questions about vibration in steering wheel [Archive] - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

: questions about vibration in steering wheel

07-18-2012, 07:49 AM
I noticed steering wheel vibration when braking, especially when traveling around 50 mph and goind down hill. I went to the dealers and the found front rotors warped and left front thrust arm bushing torn. They replaced the front rotors and pads as well as the torn thrust arm busing on the left, all under warranty. After the replacements, the vibration when braking is virtually gone.

However, now I can feel a mild but consistent vibration in the steering wheel when traveling at about 50-55 mph when NOT braking. I think this vibration has probably been there all along but I was distracted by the more pronounced vibrtation when braking. My car is going out of the 4 yr factory warranty in 10 days. So I want to get all issues addressed within this time period if possible. in any case, I assume one of the potential causes could be the tires, which is not covered by the warranty. I have the original Contitouring contact with 5/32 tread left. I have not been rotating tires regularly; so the wear might not be even.

So my plan is to get 4 new tires from Tire Rack (probably Continetal extremecontact DWS or Michelin pilot a/s sport) and have them installed by a TR-affiliated local shop in the next few days. If the vibration is still there after replacing the tires, the I will bring it to the dealers to see if there are other problems.

Here are my questions:

Does this sound like a good plan?
Also, I am thinking perhaps I should also have an alignment done at the time of the tire replacement. Then again, perhaps I should do one thing at a time so that I can isolate the cause of the vibration. BTW, is there any difference in the alignment job done by the dealer and a regular shop?
Lastly, do I need to buy new TPMS sensors for the new tires or the old ones can be reused?

07-18-2012, 09:15 AM
Difference in an alignment by the dealer and an indy shop is price. I've always used tire rack recommended installers and I've never been dissatisfied. If you're due for new tires just bite the bullet, get the tires replaced, get an alignment and get a ROAD FORCE BALANCE. Only a few places will do it and you have to ask for it, they won't do it if you don't ask. It cost a little bit more then a regular balance, the difference however is night and day. I opted for a regular balance and I still had horrible vibes in the steering wheel around 50ish, went back the next day and told them to do the road force balance and no vibes, not even past 100mph. I paid $720 for a pair of hankook z rated tires, then $80 for an alignment, and $40 for road force balance.