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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 03-13-2013, 12:35 PM
Space grau 550i Space grau 550i is offline
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Mein Auto: E60 550i sport
Car feels jittery and floaty at speeds above 70 mph

As the tittle states, my car feels jittery above 70 mph. The car does not feel planted as it should at higher speeds. It feels very unsettled when pushing it above the said speed, does not feel buckled down, very twitchy. Feels floaty in a straight line at times. I feel every major road imperfection mainly in the rear end. The rear end also twitches when hitting significant road imperfections at higher speeds.

I need some help to figure out the possible cause(s) myself before going the stealership route. I don't intend to deal with their BS nor do I want to get raped by them.

Car info:

58k miles on the clock.
Tires: 7K miles on General G max All Seasons on stock 19 inch wheels. Purchased last April.
Wheel alignment and high speed balancing done last April. Not road force though.
Tire currently running:32 PSI up fronts 37 PSI Rears

Thanks in advance
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Last edited by Space grau 550i; 03-13-2013 at 12:37 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-13-2013, 12:48 PM
H F H F is online now
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Mein Auto: 2005 545i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Space grau 550i View Post
As the tittle states, my car feels jittery above 70 mph. The car does not feel planted as it should at higher speeds. It feels very unsettled when pushing it above the said speed, does not feel buckled down, very twitchy. Feels floaty in a straight line at times. I feel every major road imperfection mainly in the rear end. The rear end also twitches when hitting significant road imperfections at higher speeds.

I need some help to figure out the possible cause(s) myself before going the stealership route. I don't intend to deal with their BS nor do I want to get raped by them.

Car info:

58k miles on the clock.
Tires: 7K miles on General G max All Seasons on stock 19 inch wheels. Purchased last April.
Wheel alignment and high speed balancing done last April. Not road force though.
Tire currently running:32 PSI up fronts 37 PSI Rears

Thanks in advance
have u checked ur shocks for possible leaks ?
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  #3  
Old 03-13-2013, 01:04 PM
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Bad Debt Bad Debt is offline
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Mein Auto: 2005 BMW 545i
My experience with General tires is: THEY SUCK!
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  #4  
Old 03-13-2013, 01:24 PM
Space grau 550i Space grau 550i is offline
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Mein Auto: E60 550i sport
Quote:
Originally Posted by Space grau 550i View Post
As the tittle states, my car feels jittery above 70 mph. The car does not feel planted as it should at higher speeds. It feels very unsettled when pushing it above the said speed, does not feel buckled down, very twitchy. Feels floaty in a straight line at times. I feel every major road imperfection mainly in the rear end. The rear end also twitches when hitting significant road imperfections at higher speeds.

I need some help to figure out the possible cause(s) myself before going the stealership route. I don't intend to deal with their BS nor do I want to get raped by them.

Car info:

58k miles on the clock.
Tires: 7K miles on General G max All Seasons on stock 19 inch wheels. Purchased last April.
Wheel alignment and high speed balancing done last April. Not road force though.
Tire currently running:32 PSI up fronts 37 PSI Rears

Thanks in advance
Quote:
Originally Posted by H F View Post
have u checked ur shocks for possible leaks ?
No, have not check yet. Just trying to get some feedback from you knowledgeable fellas, then run down the list of things suggested.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Debt View Post
My experience with General tires is: THEY SUCK!
This model is actually not that bad. They have allowed me to get around in the recent snow fall. They grip like crazy in the rain and dry, but I feel the sidewall can't handle the weight of this car. A lot of body roll in hard corning. Steering input is somewhat slow and somewhat disconnected.
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  #5  
Old 03-13-2013, 01:46 PM
patrick_y patrick_y is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 BMW 545iA
Really hard to say without seeing/feeling the car.
1. Worn shocks, NYC roads are bad.
2. Bad alignment, but this would be unusually bad
3. poor tires would make it worse, but driving 70mph in a straight line wouldn't feel "jittery"

You're going to have to go to a dealer and get this diagnosed if you want it fixed properly.
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  #6  
Old 03-13-2013, 06:39 PM
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dwlink dwlink is offline
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A good set of tires and a precision alignment will go a long way. Just because you had an alignment done a year ago doesn't necessarily mean something couldn't have happened during that time.

Do you have active steering? Where do you get the alignment done?

I never heard of general tires so I can't say if they are good or bad - I have Conti DWS's on mine and they are pretty good for an all season tire.
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2004 BMW 530i -Titanium Silver -Grey Dakota -Dark Poplar -Premium -Sport -Cold Weather -Xenons -Heated Rear Seats -Active Steering -Logic 7 -Sirius
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Last edited by dwlink; 03-13-2013 at 06:42 PM.
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  #7  
Old 03-13-2013, 07:19 PM
amit1947 amit1947 is offline
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Your tire pressure is too low. Try 36 or 38 psi on the fronts and 40 on the rears. These are cold tire pressures.
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  #8  
Old 03-13-2013, 07:59 PM
mostroad mostroad is offline
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Have you ever replaced your control arm bushings? -- I had to replace mine at about 50k miles, and the car is much more stable at speed, and tracks better, as well.
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  #9  
Old 03-14-2013, 03:16 AM
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dolfan13 dolfan13 is offline
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When you do check the tire pressure make sure tires are stone cold.I don't know on your year but BMW door tire pressure was very confusing at one time.There are some large threads on the subject and your very symptoms.My tire installer had used the over 100mph setting and at 70 I couldn't hold it on the road.I have sport and now not run flats so saying that probably toss out factory recommended pressure.You need to play with and start with tire manufactures range.
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  #10  
Old 03-14-2013, 08:24 AM
Space grau 550i Space grau 550i is offline
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Mein Auto: E60 550i sport
Thanks for all the insight fellas. I'm going to start with adjusting my tire pressure first, then check all the list of items mentioned.
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  #11  
Old 03-14-2013, 09:20 AM
colin007 colin007 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amit1947 View Post
Your tire pressure is too low. Try 36 or 38 psi on the fronts and 40 on the rears. These are cold tire pressures.

factory recommends 32 and 36
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  #12  
Old 03-14-2013, 11:02 AM
Space grau 550i Space grau 550i is offline
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Mein Auto: E60 550i sport
Quote:
Originally Posted by colin007 View Post
factory recommends 32 and 36
If my memory serves me right, I believe my door sill say 35 and 39 for the factory 19inch summer tires. Although these numbers may vary and require some playing around with due to that I'm on all season tires.
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  #13  
Old 03-14-2013, 11:34 AM
colin007 colin007 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Space grau 550i View Post
If my memory serves me right, I believe my door sill say 35 and 39 for the factory 19inch summer tires. Although these numbers may vary and require some playing around with due to that I'm on all season tires.
they probably are different for a 550.

amit1947 and i have 530s.
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  #14  
Old 03-14-2013, 12:34 PM
HPIA4v2 HPIA4v2 is offline
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Yep, tires is the biggest factor on top of:
- dead/bend strut
- bad alignment, need a slight toe-in back and front just a tad, this makes a world on how car track true
- suspension issue, control arms worn, or bend (from pot-holes)
- some BMW like E46 3-series is known to have broken spring due to winter salt, this change the pring rate from left to right, have not heard this on E60 though
- worn/dis-integrating sub-frame bushing, I know my 11 yr-old X5 has this problem but @90k miles not like yours which only 60k
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  #15  
Old 03-14-2013, 12:38 PM
H F H F is online now
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Mein Auto: 2005 545i
Think about going with nitrogen.. It doesnt fluctuate with hot and cold temps,, like air does. nitrogen molicules are bigger than air.. So it doesnt disipiate as fast as air does and holds the psi steady and longer...Also dont have to check ur tires as often ...as u do with air
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  #16  
Old 03-16-2013, 04:34 PM
Lethalphoenix Lethalphoenix is offline
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Mein Auto: 2005 BMW 545i sport
I have a 2005 545i with 80k and had the same feeling in the car. Changed out my control arms and BAM that solved the problem. Its worth a shot.
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  #17  
Old 03-16-2013, 04:51 PM
patrick_y patrick_y is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lethalphoenix View Post
I have a 2005 545i with 80k and had the same feeling in the car. Changed out my control arms and BAM that solved the problem. Its worth a shot.
What is a BAM?
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  #18  
Old 03-16-2013, 07:40 PM
Lethalphoenix Lethalphoenix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick_y View Post
What is a BAM?
lol, no i was using BAM as slang. Like, BAM there it is.
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  #19  
Old 03-17-2013, 01:09 AM
10550i 10550i is offline
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Mein Auto: 2010 550i M Sport
I would do the following in order.
1. For the 550i M my recommends running at 36 front and 44 rear. Check your door sill sticker.
2. Redo the alignment. I did my at -0.5 camber 0.1 toe in 7.0 caster for front. -1.6 camber 0.1-0.15 toe in for rear. (If the rear happens to have toe out would result being unstable at higher speeds)
3. Check suspension bushings and components. (This can be done while you are having the alignment done)
Hope you can resolve your issue.
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  #20  
Old 03-18-2013, 10:06 AM
Space grau 550i Space grau 550i is offline
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Mein Auto: E60 550i sport
You guys always provide a wealth of information, thank you.
I bumped up my tire pressure to 36 fronts and 41 rears. Doing so, I noticed the car handles much better, but started riding the bumps a little harsher in
the rear. So I dropped the rear air pressure to 39 and it rides a little better. I also noticed the steering feels much more quicker than before with the increased PSI.

I'm going to take it in and have the suspension and alignment checked anyway. I have the CPO coverage, but I know the shocks are not covered, as it is a wear and tear item. I do believe bushings and control arms are covered though from the coverage list brochure.

Brochure list of suspension items covered:

Ball joints
Wheel bearings
Coil Springs
Stabilizer bar
Links and bushings
MacPherson Struts (Housing only)
Control arms
Trailing arms
Lateral links
Shafts and bushings
Wheel
Bearings
Coil Springs
Hydraulic leveling system
Height sensor
Pump
Stabilizer
Bar
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  #21  
Old 03-18-2013, 10:47 AM
patrick_y patrick_y is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 BMW 545iA
Quote:
Originally Posted by Space grau 550i View Post
You guys always provide a wealth of information, thank you.
I bumped up my tire pressure to 36 fronts and 41 rears. Doing so, I noticed the car handles much better, but started riding the bumps a little harsher in
the rear. So I dropped the rear air pressure to 39 and it rides a little better. I also noticed the steering feels much more quicker than before with the increased PSI.

I'm going to take it in and have the suspension and alignment checked anyway. I have the CPO coverage, but I know the shocks are not covered, as it is a wear and tear item. I do believe bushings and control arms are covered though from the coverage list brochure.

Brochure list of suspension items covered:

Ball joints
Wheel bearings
Coil Springs
Stabilizer bar
Links and bushings
MacPherson Struts (Housing only)
Control arms
Trailing arms
Lateral links
Shafts and bushings
Wheel
Bearings
Coil Springs
Hydraulic leveling system
Height sensor
Pump
Stabilizer
Bar
My car also recommends the same tire pressure. However, many members here have stated that such a tire pressure would cause premature wear on the tires. Thus, I lowered it a few PSI from the factory recommended.
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  #22  
Old 03-19-2013, 08:15 AM
racooper3 racooper3 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2005 BMW 545i
Quote:
Originally Posted by mostroad View Post
Have you ever replaced your control arm bushings? -- I had to replace mine at about 50k miles, and the car is much more stable at speed, and tracks better, as well.
Ditto. Control arm/tension strut bushing can cause the front tires to wander. I just had min replaced and a world of difference at 100mph.
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  #23  
Old 03-19-2013, 11:02 AM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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check for 550i suspension recalls
believe me or not i found loose front control arm bolt on 2010 550i
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  #24  
Old 03-21-2013, 05:57 PM
bfeng bfeng is offline
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Mein Auto: 540iT
control arm bushings

I have under 60kmiles on my 2008 and the dealer tells my front control arm bushings are shot. It definitely makes the car loose at speed and clunk over pot holes. My E39 front bushings were also shot around 60k miles, causing the car to wander a bit. Also, I find the E60 suspension (535ix) to be quite soft and floating compared to the E39 sport suspension. Try the shock absorber bounce test.
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