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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there!

I've had my steering wheel shaking when I brake for several months now. I feel it mainly in the wheel, it's hard to say if I feel it in the pedal. My foot can tell the car is shaking but I don't feel the pulsating that I'd feel if the ABS kicked in at high speed.

I know the commonly reported cause is warped rotors. The shaking has gotten progressively worse so I've finally gotten serious about fixing it. I just jacked up my car and found a good amount of play in both lower control arm bushings when I grip the tire at 9 and 3 (no detectable play at 12 and 6).

I have 85K on my 2002 325XI and, since I got it at around 35K, I've never replaced anything on the front brakes. I know this might sound crazy, but I've never had any stopping issues and never had a brake sensor light. I don't have a pad measurement gauge but the pads looked like they still had a little wear left last time I saw them (but for all I know, they always look like that).

I'm thinking it's time for brakes anyway but I'm wondering if I should just replace my control arm bushings FIRST and not even order new pads and rotors to see if it will make the shaking go away.

So all that said, I guess my question is can warped rotors can lead to bad bushings? Does that sounds likely in my case?

Thanks a lot! :)
 

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Ubergeek
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Warped rotors don't cause bad CABs, driving your BMW for 85,000 miles does.

Might as well do them both at the same time.
 

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Keeping it surreal
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You`ve been misinformed...."warped rotors" are rare on street cars, and usually not the cause of the symptoms you describe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You`ve been misinformed...."warped rotors" are rare on street cars, and usually not the cause of the symptoms you describe.
Yeah I've read that warped rotors are just a myth. But it also seems to ALWAYS be the first diagnosis on this board.

What do you think is the most likely cause of steering wheel shaking when braking? I just want to make sure I have my bases covered. My buddy's E46 had bad control arms and didn't shake like mine does.

Should I do the whole control arm too even though I feel no play at 12 and 6?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Warped rotors don't cause bad CABs, driving your BMW for 85,000 miles does.

Might as well do them both at the same time.
Thanks, yeah I know that's not the normal cause of them going bad. I just thought maybe in my case it was the result of me waiting so long to look at my brakes. But it sounds like my brakes are probably not the cause of the shaking anyway.
 

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Ubergeek
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Thanks, yeah I know that's not the normal cause of them going bad. I just thought maybe in my case it was the result of me waiting so long to look at my brakes. But it sounds like my brakes are probably not the cause of the shaking anyway.
They probably are the cause, it's just pad deposit/build-up on the rotors rather than the rotors actually warping.
 

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I had a similar problem a while back. Turned out to be a combination of "issues". There were some deposits on the rotors, but not enough to normally cause a problem. But the CR bushings were also considerably worn (I do track the car some, which probably resulted in fast bushing wear and some left-over rotor deposits.) Either problem by itself would not have been noticeable (for a while, anyway), but the combination certainly cause some definite shaking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I had a similar problem a while back. Turned out to be a combination of "issues". There were some deposits on the rotors, but not enough to normally cause a problem. But the CR bushings were also considerably worn (I do track the car some, which probably resulted in fast bushing wear and some left-over rotor deposits.) Either problem by itself would not have been noticeable (for a while, anyway), but the combination certainly cause some definite shaking.
Ok cool, thanks a lot! I will probably order parts for both!
 

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Had the same problem along with others. Change your control arm bushings first thing and, I'll bet your brake vibration will go away. You can pick up a pair for about $60 and, with the miles you have on your car there overdue for replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok thanks a lot for that!

Yeah if I for sure need bushings I might as well do my repairs one at a time! Good to hear that fixed your car though, thanks :)
 
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