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swchang
12-03-2003, 11:02 PM
What would cause a car to shake? I never had a problem with this until I brought my car in for a major tune-up. Afterwards, the car would shake sometimes when going at speeds like 50-80 mph. It doesn't do it all the time, and sometimes will shake for a little while and then stop, but it's certainly noticeable enough to me to be annoying.

So here are my questions:

1) What could be causing this? I heard that simply balancing the tires should solve it. Any merit to that?

2) Is it bad for the car? Should I make sure to do it right away, or is it cool to let it go for a few weeks? (I've already driven on it for a couple months...)

Thanks in advance. :)

akbmw81
12-03-2003, 11:09 PM
What would cause a car to shake? I never had a problem with this until I brought my car in for a major tune-up. Afterwards, the car would shake sometimes when going at speeds like 50-80 mph. It doesn't do it all the time, and sometimes will shake for a little while and then stop, but it's certainly noticeable enough to me to be annoying.

So here are my questions:

1) What could be causing this? I heard that simply balancing the tires should solve it. Any merit to that?

2) Is it bad for the car? Should I make sure to do it right away, or is it cool to let it go for a few weeks? (I've already driven on it for a couple months...)

Thanks in advance. :)


Definitely check the balance and tire pressures...Had this problem with a previous car and ended up having a tire blow out...better to be safe than sorry...

swchang
12-03-2003, 11:59 PM
Definitely check the balance and tire pressures...Had this problem with a previous car and ended up having a tire blow out...better to be safe than sorry...

Tire blow out? Wow, that sucks... Sorry to hear that. I think my tire pressures are fine, but where would I go to get the tires balanced? Is there a chain-type company that does that, like Jiffy Lube does oil changes? Or any gas station? And what would that run me? Like $30?

Terry Kennedy
12-04-2003, 01:03 AM
I think my tire pressures are fine, but where would I go to get the tires balanced? Is there a chain-type company that does that, like Jiffy Lube does oil changes? Or any gas station? And what would that run me? Like $30?Many folks here think the Hunter GSP9700 is the best balancing machine. Click here (http://128.242.141.111/pub/search/findgsp9700.cfm) to find a shop with one near you. Note that not all the locations listed are retail shops that will work with you - a search near my location (NYC) turns up the FBI garage and a couple stealth BMW NA offices :D in addition to various shops.

swchang
12-04-2003, 01:20 AM
Many folks here think the Hunter GSP9700 is the best balancing machine. Click here (http://128.242.141.111/pub/search/findgsp9700.cfm) to find a shop with one near you. Note that not all the locations listed are retail shops that will work with you - a search near my location (NYC) turns up the FBI garage and a couple stealth BMW NA offices :D in addition to various shops.

Great, thanks a lot!

TGray5
12-04-2003, 01:29 AM
My guess is that during the tuneup they rotated the tires. You probably had a balance problem in one of the rear tires and now it is more noticeable that it is in the front. Either that or a wheel weight fell off during the tire rotation. Get a good balance...also take a very close look at the tires for damage or unusual wear and check tire pressure.

What would cause a car to shake? I never had a problem with this until I brought my car in for a major tune-up. Afterwards, the car would shake sometimes when going at speeds like 50-80 mph. It doesn't do it all the time, and sometimes will shake for a little while and then stop, but it's certainly noticeable enough to me to be annoying.

So here are my questions:

1) What could be causing this? I heard that simply balancing the tires should solve it. Any merit to that?

2) Is it bad for the car? Should I make sure to do it right away, or is it cool to let it go for a few weeks? (I've already driven on it for a couple months...)

Thanks in advance. :)

swchang
12-04-2003, 01:35 AM
My guess is that during the tuneup they rotated the tires. You probably had a balance problem in one of the rear tires and now it is more noticeable that it is in the front. Either that or a wheel weight fell off during the tire rotation. Get a good balance...also take a very close look at the tires for damage or unusual wear and check tire pressure.

Yeah, I thought they might have done something, too. They said they didn't rotate the tires, though, and even suggested I come in to get the wheels balanced...

I'll probably go to one of those places with the Hunter thing (not any of the car dealerships, though, as I'm sure they'll charge a ton more) and ask them to also inspect the tires.

What's a reasonable price to get that done?

Chris90
12-04-2003, 07:11 AM
The place I take my car (3DAutoworks) heats the tires before balancing them, that seems to help.
I assume you mean just the steering wheel is shaking rather than the whole car?
My whole car shakes when the clutch heats up after a couple minutes of driving in traffic - shakes when I engage first gear.

swchang
12-04-2003, 10:57 AM
The place I take my car (3DAutoworks) heats the tires before balancing them, that seems to help.
I assume you mean just the steering wheel is shaking rather than the whole car?
My whole car shakes when the clutch heats up after a couple minutes of driving in traffic - shakes when I engage first gear.

Yeah, that's what I mean -- the steering wheel shakes. Whether the whole car is shaking, I don't think so. If it is, it's relatively minimal to the kind of shaking a manual transmission car does when stalling.

marinakorp
12-04-2003, 01:15 PM
A Few things to check regarding the infamous shimmy at 50 mph

check www.bmwtips.com (http://www.bmwtips.com) and look up theshimmy shecklist on the tips and tricks page


Do the cheap stuff first...

check the balance (as others have suggested)
check the pressure (the low profiles areEXTREMELY sensitive to pressure
is this only on acceleration? if not (braking) then could be warped rotors, or deposits on the face of the disks
then alignment
then check thrust arm bushings

there are a few others... but you get the idea

swchang
12-05-2003, 03:14 PM
A Few things to check regarding the infamous shimmy at 50 mph

check www.bmwtips.com (http://www.bmwtips.com) and look up theshimmy shecklist on the tips and tricks page


Do the cheap stuff first...

check the balance (as others have suggested)
check the pressure (the low profiles areEXTREMELY sensitive to pressure
is this only on acceleration? if not (braking) then could be warped rotors, or deposits on the face of the disks
then alignment
then check thrust arm bushings

there are a few others... but you get the idea

Hmm, I think it's primarily when I'm driving at a constant speed, actually. Does that mean anything?

swchang
12-19-2003, 01:50 PM
I have an update on my steering wheel-shaking problem. I noticed today that it only happens on the highway, never during city driving. When I'm going 60ish mph, at a constant speed and in a straight line, the shaking is more pronounced. It can go away but it often comes back. If it's shaking and I start turning (because the road curves), then the shaking goes away.

Is this consistent with poorly balanced tires? I wouldn't need a wheel alignment or anything, right? (Sorry, I'm a bonehead when it comes to this stuff.) Also, how much does a standard garage charge to balance tires?

TIA. :)

Plaz
12-19-2003, 02:02 PM
Seems obvious, I know, but I'd also make sure all your lug nuts are torqued properly.

3seriesbimmer
12-20-2003, 07:36 PM
What would cause a car to shake? I never had a problem with this until I brought my car in for a major tune-up. Afterwards, the car would shake sometimes when going at speeds like 50-80 mph. It doesn't do it all the time, and sometimes will shake for a little while and then stop, but it's certainly noticeable enough to me to be annoying.

So here are my questions:

1) What could be causing this? I heard that simply balancing the tires should solve it. Any merit to that?

2) Is it bad for the car? Should I make sure to do it right away, or is it cool to let it go for a few weeks? (I've already driven on it for a couple months...)

Thanks in advance. :)

I get this problem when snow gets into my steel wheels in the winter. The whole car shakes to no end. :tsk:

swchang
12-26-2003, 11:12 PM
Well, I had my tires balanced today. I took everyone's advice and chose a shop with the Hunter GSP9700. I only did a regular balancing, though, not the road-force one. For future reference, do y'all think it's worth the extra $40-60 to do the road-force balancing? What's the difference in quality, etc. anyway?