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View Full Version : 250 miles on the new 2011 BMW 535i: Vibration in rear on highways


baloo588
01-08-2011, 04:01 PM
I love my new fully loaded 2011 BMW 535i xdrive. Its an amazing car and the steering feel is much more heavier feeling and more direct than the RWD 5 series likely due to hydraulic steering system rather than electronic.

One issue I have is that I feel my seat and the passenger seat vibrate when I am on the highways above 70 mph and my sun visor shakes a little bit. As I go faster it increases frequency and goes away around 85 plus. Its a new car and I assume that it has flat spotting issues but I have been driving it more on highways and its still there after 30 miles on highways. I have done about 70 miles total on the highway since I got it this past Monday. So could this be a bad rear tire that is unbalanced or out of round from the factory????? I never had this problem on a NEW car but had them in the past on current or older cars.... I am not sure about this. I checked the tire pressure and its 35 cold pressure all around. The tires are the Continental Contipro SSR RFT all seasons on 18 inch wheels. I know these are good tires.

Any ideas?

kocsis
01-08-2011, 04:05 PM
I have same car, no problems. It must be alignment on tire issue.

laser
01-08-2011, 04:50 PM
Take it back to the dealer.

Had the same / similar issue. 3 of 4 tires "failed" road force balance and am getting new tires under warranty.

SA said it was a good thing I detected this with less than 2,000 miles on the OEM tires. They were the Goodyear RFTs for what thats worth.

SANguru
01-08-2011, 04:56 PM
sounds like a balance issue. Have them rebalance the rear tires. I usually tape my weights with duct tape when I go to the track as I have seen them fall off.

markl53
01-08-2011, 06:19 PM
Agree with the others. My base 535i is so smooth at all speeds it's hard to realize how fast you're going.

baloo588
01-08-2011, 06:22 PM
Yeah, I agree with everyone. I know alot about road forcing and having defective new tires from factory but never on a BRAND new car. I will be going in on Monday morning. The front of the car is smooth as there is no steering vibrations. So I will get all 4 tires checked for road force numbers and proper balanced and see if one or two tires might need to be replaced. Anyone else having problems with the continental rft types???

ashushan
01-08-2011, 08:58 PM
I have Dunlop RFTs from the factory. 500 miles on the car so far. I have the staggered wheel setup for the RWD model (no XDrive). Overall a good ride, but I have noticed some vibration as well. It only happens on the highway, and not all the time. I figured it was the roads that I was driving on (maybe just a little uneven - amplified with the wide rear tires) or something like that. Now that I see this thread, I am thinking of having things checked out again. Is it easy ti figure out if it's the road, or a problem with the wheels/tires? What is road forcing? Thanks!

baloo588
01-09-2011, 09:23 AM
If you feel vibration in your seat and headrest all the time on all the different highways at a particular speed and above its balance. If it vibrates a bit on bad highways or uneven highways then its usually the road amplification into the cabin. Road forcing is a method in which they spin the wheel/tire on the Hunter machine and have a 1000lbs roller spun against the wheel to measure if the tire has a bad spot on it that cannot be balanced by weights and can also allow the mechanic to remount the tire on the rim to make it a perfect circle shape. A good road force is less than 10lbs. That means if the wheel is rolling along the road, it should not exert more than 10 lbs up and down force on the suspension or else you will vibration even if you have it perfectly dynamic balanced. Its important to have this and it is probably the best thing out there to make you car glass smooth on all roads and at all speeds. IF the road force is greater than 10 lbs it means you replace the bad tire or it could be due to a bad bent rim. So this machine also measure the true dimension of the rim as it is spun at a slower speed to see if a rim is bent in a particular place that can cause vibration after being hit by pothole or curb.

Rafa
01-09-2011, 09:44 AM
Great explanation, baloo588! Thank you for enlightening us.

ashushan
01-09-2011, 09:20 PM
If you feel vibration in your seat and headrest all the time on all the different highways at a particular speed and above its balance. If it vibrates a bit on bad highways or uneven highways then its usually the road amplification into the cabin. Road forcing is a method in which they spin the wheel/tire on the Hunter machine and have a 1000lbs roller spun against the wheel to measure if the tire has a bad spot on it that cannot be balanced by weights and can also allow the mechanic to remount the tire on the rim to make it a perfect circle shape. A good road force is less than 10lbs. That means if the wheel is rolling along the road, it should not exert more than 10 lbs up and down force on the suspension or else you will vibration even if you have it perfectly dynamic balanced. Its important to have this and it is probably the best thing out there to make you car glass smooth on all roads and at all speeds. IF the road force is greater than 10 lbs it means you replace the bad tire or it could be due to a bad bent rim. So this machine also measure the true dimension of the rim as it is spun at a slower speed to see if a rim is bent in a particular place that can cause vibration after being hit by pothole or curb.

Wow - excellent info. Thanks very much. I will have to pay some attention to when/where the vibration is occurring...maybe I will ask my dealer to do a road force test to the tires just to make sure - before I rack up too many miles...

Flavorguydfr
01-10-2011, 05:41 AM
Interesting.... I have been noticing that on my 550xi, that at 43 mph, I get a vibration that seems to come up the steering wheel and also manifests itself on my gas pedal/floor... if I go more than 50 or so, the vibration stops.... drop to the dreaded 43 mph and it starts again...

Does this sound like this is a tire/balance issue?

laser
01-10-2011, 07:43 AM
Interesting.... I have been noticing that on my 550xi, that at 43 mph, I get a vibration that seems to come up the steering wheel and also manifests itself on my gas pedal/floor... if I go more than 50 or so, the vibration stops.... drop to the dreaded 43 mph and it starts again...

Does this sound like this is a tire/balance issue?

Could be ... or tire flat spot / bent rim, with many more miles worn control arm bushings.

Your dealer has the right equipment to diagnose and remedy. Take it in, a vibrating car sucks the joy out of driving!

Needsdecaf
01-10-2011, 08:01 AM
Interesting.... I have been noticing that on my 550xi, that at 43 mph, I get a vibration that seems to come up the steering wheel and also manifests itself on my gas pedal/floor... if I go more than 50 or so, the vibration stops.... drop to the dreaded 43 mph and it starts again...

Does this sound like this is a tire/balance issue?

It's some kind of balance issue. Perfectly normal for them to only manifest themselves in certain speed zones.

The other thing it could be is.....driveshaft. :yikes:

baloo588
01-10-2011, 04:07 PM
Good news! I went to dealership and drove the car with them and did a road force balance test. I was right! The left rear tire behind me exerted a road force of 28 lbs!!!!! Thats 3 times over the limit! The right rear had 8 lbs and the front two tires had 2 and 3 lbs respectively and that is perfect. The 3 tires with the lbs below 10 lbs are excellent condition. So the dealer ordered a replacement tire and it will be in by tomorrow. I am happy I found this problem early. The wheel was spun on the car and on the hunter road force machine and you could see the thread was moving left to right a bit which means belt separation or poor circularity to the tire. TO everyone on this board, if you have vibration with new tires or new car do a road force check and get those bad tires off the car and put new ones on and you will be happy.

Berliner BMW
02-18-2011, 04:59 PM
Well I can absolutely confirm Baloo588's explanation. On WED I took delivery of a 2011 X5 equipped with Continental Tires at the Performance Delivery Center in Greer, SC. As soon as we got on 85 South the car began to vibrate. We immediately pulled over, called our CA and were told to take the car to the nearest BWM dealership. We did and the shop foreman took about 45 minutes to do the test described by Baloo and 3 of 4 tires had a ground force that exceeded 10 pounds. Because I needed to get home for business, the shop foreman gave me the green light to continue driving the car but called my local dealership and informed them that I need three new tires. Needles to say I was bummed after spending 65K on a new Bimmer to experience tire issues within the first 10 miles. This discussion begs the question, why doesn't BMW kick Continental to the curve and go with the tire most of us implicitly trust, Michellins?

baloo588
02-19-2011, 06:47 AM
Yes Berliner,

Guess what, I replaced my Continentals with awesome Michelins non rfts. They all had amazing road force of 9 lbs and less. Really improved the ride however I was still getting vibration but very small one in the rear between 70-75 mph in my seat and after going to 2-3 places, an independent dealer showed me that I had 4 bent rims on the inner part of the rims from being strapped down too tight on the transporter. I saw how it will bounce a little on the inner side of the wheel on the Hunter balancer. They had another 2011 BMW 535 xi with 4 bent rims too 2 months back due to being strapped down too tight on the trailer!!! I was more disappointed but also glad they found it out yesterday and I took the papers to my local BMW dealer and showed it to them and they were shocked and awe about this and said they will confirm everything and replace all 4 rims. The car is an absolute joy to drive and is super smooth below 70 and above 80 mph. I have 2000 miles on it now.

bmwarchitect
02-19-2011, 08:28 AM
What is the cost to do the ground force testing on a set of wheels?

baloo588
02-19-2011, 08:53 AM
It is about 30 dollars per wheel at my BMW dealer. Thats the reasonable price if they have rematch the tire onto the rim for better road force.

bmwarchitect
02-19-2011, 04:09 PM
It is about 30 dollars per wheel at my BMW dealer. Thats the reasonable price if they have rematch the tire onto the rim for better road force.

Thanx.

Berliner BMW
02-19-2011, 04:15 PM
Baloo - took the car back to the dealer I purchased from and surrendered the car to the service department today. I spoke at length with the Service Manager and while pleasant and reassuring, he was unwilling to validate/confirm road force defects are a problem with Continentals (I suspect he is trained to avoid saying anything that might commit the dealership to something). Also, he said he is only obligated to replace tires that fail the Hunter test, not all four despite my best effort to negotiate for a set of Michellins. Can you please elaborate on the bent rim Hunter test feedback. If I don't get satisfaction the first time around I'll ask the Service Manager to check the test spec that can id a bent rim. So, the saga continues. More to follow next week when I get the car back. BTW, the dealership gave me 2011 535i which is smooth as silk at 60-90....why can't my new X5drive the same!

baloo588
02-19-2011, 04:24 PM
Berliner BMW,

I am with you on this 100%. The continentals are crap in my opinion and I replaced them with my own non runflat Michelins from tire rack and it made the ride a whole let smoother despite the bent rims. To check the wheels/tires out, make them take it off the car, put it on the machine, and you stand right there and watch the wheel spin on the machine and look at the inner edge of the rim and see if its spinning circular or wobbling a little bit. Then look at the road force number on the computer screen and it should say that the tire or assembly is no more than 10 lbs. That way you can rule out bad tire or bad rim. The hunter machine can measure the roundness of the rim but its OUR eyes that can also see bents in the rims that the machine would otherwise say PASS rather than FAIL. Its not perfect I know. You can keep trying to put new tires on a bent rim and try to balance it but it will vibrate. Same thing goes for a bad tire even if you road force match it from lets say 20 lbs to 13 lbs, it will still vibrate. Continentals are known to have quite a bit of defective tires no doubt. So you should tell your service manager that the other dealership shop foreman said you need 3 new tires as you mentioned before and you will not accept anything less. Otherwise go to the original dealership that told you that you had the bad tires and replace them there instead if your local one doesn't but I am sure they will as it is a brand new car and they want to be sure that you are happy. Test drive the car with the shop foreman after they are done before leaving the dealer with your car. My 535xi loaner is also very smooth too but bumpy over some roads due to runflats.

BradATL
08-02-2011, 08:01 PM
Very frustrated owner of a new 528i here. 17" wheels with the Continental run-flats. Noticed shaking/vibration on my way home from the dealership when I initially picked up the car. Starts when I get it up to 60 mph. Really bad around 65-70 mph.

Brought it back a couple of weeks later. They said they checked the wheel balances and all were "in spec". Claims this is "normal operation" for the 5 series.

This is a crock of bullcrap. I've owned lots of cars, including BMWs, and even rebuilt a 2002 from the ground up. I know cars and this is not "normal operation".

My "Service Advisor" (god how I hate that term) has reluctantly agreed to let me bring it back later this week and ride with the shop foreman. Hopefully they will fix it. If not, then I guess I will need to bring it to an independent shop and pay with my own money to have it diagnosed. This is absurd. The damn car only has a few hundred miles on it, and I may have to pay my own money to have it properly diagnosed.

planet
08-02-2011, 08:55 PM
1. Having them drive it at speed (with you in the car, optionally) seems like the best thing to do.
2. You can also try another dealer's service department. No real need to stay with this one.

romeofrosty
08-03-2011, 07:25 AM
Very frustrated owner of a new 528i here. 17" wheels with the Continental run-flats. Noticed shaking/vibration on my way home from the dealership when I initially picked up the car. Starts when I get it up to 60 mph. Really bad around 65-70 mph.

Brought it back a couple of weeks later. They said they checked the wheel balances and all were "in spec". Claims this is "normal operation" for the 5 series.

This is a crock of bullcrap. I've owned lots of cars, including BMWs, and even rebuilt a 2002 from the ground up. I know cars and this is not "normal operation".

My "Service Advisor" (god how I hate that term) has reluctantly agreed to let me bring it back later this week and ride with the shop foreman. Hopefully they will fix it. If not, then I guess I will need to bring it to an independent shop and pay with my own money to have it diagnosed. This is absurd. The damn car only has a few hundred miles on it, and I may have to pay my own money to have it properly diagnosed.

Same problem for me with the 18" wheels and Continentals. Same B.S. explination from the service department. Said they checked the balance and found one wheel only 1/2 a gram off.
Went for a ride with the shop foreman and salesman. Both agree there is a vibration from about 65-75 mph. Even took a "new", similarly equipped car (mine has less than 2000 miles on it) for a ride. Noticed a similar vibration, but barely noticable compared to mine. They said everything is being amplified due to the sport suspension. Told them I'm not describing a harsh ride. When present it is constant and rythmic. It's vibration. The official line I got was, "it is a normal running characteristic of the car".
Since I have the tire and wheel insurance, maybe I should just take a sledge hammer to one wheel at a time until I get them all replaced or until the vibration disappears. :mad:
What a load of crap!

snj1013
08-03-2011, 09:50 AM
My 528i has the same issue and is at the dealership ready for pickup after taking my car in because of the vibration at highway speeds. My dealership tried on Monday to balance the tires and the issue didn't improve much. Yesterday the dealership to the car to Discount Tire because they have the road balance machine. Hopefully none of my tires is over the 10 lb threshold. I'm guessing at least one is over. I had just purchased a set of 237 take offs with the Continental Run Flats. The tires and wheels only had 6 miles on them when I purchased them.

racerdj
08-03-2011, 10:46 AM
No problems here but a good friend of mine had the same problem with a new delivered mid July car and the tire was out of round.It was replaced and solved the problem. Both of us have the x drive.

baloo588
08-03-2011, 01:15 PM
I am sorry that all of you guys are having this problem. I have been there and done it. You really have to keep up the hard work to get those dealerships to take each wheel off and put them on the hunter road force machine with you WATCHING them to check the inner rim to see if its bent while it is being spun on the machine and confirm the road force reading numbers are below 10 lbs. This car is very sensitive to out of balance wheels, slightly bent rims, and road force greater than 15 lbs.

BTW, I had to get a top independent specialist to get those wheels checked out and they had another 535 with same problem and the dealers could not figure it out. So I was a bit upset that my dealership didnt find it but I took the car to them and got all 4 rims replaced.

romeofrosty
08-04-2011, 09:33 AM
My dealer "supposedly" checked all that. They said one wheel was 1/2 gram off on balance. Made zero difference. I put in a complaint with BMW NA yesterday. Still waiting to hear back from someone. In the meantime I think I will take the car to a nearby tire shop that has a good reputation. They also have a Hunter GSP9700 road force balancing machine (as does my dealer) and will have them pull and check all the tires for a second opinion. I'll have to foot the bill for that, but I think it will be money well spent.

romeofrosty
08-05-2011, 10:19 AM
Took my car to the tire shop this morning. As I was leaving I got a low pressure warning on the display in my right front tire. Got a good pressure gauge and checked it. 25 P.S.I. Went to the local gas station and filled it to 35.
After a brief explination of my vibration problem, they pulled all the wheels and road force balanced them. I also had them check the tire that had low pressure for any nails, screws, leaks, etc. Keep in mind my car was at the dealer for this issue about one week ago. They also have the same road force balance machine.
First they said the tire pressure was all over the place. High in some, low in others. One tire was near the "fail" point on the balance scale. Luckily, no bent rims or bad tires. They also said the machine recommended swapping positions on the tires on the car. They re-balanced and completed the re-install. Could not find any leak in the one tire when they put it in the water. Said sometimes it's hard to pick up if the leak was caused by something small, like a staple, because the run flats are so stiff and without the added weight of the car pushing on the tire, it might go undetected in the water. They said to keep an eye on it for now.
The result; NO MORE VIBRATION! My head does not get the massage treatment any more in the headrest and my leg's calves do not vibrate any more between 65 and 75 m.p.h. :D It's like I have a new car again! :bigpimp:
Shop foreman at the tire place said that usually at the dealers the mechs might know the car, but are no tire experts. And with the low tolerance of these tires any little offset is highly noticable, as compared to a more conventional tire that will accept more of a margin of error.
It cost me $86 to get my car straightened out on my own. You bet I'll be on the phone with BMW about this issue. :mad:
Bottom line for anyone with a vibration issue at certain speeds.....take your car to a tire expert. With these tires on these cars you cannot afford not to, unless you like repeat trips to the dealer and having them tell you it's a "normal running charachteristic of the car"!

snj1013
08-05-2011, 10:59 AM
I think I'm going to take my car to my local tire shop and see for myself the road force values and see if they can improve my car's highway ride. Obviously my dealer can't fix the issue.

romeofrosty
08-05-2011, 11:58 AM
I think I'm going to take my car to my local tire shop and see for myself the road force values and see if they can improve my car's highway ride. Obviously my dealer can't fix the issue.

Just make sure the shop has a good reputation and the proper equipment to do the road force balancing. You'll be glad you did. Either the problem will be fixed if it's a balance issue or at least you can safely eliminate the wheels and tires as the cause of your vibration, if they check out O.K.

snj1013
08-09-2011, 08:44 PM
One wheel was bent and 2 tires had run out. I returned the setup to the dealer and reinstalled my 17s for now.

baloo588
08-13-2011, 10:00 AM
romeofrosty

How is your car now? Does the car headrest stay smooth on all the roads surfaces on the highway without small shakes depending on the road surface? I find that the headrests do shake a little on irregular concrete and groove road highways at certain speeds in all the 5 series demos, loaners. I assume it is the road feel because there is no other vibration. My car is very smooth but I am a bit sensitive so I feel my headrest shake a bit on some roads but not others on the highway but otherwise everything is balanced out right and road forced well. Just an observation.

tbod
08-13-2011, 03:03 PM
A friend of mine said he kept having to add air to one of his tires. He hit a pothole and the wheel split in half yesterday morning. He said it wasn't much of a pothole. Not saying this is the problem but it sounds like there are a lot of things going on with the wheels.

rosyorange
08-14-2011, 03:27 PM
My 2011 535i has the same vibration issues between 65 mph and 75 mph. Have some questions for you all? I had the wheels balanced at a Firestone. Still have the same problem. Is this because they do not have the ability to do a road force balancing?

Also, for those of you that went to the dealer, how much of this was a warranty item? My dealer charges $99 for wheel balance and rotation.
When your tires were replaced, were you charged?

Is BMW NA aware of this problem? How do I file a complaint?

baloo588
08-14-2011, 04:34 PM
Road force balance can only be done where there is a Hunter Road force machine. I would be hard to believe that firestone would even have that at their place. I would take your car to the dealer first and have them check everything. Please do take them for a test drive to have them acknowledge it and even a loaner 5 series to compare so that they dont give you any excuses.

romeofrosty
08-15-2011, 06:37 AM
romeofrosty

How is your car now? Does the car headrest stay smooth on all the roads surfaces on the highway without small shakes depending on the road surface? I find that the headrests do shake a little on irregular concrete and groove road highways at certain speeds in all the 5 series demos, loaners. I assume it is the road feel because there is no other vibration. My car is very smooth but I am a bit sensitive so I feel my headrest shake a bit on some roads but not others on the highway but otherwise everything is balanced out right and road forced well. Just an observation.

baloo588,
My car is great now. Obviously, if you are on a crappy road you will feel the road surface through the suspension. My problem was that it did it on ANY road, even recently paved ones. On a decent road I no longer get the free neck massage and the back of my leg calves don't vibrate any more. I have the sport suspension on my car, so I will get a bit harsher ride than others (which I would expect to have), but as far as my vibration, it's gone.

romeofrosty
08-15-2011, 06:44 AM
Road force balance can only be done where there is a Hunter Road force machine. I would be hard to believe that firestone would even have that at their place. I would take your car to the dealer first and have them check everything. Please do take them for a test drive to have them acknowledge it and even a loaner 5 series to compare so that they dont give you any excuses.

You can go online to the Hunter (the makers of the balance machine) website and do a search by zip code to find out which shops in your area have the proper machine (GSP-9700) to do the road force balancing.
Not really sure I would trust the dealer to tell you it's a problem. Mine went for a ride, admitted to the vibration being present, took me for a ride in a similar new car from the lot and tried to tell me it had the same vibration and was a "normal characteristic" of the car. The new car did have a very mild vibration (you really had to work to perceive it, though) Mine was 10 times worse than the new car. Not even close.
Give the dealer a shot. If they can't fix it or give you a line of B.S. like they did to me, then it is time to take it to a tire shop and have the experts double check it.

baloo588
08-16-2011, 08:58 AM
My 2011 535i has the same vibration issues between 65 mph and 75 mph. Have some questions for you all? I had the wheels balanced at a Firestone. Still have the same problem. Is this because they do not have the ability to do a road force balancing?

Also, for those of you that went to the dealer, how much of this was a warranty item? My dealer charges $99 for wheel balance and rotation.
When your tires were replaced, were you charged?

Is BMW NA aware of this problem? How do I file a complaint?

Please describe your vibration. Is it in the steering wheel or mainly in the seats (back and headrest?). What tires do you have and what size rims do you have (17 or 18)? Have you felt this on all tarmacs (black top or cement?)

BradATL
08-23-2011, 04:06 PM
Brought my 528i with 17" wheels back to the dealer and this time rode with the shop foreman. He agreed with me that the car is improperly vibrating. He could even see the back-and-forth vibration in the steering wheel at highway speeds. The car also was pullng to the right and he acknowledged that too.

So they did the following:

1. Did an alignment (which takes a full day b/c they have to reflash the software.)

2. Gave me 4 new tires (replaced the Contis that came with the car with a new set of Goodyear Assurances 17")

The problem is slightly better but still detectable. I feel like the dealer has gone above and beyond the call of duty, so I'm hesitant to bring it back yet again. I've already brought it into the dealer twice (for a car that only has 1000 miles on it) and I can't waste any more time on this. I may bring it to a high-end independent tire/wheel shop to see if they can detect if there's a bent wheel or maybe they can do a better job of balancing the wheels than the dealer did.

bmw_enthusiasm
08-23-2011, 06:50 PM
I love my new fully loaded 2011 BMW 535i xdrive. Its an amazing car and the steering feel is much more heavier feeling and more direct than the RWD 5 series likely due to hydraulic steering system rather than electronic.

One issue I have is that I feel my seat and the passenger seat vibrate when I am on the highways above 70 mph and my sun visor shakes a little bit. As I go faster it increases frequency and goes away around 85 plus. Its a new car and I assume that it has flat spotting issues but I have been driving it more on highways and its still there after 30 miles on highways. I have done about 70 miles total on the highway since I got it this past Monday. So could this be a bad rear tire that is unbalanced or out of round from the factory????? I never had this problem on a NEW car but had them in the past on current or older cars.... I am not sure about this. I checked the tire pressure and its 35 cold pressure all around. The tires are the Continental Contipro SSR RFT all seasons on 18 inch wheels. I know these are good tires.

Any ideas?

Have you checked for thick amounts of tar on the tires?

Needsdecaf
08-23-2011, 06:55 PM
Brought my 528i with 17" wheels back to the dealer and this time rode with the shop foreman. He agreed with me that the car is improperly vibrating. He could even see the back-and-forth vibration in the steering wheel at highway speeds. The car also was pullng to the right and he acknowledged that too.

So they did the following:

1. Did an alignment (which takes a full day b/c they have to reflash the software.)

2. Gave me 4 new tires (replaced the Contis that came with the car with a new set of Goodyear Assurances 17")

The problem is slightly better but still detectable. I feel like the dealer has gone above and beyond the call of duty, so I'm hesitant to bring it back yet again. I've already brought it into the dealer twice (for a car that only has 1000 miles on it) and I can't waste any more time on this. I may bring it to a high-end independent tire/wheel shop to see if they can detect if there's a bent wheel or maybe they can do a better job of balancing the wheels than the dealer did.

Why on earth would they have to reflash any software when doing an alignment? :dunno:

My car has had multiple alignments and never needed a software update.

bmw_enthusiasm
08-23-2011, 07:56 PM
Brought my 528i with 17" wheels back to the dealer and this time rode with the shop foreman. He agreed with me that the car is improperly vibrating. He could even see the back-and-forth vibration in the steering wheel at highway speeds. The car also was pullng to the right and he acknowledged that too.

So they did the following:

1. Did an alignment (which takes a full day b/c they have to reflash the software.)

2. Gave me 4 new tires (replaced the Contis that came with the car with a new set of Goodyear Assurances 17")

The problem is slightly better but still detectable. I feel like the dealer has gone above and beyond the call of duty, so I'm hesitant to bring it back yet again. I've already brought it into the dealer twice (for a car that only has 1000 miles on it) and I can't waste any more time on this. I may bring it to a high-end independent tire/wheel shop to see if they can detect if there's a bent wheel or maybe they can do a better job of balancing the wheels than the dealer did.


Not a good idea, take it again to the dealer not to another shop,
the issue about pulling to the right is on this forum documented.
find it and point the dealer to that. I believe the solution was
to rotate the springs or something..

snj1013
08-24-2011, 05:50 AM
My 528i was at the dealer twice with similar issues after I had bought a set of 535i 18" wheels/tires (dealer take offs). The first time the dealer rebalanced and said all was OK. It wasn't. The 2nd time they rebalanced at a 3rd party tire shop and said all was well. It wasn't. I took the car to a Discount Tire with a Hunter Road Force balacer and found one bent wheel and 2 tires that had runout. I took the set back and put my 17"s on. I then ordered a set of 19" Avant Garde M310 with Continental DWS tires (non run flats). The car is smooth with non of the vibrations I had with the 18s. I was expecting a little harsher ride due to the change of lower profile 19s, but the car rides very similar to the 17" run flats.

kocsis
08-24-2011, 05:56 AM
My guess is it's a bent wheel. I had same problem, took it to an expert independent tire retailer and they fixed it. Cost $100 for straightening wheel plus the cost of rebalance.

romeofrosty
08-24-2011, 06:50 AM
My guess is it's a bent wheel. I had same problem, took it to an expert independent tire retailer and they fixed it.

+1. Remember, your dealer is not a tire expert. Take it to a tire shop if you still have issues after a trip to the dealer. In no way is this a "bad idea".....
Solved my problem in 1/2 hour.

BradATL
08-25-2011, 11:56 AM
Why on earth would they have to reflash any software when doing an alignment? :dunno:

My car has had multiple alignments and never needed a software update.

The electric power steering is computer-controlled and apparently the software "corrects" the on-center position of the steering wheel depending if the road is crowned or not crowned. It is intended to "correct" for crowned road surfaces.

I miss the old days when power steering was hydraulic and no computers were involved.

bmw_enthusiasm
08-25-2011, 04:50 PM
The electric power steering is computer-controlled and apparently the software "corrects" the on-center position of the steering wheel depending if the road is crowned or not crowned. It is intended to "correct" for crowned road surfaces.

I miss the old days when power steering was hydraulic and no computers were involved.

Can we (or Dinan) tell this freakin computer make the steering tighter?

planet
08-25-2011, 05:41 PM
The electric power steering is computer-controlled and apparently the software "corrects" the on-center position of the steering wheel depending if the road is crowned or not crowned. It is intended to "correct" for crowned road surfaces.

Really? Where is this documented?

BradATL
08-29-2011, 11:45 AM
Took the car to an independent shop. Said the wheels are ok. They determined one of the tires had a road force measurement of 21 lbs. It was mounted on the front, so they swapped it with one of the wheel/tire assemblies from the back. Steering vibration gone; ride quality improved.

Took 'em 3 hours of messing with it. $317.

Below is the computer readout. I'm a bit bummed they didn't remove the tire from the wheel and try to force match it. Swapping it to the rear seems like a lazy move. But bottom line is that it fixed the problem, so i can't complain too much (except for being $317 poorer).

baloo588
08-29-2011, 10:01 PM
Good to hear that BradATL.

Is the bad tire with the road force of 21 lbs causing any problems from the rear? It is still higher than the max set forward by BMW which is 15 lbs. I would get it replaced under warranty for the long run sake.

romeofrosty
08-30-2011, 04:52 AM
Took the car to an independent shop. Said the wheels are ok. They determined one of the tires had a road force measurement of 21 lbs. It was mounted on the front, so they swapped it with one of the wheel/tire assemblies from the back. Steering vibration gone; ride quality improved.

Took 'em 3 hours of messing with it. $317.

Below is the computer readout. I'm a bit bummed they didn't remove the tire from the wheel and try to force match it. Swapping it to the rear seems like a lazy move. But bottom line is that it fixed the problem, so i can't complain too much (except for being $317 poorer).

Methinks you got hosed there, my freind...:yikes: My tire shop did basically the exact same thing with my tires and wheels. I paid $86 ($20 per wheel = $6 tax). It only took them 1/2 hour to do all that. Granted, I was the first customer there when they opened and they took my car right in, so I had no wait time in that respect. I can't believe you were charged that much, though. :tsk:
However, this just goes to prove my point that most dealers don't know what they are doing in this arena and a trip to a professional tire shop (in spite of whatever price they charge) will solve the problem right away. The only alternative is repeated trips to the dealer to let them fumble about until they hit you with the "normal running charachteristic of the car" line and blow you off. :dunno:

baloo588
08-30-2011, 05:03 AM
Methinks you got hosed there, my freind... My tire shop did basically the exact same thing with my tires and wheels. I paid $86 ($20 per wheel = $6 tax). It only took them 1/2 hour to do all that. Granted, I was the first customer there when they opened and they took my car right in, so I had no wait time in that respect. I can't believe you were charged that much, though.
However, this just goes to prove my point that most dealers don't know what they are doing in this arena and a trip to a professional tire shop (in spite of whatever price they charge) will solve the problem right away. The only alternative is repeated trips to the dealer to let them fumble about until they hit you with the "normal running charachteristic of the car" line and blow you off.

I agree 100% with the above comments. The pricing is a bit high but at the end if the problem is solved then its fine. However, BMW dealers are terrible in this area of expertise while professional independent german mechanic shops with hunter road force balancers do it very well. IT took me several trips in the beginning to BMW and I said forget it and went to another place which found my problem.

Hvarsov
09-29-2011, 03:05 PM
Interesting.....I just bought the 535xi and it has 18 inch wheels with conti run flats......drove from long island to conn. On all kinds of roads and back to long island, about 150 miles, in rain, after rain, reaching speeds up to 80 mph.......like silk...I was in heaven....maybe it is the x5????..

CinderBiter
10-29-2011, 02:26 PM
Thanks to all who've contributed to this thread.. I've got about 500 miles on my car at this point, with Dunlop tires, and a vibration, felt in the headrests, at 60-65 mph. I'm taking it into the dealer next week to have it checked out. After reading the posts I'm pretty confident it's a matter of wheel balance or tired defect. Here's to a quick and easy fix by my dealership. :drink:

Can any northern california folks recommend any particular dealership for their service? Any other words of advice in dealing with service would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again

alex_c
10-29-2011, 04:31 PM
baloo588,
My car is great now. Obviously, if you are on a crappy road you will feel the road surface through the suspension. My problem was that it did it on ANY road, even recently paved ones. On a decent road I no longer get the free neck massage and the back of my leg calves don't vibrate any more. I have the sport suspension on my car, so I will get a bit harsher ride than others (which I would expect to have), but as far as my vibration, it's gone.

I read that you have the Sport Suspension on your car. You also mentioned that the dealer said that was the problem with the vibration.

Well, unless you have Dynamic Handling Package, you have the base, standard suspension.

The Sports Package on the 2011 does not change anything on the suspension.