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3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

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Old 07-04-2007, 08:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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New wheels causing a slight problem...

Right, before I start, let me just say, that I am a complete n00b when it comes to things like maintainence, etc. But here goes...

Since I got my new wheels last week, while driving in a sraight line, I notice that the steering wheel shimmys a little bit every so often - sometimes to the left, and sometimes to the right. Its not noticeable to the passengers - but I can feel it in the steering, even though its not hard to just hold it straight.

I increased the tire pressure up to 38 psi on the rears and 36psi on the fronts, and the problem is (almost) gone, but I can still feel it abit.

I took my car back to the garage where I bought the wheels from, and they say that my bushes and shocks need to be replaced. But I wasn't too convinced. They came to this conclusion by raising the car, and wedging the arms with some sort of tool which looks like a crow-bar. This made the arms move around a bit, and they said it should be rigid. But i was like wtf? if u take a crowbar to it, of course its gona move like that. Like I said I aint no car expert, but I was able to analyze his behaviour, and I think he's bullshitting me.

Anyway, I spoke to another mechanic on the phone, and he said that the new wheels are heavier, and I need to get stronger wishbone ball joints - the ones from the sports suspension.

I spoke to yet another person, and they said that the wheels should go on without any other parts needing to be changed.

I've done 80K miles.

Any suggestions?

I hope its something like a wheel aligment issue, which won't cost as much to fix.
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Old 07-05-2007, 01:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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bah, every car ive owned has gotten after market wheels, and they have all shook after having the wheels on, some a little, some alot, even with hub centric rings and stuff i always got some sort of vibration or pulling of the car to the sides....ive yet to find a solution
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Old 07-05-2007, 01:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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the crowbar thing ... that is the only way to check the bushings. if the arms move too much, they need to be replaced ... simple as that. and yes, at 80k miles, it is definitely possible that they are gone ... I went through 3 sets of lower control arm bushings in 35k miles when I had my 525 ... it all depends on the roads.

As for the shocks, unless they're leaking, my bet is are still fine ... besides, when going on a smooth, straight road, shocks wouldn't be causing that type of shaking.
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Old 07-05-2007, 04:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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^ Yeah that's what I thought about the shocks, but wasn't sure. I'm gona take it down to a friend of mine who is a mechanic for a second opinion. If the bushings do in fact need changing, he'll tell me for sure.

Thanks for your help guys
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Old 07-05-2007, 09:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Got the car checked out - shocks and bushings are fine - the wheel alignment was slightly out (I don't know if that's what you guys call it in the States - basically the toe and camber needed adjusting)

I got that done today too, and now the car drives perfectly
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