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      09-08-2011, 12:36 PM   #1

Drives: 2011 E93 M3
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: San Diego, CA

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Question regarding steering wheel vibration after alignment

I got a new set of 20 factory wheels and Toyo tires for our X5 about a month ago. It did not feel out of spec but decided to get an alignment anyways. Took it to my local dealer to align it and it was fine, with the exception that the steering wheel now seemed to be off-centered to the right by a tiny bit when it was driving straight (it felt like it pulled to the right a bit also but could have been my mind). In any case, I brought it back to the dealership after two weeks this past Saturday for them to check the alignment. They got it done and then ask me "where did you get those tires?" I say why? They tell me that they got it to spec but the tech said that the car seems like it drives a bit "weird" the steering wheel tends to wander and so on. But rest assured that the alignment is done, it must be something to do with the tires.

I never realized any of these issues before this second visit. Even though the steering wheel was now centered, I felt it a couple of times on my drive home that the steering wheels would move/vibrate back and forth a bit. I figured is the crappy road because it feels fine for any other case. I drove the car again today and you can definitely "feel" the road more on the steering wheel. I thought it could be a balance issue but it did not feel like this before I took it back this second time for the alignment.

What do you guys think it could be? I would hate to go back and ask them to check it again, I don't want to become that customer, but at the same time it just does not feel right. I will have the balance re-checked this afternoon and if it does not improve I will take it back. What do you think could be? Seems like something could not have been tighten up properly or something like that. I am just afraid that at this point they will blame it on the tires not being the Dunlop OEM ones even though it did not do this with the same tires before the second visit.

Any thoughts? Thanks
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      09-08-2011, 06:49 PM   #2
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You didn't mention details of what wheels and tires you had before, or what X5 model you're driving. And neither details on the new wheels/tires (offset, width, tire size). Larger wheels (especially if they're heavier) are the stupidest thing to do from the driving dynamics point. Depending what you had, and the offset they had, they're going to feel like bricks, especially on a truck. My first question is if the wheels are indeed stock, or reproductions? The other question is if your X5 is a 6-cyl, and you put wheels that belong to a V8 model, they have beefier suspension components. Not only it'd feel like crap, but you're putting undue stress on bearings, and everything else. If wheels are true, the only other issue would be balancing, but that's mostly felt at around 70 mph. My guess is it was a bad choice of wheels/tires for your car. But if you want better answers, GO TO THE APPROPRIATE FORUM . Good luck.
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