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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-12-2013, 12:41 PM
ironman ironman is offline
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530xi wagon front end vibration

My 06 530xi wagon has a vibration or shimmy in the front end when I apply the brakes. My frist thought was the rotors. My brake pad sensor indicates the pads are ok for another 21k and after inspecting the rotors they appear to be fine. Could the vibration be caused by the front control arm bushings and if so what is the best way to check them?
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  #2  
Old 01-12-2013, 03:40 PM
BounceNY BounceNY is offline
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Your rotors may be warped. Hard to see by eye.
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:46 PM
pcy pcy is offline
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As BounceNY stated above, it's not easy to identify warped rotor just by looking at it. Even a minor warp (not noticeable to naked eye) can cause vibration during braking.
If I were you, I'd replace the rotors and go from there.

Control arm bushings can cause vibration; however, I'd bet warped rotors.

Last edited by pcy; 01-12-2013 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:43 PM
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Oceans10 Oceans10 is offline
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+1
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:02 AM
ironman ironman is offline
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Thanks for the info! When changing rotors should you to do the pads and sensor as well?
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  #6  
Old 01-13-2013, 06:19 AM
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Oceans10 Oceans10 is offline
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Only if they are worn. It's the rotors that warp, pads wear down evenly.
I am having good results with Centric Cryo treated rotors from Tire Rack.
I am using Hawk HPS pads. Much less dust and brake slightly firmer than OEMs. A little less bite on soft touching, but once they engage they are solid. Silent too.

It's good to do a brake fluid flush at 60k miles if you have not done so already. Has nothing to do with warped rotors though.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:48 AM
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z0lt3c z0lt3c is offline
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Rotors typically "warp" from either heat build up or from pad deposits. Heat build usually leaves discoloration in the surface of the rotor and is easier to diagnose then pad deposits. What brand rotors and pads are you using now? You may want to consider resurfacing your rotors once, this can eliminate warp from heat build up and/or strip off any pad deposits build ups. After the resurfacing, if the shimmy is gone, then obviously you know you are on the source of the problem. Keep in mind that the warp can return if it's caused by failed components such as wheel bearings or incorrect torqued wheels, less likely to return if resulting from infrequent emergency braking. This is why I suggest resurfacing before spending money on new rotors, if the warp does come back you need to start investigating other possible root causes, fix them, then replace the rotors. Another idea to try to switching to a different pad compound, this can help clean up the pad deposits without even removing the rotors. I do not suggest Centric brand rotors on an e61, I've had quality issues with two different sets and could not keep them from warping out, switched to OEM rotors and no problems since. There is a reason why these rotors are so cheap and generally, yes, you get what you pay for.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:33 PM
ironman ironman is offline
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Everything is OEM at this point.
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