Tyres / Tracking problem? - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

 
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#1 (permalink) Old 09-01-2004, 04:58 AM
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Hello, i recently had 3 tyres replaced on my 93' 318i, because when i was driving the car was pulling to the left, worse so when i was braking.

The left hand front tyre was alot more worn than the front right tyre, and the rears needed replacing anyhow. So i took the car to my tyre garage, £199 for 3 new tyres and tracking done. They checked the suspension bushings and said they were fine also so there would be no problem there.

So i drove the car away and noticed that now in order to drive in a straight line, i have to hold the steering wheel about 10 degrees off center to the right if i let the steering wheel go center, im driving slightly to the left.

i hope ive explained that well enough for people to understand my problem.

Can anyone shed any light on what this could be? Did the mess the tracking up / not do it properly or could it be comething else?

(the car doesnt pull to the left when i brake anymore btw)

hellllllppppp, its getting annoying having to hold the wheel to the right to go straight ghead


regards
clint
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#2 (permalink) Old 09-01-2004, 05:01 AM
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I guess by saying "tracking" you mean you got them balanced..... sounds like you need an alinement dont... either that.. or your bushings up there.. are horribly worn.. I would jack it up.. and take a lot my self.. and make sure everything looks good.. best bet.. go get a 4 wheel alinement done.. and maybe another new balance....

Good Luck!

Les


1997 E36 M3 1990 E30 325i
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#3 (permalink) Old 09-01-2004, 05:08 AM
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think ill do what u said and jack it up + take a look, what am i looking for for worn bushes?

1st time ive ever had to look for anything like that.
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#4 (permalink) Old 09-01-2004, 05:46 AM
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I am guessing you had one new tire put on the front and two on the back? You should always put the new tires on the front, otherwise this is the sort of thing that happens. Did you get the rear wheels balanced? If yes, and the rear sizes are the same as the front put the backs on the front. If not get them balanced and put on the front. If you let go of the steering wheel does the car go straight or pull right (or left)?

The other thing is if you got the tracking done they should have centralised the steering wheel before they started and adjusted the track rod ends for both front wheels. Cowboy, quick fit places tend to only adjust one wheel which puts the steering wheel off centre as you describe.
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#5 (permalink) Old 09-01-2004, 05:59 AM
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Because one of my front tyres was arrow directional (?) they put the front right good tyre on the back + a new arrow directional one on the back too, then 2 new ones on the front.

so its like this

Front

New -> 0----0 <- New
--------- |---- |
--------- |---- |
New -> 0----0 <- Old (but nearly new tyre anyway)

Back

If i left go of the steering wheel, it tries to center itself as i presume is correct, but in the process the car will steer to the left.
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#6 (permalink) Old 09-01-2004, 06:26 AM
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Just checking, but the road is flat right? I mean roads are built with camber to force rain to run off, also sometimes to assist with road holding. Have you tried it driving across a large car park?

If it still pulls either way, jack up the car, make sure it is in neutral with the hand brake off. do all of the wheels turn freely? Perhaps one of the brakes on the leeft is sticking?

If they all spin freely then it is almost certainly a tracking problem.
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#7 (permalink) Old 09-01-2004, 06:55 AM
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yes the roads have been flat that i tested it on.

Im not sure about the brake sticking thing, as if it was that would the car not pull to the left regardless of steering wheel position?

There is more brake dust on the front wheels that accumalates than the rear wheels if that is any help, but it is even on both sides and the brakes seem fine.

Ill have to jack it up and check the wheels for spin, if their spinning ok i may have to take it to a reputable garage and tell them the symptoms and see what they say.

ghead
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#8 (permalink) Old 09-01-2004, 07:20 AM
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a few things here, first is what size are your tires, if you have plus sized your tires than you could be getting that problem from plus size...... second thing is that i figured that its more an alignment problem more than a tire issue. when was the last time you had an aligment?

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#9 (permalink) Old 09-01-2004, 07:34 AM
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I couldnt tell you, ive only owned the car for 3 weeks, ive seen no alignment in all its service history so i cant even hazard a guess.

Tyre size is 205/16 on all 4, not sure the speed rating but i guess that doesnt matter too much.

Im starting to think its alignment, any idea how much it costs to get an alignment done?
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#10 (permalink) Old 09-01-2004, 08:53 AM
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Now it is becoming clear. You only had the car three weeks. With the old tires (one smaller thatn the other) the car was fine. Therfore we can assume that the tracking was set to take this into account. \It needs to be totally reset for the new tires and to straighten the steering wheel. Four wheel tracking would be best but at least 2 wheel would get your steering wheel straight and get the car running in a straight line.
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#11 (permalink) Old 09-01-2004, 09:03 AM
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The car wasnt right when i 1st got it, it pulled to the left still but the steering was straight, now it doesnt pull but the steering is off center with the new tyres.

I think your right though, ill go get a 4 wheel tracking done, thanks for all your help on this guys.

clint
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#12 (permalink) Old 09-01-2004, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by PMB@Sep 1 2004, 09:33 AM
Now it is becoming clear. You only had the car three weeks. With the old tires (one smaller thatn the other) the car was fine. Therfore we can assume that the tracking was set to take this into account. \It needs to be totally reset for the new tires and to straighten the steering wheel. Four wheel tracking would be best but at least 2 wheel would get your steering wheel straight and get the car running in a straight line.
i agree with this hypothesis. But why hasn't anyone mentioned what is painfully obvious to me ??? three new tires? WTF? Stop being a cheapskate and get a fourth new tire and remove one of the variables. then go get the car aligned. BMW's can be a little picky about alignment, so take it to a shop that knows about them. You should be fine after that.
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#13 (permalink) Old 09-01-2004, 09:13 AM
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Sorry, yes, I meant the steering wheel was straight. When you had the tracking done they have adjusted it from one end not both. This will throw the steering wheel off centre.

Having tyres of similar wear on the front is essential for getting the track correct. Definitly get it re-tracked. 4 wheel would be best but it should be possible with normal 2 wheel tracking.

The part worn tire on the back is not causing the problem.
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#14 (permalink) Old 09-01-2004, 09:19 AM
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i agree with this hypothesis. But why hasn't anyone mentioned what is painfully obvious to me ??? three new tires? WTF? Stop being a cheapskate and get a fourth new tire and remove one of the variables. then go get the car aligned. BMW's can be a little picky about alignment, so take it to a shop that knows about them. You should be fine after that.


As stated in a previous post, the tyre that was kept on the car is new, the tread is exactly the same as on the "New" tyres i bought, so there was no element in the equation for that regardless.

I will go and get the car 4 wheel aligned asap.
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