yeah I would recommend them as maintenance items. The guibo will tighten up the steering quite a bit. I'm at 130k and mine had 1/16 of play. Transfer that all the way up to the wheel and it was 1/2" of play.

I can't say what helps and what doesn't. I replaced a lot of items all at once and the car handled like new.
 

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Thanks folks, quick replys :)
Tomorrow il stick the car on axle stands and see if there is any play, then take the car to a tyre shop and get them to check. On closer inspection today it seems ive lost some weights on the drivers side alloys, I don't understand how such little weight can make a huge difference. Any ideas about the very loud vibration/pulsing noise over a certain speed? Would bearings or bad alloys cause this, or would it effect it at any speed? Honestly sounds like the noise is coming from the side of the car but its hard to tell.
Thanks.
i seriously doubt you lost some wheel weights. what you are probably seeing is the old weights taken off when they balanced the new tires.
again if you hit a curb there are sevral things that could be damaged. but for sure your wheels that hit would be taken out of balance.
and yes, a speed sensitive sound or wobble is often the symptom with a wheel-tire being out of balance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
i seriously doubt you lost some wheel weights. what you are probably seeing is the old weights taken off when they balanced the new tires.
again if you hit a curb there are sevral things that could be damaged. but for sure your wheels that hit would be taken out of balance.
and yes, a speed sensitive sound or wobble is often the symptom with a wheel-tire being out of balance.
I was actually surprised there wasn't more damage... but time will tell I guess. The car actually bounced over the curb, so all wheel hit it at different angles and speed. I ended up a little shocked to be facing backward with the girlfriend who I had just picked up from work sitting there glaring at me after me giving her a spool about how safe the car was with all the airbags etc. :facepalm:
 

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....you must not have seen the passenger airbag recall going on right now that shoots shrapnel at the passenger. Mother bled out in front of her kid ......safe.

Other than that. When I was rebuilding mine I looked at several pictures of wrecks. The front crumbles.....the back crumbles.....but the passenger compartment was usually good to go. Seems safe
 

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I did something similar but it was stupid and intentional. I went drifting in the rain with traction off. Anyways, ended up bending my rear passenger lower control arm and heavily dented up that rim.

Eventually after fixing it, I was left with a loud roaring sound as well which I have to also assume was my wheel bearing. I saw signs of grease splattered on to that rim which I first assumed was maybe my axle damaged, with boot ripped sending that crap everywhere, but upon closer inspection, the boot wasn't even ripped.

The axle did get dented up team good, so that may pay a role in its off balance spinning, but for sure my wheel bearing was shot. Never got around to fixing it. Someone rear ended the car when it was parked and totaled it
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for responses, I will be taking the car in over the weekend to get it checked out. I have been recommended a good balancer who will look at all the suspension and see if anything is up. Il update this and let you know how things are going once I've done that :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Finally getting round to fixing

Hey,

Sorry for the late reply, having finally tested the suspension and wheels on my car, I am getting the track rod ends, brake disks, fan belt and new wheel balance, tracking and a full 60 major service.

Guy at the garage said that the wheels were slightly buckled as well, but not that bad. Think he wants to move them to the back in order to sort out any wobble, is this normal practice?

All in all, with new front control arms and all the stuff above, my wee slip cost me £1100. :read::ben:

Il let you know how it handles once I get it back from the garage later on.
 

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Get new wheels. Shouldn't cost too much for some good used wheels from a forum member. They'll be good here to as people generally only sell them because they upgraded to new wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well thats all the problems solved, no noise at high speeds, controls well, no squeaking brakes, no vibration after everything was balanced properly, all for the pretty sum of £720. Thanks for the advice guys.

:clap:
 
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