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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 09-02-2009, 10:29 PM
Westlotorn Westlotorn is offline
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E39 4 wheel alignment issue

In September 2008 I purchased four new tires General Altimax 225 55r 16 and a four wheel alignment from a local BIG O TIRE for my 2001 525i 5 speed manual.

Now 10 mos later the car starts getting rough on the freeway. I suspect tire balance and take it to another Big O tire.

These guys tell me I need two new tires caused by poor alignment.
Both rear tires are worn severely on the inside edge.

My Question. Where do I stand. The front tires look perfect. The rears look perfect except for the inside most 1 inch of the tire before the sidewall that shows extreme wear like it was sanded smooth. The other 8 inches of tread look pretty good.

Do you think I have any shot at getting Big O Tire to stand behind their work and fix my alignment and replace these two rear tires? They are claiming alignment warranty is 6 mos.

First phone contact they said the alignment issue was probably caused by a pot hole and they would call me back. No call back in 2 weeks.

I don't wish to buy tires every year. These had a 440 tread wear and is the reason I bought them. I was very happy until the balance issue showed up. These were quiet and performed very well.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 09-02-2009, 10:50 PM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Chances are your alignment is set correctly….as much as they can do it. Rear tyre wear is a problem with BMWs. You could ask them to remove the negative camber (I think that's what it is) but you'll lose some handling, which I have a feeling you'll miss.

You really should take the car to BMW for the alignment as the stealer has proper, specialized equipment that's custom built by Hunter Equipment for BMW. It's worth the added cost to do it right.
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  #3  
Old 09-03-2009, 12:31 AM
Westlotorn Westlotorn is offline
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Thanks for your tips. I have two E39's. The one above and a 2002 530i, the 02 has nearly 60,000 miles on a set of Continental radials and handles very well with very even wear on all 4 tires. I think the Big O messed up my alignment on the 2001 and should step up on the repair bill.
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  #4  
Old 09-03-2009, 05:38 AM
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WHITE E39 WHITE E39 is offline
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you should alway get a before & after print out of the alignment.
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  #5  
Old 09-03-2009, 05:41 AM
stevecvo stevecvo is offline
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To set up the four wheel alignment properly the correct weight has to be added to the cabin seats and to the boot. This is why BMW charge so much for the alignment. When one of my front tyres showed edge wear I wanted a front alignment done. BMW wanted 66 euros plus 20% tax for the full job but I went to a local tyre shop and paid 20 euros. Time will tell whether this was false economy.
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  #6  
Old 09-03-2009, 07:25 AM
edjack edjack is offline
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Westlotorn,

Did you watch them do the alignment? Did they put the proper weights in the car?

Personally, I would not let Big-O do an alignment on my Radio Flyer. Best to see a BMW specialist. False economy otherwise.

I believe you have no recourse, unless you can prove they did the alignment incorrectly. They do have a legitimate claim after 6 months.

BTW, they may have used Sport settings, instead of those for your setup.
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  #7  
Old 09-03-2009, 08:32 AM
ascott ascott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_n00b13 View Post
You really should take the car to BMW for the alignment as the stealer has proper, specialized equipment that's custom built by Hunter Equipment for BMW. It's worth the added cost to do it right.
There's nothing special about the alignment rack at a BMW dealer. It's the training the techs get, primarily the fact they add weight to compensate for driver and passengers. Most alignment shops don't do that, unless you ask them to.

The solution to the rear tire wear, assuming your alignment is correct and your suspension parts are not excessively worn, is to rotate your tires at proper intervals.
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  #8  
Old 09-03-2009, 09:42 AM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Actually, it is a specialized piece of equipment. The added weight is a side benefit of having OCD engineers developing the suspension. (I wish they had worked on the cupholders and the cooling system)

BMW alignment is not hot air.
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  #9  
Old 09-03-2009, 10:29 AM
Mikes00528i Mikes00528i is offline
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Hate to say it but join the club, aligned by BMW I'm lucky to squeeze 15k out of a set of rear tires while the fronts are still 60% tread and wearing even. The difference is I get to drop in excess of $400 for a pair of (2) 19's. Good thing it only chews up the inside of the rears, because I can't afford to buy (4) tires at a time!
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  #10  
Old 09-03-2009, 11:10 AM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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You *can* ask for the camber to be removed; not sure if BMW will do it for you but if you ask nicely….

Other options include doing many smoke shows, thus making premature tyre wear an expected thing.
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  #11  
Old 09-03-2009, 12:32 PM
Westlotorn Westlotorn is offline
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Only a V8 driver could offer such good advice, unfortunately this is a 525i, pretty whimpy on the tire smoke issue, no burn outs for this cruiser.
My son had this work done in Southern California where he is attending school and work. I knew about this alignment a week after the fact.
They charged $170.00 and books instruct how to do it right. They should have been able to perform.
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  #12  
Old 09-03-2009, 12:46 PM
Westlotorn Westlotorn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikes00528i View Post
Hate to say it but join the club, aligned by BMW I'm lucky to squeeze 15k out of a set of rear tires while the fronts are still 60% tread and wearing even. The difference is I get to drop in excess of $400 for a pair of (2) 19's. Good thing it only chews up the inside of the rears, because I can't afford to buy (4) tires at a time!
Man that is harsh, new tires every 15K, Sorry. I would opt for a little less performance and double the tire life. My 530i has no tire wear issues at all and like I said they are approaching 60K and still look pretty good. I would think 10K more. We don't hot rod this car but really enjoy being able to cruise around 45mph turns at 60 and not even feel slight ly stressed.
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  #13  
Old 09-04-2009, 09:55 PM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westlotorn View Post
Only a V8 driver could offer such good advice, unfortunately this is a 525i, pretty whimpy on the tire smoke issue, no burn outs for this cruiser.
My son had this work done in Southern California where he is attending school and work. I knew about this alignment a week after the fact.
They charged $170.00 and books instruct how to do it right. They should have been able to perform.
I'm a 528 driver but have driven a 540; didn't look for your type of E39 as it was pretty irrelevant to this convo. I sympathize with the lack of wheel-spinningness in the I6ers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westlotorn View Post
Man that is harsh, new tires every 15K, Sorry. I would opt for a little less performance and double the tire life. My 530i has no tire wear issues at all and like I said they are approaching 60K and still look pretty good. I would think 10K more. We don't hot rod this car but really enjoy being able to cruise around 45mph turns at 60 and not even feel slight ly stressed.
Absolutely…unless you're wealthy enough to not notice the tyre costs, it's time to find a new tyre!
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  #14  
Old 09-08-2009, 12:16 PM
johnnnykoool johnnnykoool is offline
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I burned through two new rear tires in 15K on my 525i. Did a wheel bearing replacement all around, rear tires are wearing normally now in the back and I haven't had the alignment yet. Quieted down a lot too. One bearing was very shot, the other one wasn't too bad at all. If you've never had it done the wheel bearing job is a good idea.
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