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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 05-13-2013, 07:41 AM
cinergi cinergi is offline
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Steering wheel shaking intermittently

Hello,

I had all 4 brake rotors and pads replaced recently. Since then, I've been experiencing a steering wheel vibration between 100 and 120 km/h. It's fine at speeds outside this range. What's strange is that the vibration is intermittent; it went away for 2 weeks, and now it's back. If the wheels were out of balance, I assume it would be constant. What could this be?

The new brakes seem fine, by the way - strong stopping force and there is no shaking during braking (i.e. the rotors are not warped).

Thanks
cinergi
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  #2  
Old 05-13-2013, 02:19 PM
bimmerstien bimmerstien is offline
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How many miles on your tires?
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  #3  
Old 05-13-2013, 03:53 PM
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6ICEMAN9 6ICEMAN9 is offline
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Alignment maybe? Potholes and train tracks tend to knock my front end out of alignment sometimes.
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  #4  
Old 05-13-2013, 04:25 PM
cinergi cinergi is offline
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bimmerstien - The tires have approximately 30,000 km on them but are in good condition with no bulges and 1 or 2 years of tread remaining.

6ICEMAN9 - Can alignment issues cause vibration? I thought they caused uneven tire wear and/or pulling to one side.

The strangest part is the intermittency - it comes and goes!

Thanks
cinergi
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  #5  
Old 05-13-2013, 04:29 PM
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6ICEMAN9 6ICEMAN9 is offline
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I haven't had it happen on my 550 yet but on previous vehicles, my front end was out of alignment and yes, around 55-60 it would get pretty bad. If I sped up some more or slow down , it would go away. Kinda weird, but it has happened to me before. Got my front end aligned at Firestone, and it was smooth sailing after that. It could also be a combination of things.....
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  #6  
Old 05-13-2013, 07:59 PM
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booyaazaa booyaazaa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cinergi View Post
bimmerstien - The tires have approximately 30,000 km on them but are in good condition with no bulges and 1 or 2 years of tread remaining.

6ICEMAN9 - Can alignment issues cause vibration? I thought they caused uneven tire wear and/or pulling to one side.

The strangest part is the intermittency - it comes and goes!

Thanks
cinergi
Get your tires rebalanced on a road force balancer. Also check to see if you have a bent wheel. An alignment issue is usually not the culprit for wheel vibrations.
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  #7  
Old 05-13-2013, 09:20 PM
MSAMMY MSAMMY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cinergi View Post

The strangest part is the intermittency - it comes and goes!

Thanks
cinergi
Bent rims, period. I had an intermittent vibration in the steering wheel and through the seat/chassis, come to find out, I had 4 bent rims. I had them straightened for $400, waste of money, don't bother, it just changed the vibration and did not solve it. I recently replaced the 2 rear rims and my seat/chassis vibration is now gone. I still have an intermittent steering wheel vibration and I'm ordering new front rims, original 124's.

Oh and the reason your vibration is intermittent? It's due to the bent rims and rotation of the wheels. Under certain circumstances, the bent/out of round part of the wheels align with each other and cancel out the vibration. Take a turn and the tires rotate at slightly different rates and voila, the vibration comes back. Turn again, and , well, you get my drift. Check for bent rims, if they are, don't bother to straighten, those companies are a rip off, buy new wheels. I almost sold my car due to this problem until I figured it out myself - 2 dealers in my area could not solve my problem but took the diagnostic fee. Good luck and let us know how it goes!
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  #8  
Old 05-14-2013, 07:12 AM
cinergi cinergi is offline
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Thanks to all who replied! The consensus seems to be either bent rims or rebalancing. I've checked the outer part of the rims and they're definitely not bent, but I still have to check the inner part (will probably jack it up over the weekend). If I don't find anything, I'll look for a local garage that has a Hunter Road Force machine.

MSAMMY, thanks for the explanation of the intermittency! It makes sense. The intermittency is bugging me almost more than the problem itself!

Best Regards,
cinergi
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  #9  
Old 05-23-2013, 04:18 PM
amitkumararora5 amitkumararora5 is offline
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can you update us what happened, how do you check whether rim is bent or not ? thanks
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  #10  
Old 05-23-2013, 04:35 PM
cinergi cinergi is offline
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I checked the rims (outside and inside surfaces) and they're not bent. amitkumararora5, checking the outside is easy. The inside is trickier; I ended up jacking up the car one corner at a time with the transmission in neutral (to enable spinning the rear wheels by hand), placing a work light under it shining towards the wheel, and rotating the wheel while looking for bends. Not a comfortable process to say the least. I guess you could also have someone drive the car and let it creep forwards slowly as you check - just be careful not to catch any body parts under the wheel!

Since my last post, the vibration disappeared and hasn't come back so I haven't pursued the matter further. When it does come back (and I'm sure it will eventually as MSAMMY explained), next step will be to check the balance on a Hunter Road Force machine. I need to find a local shop that has one.

-cinergi
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  #11  
Old 05-23-2013, 11:27 PM
westmo westmo is offline
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I'm going through this right now. Bought some used series 124's for my 2008 535xi, had them refinished, bought new tires, had them mounted last week. Vibrated like crazy after leaving the tire shop. The tire shop then said that two were bent and pointed me to a mobile alloy wheel repair service that could fix the bends. $139 later (for one wheel), it was still vibrating like crazy. Had them re-balanced and that helped out a little bit, but vibration was still noticeable. Contacted the wheel repair service and they were kind enough to refund my money. Agree with MSAMMY - waste of money, don't bother. I have two new wheels on order. My question now is ... what do I do with two nice looking 124's that I know are bent? I can't/won't with a good conscience put them up for re-sale.

- Mark
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  #12  
Old 05-24-2013, 03:00 AM
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Hogie Hogie is offline
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Well in the past I have had this same intermittent and I have spent a fortune in balancing, road force, and wheel replacement.

For me:

1. intermittent seems to be related to fast take-offs, accelerating hard
2. road surface
3. tire pressure
4. Wheel lug torque

For #1 I have accelerated hard from a light and then at 45-50 mph I get a vibration, I attribute to worn control arm bushings. After driving 40 - 50 miles on the interstate the intermittent would disappear until the next hard acceleration.

For #2 My Continentals just seem to behave different on asphalt, cement and different road surfaces. Mine usually do better on asphalt ( I have 187K miles so I have spent a lot of time on this one) probably the tread design and tire composition.

For #3 I just addressed yesterday. Had a wobble in the wheel and I had a tire left front at 29 pounds but was intermittent. I stopped at Discount Tire for their courtesy aircheck and placed all 4 at 34psi. Much smoother. Maybe a combination of low pressure and road surface.

For #4 I believe non-consistent wheel lug torque attributes, this might be related to the soft rim material

I know a host of things that can cause this but vibration drives me nuts! I still say my wife's 330i is "perfect" we now have 91K on it and I swear you can't tell the difference at any MPH between 0 and 100 in the steering wheel or chassis, its smooth.

My 5 series has always been a challenge.
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  #13  
Old 05-24-2013, 05:40 AM
JEC_PA JEC_PA is offline
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Im dealing with the same issue and my 535xi is at the dealer as I write this.

I upgraded to 18" staggered set up and the shaking wheel problem is making me crazy!!
Looks like they will be replacing the thrust rod bushings today....crossing my fingers!
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  #14  
Old 05-24-2013, 09:43 AM
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Hogie Hogie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEC_PA View Post
Im dealing with the same issue and my 535xi is at the dealer as I write this.

I upgraded to 18" staggered set up and the shaking wheel problem is making me crazy!!
Looks like they will be replacing the thrust rod bushings today....crossing my fingers!
Yes- In my post I said Control arm but it was the lower thrust bushings. This also caused a slight vibration when braking but it did address the vibration that I had. I think when ever there is force and pressure applied the worn bushings cause a mis-alignment or something. Good luck.
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  #15  
Old 05-24-2013, 09:54 PM
MSAMMY MSAMMY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westmo View Post
...Agree with MSAMMY - waste of money, don't bother. I have two new wheels on order. My question now is ... what do I do with two nice looking 124's that I know are bent? I can't/won't with a good conscience put them up for re-sale.

- Mark
I have the same problem, I now have two 124's in the corner of my garage, they are straightened, but not perfect and they'll cause vibrations on someone else's car. I can't sell them on EBay since a fellow Bimmer lover or a Bimmerfest member may buy them - can't do that to anyone! Thinking of bringing them to a scrap yard, but somebody may rescue them and bring them to a pawn shop and someone will get burned.
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  #16  
Old 05-25-2013, 06:00 AM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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The only way to be 100 sure that you don't have a bent rim is a road force balance
You can have very slight inner rim bent which will be not visible at all and still have a bent rim
Ask me how I know ... I bought perfectly fine set of almost new rims with tires and 2 of them where bent badly ...
GL
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Last edited by champaign777; 05-25-2013 at 06:03 AM.
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  #17  
Old 05-25-2013, 06:19 AM
JEC_PA JEC_PA is offline
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For those of you that have wheels that need to be fixed take a look at thi link.

http://www.wheelcollision.com/

I was at the BMW dealership and overheard another BMW owner talk about vibrations that couldn't be fixed. His solution was Wheel Collision. From reading their website it seems that he has patented a wheel straightening process that won't compromise the wheel.

I've scheduled an appointment for Tuesday morning to get my wheels looked at, but from reading the site it seems Car & Driver magazine shipped wheels to him to be fixed.

Worth a shot.

I'll let you know what happens on Tuesday.

JEC
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