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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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Old 02-12-2013, 09:43 AM
Speed Density Speed Density is offline
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Violent Steering Shake, Shudder & Movement

Hey all,

I'm dealing with a pretty bad steering wheel shake as of last week. I was driving home and the wheel went ballistic and started to just shake back and fourth (so I thought). I pulled over and looked around, didnt find anything obviously broken so I limped the car home.

Fast forward to last night, I got the car up and started inspecting the CABs, ball joints, and tie rod ends. Everything looks kosher, nothing broken or destroyed. My axles look fine too, the outer boots are ripped but that wouldn't cause any of this wobble.

I also shook the car down, to try and hear any play and I can't hear anything. My guibo is going bad because I have a little clank in the steering wheel itself.

I took it for a little drive after and here is exactly what it does:
About 20mph the steering wheel will auto pull to the left as it shakes. It goes little by little until the wheel is half way turned. You can fight it back and drive the car straight but if you let off, it just pulls and turns itself.

The only thing I can think of is the steering rack, any ideas?
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:39 PM
my05crf280 my05crf280 is offline
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sounds like typical rear control arm bushings.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:21 PM
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MalibuMafiaV MalibuMafiaV is offline
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What you said, first thing that comes to mind is a bad steering rack.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:57 PM
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smolck smolck is offline
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Did you check your P/S fluid? Is it fresh or is it old and runny? Is there shavings in it?

Also worth checking is brake calipers. My wife's Jeep had a caliper seize up and it pulled hard left too (it was drivers side caliper). I was able to make it go straight when you hit the brakes (because the other side would engage and cancel out the pulling. Not saying that is your issue, but worth looking at.

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Old 02-12-2013, 07:36 PM
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mlukas161 mlukas161 is offline
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A sticking brake caliper is also my first guess. I had the same violent shaking on my front passanger wheels. Carefully check if that wheel is hot to the touch next time it happens.
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:45 AM
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kyfdx kyfdx is offline
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Another vote for the brake caliper.. My son's E30 had the same thing, just a few weeks ago...
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