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X5 E70 (2007 - 2013)
E70 BMW X5 produced between 2007 and 2013. Discuss the E70 X5 with other BMW owners here.

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  #1  
Old 09-19-2016, 08:28 AM
murkywaters10 murkywaters10 is offline
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Vibration issue - looking for suggestions on next steps

Hi all - would appreciate your thoughts on the below vibration issue that has been plaguing me for the last few weeks. I had the pleasure of driving from NJ to NC for vacation last week and was about ready to rip my hair out after the 8hr drive.

Vehicle: 2011 E70 X5 Diesel
Wheels: 336 20" staggered
Tires (old): Bridgestone Dueler HP
Tires (new): Conti DWS 06
Mileage: 80k

Issue: noticeable vibration in steering wheel at speeds above 50/55 mph, very small vibration can be felt in seat at all speeds. Sometimes it feels like a bent wheel (had a lot of experience with this on my F30), sometimes it feels like the lane departure warning on the newer F-series cars. Different road surfaces produce different levels of vibration, but no consistent patterns that I could identify.

Alignment has been done three times (this is a story for a different day) and is now within BMW specs

Balance has been done four times, with the last two on Hunter 9700 machines

Dealer inspected the wheels for and bends, dents, etc...all are perfect

Front passenger side thrust arm and bushing are worn and showing signs of leaking

Because the issue first appeared after the installation of new tires, alignment, and balance and based on the actions I've already taken and the information I've read, my hypothesis and potential courses of action are these:

1. Tires are defective; possible, but highly unlikely; replace tires to resolve
2. Wheel (s) are bent; possible but unlikely, but how did they get bent while replacing tires? and how likely is it that the dealer's wheel guy would miss on an inspection? take to different wheel guy, fix bent wheels
3. Thrust arm and bushing are worn to the point that they are allowing additional movement; possible and somewhat likely, but would changing tires, alignment, balance potentially cause this? From what I've read it's possible and from the quality of workmanship at the first tire place, I wouldn't put it past them. I understand that the part was likely already worn, but could they have whacked it or stressed it during their work to the point of failure? take to my indy and replace both front thrust arms, inspect front lower control arms and replace as well if worn

I'm leaning towards #3, but would appreciate additional thoughts or input. Thank you
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  #2  
Old 09-19-2016, 09:32 AM
mkal mkal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murkywaters10 View Post
...
Because the issue first appeared after the installation of new tires,
...
Since you started notice it after the tires were replaced, I would take this avenue to make sure it is not the tires.
I've had a similar issue and it started after replacing tires (FWIW it was not on BMW). I kept going back to Discount Tires to re balance the tires until they sent me to their shop with special equipment to test and determine if it was a tires fault, which it was. After they replaced the tires the car was running fine, but it was a huge effort to get them go beyond just re-balancing.
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  #3  
Old 09-19-2016, 10:44 AM
lawlknight lawlknight is offline
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Narrowing down the cause of road vibrations is such a pain. I've had similar issues with several vehicles over the years. Causes have been alignment, bent wheels, flat spots on tires, wheel not installed perfectly centered, and wheel balance. Maybe you could take your vehicle to a AWD dyno and have them run it and see you can notice any vibrations or issues? It would be in a static spot with flat surfaces to ride on, might be easier to narrow down which part of the vehicle it's originating from?
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  #4  
Old 09-19-2016, 10:52 AM
murkywaters10 murkywaters10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkal View Post
Since you started notice it after the tires were replaced, I would take this avenue to make sure it is not the tires.
I've had a similar issue and it started after replacing tires (FWIW it was not on BMW). I kept going back to Discount Tires to re balance the tires until they sent me to their shop with special equipment to test and determine if it was a tires fault, which it was. After they replaced the tires the car was running fine, but it was a huge effort to get them go beyond just re-balancing.
Thanks for the suggestion, it would be easy to get another opinion on the tires and wheels from a different shop, might just do this to rule it out
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  #5  
Old 09-19-2016, 10:58 AM
murkywaters10 murkywaters10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawlknight View Post
Narrowing down the cause of road vibrations is such a pain. I've had similar issues with several vehicles over the years. Causes have been alignment, bent wheels, flat spots on tires, wheel not installed perfectly centered, and wheel balance. Maybe you could take your vehicle to a AWD dyno and have them run it and see you can notice any vibrations or issues? It would be in a static spot with flat surfaces to ride on, might be easier to narrow down which part of the vehicle it's originating from?
Hadn't even thought of this, but yes this might be an idea if taking it to another tire shop for a tire/wheel inspection doesn't pan out.
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  #6  
Old 09-19-2016, 01:06 PM
rh71 rh71 is offline
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Have dealt with this for years. Very likely 1 or 2... wheels or rims. Usually it's rims out of round. When they mount the tires, it may happen. Even at low speed when they spin the tires on the machine, you may notice it visually as it rotates. A hunter 9700 machine never helped me. New rims did. At this point for you, have them spin it on their balancer and check it visually to see if anything is obvious like it was for me.
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Last edited by rh71; 09-19-2016 at 01:07 PM.
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  #7  
Old 09-19-2016, 01:35 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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Had a bad DWS on my 650 several years ago. Same issue as you. Lived with it for a while, had wheels balanced and checked four times, then replaced all 4 tires. All better.
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Old 09-19-2016, 03:27 PM
ard ard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murkywaters10 View Post
Front passenger side thrust arm and bushing are worn and showing signs of leaking
Why wouldnt this be the FIRST thing you fix?

Classic symptom of thrust arm failure is a shuddering that is worse with braking from speed-like 50-70mph, light to moderate braking


what are ACTUAL alignment numbers, not just 'in BMW spec'?

What were ACTUAL hunter road force numbers? axial and lateral run out and lbs of road force?
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Old 09-19-2016, 03:46 PM
murkywaters10 murkywaters10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ard View Post
Why wouldnt this be the FIRST thing you fix?

Classic symptom of thrust arm failure is a shuddering that is worse with braking from speed-like 50-70mph, light to moderate braking


what are ACTUAL alignment numbers, not just 'in BMW spec'?

What were ACTUAL hunter road force numbers? axial and lateral run out and lbs of road force?
I will be addressing the thrust arm within the next week or two.

Don't have the alignment numbers--I gave up and brought to dealer for alignment #3. I specified your numbers at shops 1 and 2. Shop 1 royally hosed it up--I have the print out somewhere from that one. Shop 2 came very close to your specs, but didn't get the steering wheel centered. As an option of last resort, I gave up and brought to the dealer for alignment 3.

I was not aware that I could get a printout for the balance, this will be useful for the future, thank you.
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Old 09-19-2016, 04:46 PM
ard ard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murkywaters10 View Post

I was not aware that I could get a printout for the balance, this will be useful for the future, thank you.
Some shops have the machine attached to a printer, some do not- either way you just ask for the numbers and they can - gasp- write it down!

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  #11  
Old 09-23-2016, 05:00 AM
Vojta8407 Vojta8407 is offline
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This kind of vibration is in most cases caused by 4WD (first thing is tires but as i read u have checked them).

Check for - front drive shaft play, you can easily do that by yourself or take it to ordinary mechanic, 10 mins and you will see how u stand.

Front drive shaft is under metal cover next to transmission easy to find.

Hope my suggestion is incorrect, otherwise It`s expnesive repair. (need to be fixed on both sites - drive shaft(DS) and transfer case ATC 700 (TC) , new DS is about 1000$ OEM, 350$ non OEM but BMW is not offering single parts to TC only new TC for 2300 $)

Last edited by Vojta8407; 09-23-2016 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 09-23-2016, 10:08 AM
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well driveshaft was recalled and def could be causing vibration.... have you checked the driveshaft?? as an odd coincidence i took my 2011 x5 from Ny to Nc over the summer and on some roads i did feel a vibration and on others I didnt.... Hmm my driveshafts being replaced today.
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Old 09-23-2016, 10:23 AM
ard ard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vojta8407 View Post
This kind of vibration is in most cases caused by 4WD )
In the pareto of 'things that cause vibrations', a bad 4x4 system is way, way down the list...IMO

Sure, if heading out in a rainstorm you were struck by lightning, you will be more likely to tell people "look out for lightning". But most people will just advise others to bring a raincoat...

Tires
Wheels
Alignment
Bushings
Bearings
Steering damper
.
.
Driveshaft
.
.
.
4x4 system


Again, IMO.

Good to let OP know of the things to look for, but keep in mind the probabilities as well.
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Old 09-23-2016, 10:29 AM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is offline
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Originally Posted by ard View Post
In the pareto of 'things that cause vibrations',[ ... ]
I am not familiar with that use of the word pareto, PM'ed.

Your Inbox is full.

What does your use of the word pareto mean, please? I know it only as a proper noun, Vilfredo Pareto or his Pareto power law distribution.
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Old 09-23-2016, 10:56 AM
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acoste acoste is offline
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I agree with Ard, first thing to do is thrust arms or whatever bushings are wrong.

Rule of vibration analysis is going from outside towards inside. I assume tire shop did everything right. While they removed the wheel the trust arm bushing might have finally given up and started leaking (hanging wheel means a large twist on the bushings), that's all I can imagine from their side.

One more thing from them. When I put on a wheel I make sure it's sitting flat on the rotor and I torque the bolts while the wheel is still hanging. So it's perfectly centered. Not all shops do that.

Other than bushings I would measure the rim runout. I usually do a regular check on the inner edges of mine with a dial indicator. Inner edge is more prone to bend. My rule is radial runout peak to peak must be below 0.04" = 1mm. In fact I was able to slightly feel a 0.04" in my rear rim.

Axles can be checked by slowly turning left and right at maximum angle and listen to them.

I assume there is no steering play since that would have been caught by the alignment guys.
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Last edited by acoste; 09-23-2016 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 09-23-2016, 11:05 AM
murkywaters10 murkywaters10 is offline
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Driveshaft was replaced about 1.5mos ago, prior to the tire change, so unlikely that is the issue.

I am taking it to the mechanic on tuesday to have the thrust arms and bushings done. Mechanic is aware of the vibration issue and will trouble shoot if issue still persists after the thrust arm replacement. He agreed that it was likely a bent wheel that went unnoticed by previous techs who were in a rush or lazy.

@Acoste - thanks for the suggestion on the wheels, I will ask him to measure the runout.

Will report back wednesday or thursday next week when we figure out what this is.
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Old 09-23-2016, 11:26 AM
ard ard is offline
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Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
I am not familiar with that use of the word pareto, PM'ed.

Your Inbox is full.

What does your use of the word pareto mean, please? I know it only as a proper noun, Vilfredo Pareto or his Pareto power law distribution.
Yes, vilfredo

When you run a "pareto" it ranks things according to frequency.

Quote:
Pareto Analysis is a statistical technique in decision-making used for the selection of a limited number of tasks that produce significant overall effect. It uses the Pareto Principle (also known as the 80/20 rule) the idea that by doing 20% of the work you can generate 80% of the benefit of doing the entire job.
So lets say you sell widgets and you collect all sorts of QA metrics on how widgets fail final inspection...you would run a pareto analysis to display all faults based on their frequency of occurrence. Assuming all are of the same 'value' to the company (ie none of these result in death) you would focus on the failures that occur most often to achieve the most bang for your QA buck.


So in my use, you would suggest a causes or issues to investigate based on which issues are most likely to cause the symptoms you are seeing. This results in greater efficiency in your investigational dollars-

(ill empty the PM.. )
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Last edited by ard; 09-23-2016 at 05:32 PM.
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  #18  
Old 09-23-2016, 01:11 PM
Vojta8407 Vojta8407 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murkywaters10 View Post
Driveshaft was replaced about 1.5mos ago, prior to the tire change, so unlikely that is the issue.

I am taking it to the mechanic on tuesday to have the thrust arms and bushings done. Mechanic is aware of the vibration issue and will trouble shoot if issue still persists after the thrust arm replacement. He agreed that it was likely a bent wheel that went unnoticed by previous techs who were in a rush or lazy.

@Acoste - thanks for the suggestion on the wheels, I will ask him to measure the runout.

Will report back wednesday or thursday next week when we figure out what this is.
Drive shaft and Sprocket, if only one thing is replaced issue remains....but this is the last thing u want to check as guru said.
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Old 09-23-2016, 01:21 PM
Vojta8407 Vojta8407 is offline
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Originally Posted by 1bad540 View Post
well driveshaft was recalled and def could be causing vibration.... have you checked the driveshaft?? as an odd coincidence i took my 2011 x5 from Ny to Nc over the summer and on some roads i did feel a vibration and on others I didnt.... Hmm my driveshafts being replaced today.
Just wanted to ask for what models and year but already found the bulletin.

"Certain Model Year 2011 BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicles (SAV) and X6 Sports Activity Coupes (SAC) (including the X6 ActiveHybrid) produced from April 2010 through November 2010."

Last edited by Vojta8407; 09-23-2016 at 01:34 PM.
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  #20  
Old 09-23-2016, 02:35 PM
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I had the similar issue long back on my X5 and they checked alignment, balance and wheels. They found out it was the tires causing road force issues and BMW replaced all the 4 tires after 8K miles.
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Last edited by icuc; 09-23-2016 at 02:37 PM.
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  #21  
Old 09-23-2016, 04:10 PM
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