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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 04-13-2015, 07:02 PM
parikksit parikksit is offline
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Wheel alignment issue

Hello,

I have a 2008 BMW 335i Sedan. It started pulling to the left, so I went to a local dealer for wheel alignment($50). After the alignment, it's still pulling to the left(Couldn't analyze thoroughly, Alpharetta is a crazy place to find a straight flat road ): ).

Issue: At the speed of 70mph, if I let go of my steering wheel, within 2 seconds, the car starts pulling to the left. Withing 3-4 seconds, I'm out of the lane.

additional info: The front tires have about 8k-10k miles left(according to the same mechanic). Rear tires are half-way through their life. All 4 are RFT and same type. I'm uploading an image of my wheel alignment before and after, please check it out. I think the mechanic didn't fix it well.

If someone with knowledge about wheel alignment and this problem could shed some light on the results, it would really help me a lot. Thank you very much!

_a__a2_
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  #2  
Old 04-15-2015, 06:12 AM
jat335i jat335i is offline
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Could be that the mechanic didn't do the alignment right. Did you have it done at a good reputable service center or someplace like Sears Auto or Meineke where they're more quantity than quality? If the latter, I would bring it to a good place that specializes in BMWs and other European cars where they know what should be the correct alignment specs for your vehicle.
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  #3  
Old 04-15-2015, 06:25 AM
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CALWATERBOY DUE CALWATERBOY DUE is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parikksit View Post
I have a 2008 BMW 335i Sedan. It started pulling to the left, so I went to a local dealer for wheel alignment($50). After the alignment, it's still pulling to the left....

Do I see this?

Left Front Camber 0.0
Right Front Camber 1.0


They should match - left front's way out. Was alignment done or simply checked? Dealers charge up to $300 for Kinematic Alignment.
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Old 04-15-2015, 06:47 AM
parikksit parikksit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY DUE View Post
Do I see this?

Left Front Camber 0.0
Right Front Camber 1.0


They should match - left front's way out. Was alignment done or simply checked? Dealers charge up to $300 for Kinematic Alignment.
Hey, thanks for the reply!

The mechanic said that the front is almost on the edge of going off, but it would take an hour and a half to fix, but it's not very high priority. Since I was on a quick lunch break, I couldn't wait that long and thought I would fix it in the next 3~4 months when I'm planning to get two new tires for the rear. Do you think it should be okay for the next 3~6 month span?

UPDATE: I just checked my car on a flat road, 2/4 times that I checked, the car ran really straight, but the remaining 2 times, it pulled to the left (this time, really slowly). I cannot guarantee if the pulling or going straight was due to the road conditions. (I'm on a lookout for a straight road here in Alpharetta )

Regards,
Perry.
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Old 04-15-2015, 06:48 AM
parikksit parikksit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jat335i View Post
Could be that the mechanic didn't do the alignment right. Did you have it done at a good reputable service center or someplace like Sears Auto or Meineke where they're more quantity than quality? If the latter, I would bring it to a good place that specializes in BMWs and other European cars where they know what should be the correct alignment specs for your vehicle.
Thanks for the reply, I got it done at a really OKish place. As I said, it cost me $50 (Groupon).... Was that a mistake?
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Old 04-15-2015, 06:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parikksit View Post
The mechanic said that the front is almost on the edge of going off, but it would take an hour and a half to fix, but it's not very high priority. Since I was on a quick lunch break, I couldn't wait that long and thought I would fix it in the next 3~4 months when I'm planning to get two new tires for the rear. Do you think it should be okay for the next 3~6 month span?

UPDATE: I just checked my car on a flat road, 2/4 times that I checked, the car ran really straight, but the remaining 2 times, it pulled to the left (this time, really slowly). I cannot guarantee if the pulling or going straight was due to the road conditions. (I'm on a lookout for a straight road here in Alpharetta

Your mech exaggerated....just a few minutes to adj camber/toe - adjust one and gotta fine tune the other. 90 min wildly high for the work involved.

If camber's still as in your printout, you need that fixed - huge red flag! Verify condition of bushings & ball joints too.
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Old 04-15-2015, 06:57 AM
parikksit parikksit is offline
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Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY DUE View Post
Your mech exaggerated....just a few minutes to adj camber/toe - adjust one and gotta fine tune the other. 90 min wildly high for the work involved.

If camber's still as in your printout, you need that fixed - huge red flag! Verify condition of bushings & ball joints too.
Thank you CALWATERBOY DUE.

I'll plan to go to that guy again and get it fixed ASAP.
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  #8  
Old 04-15-2015, 07:06 AM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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This is a classic symptom of worn thrust arm/tension strut bushings.

When they are worn, the toe angle will dynamically change as the suspension is loaded. So the angle may set correctly on the alignment rack, but as soon as it's moved, the angle will go out of spec. I bet when you get the car realigned, the toe angle will be different.

I see that your toe is set to around -0.08 on both sides; this angle can come out to around 0 or go positive as you accelerate.

0 toe and positive toe in the front will make the car want to wander and follow grooves in the road.

As you brake, the toe angle will want to come in and go negative.
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Old 04-15-2015, 07:11 AM
parikksit parikksit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fdriller9 View Post
This is a classic symptom of worn thrust arm/tension strut bushings.

When they are worn, the toe angle will dynamically change as the suspension is loaded. So the angle may set correctly on the alignment rack, but as soon as it's moved, the angle will go out of spec. I bet when you get the car realigned, the toe angle will be different.

I see that your toe is set to around -0.08 on both sides; this angle can come out to around 0 or go positive as you accelerate.

0 toe and positive toe in the front will make the car want to wander and follow grooves in the road.

As you brake, the toe angle will want to come in and go negative.
You are absolutely right! I've suddenly started realizing that the car doesn't listen to me anymore, it follows the grooves and slight variations on the road and I can immediately sense it when it happens. Especially when its raining.

What solution do you recommend? Should I get the bushings replaced? Would it be a huge blow on my wallet? I'm gonna be a bit broke for the next 2 months, could I keep going until then?

Regards,
Perry.
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Old 04-15-2015, 07:17 AM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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If you are RWD, consider poly bushings from Whiteline or Powerflex.

This bushing location will not add to much NVH, Noise, Vibration, or Hardness, to the ride quality.

It may SLIGHTLY increase steering feel and response.

The benefit of going poly for this location? They won't have to be serviced nearly as often as the oem rubber bushings. Typically, they will last the life of the car. The OEM rubber bushings are known to fail in this location in as little as 30k miles. It's an issue with all BMW/Mini models with a similar suspension design.
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  #11  
Old 04-15-2015, 07:20 AM
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CALWATERBOY DUE CALWATERBOY DUE is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parikksit View Post
What solution do you recommend? Should I get the bushings replaced? Would it be a huge blow on my wallet? I'm gonna be a bit broke for the next 2 months, could I keep going until then?

Diagnose first. Repair later.

If you go with new bushings, suspension arms with bushings/balls preinstalled is the proper route. M3 arms recommended! If replacing an arm on one side, replace the same arm on the other side for integrity.

.

Last edited by CALWATERBOY DUE; 04-15-2015 at 07:22 AM.
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Old 04-15-2015, 07:31 AM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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M3 arms a great upgrade but you add more negative camber. With an aggressive toe in angle, you will eat away your inner side of the tires. Though 0.08 is not that aggressive. Ever notice your rear tires go bad on the inside before the rest of the tire? It's from a combo of having too much toe in and camber. But this what makes a BMW handle like it does. Can't have both performance and long tire life.

The poly bushings must be pressed in. You are probably looking at about 3 hours labor. If you buy new arms (for example the M3 ones), they just bolt in. So maybe 1.5-2 hours labor to just bolt new arms in.

The poly bushing is about $80? Arms are around $250 for the pair? I'm not sure off the top of my head about pricing.
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Last edited by fdriller9; 04-15-2015 at 07:33 AM.
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  #13  
Old 04-15-2015, 07:40 AM
parikksit parikksit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fdriller9 View Post
If you are RWD, consider poly bushings from Whiteline or Powerflex.

This bushing location will not add to much NVH, Noise, Vibration, or Hardness, to the ride quality.

It may SLIGHTLY increase steering feel and response.

The benefit of going poly for this location? They won't have to be serviced nearly as often as the oem rubber bushings. Typically, they will last the life of the car. The OEM rubber bushings are known to fail in this location in as little as 30k miles. It's an issue with all BMW/Mini models with a similar suspension design.
Sounds like a plan, my 335i already has reached 59k. I acquired it when it was 48k (11 months ago).
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Old 04-15-2015, 06:32 PM
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CALWATERBOY DUE CALWATERBOY DUE is offline
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Sounds like a plan, my 335i already has reached 59k. I acquired it when it was 48k (11 months ago).

You're ride due to go nuts, walnut, and check your shocks.
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Old 04-16-2015, 07:48 AM
parikksit parikksit is offline
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Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY DUE View Post
You're ride due to go nuts, walnut, and check your shocks.
I didn't quite understand that

Could you please give some more details? Anytime someone starts with 'Your car is due for...." my wallet suddenly turns pale.

Lol.
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Old 04-16-2015, 08:15 AM
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CALWATERBOY DUE CALWATERBOY DUE is offline
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Originally Posted by parikksit View Post
I didn't quite understand that

Could you please give some more details? Anytime someone starts with 'Your car is due for...." my wallet suddenly turns pale.

N54 engine generally develops enough intake valve fouling to need nut bustin' @ 60k mi - click on the link for DIY inexpensive detail!
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Old 04-16-2015, 09:29 AM
parikksit parikksit is offline
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Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY DUE View Post
N54 engine generally develops enough intake valve fouling to need nut bustin' @ 60k mi - click on the link for DIY inexpensive detail!
Thank you!
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