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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #1  
Old 06-05-2012, 07:52 AM
Jokerswld34 Jokerswld34 is offline
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Vibrating steering wheel

I thought I'd share my experience with everyone as I am sure many are patiently waiting for BMW to address the steering vibration between 40 mph-70mph.

I picked up my f30 sport a couple months ago and took it for a break-in drive from MA to DE on a business trip. Got a chance to get to know the car and was very impressed coming over from a Mercedes. I was concerned about the wheel vibration around 50 mph so when i returned I took it in.

The tech rebalanced the Pirelli P7s and noticed a high road force number he didn't like on 3 of the 4 tires. They decided to replace the 3 and sent me on my way. The vibration was significantly better, but still visible. I thought I'd wait a couple hundred miles to wear in the tires a bit, but the vibration got a little worse. Took it back in to be looked at and the techs replaced all my tires with ContiSportContact SSRs. Both my advisor and tech went for a drive with me to verify the fix and the shudder was worse. They contacted the Regional BMW rep and asked some questions. They were told to try a few things on the alignment rack, etc. and report back. No change at all. I was told to wait patiently as BMW has a team working to resolve this issue back in germany; no resolution date given.

After a few more weeks I just couldnt bear it anymore. Ive owned a Volvo, Audi and Mercedes and never experienced anything like this on a new car. So, seeing as Im leasing this car, i called my sales guy to complain. After some push back, we decided to order a new car from germany and that the dealership would get me out of my lease and start me fresh in a new car. Basically my current car is a rental for me now. Hopefully the new car will not have this issue but im definitely crossing my fingers. Ill keep you all posted as things progress.
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  #2  
Old 06-05-2012, 08:09 AM
Wynden Wynden is offline
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Do you have the standard Servotronic steering or the Variable Sport Steering? I'm wondering if this problem is specific to one or the other.
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  #3  
Old 06-05-2012, 08:10 AM
Jokerswld34 Jokerswld34 is offline
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I have the variable sport steering...the vibration feels like its coming from the steering rack imo .
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  #4  
Old 06-05-2012, 09:21 AM
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andy966 andy966 is offline
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Hmmm... now I am worried. My car is waiting at the VDC and I also have the variable sport steering. I hope it doesn't have the same problem.
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  #5  
Old 06-05-2012, 09:39 AM
Jokerswld34 Jokerswld34 is offline
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correction; i just checked my window sticker and it did not indicate variable sport steering. i ordered it on the replacement vehicle so maybe the variable will have no issues...
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  #6  
Old 06-05-2012, 09:41 AM
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andy966 andy966 is offline
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Thanks for the update!
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  #7  
Old 06-05-2012, 11:03 AM
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justinnum1 justinnum1 is offline
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yep known issue, dealers are being pretty reasonable with replacing the cars.
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  #8  
Old 06-05-2012, 02:06 PM
KlausT KlausT is offline
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Adding my two cents here. Just picked up a 328i in Munich. Early May production. With sport steering. Have 350 miles on it so far. I can only see and feel a very slight vibration. Without reading forums I definitely would not have noticed. So far it doesn't bother me. I will report back if it gets worse.
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  #9  
Old 06-05-2012, 02:57 PM
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justinnum1 justinnum1 is offline
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yea, its not to bad, and hard to feel, but visually it is noticeable. Just depends how far you want to go with it. never had an issue like this in the 3+ E90's i owned.
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  #10  
Old 06-05-2012, 04:02 PM
sr5959 sr5959 is offline
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I definitely do not have this issue or any other, none at all and my car is a January build. I wish I did as I want to swap my base model for a Sport...
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  #11  
Old 06-05-2012, 09:23 PM
Spagolli94 Spagolli94 is offline
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I had an MDX a few years back with a vibration that just wouldn't go away. It was brand new. I must have gone through 10 wheel balances, even a new set of rims. That car just wouldn't stop shaking at 75 mph. I eventually traded it in with only 7500 miles on the clock. In my opinion any "high end" car that has any vibration whatsoever is totally unacceptable. Glad to hear it sounds like they're taking care of it for you.
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  #12  
Old 06-05-2012, 10:20 PM
bmw_or_audi bmw_or_audi is offline
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Audi had the same issue when the B8 was introduced. It was a combination of bushings and bad tires. They modified the bushing, and the problem went away with all but the worst tires.

I should note that, whether rooted in reality or not, Pirelli is notorious for making tires that are out of round and that develop flat spots.

Perhaps with these new lightweight and very stiff suspension components, they need to add more vibration damping in the bushings.
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  #13  
Old 06-06-2012, 05:57 AM
micknugget micknugget is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_or_audi View Post
Audi had the same issue when the B8 was introduced. It was a combination of bushings and bad tires. They modified the bushing, and the problem went away with all but the worst tires.

I should note that, whether rooted in reality or not, Pirelli is notorious for making tires that are out of round and that develop flat spots.

Perhaps with these new lightweight and very stiff suspension components, they need to add more vibration damping in the bushings.
Since the vibration is happening in a range (typically 40-60mph) and does not occur above or below that, I think that it is some kind of problem with the rack itself or the software/electronics in the speed sensitive steering adjustment. Just my thoughts
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  #14  
Old 06-06-2012, 09:13 AM
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windsor027 windsor027 is offline
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Well i am getting the variable suspension which for the 2013 gives you also the variable steering. I was glad the OP didn't have that variable steering (at first he said he did). I sure hope I don't have vibration problems. Nothing annoys me more than that.
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  #15  
Old 06-06-2012, 09:24 AM
Jokerswld34 Jokerswld34 is offline
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Any vibration from a brand new car is unacceptable, especially from a luxury brand! I didn't like the Pirellis from the get go, being that they were ECO low rolling resistance all seasons. They just didn't feel right on this type of performance car. They definitely flat spotted while sitting at the port, but I'm glad they decided to switch brands for me. The contis give a much tighter road feel and greater confidence in the turns, except that the vibration is worse =(

After driving a few thousand miles on the car, it definitely feels like steering rack related. I don't have the variable sport steering (ordered on replacement car) but it feels more like a resonance type feedback than a mechanical. Looking at the wheel you would think it had bent wheels or no tire tread left, but the car feels smooth and handles perfectly. Sometimes the vibration is very pronounced and sometimes it isn't. Generally its a little less noticeable in sport or sport+ than in comfort or ECO-Pro, but at 50mph its at its peak for shudder regardless. It also shudders when braking in that mph range.

Maybe its a software issue, maybe hardware, i just don't know. I'm hoping my new car wont have that issue otherwise I'm cancelling my lease and going back to Benz...
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  #16  
Old 06-06-2012, 02:54 PM
rclarke rclarke is offline
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So, does this vibration appear to be related to the variable steering option, the regular steering, or both?
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  #17  
Old 06-06-2012, 03:13 PM
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There have been more than a few reports of vibration on the F10 board.

I had vibration at 55 - 70 mph and 3 of my 4 OEM GY tires failed Roadforce balance. Dealer replaced and all good now.

This needs to be resolved in the first 2,000 miles or BMW will disown the problem.

Roadforce balance is the key. Picks up out of round, heavy spots, bent rims, all of which seem to occur all too often with our cars.
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  #18  
Old 06-06-2012, 03:41 PM
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On our Team USA Drive, both I and my wife when she drove noticed a slight steering wheel vibration which was momentary that I attributed to the lane change/deviation sensor (felt like we were running over lane markers), but now I'm beginning to wonder if this was something else.
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  #19  
Old 06-07-2012, 12:31 PM
Jokerswld34 Jokerswld34 is offline
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Test drove another 328 sport yesterday at the dealership to verify the issue and in fact, that car had it too. Then I drove a 335 luxury line (with M adaptive suspension, and it was smooth as butter. Steering felt completely different between the two cars, oddly enough.

Dealer is trying to convince me to get into a 335 luxury with less options but I don't want to go that route. I shouldnt have to settle on a line i dont want, or with less options to guarantee I wont get a "defective" car. I know its a 335 vs a 328, but honestly i really like the 328. it feels just as quick around town, more nimble on the twisties, and gets better gas mileage.

As it stands im reordering the 328 sport with variable sport this time, and trying to get sales Manager to add M adaptive suspension to it, in hopes the problem will be fixed one way or another. crossing my fingers...but i have a 2012 mb e350 sport ready to roll if things dont work out with the BMW.

Last edited by Jokerswld34; 06-07-2012 at 12:32 PM.
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  #20  
Old 06-07-2012, 12:37 PM
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voip-ninja voip-ninja is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndDown View Post
On our Team USA Drive, both I and my wife when she drove noticed a slight steering wheel vibration which was momentary that I attributed to the lane change/deviation sensor (felt like we were running over lane markers), but now I'm beginning to wonder if this was something else.
I observed this on my Team USA Drive and definitely attributed it to the lane departure feature, as the car had that and it was activated during my drive. It occurred on a highway on-ramp where there were some lines and I was not using the directional signal.

Extremely annoying feature, I will never buy a car that has it.
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  #21  
Old 06-07-2012, 03:06 PM
vern vern is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voip-ninja View Post
I observed this on my Team USA Drive and definitely attributed it to the lane departure feature, as the car had that and it was activated during my drive. It occurred on a highway on-ramp where there were some lines and I was not using the directional signal.

Extremely annoying feature, I will never buy a car that has it.
I dropped my 335i Sport off in Munich with 2,170 miles on it. Just giving a little back ground because of the steering. Spent 4 days in the Dolomites with nothing but switch backs in the numerous passes we went through also the Grossglockner with many switch backs and twisties. The rest of the trip was normal driving on back roads and highways at varying speeds 35-125. Never had any kind of problems with the variable sport steering or the lane departure. The lane departure IMO is a great option depending on where you are driving,(NJ mostly)and the kind of driving your doing.
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  #22  
Old 06-07-2012, 04:37 PM
pcbrew pcbrew is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jokerswld34 View Post
Test drove another 328 sport yesterday at the dealership to verify the issue and in fact, that car had it too. Then I drove a 335 luxury line (with M adaptive suspension, and it was smooth as butter. Steering felt completely different between the two cars, oddly enough.
Are you sure about this? 335 luxury line (with M adaptive suspension

This appears possible with MY13, but for MY12, the adaptive M suspension (2VF) was limited to Sport Line.
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  #23  
Old 06-08-2012, 11:48 AM
Jokerswld34 Jokerswld34 is offline
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yes the test car was a 335 luxury line, with m adaptive suspension and 6 speed manual. my salesman also did a search for available cars and found a few 335 luxury with m adaptive. funny the m adaptive isnt an option on the configurator and seems equipped on random lines.

im going to try the route of the 328 again as I want the extra fuel savings and genuinely enjoy the nimbleness of the 328. it is just an amazingly balanced and agile car.

for whats it worth, i had a 2007 335 n54 coupe and the n55 just doesnt feel as good. i was actually a little unimpressed driving the new 335. Felt a little heavy and did not have the kick in the pants my old 335 had. it felt a lot more toned down than the previous n54 in terms of blistering acceleration and exhaust note (my 07 bubbled and gurgled all the time it was awesome!) even in sport+ it just felt too refined and not as wild. Obviously thats just my opinion and means nothing, but i thought id share my personal experience.
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  #24  
Old 06-11-2012, 11:46 AM
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Fifty_Cent Fifty_Cent is offline
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Oh no... the notorious E34 steering wobble revisited!!!!
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  #25  
Old 06-11-2012, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jokerswld34 View Post
yes the test car was a 335 luxury line, with m adaptive suspension and 6 speed manual. my salesman also did a search for available cars and found a few 335 luxury with m adaptive. funny the m adaptive isnt an option on the configurator and seems equipped on random lines.

im going to try the route of the 328 again as I want the extra fuel savings and genuinely enjoy the nimbleness of the 328. it is just an amazingly balanced and agile car.

for whats it worth, i had a 2007 335 n54 coupe and the n55 just doesnt feel as good. i was actually a little unimpressed driving the new 335. Felt a little heavy and did not have the kick in the pants my old 335 had. it felt a lot more toned down than the previous n54 in terms of blistering acceleration and exhaust note (my 07 bubbled and gurgled all the time it was awesome!) even in sport+ it just felt too refined and not as wild. Obviously thats just my opinion and means nothing, but i thought id share my personal experience.
The 07 N54's were putting out around 350 horsepower imo. I had one and it was just a monster.
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