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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 01-20-2014, 01:38 AM
SecaBlue SecaBlue is offline
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Mein Auto: 2011 E91 BMW 318d
High Speed Vibration

Hi All!

Have a strange symptom at high speed... I recently was in Germany, and gave my Beema a squirt down the Autobahn which was also my first test of the vehicle at speeds above 130km/h.

Strange thing... at approximately 130km/h a slight vibration started through the vehicle, and as I increased speed it became more evident, and even up to 180km/h the vibration was consistent. It is not a traditional wheel balance vibration in the steering wheel, but quite bad generally through the steering wheel, and seat (enough to make my legs vibrate too!). Now there seemed to be a drumming sound as well at these speeds, and since I have not driven another 318d at these speeds, I can't say if it is a standard sound or not.

At this point I should mention that I have driven in Germany many times, at many speeds, in many cars, and this is far the worst and most disconcerting.

It could be the Winter tyres, if one or all have a flat spot, or maybe if one of the rear wheels is out of balance? The wheels and tyres are perfectly clean, and not very old... (purchased in 2011), genuine BMW 16inch rims too.

Any ideas could be good before I head to the local tyre place to spend money trouble shooting (stabbing in the dark).

Thanks in advance!

Andrew.

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Last edited by SecaBlue; 01-20-2014 at 01:54 AM.
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  #2  
Old 01-20-2014, 02:53 AM
aleks001 aleks001 is offline
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Location: Brisbane, Australia
 
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These are your most likely culprits:

1. Tyres.
2. Alignement
3. Wheel bearings (Could explain drumming sound, but could also be tyres)
4. Worn control arm bushes, wishbone bushes.
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  #3  
Old 01-20-2014, 08:49 AM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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^+1

But a wheel bearing failure on a 2011? I doubt it. If you recently had a bad impact, ie a pothole, then yes, the bearing could be a culprit.
Same for bushings. Unless there is a high mileage, I doubt this is also the issue.

My bet is bad alignment or tires. Maybe they were under-inflated and causes uneven wear
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  #4  
Old 01-20-2014, 11:23 AM
SecaBlue SecaBlue is offline
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Thanks so far... the car has traveled 90k km, with full service history from BMW and was sold by a BMW dealership - still under BMW pre-owned warranty. I don't think it is a wheel bearing, as I am familiar with that sound. I keep the tyres at the correct pressure all round, and check this regularly. I am thinking it may not be balance, as even when I go much faster, it does not 'come and go' like a steering wheel vibration. currently I am driving on the Winter RFT on the BMW rims which I bought from Blocket (classifieds), where the previous owner of the wheels/tyres also had a 2011 E91 318d, but didn't drive it much in the Winter (hence why they sold it), so maybe the tyres were sitting in the one place for a month or more, and have flat spots... is this possible?
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  #5  
Old 01-20-2014, 12:31 PM
mdintx mdintx is offline
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When this happened to me, it was a combination of the tires and alignment. I had a continuous vibration from 76mph on up. I first replaced the rear tires as they were worn and the vibration went away immediately. I took it in for an alignment. My right front and left rear wheels were just slightly out. Since the fix, I've had not vibration and my tire wear has been even.
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  #6  
Old 01-20-2014, 05:20 PM
Indyjer Indyjer is offline
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I have a similar issue, the vibration presents itself at around 55mph, is worst at 60mph and dissipates over 70mph. So far I've had an alignment, wheel force balance x 2, tire rotation, both rear wheel bearings replaced and this last visit to the dealer a new rear differential. Non of these repairs has resolved the issue. The only other options I can think of are driveshaft or rear axel, but I haven't had a chance to get it back to the dealer for another try.

In other words, good luck with your diagnosis. I hope it's more evident than the source of my vibration.
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  #7  
Old 01-20-2014, 05:49 PM
mdintx mdintx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indyjer View Post
I have a similar issue, the vibration presents itself at around 55mph, is worst at 60mph and dissipates over 70mph. So far I've had an alignment, wheel force balance x 2, tire rotation, both rear wheel bearings replaced and this last visit to the dealer a new rear differential. Non of these repairs has resolved the issue. The only other options I can think of are driveshaft or rear axel, but I haven't had a chance to get it back to the dealer for another try.

In other words, good luck with your diagnosis. I hope it's more evident than the source of my vibration.
Have you tried changing the tires? I wonder if you've got 1 or more bum tires.
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  #8  
Old 01-20-2014, 06:12 PM
Indyjer Indyjer is offline
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Originally Posted by mdintx View Post
Have you tried changing the tires? I wonder if you've got 1 or more bum tires.
No, based on the fact that the tires were road force balanced twice and rotated once with no change in the vibration. I think it's unlikely all four tires are bad.
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  #9  
Old 01-20-2014, 07:18 PM
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pointandgo pointandgo is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SecaBlue View Post
Thanks so far... the car has traveled 90k km, with full service history from BMW and was sold by a BMW dealership - still under BMW pre-owned warranty. I don't think it is a wheel bearing, as I am familiar with that sound. I keep the tyres at the correct pressure all round, and check this regularly. I am thinking it may not be balance, as even when I go much faster, it does not 'come and go' like a steering wheel vibration. currently I am driving on the Winter RFT on the BMW rims which I bought from Blocket (classifieds), where the previous owner of the wheels/tyres also had a 2011 E91 318d, but didn't drive it much in the Winter (hence why they sold it), so maybe the tyres were sitting in the one place for a month or more, and have flat spots... is this possible?
If your Winter tires have nylon cap plies (indicated on the tire's sidewall), there may be temporary vibrations until they heat up. This will go away after a min. amount of driving. Sounds like yours aren't doing that.

In my experience, Winter tires are shipped with far higher tolerances for "uniformity" vs. replacement tires. In other words, they are 'worse' for balance and uniformity than 'normal' replacement tires.

There is another phenomenon called "high speed uniformity" where tire vibrations due to "radial force vibration" (RFV) kick in at higher speeds.

In the U.S. we may seek a tire shop that utilizes a "road force" machine from Hunter (GSP 9700, 9712) that can detect these 'excessive' RFV values in the tire/wheel combination and correct them.

Not sure of the availability of these machines in Europe: Google Hunter Engineering, Hunter GSP 9700.
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E90 328i
E92 335i 6MT
E46 M3 6MT
E39 528i 5MT
MBz W140 S320
MBz W124 300E (slammed)
(unmentionables in between)
'71 AMC Javelin (4-Spd Stick on the floor)
'67 Pontiac Firebird 'cabrio' (1st car - "the leaker")
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Last edited by pointandgo; 01-20-2014 at 07:20 PM.
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  #10  
Old 01-21-2014, 05:33 AM
SecaBlue SecaBlue is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pointandgo View Post
If your Winter tires have nylon cap plies (indicated on the tire's sidewall), there may be temporary vibrations until they heat up. This will go away after a min. amount of driving. Sounds like yours aren't doing that.

In my experience, Winter tires are shipped with far higher tolerances for "uniformity" vs. replacement tires. In other words, they are 'worse' for balance and uniformity than 'normal' replacement tires.

There is another phenomenon called "high speed uniformity" where tire vibrations due to "radial force vibration" (RFV) kick in at higher speeds.

In the U.S. we may seek a tire shop that utilizes a "road force" machine from Hunter (GSP 9700, 9712) that can detect these 'excessive' RFV values in the tire/wheel combination and correct them.

Not sure of the availability of these machines in Europe: Google Hunter Engineering, Hunter GSP 9700.
Interesting info... the vibration lasts long after beginning to drive, and at very high speeds (but not above tyre recommended max).

I will make a few calls around here locally and see if someone has the machine you mention.

The vehicle actually had warped rear discs when I took delivery... after I drove it approx 1000km, there was still bad vibration under braking, and once driving for more than 5 mins in the rain, vibration also appeared at high speeds over approx 90km/h (due to the pads touching/drying the discs in the rain). The dealer diagnosed and replaced both rear discs and hand brake under warranty. But maybe if the fronts are also warped slightly but not evident under braking? is that possible? I don't think so personally.
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  #11  
Old 01-21-2014, 01:51 PM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SecaBlue View Post
Interesting info... the vibration lasts long after beginning to drive, and at very high speeds (but not above tyre recommended max).

I will make a few calls around here locally and see if someone has the machine you mention.

The vehicle actually had warped rear discs when I took delivery... after I drove it approx 1000km, there was still bad vibration under braking, and once driving for more than 5 mins in the rain, vibration also appeared at high speeds over approx 90km/h (due to the pads touching/drying the discs in the rain). The dealer diagnosed and replaced both rear discs and hand brake under warranty. But maybe if the fronts are also warped slightly but not evident under braking? is that possible? I don't think so personally.
May be the ball joints. This was the case with my X3. Replaced the brakes/rotors, vibration still there under braking and at higher speeds above 130km/h. With the ball joints, you may have to replace the entire control arm.
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  #12  
Old 01-21-2014, 04:43 PM
jburke4689 jburke4689 is offline
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I was thinking the tension struts (thrust arms). You can definitely get this kind of vibration when the bushings fail. You can check them pretty easily. Look for signs of leak from the bushing. It will look like a black smear on the bottom of the round end when the bushing is pressed in.
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  #13  
Old 01-21-2014, 05:37 PM
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pointandgo pointandgo is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SecaBlue View Post
Interesting info... the vibration lasts long after beginning to drive, and at very high speeds (but not above tyre recommended max).

I will make a few calls around here locally and see if someone has the machine you mention.

The vehicle actually had warped rear discs when I took delivery... after I drove it approx 1000km, there was still bad vibration under braking, and once driving for more than 5 mins in the rain, vibration also appeared at high speeds over approx 90km/h (due to the pads touching/drying the discs in the rain). The dealer diagnosed and replaced both rear discs and hand brake under warranty. But maybe if the fronts are also warped slightly but not evident under braking? is that possible? I don't think so personally.
I believe if the front rotors were warped in the slightest it would be revealed when braking.

A good "road force" check with a Hunter GSP 9700 would either put guilt on the tire/wheels, or eliminate them as the root cause. Has the car suspension be thoroughly checked out for loose parts, bushings?
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F30 328i
E90 328i
E92 335i 6MT
E46 M3 6MT
E39 528i 5MT
MBz W140 S320
MBz W124 300E (slammed)
(unmentionables in between)
'71 AMC Javelin (4-Spd Stick on the floor)
'67 Pontiac Firebird 'cabrio' (1st car - "the leaker")
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Member: BMW CCA
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