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Mark99 01-22-2012 08:24 AM

Slight vibration in 2012 740Li
Symptom of problem - At 58-63 mph on smooth asphalt, head rest on unoccupied front passenger seat vibrates constantly. You can see it vibrating with about 1/16"-1/8" movement. It can also be felt by placing your hand on the head rest. Nothing unusual is noted in steering wheel. The seat has a very slight vibration, but that is likely normal road feel. The symptom comes and goes at other speeds, and disappears above 80 mph.

The tire/wheels are 245/50R18 100H Michelin MXM4 Primacy non-run flats on factory rims. The tires have been checked by 3 quality tire shops and good balance has been confirmed, including load balancing. With only 1,100 miles on the car it's hard to imagine an alignment problem, as I've never hit a pot hole or other object. While this problem isn't a show stopper, it would be nice have a new car of this price/quality without the problem.

A forum search surfaced a few "vibration" issues, but none quite like this. I would be interested in someone doing speed and head rest vibration check on Li model. Also, does anyone have similar experience and/or solution suggestions? Thanks

jprescott 01-22-2012 01:11 PM

I have a 2011 and noticed vibration from run flats but that went away with non run flats. No other issue. Did BMW service check it yet?

Endofab 01-22-2012 09:03 PM

I have had this exact issue on my 2011 750 Li. At exactly the same speeds and also no vibration on the steering wheel but the entire car vibrates, you can feel it in the drivers seat and notice just as you said the passenger headrest moving. My wife hates riding in the passenger seat for this reason. I have had this tested extensively by BMW and their engineers and they all stated it is normal. Some cars are worse that others. I have summer and winter tires and wheels and it does it with both sets (but they are all run flats). I also had a 2009 750 Li that did the same thing and also loaners 5 series that i witnessed the same vibration in (though not as bad). I was told by the engineers that a BMW is meant to feel the road and that is what you are experiencing. Even though the road looks smooth supposedly there are imperfections that the car is picking up. I am convinced it is an issue with these and may have to do with the run flats. I actually had my 2009 returned for this issue and now the 2011 has the same issue. Go figure. Good luck.

whiteonredM6 01-24-2012 11:17 AM

I had a same issue on my 2012 750Li, I took it to the dealer and they told me that it's from sitting in the lot for too long. They gave me all 4 new tires and vibration went away.
Oh I have 20 inch pirelli non flats by the way.

baloo588 01-25-2012 07:30 PM

I got rid of my 2011 BMW 535i xdrive after having small vibraiton felt in both driver and passenger seat and feeling the slight vibes in the headrest around 70-75 mph on the car. IT was minimized with the regular Michelin all season tires but still bothersome for me. IT is not typical BMW road feel. My 335xi coupe does not have this on the highways and on smooth asphalt. My rims were fine and road force balancing was excellent. The tires were chanced twice now and same feeling on smooth asphalt roads around 70-75 mph. I have never felt any car let alone BMW do that. Other 2011 BMW 535i do them too with the base suspension. I am not sure if its not a problem with the 5 series that has the dynamic adaptive suspension like your 7 series since people complain on the 5 series board with vibration on base suspension. I am shock that there are complaints across the board with both 5 and 7 series with small vibration from the road that are not suppose to be on cars of these caliber. Vibration is not normal! Road feel is different from vibration so if you drive on smooth asphalt you should not feel any vibration at any speed. Other brands are not having these issues.

pranavf01 03-26-2012 10:04 PM

Can some one please help me with the similar issue. i have a CPO 2010 bmw 750i, it vibrates from 61-70 mph. like it gets really uncomfortable. The dealer has replaced 1 tire which had excessive road force and balanced all of them but still the problem is not gone. its my first bmw and i have never experienced these problems with audi or mercedes. i want to love my car but these problems keep me from driving it. Please Help

InTraffic 09-27-2012 07:17 PM

Gentle (and not so gentle!) BMW users,

This is my first post, so if I digress from Bimmerfest etiquette on introductions first, troubleshooting second, I apologize. My symptomology is similar to that stated above, except I am getting the vibration through the steering wheel, the chassis (seat of the pants), and headrest of the unoccupied passenger seat at a glance. This behavior changes with each dealership attempt to correct-- and mind you, every time but the last, they have admitted that it is a significant problem and that BMW is aware it is a problem across the 5, 6, and 7 spectrum. The first set of POS Goodyear LS run-on-flats was replaced as out of specification for unacceptable road force. The dealer has attempted to rehabilitate the brand new Goodyear LS run flats by road force balancing them now a third time. The BMW technical service engineer, in response to a PUMA case (no one has ever described what this acronym stands for) worked with the senior BMW tech at the dealership and the vibration actually got worse then the previous attempt (should have just left well enough alone). I noticed that one of the rear wheels is now on the front and that tire has been described to me as the one with the most road force. It seems that the Goodyear LS run on flats are just POS and they can't divorce themselves from this supplier. They claim there are no alternatives. However, they let slip that another customer just gave up and bought non-runflats and somehow they warranty-claimed the Goodyear POS LS tires.

Anyway, I suspect the run-on-flats, the electroservo assist power steering, and the suspension just highly sensitively telegraph imperfections-- not in the road surface as the BMW dealer describes as "road feel," but minute out-of-round imperfections in the tire and wheel combinations, which appear to have significant manufacturing variation (read: poor quality control) and which are intolerable in this system.

I'd love for this to be a tire-only problem, but I suspect the problem is much more deeply rooted.

rwtisch 12-19-2014 10:11 AM

I just bought a 2011 750i with 26k miles and CPO. I have a vibration problem coming from rear end. It has been to dealer 3 times. First they said I had two bent rear rims which I paid for repair. I have had all four wheels balanced and alignment done. Problem can really be felt between 60-70mph. I have owned many BMW's none with this issue. Heading back to dealer Monday for 4th time. Still under warranty.....they need to check other areas. Their foreman test drove the vehicle and confirmed its not right. Getting frustrated because in general, BMW's are awesome driving machines.

They also replaced a fuel valve which i am thinking it has to be something other than tires....any other fixes?

whealy 12-19-2014 12:01 PM

I've seen this speed related vibration on lots of boards. Occasionally, there is a unique issue, but almost always it is a tire balance issue.

If you are experiencing this, ask the dealer to break down the tire/wheel again. Why? If the tire and wheel aren't mounted on opposite sides no amount of balancing will fix the issue once either piece is enough out of round. Then you need the roadforce balance as some have posted here. If either a wheel or a tire is too far out of balance, all these steps still won't matter, you will still get the vibration.

I had a 98 Lexus GS400 new that I had the dealer look at this so many times I was up for Lemon Law. So they sent in a rep to see what we could do. He had me drive any over GS400 on the lot and told me to find one that did not vibrate. When we did, he swapped the wheels and tires with mine. Issue gone. On the final test drive he told me about this new roadforce balancing they had installed on the production line as this issue had become to common. He said at that time they were finding 1 in 4 tires were so out of spec, they could not be balanced to prevent just these kind of vibrations and were kicked back to the manufacture. So even with the proper install and proper roadforce balance, there is still be possibility that you can have issues in the wheels or tires that will prevent you from resolving the issue with your current equipment.

Hope that helps.

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