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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 10-02-2012, 09:42 AM
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Jay Arras Jay Arras is offline
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Four wheel alignment?

I just got an email from my local dealer suggesting I come in for a four wheel alignment before winter sets in. They state that the car needs an alignment every year to prevent uneven tire wear. I can't remember the last time I had an alignment done on ANY of my cars (30 years ago maybe?)

I also have all-wheel drive. Is this all the more reason I need to consider this?
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  #2  
Old 10-02-2012, 10:39 AM
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Oceans10 Oceans10 is offline
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No, nonsense.
Go to a regular tire place who have the alignment equipment. I pay $68 plus tax at Town Fair Tire, but not necessary annually.
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  #3  
Old 10-02-2012, 11:29 AM
Mac Hadley Mac Hadley is offline
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Are the tires wearing unevenly or is the car pulling to one side or another, vibration in the steering column, or the steering wheel is no longer centered...these are signs that an alignment may be needed. Annually makes no sense to me, unless your roads a full of pot holes
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  #4  
Old 10-02-2012, 11:47 AM
core22 core22 is offline
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I'm getting vibration in my steering column only when braking. Not to hijack the OPs thread, but would this be a symptom of needing an alignment?
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  #5  
Old 10-02-2012, 11:56 AM
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Jay Arras Jay Arras is offline
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Thanks, but no thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oceans10 View Post
No, nonsense.
Go to a regular tire place who have the alignment equipment. I pay $68 plus tax at Town Fair Tire, but not necessary annually.
Thanks for your suggestion, but Town Fair is the LAST place I would go to have an alignment done! They can't even balance a tire properly. (We both live in CT)
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  #6  
Old 10-02-2012, 02:12 PM
hooch999 hooch999 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Arras View Post
I just got an email from my local dealer suggesting I come in for a four wheel alignment before winter sets in. They state that the car needs an alignment every year to prevent uneven tire wear. I can't remember the last time I had an alignment done on ANY of my cars (30 years ago maybe?)

I also have all-wheel drive. Is this all the more reason I need to consider this?
Don't bother unless you feel you car is pulling to a side. I would also start ignoring that dealer.
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  #7  
Old 10-02-2012, 08:07 PM
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booyaazaa booyaazaa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by core22 View Post
I'm getting vibration in my steering column only when braking. Not to hijack the OPs thread, but would this be a symptom of needing an alignment?
A wheel alignment usually would not cause this problem. I would do the easy stuff first, check your wheel balancing. If that doesn't fix it I would have the brakes checked, it could be a bad caliper not releasing completely. I had the same problem on my e53 and gs, once they replaced the front calipers it was good.
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  #8  
Old 10-02-2012, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oceans10 View Post
No, nonsense.
Go to a regular tire place who have the alignment equipment. I pay $68 plus tax at Town Fair Tire, but not necessary annually.
+1

Only worry if the shop says they don't know why there are 6 versions of your car in the system and they think they picked the right one.
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  #9  
Old 10-03-2012, 07:46 AM
l1tech l1tech is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by core22 View Post
I'm getting vibration in my steering column only when braking. Not to hijack the OPs thread, but would this be a symptom of needing an alignment?
This is a sign of warped brake rotors
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  #10  
Old 10-03-2012, 08:42 AM
core22 core22 is offline
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Just heard back - it is indeed out of round front rotors. Oddly these were purchased brand new over the summer and installed about 6 weeks ago. Hopefully I will be able to work with Modbargains or StopTech on a warranty claim.

Now back to your regularly scheduled discussion - sorry to derail the thread
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  #11  
Old 10-03-2012, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by core22 View Post

Now back to your regularly scheduled discussion - sorry to derail the thread
That's okay, Core, I think we're done.
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  #12  
Old 10-03-2012, 05:44 PM
DJtoad DJtoad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by core22 View Post
Just heard back - it is indeed out of round front rotors. Oddly these were purchased brand new over the summer and installed about 6 weeks ago. Hopefully I will be able to work with Modbargains or StopTech on a warranty claim.

Now back to your regularly scheduled discussion - sorry to derail the thread
Sounds like you didn't bed the pads properly to the new rotors. If you don't, you'll get an uneven coating of material on the rotors and they will act as though they're warped even though the rotors really aren't.
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  #13  
Old 08-02-2013, 09:49 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Hadley View Post
Are the tires wearing unevenly
I posted a lot of pictures of uneven tire wear on my E39, which had excessive negative camber, if anyone is interested, over here:
> What can I have done at the alignment shop to reduce my drastic E39 inside tire wear?
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #14  
Old 08-03-2013, 12:02 AM
ColonelLonewolf ColonelLonewolf is offline
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And here is was thinking arson might be a concern?????
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  #15  
Old 08-06-2013, 03:01 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColonelLonewolf View Post
And here is was thinking arson might be a concern?????
It's water!

Every 6 gallons of water is 50 pounds.

Although, I must admit, when I brought the car in to the alignment shop, two mechanics from across the street wandered over to see what was going on. Then they proceeded to lecture me that alignment only needed weight to simulate a driver in the front driver's seat.

How do you handle people like that?

Anyway, this post to the thread on weighting explains some of the theory that I wasn't able to explain to those mechanics...
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Topaz540i View Post
Not even the dealerships weight the cars. Call one up and ask. They dont.
Hmmmm....
  • BMW of San Jose, aka Stevenscreek BMW (www.stevenscreekbmw.com)
    • 800-298-1501x2 (asked to speak to a service advisor)
    • The first service advisor didn't have a clue what I was asking!
    • So I called back, and the second service advisor unhesitatingly said they definitely use the weights.
    • PS: It costs $250 for an alignment with weights
  • BMW of Mountainview (http://www.bmwofmountainview.com)
    • 650-200-0149x1x2 (tried to speak to a service advisor)
    • Left a message as they didn't answer the phone
    • They didn't return the call, so I called back, and pressed "4" instead of "1": 650-200-0149x4
    • Asking for a service advisor, the one I got had no clue whether they use weights or not.
    • Calling back, pressing "4" again, I found out that it was the appointment personnel whom I had been speaking with.
    • So I got a "real" service advisor, who said they "add sandbags as needed", which I'll take to indicate they add the proper weight.
    • PS: It costs $190 for an alignment, with your money refunded if you don't need it
  • BMW of Fremont (www.bmwoffremont.com)
    • 510-224-4820x1 (asked to speak to a service advisor)
    • The service advisor unhesitatingly said they use the specified weights.
    • PS: It costs $190 for an alignment, with your money refunded if you don't need it
Quote:
Originally Posted by Topaz540i View Post
Please explain how a car with such amazing aerodymanics as the e39 could have such massive downforce.
That's a valid argument.

From "my" reading of this wonderfully edifying thread (and a score of others), the driving-under-downforce (DUD?) theory is pretty much deprecated. So is the carrying-rocks-and-passengers (CRAP?) theory. The only theory that seems to logically hold water is the one so eloquently explaned by RDL, which is that the whole point is to weight (almost) all BMWs similarly so that the very specific midpoint called the "Normal Loaded Position" is reached.

Don't let the word "normal" or "loaded" mean anything to you with respect to how many rocks and passengers one normally carries as a load. In fact, we should give that specific midpoint-loading position a more technical name so people don't jump to conclusions. I think I'll call it the NLP, so that the word "normal" and "loading" are removed.

The way I understand it is that, at that midpoint-loading NLP (which, for most non-M bimmers can only be achieved with weight on good springs), all the alignment specifications are valid.

At any other point than that midpoint NLP, those alignment specs are no longer valid.
Can it really be that simple?
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #16  
Old 08-06-2013, 06:32 PM
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booyaazaa booyaazaa is offline
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That seems like a lot of work for a wheel alignment. Couldn't you just tell them to take out the negative camber a little bit more from where they set it? Edgemotorworks did mine and they took out a little bit more neg camber since this is my DD.
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  #17  
Old 08-07-2013, 12:41 PM
Margal Margal is offline
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I was asked by BMW service adviser if I have rear view camera? Any idea what it has to do with wheel alighnment?
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