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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 04-07-2008, 02:12 PM
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Weird Tire Wear?

All -

I noticed the other day that my rear tires were oddly colored (crappy pictures included). Nothing has changed with the car / normal driving. Has anyone seen this before? Are they wearing faster on the outside?
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  #2  
Old 04-07-2008, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Seattle View Post
All -

I noticed the other day that my rear tires were oddly colored (crappy pictures included). Nothing has changed with the car / normal driving. Has anyone seen this before? Are they wearing faster on the outside?
Nope. They are wearing faster on the INSIDE. BMW's have some negative camber built in to the front to improve handling. It could be your shocks/struts are worn out, as was the case on my car with same problem. Or it could just be out of alignment. How many miles does your car/these tires have?
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  #3  
Old 04-07-2008, 02:23 PM
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It's a 2000, 323Ci, about 64K, PS2's. This is only happening to the rears...
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  #4  
Old 04-07-2008, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim Seattle View Post
It's a 2000, 323Ci, about 64K, PS2's. This is only happening to the rears...
ps2's wear pretty fast, I'd change tires when you get around to it. Those tires are overpriced IMO. It could be the rear shocks are shot allowing the car to camber more and thereby wearing like that. It could be alignment too. It is a common problem on E46's, the best way to avoid it is to fix the problem (whatever it is) and keep em rotated every 5k on the nose. A good tire shop should be able to tell you what is wrong, but I bet I'm right and it is the shocks..
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  #5  
Old 04-07-2008, 10:56 PM
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I know mine does quite similiar, but it's not that bad as on the picture with colour changing. It's better to check overall than just look at the tires IMO.
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  #6  
Old 04-08-2008, 12:56 AM
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That wear pattern almost looks like the outside is wearing faster than the inside. Look at the debris on the inside and compare it to how clean and "scrubbed" the outside looks. I might be wrong but the darker rubber means its fresher, meaning its wearing quicker. Id go to an alignment shop asap. PS2's are too expensive to wear prematurely.
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  #7  
Old 04-08-2008, 10:03 AM
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Normal wear pattern on an E46 is inside wear on the rear and outside wear on the front according to Bentley Shop Manual. Bob
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  #8  
Old 04-09-2008, 08:59 PM
billygoat777 billygoat777 is offline
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if ur car is dropped or something its probably negative camber in the rear
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  #9  
Old 04-10-2008, 05:06 AM
fcruz3r fcruz3r is offline
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lowered bmw's usually have more negative camber resulting in faster wear on the inner parts of the tire, you can get an alignment to dial out the camber but there's limited adjustments on the rear....u could possibly get the aftermarket rear lower control arm which allows for greater camber adjustments.
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  #10  
Old 04-10-2008, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billygoat777 View Post
if ur car is dropped or something its probably negative camber in the rear

Car is not lowered any....total stock setup. It definitely looks like they are wearing on the outside faster (accordingto the color alone). Looks like a trip to the alignment shop???
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  #11  
Old 04-10-2008, 07:47 PM
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hmmm....ur right...but since its wearing out the outer on both sides, quite sure that an alignment can fit this ....may be positive camber or too much toe in (if there is a toe adjustment on the rear?)
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  #12  
Old 11-03-2009, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Nope. They are wearing faster on the INSIDE. BMW's have some negative camber built in to the front to improve handling. It could be your shocks/struts are worn out, as was the case on my car with same problem. Or it could just be out of alignment. How many miles does your car/these tires have?
Question for you
In August I found that my front right tire is wearing out inside. So I have done alignment at GMC dealer ship, they have one the best tech. working there, that what people told me.
So he told me because tire is already worn a little so it will continue to do so, but at slower rate. Now it's worn more then tire itself or left tire.
So may be it's strut camber makes this worn, don't you think?
If it's, how do I check for worn strut or bad worn camber plate?

Thanks
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  #13  
Old 11-03-2009, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phlfly View Post
Question for you
In August I found that my front right tire is wearing out inside. So I have done alignment at GMC dealer ship, they have one the best tech. working there, that what people told me.
How many BMWs has this GMC dealership aligned? That makes no sense to me.

Quote:
So he told me because tire is already worn a little so it will continue to do so, but at slower rate. Now it's worn more then tire itself or left tire.
So may be it's strut camber makes this worn, don't you think?
If it's, how do I check for worn strut or bad worn camber plate?
Is your suspension stock? Basically, the only adjustment on a stock E46 front end is toe. Camber is fixed as is caster. Toe is your problem and once a tire is worn badly, correcting it will not improve the noise or handling issues.
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  #14  
Old 11-03-2009, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by jvr826 View Post
How many BMWs has this GMC dealership aligned? That makes no sense to me.


Is your suspension stock? Basically, the only adjustment on a stock E46 front end is toe. Camber is fixed as is caster. Toe is your problem and once a tire is worn badly, correcting it will not improve the noise or handling issues.
He is just a good tech with a good alignment equipment. A lot people do alignment there for their european cars and they were very happy, in quality and price.

Yes, the suspension is stock. The tires set up is ZR (front 225 and rear 245).
i have read about the camber can be adjusted. But I have misunderstood, which way I shall push a strut toward center of the car or out, in order to minimize inside tire wear.

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  #15  
Old 11-03-2009, 12:02 PM
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Camber is set from the factory and there's an alignment pin in place to prevent it from being changed. It can be removed to increase negative camber, but that will exacerbate your problem. Those who do it want more negative camber for better handling.

Your car barely has any negative camber to begin with, maybe -1.0 at the most, and you need that for handling. Don't mess with that.

If this alignment ace didn't weigh your car down as specified in the shop manual, then it's not setup correctly. No weight in the car = camber is off = toe is off = you guessed it... weird tire wear.

Of course all advice assumes your front end suspension is in tip-top shape and nothing is worn like control arms or control arm bushings. If that's true... toe is your problem... there's too much.
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  #16  
Old 11-03-2009, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jvr826 View Post
but that will exacerbate your problem.
I like that word! I am going to tell my boss he is causing my sales to exacerbate.
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  #17  
Old 11-04-2009, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr826 View Post
Camber is set from the factory and there's an alignment pin in place to prevent it from being changed. It can be removed to increase negative camber, but that will exacerbate your problem. Those who do it want more negative camber for better handling.

Your car barely has any negative camber to begin with, maybe -1.0 at the most, and you need that for handling. Don't mess with that.

If this alignment ace didn't weigh your car down as specified in the shop manual, then it's not setup correctly. No weight in the car = camber is off = toe is off = you guessed it... weird tire wear.

Of course all advice assumes your front end suspension is in tip-top shape and nothing is worn like control arms or control arm bushings. If that's true... toe is your problem... there's too much.
Yesterday I went back to alignment guy and asked about the load on wheels. He is used a special tool to load on front and rear suspension, as BMW specified and he is used for alignment BMW specific software version.
So tomorrow he will check again my alignment.
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  #18  
Old 11-04-2009, 09:36 AM
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The pictures are difficult to see. We really need tread depth measurements across the tire to see if it's the inside or outside that is wearing faster. The rear end is set up with negative camber to provide better handling. It does provide better handling at the expense of tire wear on the inside of the tire. If you are not an aggressive driver, you can always ask the alignment tech to leave the car with less negative camber. The manufacturer spec is the spec, but there's nothing magical about it. It's still a compromise no matter where it's set. The imporant thing is to have both rear wheel set to the same so it does not induce a pull or drift.
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  #19  
Old 11-04-2009, 11:19 AM
galengentry galengentry is offline
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Similar Question: Severe wear on walls of rear tires

Hi,

Similar Question: Is severe wear on inside of rear tires normal? I've read the posts, but don't think my issue is exactly the same.

Facts: My rear tires are deeply worn on the inside. It looks like they actually contact the wheel well based on the wear pattern. Wear is on the side of the tires where wall meets tread. I drive a 2003, 325Ci, with sport package (that was 'lowered'; I don't know Jack, but it looks low compared to a standard BMW) when I bought it CPO in 2004 from Santa Monica BMW.

SMBMW replaced shocks about 1 1/2 years ago. Tires are Bridgestone Turanza ER30 225/45 ZR17.

There is not similar wear on front tires.

(I took photos but forgot to bring camera up to load onto this queston. So lame)
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  #20  
Old 11-05-2009, 05:42 PM
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Today I have alignment so here images of my alignment. First one is done in August, Second - today


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  #21  
Old 11-05-2009, 07:16 PM
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Now you have to determine how your right-front toe got so far out of whack.
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by jvr826 View Post
Now you have to determine how your right-front toe got so far out of whack.
So may be some bushing is worn out. Tech told he didn't see anything moving freely there, but.. something?
Maybe it's a wheel itself?
But I hit a curb during the parking my car at restaurant parking, tried to park at end of parking row, but speed was a little faster, then I thought, so I hit a curb corner.
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Old 11-07-2009, 08:22 AM
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I have talked with mechanics about alignment and tire wear, they have suspicious on front rear bushing of control arm. It's shifting during the driving that is coursing wearing tire.
They have not put on lift yet, but my question is it worth to change the bushings?
here is picture. after almost 8000 miles
first from the left it's a left(driver side) second passenger side.
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Last edited by phlfly; 11-07-2009 at 08:31 AM.
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  #24  
Old 11-08-2009, 10:11 AM
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How many miles on your car? If 60k or more, pretty good chance you need FCABs anyway.
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Old 11-08-2009, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by jvr826 View Post
How many miles on your car? If 60k or more, pretty good chance you need FCABs anyway.
56,000 miles. May be alignment tech didn't do a good job on alignment for first time, ..... I hope so.
I will monitor for next 1000 miles then I will see. The wear it looks more like the toe was out specs. Also in VA, the roads has some slope on left line, so a car is pulling to the left, so I have to correct it by turning wheel to right.
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