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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #51  
Old 08-16-2010, 06:12 AM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunder Dump View Post
Of course, doesn't this all assume that the car itself is on level ground to begin with? Correct me if I'm wrong, but if the car is parked on a 3 degree sideways incline, then with the bubble showing level, the steering wheel angle is going to be 3 degrees off, yes? In other words, using the level always makes sure the steering wheel is parallel to the earth, but that doesn't mean it will be parallel to the frame.
Cripe, do I have to explain everything? I assumed the reader would know that. Next time I will pm T-dump and the other guy I can assume nothing for, ///M-rated.
Yes, the car must be level, good point. Of course all our alignment racks are set dead level left to right and front to back.
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  #52  
Old 08-16-2010, 07:28 AM
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Thunder Dump Thunder Dump is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
Cripe, do I have to explain everything? I assumed the reader would know that. Next time I will pm T-dump and the other guy I can assume nothing for, ///M-rated.
Yes, the car must be level, good point. Of course all our alignment racks are set dead level left to right and front to back.
Well I assumed that NH--being the granite state and all--would have a nice flat slab of the stuff underneath your Hunter machine to keep everything on the true. However, my point was more to the OP that if he was trying to measure at home with a level (as you instructed) to see if his wheel was off, he needs to make sure the vehicle is level first. Otherwise the tire place may give him the when he explains his methodology.
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  #53  
Old 08-16-2010, 08:44 AM
sleepyx637 sleepyx637 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
Hey, how'd you get the name "Sleepy" when you're up at 2 in the morning?
If the wheel is a couple degrees off I'd have to say that's in the range of normal.
Using a level is often called out by mfrs. to ensure that the wheel is straight ahead. It eliminates parralax and other errors. I don't know whether BMW requires it, but there is one thing for sure, the bubble doesn't lie.
You are correct about the procedure. Using those two points with a 24" level would be fine. A 48" level should be saved for laying brick. You don't want to be smashing out windows.

BTW, the wheel in your pic looks like it's a degree off to the right. Might just be from where I'm sitting though. Notice that the top of the main spoke is slightly misaligned in relation to the center of each one of the two gauges? The roundel looks level which indicates it's straight. See what I mean?
At 2 in the morning, 2' = 48 inches. I'll get a 24 inch level and proceed as you've suggested. If a couple degrees off is within the range of normal, I might just drop all this obssessive madness. Alternatively, I could get the BMW performance suspension kit and m3 bits, and use that as an excuse to get another alignment
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  #54  
Old 08-16-2010, 10:05 AM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepyx637 View Post
At 2 in the morning, 2' = 48 inches. I'll get a 24 inch level and proceed as you've suggested. If a couple degrees off is within the range of normal, I might just drop all this obssessive madness. Alternatively, I could get the BMW performance suspension kit and m3 bits, and use that as an excuse to get another alignment
Lend me your car for a week afterwards and I'll get the alignment done for free. Some er...road testing...may be required. In fact, I'll be at NHMS a week from today with my 335, I'd be happy to test out your new settings for you at the same time.
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  #55  
Old 08-16-2010, 09:20 PM
sleepyx637 sleepyx637 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
Lend me your car for a week afterwards and I'll get the alignment done for free. Some er...road testing...may be required. In fact, I'll be at NHMS a week from today with my 335, I'd be happy to test out your new settings for you at the same time.
Haha, if I were located in your area, you'd be the first person I went to.

Okay, so I went to home depot and got a 12" level and a 24" level and then drove while holding them and trying not to crash. Invariably, the bubble leaned to the lefthand side, indicating that the wheel was tilted to the left. Tried the same thing with a Lexus, and the bubble was much closer to center. I have an appointment with the dealer tomorrow and I'm going to tell them to use the level when centering my steering wheel.

Here's a (hopefully last) question for you DSX - is there anything that needs to get re-done or realigned when they are centering the steering wheel? (Assuming alignment was okay before they start centering). Thanks!

Last edited by sleepyx637; 08-16-2010 at 09:36 PM.
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  #56  
Old 08-17-2010, 12:31 AM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepyx637 View Post
Haha, if I were located in your area, you'd be the first person I went to.

Okay, so I went to home depot and got a 12" level and a 24" level and then drove while holding them and trying not to crash. Invariably, the bubble leaned to the lefthand side, indicating that the wheel was tilted to the left. Tried the same thing with a Lexus, and the bubble was much closer to center. I have an appointment with the dealer tomorrow and I'm going to tell them to use the level when centering my steering wheel.

Here's a (hopefully last) question for you DSX - is there anything that needs to get re-done or realigned when they are centering the steering wheel? (Assuming alignment was okay before they start centering). Thanks!
Yikes. Driving and leveling are not recommended. And it's inaccurate due to what we call the 'road crown effect'. As you may have noticed all secondary roads are higher in the middle to enhance rapid drainage. Your steering naturally wants to point downhill which would be to the right. A few degrees of left turn of the steering wheel to compensate for the 'pull' to the right is considered normal.
Leave the level in the trunk. Get out on a highway, try the left lane and see if the steering tends to center, or even have to be slightly to the right. If so your steering wheel is set correctly.
To 'center' steering the car needs to be set up on the rack exactly the same as if a four wheel alignment were going to be done. If 'toe' needs resetting that would only take a few minutes more. No, centering the wheel does not itself require that anything else be redone, but the machine will be checking everything else anyway and the tech will see what's going on.
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  #57  
Old 06-09-2011, 08:51 AM
DaanBMW DaanBMW is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
It is important to put weight in various places in the car, and to reset Steering Angle in the computer so that stability control is not affected.
I am reviving this thread. I have found a good local indy shop, specialized in bmw/mini, with v. good reviews. They do 4-wheel alignment but while they do the steering angle reset, they don't seem to use weights for the alignment. They say their machine compensates, which I tend to think is bogus - if it'd be that simple then BMW would have done it to begin with.

So HOW important is to have these weights in when you do the alignment ?
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  #58  
Old 08-20-2012, 10:49 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Originally Posted by DaanBMW View Post
So HOW important is to have these weights in when you do the alignment ?
These threads discuss the rationale for weights in gory detail:
- The theory of alignment with weights (1) or without adding weight (1) (2) (3)

BTW, I found this cost-related post in the cn90 DIYs:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
I usually pay around $150 for all 4 wheels to be aligned...
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  #59  
Old 08-20-2012, 05:11 PM
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rich8566 rich8566 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepyx637 View Post
Haha, if I were located in your area, you'd be the first person I went to.

Okay, so I went to home depot and got a 12" level and a 24" level and then drove while holding them and trying not to crash. Invariably, the bubble leaned to the lefthand side, indicating that the wheel was tilted to the left. Tried the same thing with a Lexus, and the bubble was much closer to center. I have an appointment with the dealer tomorrow and I'm going to tell them to use the level when centering my steering wheel.

Here's a (hopefully last) question for you DSX - is there anything that needs to get re-done or realigned when they are centering the steering wheel? (Assuming alignment was okay before they start centering). Thanks!
If the bubble leaned to the left that means the wheel is tilted to the right, not the left....
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  #60  
Old 08-20-2012, 05:38 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
Dealerships have been reported at 125 to 250 with most in the 225 neighborhood. Independents have been posted at as little as 80 on up to close to 200, with most around 120. There has been some concern that the indys MAY not be as thorough as the dealerships. It is important to put weight in various places in the car, and to reset Steering Angle in the computer so that stability control is not affected.

My feeling is that a good indy shop will do as good a job as the dealer for less money. You can check reputations on line quite easily these days.

You will need a 'four wheel alignment'. BMWs have relatively good adjustment points and a shim kit or caster/camber kit should not be required.
Without the Kinematics machine, doubtful Indy's can match BMW's quality.

But, can come close as no never mind.

So can you, dear reader....what're the main issues? Camber & Toe. Ride height if you got it.

Can measure Camber with an iPhone/Android....Toe Plates do a creditable job if careful and precise about use. The problem w/DIY alignment is adjustment - car should be up ~12" so's one can get to adjustment points, on a level surface with free movement of the wheels at normal ride height.

Did I say level? Yup - all 4 wheels within 1/8" of each other. Most floors won't qualify!

Hey....waitaminute....how's a Joe t'do all that? And what about the center line?

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Last edited by CALWATERBOY; 08-20-2012 at 05:40 PM.
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  #61  
Old 08-22-2012, 10:36 AM
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My local dealer has a $169.99 special (not sure if I can apply BMWCCA discounts towards that). Either way, HARDLY a nuisance considering the cost of the car...

So go to your local dealer and problem solved !
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  #62  
Old 08-02-2013, 09:36 PM
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For the record, it cost me $90 to have my bimmer aligned this week but I had to supply my own ride-height weights:
> 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.
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  #63  
Old 08-03-2013, 12:56 PM
scroitoru scroitoru is offline
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Originally Posted by deadspoogi View Post
whats an average price for a wheel alignment for a 3 series bmw? Thanks
$ 150, without power steering, $ 175 with, that is dealer price.
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  #64  
Old 08-05-2013, 12:15 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Originally Posted by scroitoru View Post
$ 150, without power steering, $ 175 with, that is dealer price.
Interesting that the price changes appreciably with or without power steering considering the BMW is rather easy to align considering there isn't much that can be adjusted.

Anyway, we finally figured out WHY BMW wants the weight where it is!
> The REAL Reason For Using Weights During Alignment (No, It's Not What You Think.)

Hint: Make sure you read to the end, as the consensus changed over time.
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
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  #65  
Old 08-05-2013, 10:57 AM
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it should be less than $80 at an indy shop
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  #66  
Old 08-06-2013, 02:34 AM
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Originally Posted by E92-Lighting View Post
it should be less than $80 at an indy shop
Is that with, or without the BMW specified ballast?

For the record, I called the three nearest dealers today ... and posted results here:
The REAL Reason For Using Weights During Alignment (No, It's Not What You Think.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Topaz540i View Post
Not even the dealerships weight the cars. Call one up and ask. They dont.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
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
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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

Last edited by bluebee; 08-06-2013 at 02:36 AM.
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  #67  
Old 08-06-2013, 04:37 AM
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Think the bottom line is how much is a dealer alignment VS. X$ for tires. Most of us with performance packages are spending over $1000 per tire change & with a stagger you cannot equalize the tire wear.
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  #68  
Old 08-06-2013, 08:26 AM
Tom K. Tom K. is offline
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Originally Posted by scroitoru View Post
$ 150, without power steering, $ 175 with, that is dealer price.
All BMWs have Power Steering so I assume you meant Active Steering (variable steering ratio). My dealer charges around $225 for regular steering and a bit more for Active Steering.

Tom
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  #69  
Old 08-06-2013, 10:14 AM
Lufthansa Lufthansa is offline
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I recently had a four-wheel alignment done at my dealer - $149 with a coupon they sent me.
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  #70  
Old 07-24-2014, 11:28 PM
TEK_OG TEK_OG is offline
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Post Four Wheel Alignment EXPIRES JULY 31 2014

http://www.southbmw.com/service-4wheel-align.html hopes it helps someone.. dealer South Motors BMW
16215 South Dixie Hwy Miami FL 33157

South BMW Miami
Sales: (888) 868-2898 $99.95
Service: (888) 847-4926

now if i can find this in baltimore MD

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