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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll try to keep this as short as I can. Purchased a 2001 328 Xdrive brand new in May of '10.
Vibration for the first 15 to 20 miles then would run smoothly. Dealer insisted it was the tires warming up, run flats. Because the car drove smoothly after warm up I accepted the answer. Then I put on a new set of conventional Michelin Primacy to eliminate the problem but still have the same problem. I can drive the car cold for 15 miles with a roughness and vibration felt in the seat the entire time between 40 and 65 MPH. I stop for 10 minutes to gas up or go in to a store, come out and I have a new car. Vibration roughtness is about 95 gone. I have to say though, it's not really a vibration as much as it can be felt in the seat and the steering wheel like a roughness. It doesn't actually shake the wheel, but you can feel the roughness. The only thing I can think of is that something is expanding with the heat after warming up, but what? Any help would be appreciated.
 

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apprentice curmudgeon
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I'll try to keep this as short as I can. Purchased a 2001 328 Xdrive brand new in May of '10.
Vibration for the first 15 to 20 miles then would run smoothly. Dealer insisted it was the tires warming up, run flats. Because the car drove smoothly after warm up I accepted the answer. Then I put on a new set of conventional Michelin Primacy to eliminate the problem but still have the same problem. I can drive the car cold for 15 miles with a roughness and vibration felt in the seat the entire time between 40 and 65 MPH. I stop for 10 minutes to gas up or go in to a store, come out and I have a new car. Vibration roughtness is about 95 gone. I have to say though, it's not really a vibration as much as it can be felt in the seat and the steering wheel like a roughness. It doesn't actually shake the wheel, but you can feel the roughness. The only thing I can think of is that something is expanding with the heat after warming up, but what? Any help would be appreciated.
This has been going on for 3 1/2 years? When it's vibrating, slip it into neutral and see what happens. If it's still rough, rev the engine up a bit and see if the roughness changes. If it changes when you rev the engine up, try driving at a lower gear. Does the speed at which its roght change?
 

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I'll try to keep this as short as I can. Purchased a 2001 328 Xdrive brand new in May of '10.
Vibration for the first 15 to 20 miles then would run smoothly. Dealer insisted it was the tires warming up, run flats. Because the car drove smoothly after warm up I accepted the answer. Then I put on a new set of conventional Michelin Primacy to eliminate the problem but still have the same problem. I can drive the car cold for 15 miles with a roughness and vibration felt in the seat the entire time between 40 and 65 MPH. I stop for 10 minutes to gas up or go in to a store, come out and I have a new car. Vibration roughtness is about 95 gone. I have to say though, it's not really a vibration as much as it can be felt in the seat and the steering wheel like a roughness. It doesn't actually shake the wheel, but you can feel the roughness. The only thing I can think of is that something is expanding with the heat after warming up, but what? Any help would be appreciated.
Betting you mean: 'Service Adviser insisted....'

Frequently recruited from guests of the State returning to civilian life in halfway houses, those guys have all of the technical savvy demonstrated by your SA.

What an idiot.

Unless or course you're at Prudhoe Bay temps and your shoes got flat spots. Uh....you say it's been doing it since May purchase?
 

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Does this vibration happen when stationary? Or only when moving?

Do you notice that it is engine or vehicle speed dependent?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This has been going on for 3 1/2 years? When it's vibrating, slip it into neutral and see what happens. If it's still rough, rev the engine up a bit and see if the roughness changes. If it changes when you rev the engine up, try driving at a lower gear. Does the speed at which its roght change?
Thanks for the quick reply. It's not engine related. About a year after I purchased it my wife bought me the BMW Performance Exhaust system for my birthday. She purrs like a kitten and would be very noticeable:). From 0 to 40, smooth, quite, perfect. 45, 50, starting to feel rough in the wheel and the seat. At 55 to 60 is the most pronounced with 60 being at the max. 65 to 70 starts smoothing out in both the wheel and the seat. 80 feels good. But that's at cold start up and go. If I were to continue to drive without stopping I would have to go at least 15 miles for it to start to smooth out. After 25 or so miles, it's hard to notice anything at any speed as it runs as smooth as it should. That's why the service tech as well as myself felt it was the tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Betting you mean: 'Service Adviser insisted....'

Frequently recruited from guests of the State returning to civilian life in halfway houses, those guys have all of the technical savvy demonstrated by your SA.

What an idiot.

Unless or course you're at Prudhoe Bay temps and your shoes got flat spots. Uh....you say it's been doing it since May purchase?
I understand what you're saying, but this situation is different. My dealership actually went above and beyond. They replaced the RF's at 15,000 miles confirming they were out of round, verified by Service manager, no cost. Each time slight improvements. But, because the car would drive like a dream we all just thought it was the conti's. I decided to live with it and had made my mind up to replace them with conventional tires for ride comfort and quietness. BMW aligned and did the mounting. Problem is, I'm out of warranty. Wish I would have replaced the tires a few thousand ago.
 

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apprentice curmudgeon
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Is your car RWD or AWD? Ever been off road? Gravel roads? Have you tried sitting in drive when you first start out in the morning. Before moving, shift between drive and reverse a few times. Your symptoms aren't classic but if it were me, I'd check the universal joints. If they are binding, they may loosen up as they warm up. I've only seen it a couple of times over the years but an improperly installed joint can be stiff until it warms up. There's not always slop when you work it by hand. However, you can get underneath and see if there's some wiggle to the joints.
 

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BMWCCA 149159
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You didn't say how many miles you had on the car then and now but you have xdrive and doesn't take well to long fluid change intervals. I would do a change of the transfer case and diffs then transmission pan drain and refill. The xdrive is very small in fluid like 0.6L so think about all the power of the car going through that. It takes special BMW fluid but would be my first guess and is cheaper than a new transmission or transfer case...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Does this vibration happen when stationary? Or only when moving?

Do you notice that it is engine or vehicle speed dependent?
Only when cold, overnight cold and always at the same speeds. (check my other responses),
I say overnight cold meaning I can let it sit after driving for hours and it's fine. It's only when it's the first ride of the day. Frustrating to say the least. But, after half and hour, she's as smooth as it should be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Is your car RWD or AWD? Ever been off road? Gravel roads? Have you tried sitting in drive when you first start out in the morning. Before moving, shift between drive and reverse a few times. Your symptoms aren't classic but if it were me, I'd check the universal joints. If they are binding, they may loosen up as they warm up. I've only seen it a couple of times over the years but an improperly installed joint can be stiff until it warms up. There's not always slop when you work it by hand. However, you can get underneath and see if there's some wiggle to the joints.
AWD. Never been on a dirt road. This was my first new car and first time with run flats. I agree, the symptoms aren't classic. I do like your thought about the U Joints, it's really about the only thing so far that makes sense. Tires are road force balanced, I had all the wheels check for bends, and I drive it easily. The fact that it's been there since day one with 136 miles on it is what gets me. I'm going to think about the U Joints. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You didn't say how many miles you had on the car then and now but you have xdrive and doesn't take well to long fluid change intervals. I would do a change of the transfer case and diffs then transmission pan drain and refill. The xdrive is very small in fluid like 0.6L so think about all the power of the car going through that. It takes special BMW fluid but would be my first guess and is cheaper than a new transmission or transfer case...
I purchased the car new with 136 miles on it, it now has 52000 on it. Did it from day one, but again, never having used RF's I wasn't used to how they feel, so the smoothness after a half an hour would always make us think it was the tires. All of the service is up to date everything has been checked. At this point I'm leaning towards what someone else mentioned which is the U Joints.
 

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I purchased the car new with 136 miles on it, it now has 52000 on it. Did it from day one, but again, never having used RF's I wasn't used to how they feel, so the smoothness after a half an hour would always make us think it was the tires. All of the service is up to date everything has been checked. At this point I'm leaning towards what someone else mentioned which is the U Joints.
Did you try a Road Force Balance? That may find the cause of the vibration.
 

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Only when cold, overnight cold and always at the same speeds. (check my other responses),
I say overnight cold meaning I can let it sit after driving for hours and it's fine. It's only when it's the first ride of the day. Frustrating to say the least. But, after half and hour, she's as smooth as it should be.
This interests me....hey do us a favor - check the battery cold after an overnight a la first video....result OK or no?
 
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