E46 Shaking steering wheel, help please!! - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 02-11-2009, 01:35 PM
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E46 Shaking steering wheel, help please!!

Hi, just thought i would put this thread out there to see if anyone can offer some advice before i take my BMW to my local dealer and get ripped off!!

I have a 2003 320CD sport which has been suffering from a vibrating steering wheel for around 4 weeks now. The shaking/vibrating has been getting worse and a mate who works in a local garage has done the following for me but the vibrating is still there!! -

All 4 tyres have been changed
All tracking and wheel balancing sorted
The front lower arm bushes have been changed
The rear shock mounts have been changed (this needed doing so dont think it is related)
The springs have even been swapped (front left to right)

The shaking seems to be intermittent but generally kicks in when travelling at low speed around 30 - 40 mph and seems to ease a little when i go faster around 70 mph. The real worrying thing is that i have started to notice a burning smell comming from the driver side front wheel and i just noticed there was loads of heat coming from the driver side wheel after a 8 mile drive and the passenger side was cool and no smell.

I thought the problem may be brakes but i had the car MOT'd approx 5 weeks ago and nothing was mentioned and the vibrating is not worse when braking.

Any help or advice would be appreciated, thanks
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#2 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 09:39 PM
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Check for a bent front wheel

Have your wheels balanced and check for a bent wheel on the front left or right side.
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#3 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 11:41 PM
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Also check to see if the hub is not cracked. Usually when it bends they tend to have cracks.
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#4 (permalink) Old 04-09-2009, 09:32 AM
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Check to see if the brakes calper is locking up you can get a burning smell and heat from the brakes being locked up on the disk. Most places may not notice this problem but it does happen. It did happen to my 330ci. Got the smell and the vibration from a locking up disk brake. It happened right after the dealership put all new disks and pads on my car. I made them fix it for free. OHHH Ya!

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#5 (permalink) Old 04-10-2009, 04:53 AM
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Have the camber checked and bent rims should also be checked
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#6 (permalink) Old 04-10-2009, 10:03 PM
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wheel bearings given everything else you have done. Particularly with the burning smell.

Are you using factory rims??

Also, just reread you post. Sounds like you might have a caliper seized in the not quite completely close/locked position. It is seized enough to touch the rotor and heat up and vibrate and not releasing after braking; which would not give you a bad indication DURING braking. Just a guess because I've had it happen on a 944, 300ZX and an old toyota, but like I said....just a guess.

2002 BMW 330XI
1988 Porsche 944

Last edited by mtccl; 04-10-2009 at 10:06 PM.
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#7 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtccl View Post
wheel bearings given everything else you have done. Particularly with the burning smell.

Are you using factory rims??

Also, just reread you post. Sounds like you might have a caliper seized in the not quite completely close/locked position. It is seized enough to touch the rotor and heat up and vibrate and not releasing after braking; which would not give you a bad indication DURING braking. Just a guess because I've had it happen on a 944, 300ZX and an old toyota, but like I said....just a guess.
Thanks for the advice, i'm having the same problem, steering shakes after 30 min of driving and it's not very consistent... but i do notice the front right brake pad wears out much quicker than the left, so it must be brake system/caliper's fault, going to get it check out asap...

Cheers mate
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#8 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 07:54 AM
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My steering wheel shakes now only after I go through a roundabout turn too quickly. Also, I hear a "ticking" sound in the front right wheel at low speeds. I had the car aligned and tires rotated (tires had only a few thousand miles on them so it was time to rotate anyway). The problem still persists. When the steering wheel shakes, it begins to shake at around 35 mph and continues up until I come to a stop. I don't think it's warped rotors or a bent rim. Anyone experience something similar..if so, what is it and can I fix it myself? Appreciate the help - thanks.
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#9 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 08:23 AM
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sounds like bushing or something similar,these cars always have problems in this area. Take it to someone who knows BMW like an independent BMW shop. Its quite hard to diagnose and many people miss out the real problem,thats why you need an experienced BM mech.
good luck
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#10 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 08:52 AM
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Is that expensive to fix..I'll take it to the dealership. Thanks for the quick reply.
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#11 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 01:21 PM
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The ticking sound could be the driveshaft U/J, it could be dry due to that corner warming up...
You may have a semi-seized caliper or even a warped brake disc...
DAZ
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#12 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 03:14 PM
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I had a sticking caliper on my car, and the steering wheel used to shake like hell. It eventually seized on and I had to get a breakdown truck out to take me home. The local garage put new caliper on well a refurbished one .
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#13 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 03:36 PM
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What about the brake disc?
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#14 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 03:55 PM
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I'd put new discs on it about 50 miles before it happened and even though the dammed thing was glowing cherry red I didn't bother changing them. The guys at the garage thought I was being a tightfisted bastard but what the hell it didn't make any difference to the way the car went or stopped.
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#15 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 04:01 PM
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They can still warp under heat/binding caliper... Just a thought !
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