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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got a set of Michelin Pilot Sports A/S's.

I've noticed that the car has a slight drift to the right when going straight ahead. I've been told it's due to the crowning the highway folks do to get the water drainage correct.

A couple of BMW dealers have told me that it is normal for a slight drift to the right and not to perform a wheel alignment.

Another BMW dealer in the SF Bay Area tried evey little scare tactic in the book to try to sell a wheel alignment.

The question to those here is:

Do I need a wheel alignment?
Text book answers have been to do a wheel alignment when you buy a new set of tires.

Since the old set was wearing out evenly, is an alignment necessary?

Thanks in advance to all.
 

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Does it drift on all roads? If it is only on some roads, I would agree it is just the crown in the road if it is a very slight drift. I guess you will have to decide how much this bothers you. An alignment may make it stop drifting on a crowned road, then drfit left on a road with little crown.

I tend never to get alignments unless I have uneven tire wear or a bad pull to one side. I have seen so many times that a poor alignment makes the car worse then it was to begin with.
 

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Ha- I had the same complaint

I went to the dealership this week and talked to them about it. This is my third time. They aligned the car, and it still pulled to the right. Then the Manager told me he had 3 other cars before me (2 M3's and a 330) with the same problem. It is the Michellin Sports Tires for sure. They told me to call Michellin. I stayed and argued for one hour and they finally agreed to the ContiSport swap. They did it for the previous 3 folks and said they did not receive a reimbursement for it. I begged, yelled, pleaded and rationalized with them. They finally put it on last Friday. Guess what?? No more pulling to the right. The tires are a bit quieter and I do not really see that much difference in performance (I don't track my car). Actually, it seems as if these tires give straightline traction a bit superior to the Michellins. A part of the road where I usually make a right turn and hammer it, the Michellins would make the DSC light flash. The ContiSports did not. A bit better ride also (sidewalls not as stiff). The tire does not look as aggressive (treadpattern), but works great. It should last longer and have better wet performance too! Get the swap for free because you SHOULD NOT live with an off alignment car. Hope this helps and sorry for no paragraph breaks.... it's late and I'm tired!

Mike
'02 330Ci
 

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Don't forget to take the wind into account when you try and figure out whether a car is pulling. I was convinced I had a serious problem one day - until I turned around and went the other direction.
:dunno:
 

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I've used Dunlop SP8000 tires for a while now. I like them a lot and was pleased to see my new car came with SP8080's. However, I notice that as they wear they become much more sensitive to road crown and especially to longitudinal ruts from overweight traffic. The point is that different tires can feel quite different without there ever having been an alignment problem.
 

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I'd avoid alignments if at all possible. In my experience dealing w/ 3 dealers and over 7 alignments-- they just can't get it right. My car is still worse than it was from the factory-- i just have to live w/ it. I don't know why its so difficult to do-- but I guess considering the ineptitude of most BMW dealers its not surprising.
 

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robg said:
I'd avoid alignments if at all possible. In my experience dealing w/ 3 dealers and over 7 alignments-- they just can't get it right. My car is still worse than it was from the factory-- i just have to live w/ it. I don't know why its so difficult to do-- but I guess considering the ineptitude of most BMW dealers its not surprising.
I totally agree.... I bought my car brand new with 18s and dunlops - had some steering problems - steers the car to the right. Took it to the dealer and had it aligned etc. They claim it's the tire or just the thread itself. I'm starting to feel like they are correct and would like to believe it truly is the tire thread. :dunno:
 

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My Pilot Sports have always followed the crown of the road. They're known for this, but I find it very minimal. For the car to move a foot to the right for example, it would probably take 5-7 seconds of me not holding the wheel.
 

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Re: Ha- I had the same complaint

Mike (Orientblu330i) makes some very good points.

However, I don't think the reason the car pulls to the right is because of the tire design but due to the fact that the Pilot's love to tramline. It just so happens that most roads crown to the right . . .

I've noticed huge differences in tramlining when comparing my Pilots to Conti sports . . just ask Rob g, we've driven each other's cars and my car pulls much more than Rob's

I've also had numerous 330i's with the Conti's and they all tramline alot less

Another thing, I have a set of non-sport wheels for my 330Ci and they have conti all-seasons and my car doesn't tramline with them.
 

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obviously most of you guys don't have a serious problem at hand.... mine pulls a foot to the right while driving w/o hands on the steering less than 3 seconds. I have dunlops and no one can seem to help. :banghead:
 

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jk330i said:
obviously most of you guys don't have a serious problem at hand.... mine pulls a foot to the right while driving w/o hands on the steering less than 3 seconds. I have dunlops and no one can seem to help. :banghead:
You mean it's not supposed to do that :dunno:
 

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Re: Ha- I had the same complaint

OrientBlu 330Ci said:
I went to the dealership this week and talked to them about it. This is my third time. They aligned the car, and it still pulled to the right. Then the Manager told me he had 3 other cars before me (2 M3's and a 330) with the same problem. It is the Michellin Sports Tires for sure. They told me to call Michellin. I stayed and argued for one hour and they finally agreed to the ContiSport swap. They did it for the previous 3 folks and said they did not receive a reimbursement for it. I begged, yelled, pleaded and rationalized with them. They finally put it on last Friday. Guess what?? No more pulling to the right. The tires are a bit quieter and I do not really see that much difference in performance (I don't track my car). Actually, it seems as if these tires give straightline traction a bit superior to the Michellins. A part of the road where I usually make a right turn and hammer it, the Michellins would make the DSC light flash. The ContiSports did not. A bit better ride also (sidewalls not as stiff). The tire does not look as aggressive (treadpattern), but works great. It should last longer and have better wet performance too! Get the swap for free because you SHOULD NOT live with an off alignment car. Hope this helps and sorry for no paragraph breaks.... it's late and I'm tired!

Mike
'02 330Ci
Conti's Suck in the rain though. A lot of people have complained about them. The Pilot Sports are really good in the rain. You might have given up some wet traction to avoid the tramlining.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the info.....

All..... many thanks for your feedback.

Got a little over 1K on the new tires already. Seems to be setting in and is now less sensitive to the road crown.

What I also did was to make sure to keep the front vs rear tire pressues close to what was specified on the door jam.

The Michelin folks told be to put 36psi all around.

I've played with tire pressures since. The door jam calls for 29 front and 33 rear.

Not really comfortable with 29 psi.

Tires are at 33 front 36 rear. Seems ok.

Come to realize that I have to try to find a decent independent BMW shop. Wheel alignments are not a good idea - unless it's really bad. Michelins will be more sensitive to road surfaces - that's ok.

Lastly...... the decision to replace the Conti's had to do with wet weather performance. Wear was actually not bad. about 50% left at 43K mi. Had problems with the tires during the winter months.

Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the info.....

All..... many thanks for your feedback.

Got a little over 1K on the new tires already. Seems to be setting in and is now less sensitive to the road crown.

What I also did was to make sure to keep the front vs rear tire pressues close to what was specified on the door jam.

The Michelin folks told be to put 36psi all around.

I've played with tire pressures since. The door jam calls for 29 front and 33 rear.

Not really comfortable with 29 psi.

Tires are at 33 front 36 rear. Seems ok.

Come to realize that I have to try to find a decent independent BMW shop. Wheel alignments are not a good idea - unless it's really bad. Michelins will be more sensitive to road surfaces - that's ok.

Lastly...... the decision to replace the Conti's had to do with wet weather performance. Wear was actually not bad. about 50% left at 43K mi. Had problems with the tires during the winter months.

Thanks again.
 

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Re: Re: Ha- I had the same complaint

Alan F said:
Mike (Orientblu330i) makes some very good points.

However, I don't think the reason the car pulls to the right is because of the tire design but due to the fact that the Pilot's love to tramline. It just so happens that most roads crown to the right . . .

I've noticed huge differences in tramlining when comparing my Pilots to Conti sports . . just ask Rob g, we've driven each other's cars and my car pulls much more than Rob's

I've also had numerous 330i's with the Conti's and they all tramline alot less

Another thing, I have a set of non-sport wheels for my 330Ci and they have conti all-seasons and my car doesn't tramline with them.
And my car was even better before i had the steering retrofit and all of the follow-up alignments. I used to be able to leave my hands off the wheel even on a truck-rutted highway and the car wouldn't really drift. I remember actually being impressed by how straight it used to track when I got it. Never mess w/ something if its not broken... :)

Alan, even though your car tramlines more, I still love your firmer steering better. I've definitely gotten used to my wierd steering now, but I'll never learn to really like it. I'm hoping that when I replace my contisports w/ something like a Bridgestone RE950 things will get a little better.
 
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