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E85 / E86 Z4 (2003-2008)
E85 Z4 Roadster, E86 Z4 Coupe, E85 Z4 M Roadster, and E86 Z4 M Coupe talk with our BMW gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 11-11-2012, 11:52 AM
Skyman180 Skyman180 is offline
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Location: Raleigh, NC
 
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Mein Auto: 2003 BMW Z4
Thumbs up wheel alignment, when?

Hello everyone, I am new to the blog and have enjoyed what I have read, thanks. I have a 2003 Z4, the car is absolutely fabulous to drive and I love it. On rough asphalt roads my car tends to wander just a bit and I can hear the rear tires address the pavement. My question is, when is it necessary to have the front and rear alignment done?
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  #2  
Old 11-11-2012, 12:50 PM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
BMW CCA 1405
Location: Louisville, KY
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,547
Mein Auto: 1997 BMW Z3 1.9 5MT
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyman180 View Post
... 2003 Z4... On rough asphalt roads my car tends to wander just a bit and I can hear the rear tires address the pavement. My question is, when is it necessary to have the front and rear alignment done?
I just got a Z3. What do you mean by rear tires addressing the pavement?

I have noticed that rough bumpy asphalt roads can cause steering inputs that require attention. But I think this is the nature of the car's direct steering, and not related to alignment.

So you have two questions: wandering and alignment.

Bump-steering is probably normal.
An alignment should be considered if the steering pulls to one side, the front end shimmies or the steering wheel shakes or if the front tires have unusual cupping-type wear.
However, I understand the Z's suspension normally causes odd-looking tire wear to the inside.
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:14 PM
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shipkiller shipkiller is offline
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Location: Virginia Beach, VA
 
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Mein Auto: Me
Z4's exhibit a phenomenon called "Tramlining". This is the wandering you are seeing. An alignment can alleviate this to some degree, and getting rid of the runflat tires will also reduce the tramlining effects. It will never completely go away. The tramlining is not from the electric steering but due to the wider track the car has.

Getting rid of the Runflats has the biggest positive effect....!!!

If you have doubts on the alignment, you should get it redone. A good shop should only charge you about $100.00.
Also, if your shop says that they cannot align your BMW, don't just think they are stupid. When you align the car, the 'Steering Angle Sensor' must be reset and that takes some specialized equipment. Not all shops have this.
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