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      10-02-2012, 03:16 PM   #1
urBan_dK
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Question Steering Wheel Vibration Issues

I know there have been a multitude of threads on this subject but I would like to post my experience and see if anyone has any advice on how to deal with this.

My vehicle is still under the factory warranty. I purchased it about a year ago and ever since I bought it there has been steering wheel vibration when traveling approximately 75-85 MPH. It was the case with the factory 19" wheels and tires, same wheels with 15mm spacers, and now my APEX ARC-8 wheels (9.5 inch with 265 width Michelin PSS).

I brought my car into the dealership last week, described my symptoms. They reproduced the issue. They agreed to road force balance my wheels, but everything checked out as <15 lbs. However, the service adviser said the tires had "visible radial runout" while spinning.

From my understanding, if there was truly a runout issue, this would manifest as unacceptable road force measurements. Yet, they are trying to blame the wheel/tire assembly as at fault, even though it balances out with a road force balancer. Not to mention the fact I have seen the same issue with completely separate wheels and tires.

How do I go about getting them to find the root cause, instead of this subjective idea of "radial runout" that doesn't actually show up in the data?

UPDATE: Brand new tires, still have the same vibration issue. Wheel/tire assembly really isn't at fault. I'm running out of ideas.

Last edited by urBan_dK; 11-04-2012 at 11:12 PM.
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      10-03-2012, 11:05 PM   #2
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Are you running the 15mm spacers with your Apex wheel setup?
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      10-03-2012, 11:26 PM   #3
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So to make sure I'm reading your op post correctly. You noticed a slight vibration of the steering wheel when you purchased it with the stock wheels, then you installed spacers and still the vibration is the same and also the same with ARC wheels?

Did you at anytime change tires? Or are they the original tires from the day you picked up the car?

I have a vibration also but the story is a little different. It's an '08 with only 37K miles. When I got it new it was smooth all the way up to top end when I purchased it in Europe while living there.

I then installed APracing BBK and had to use 12mm spacers to clear the BBK with the OEM 18" wheels. From that day i've had a slight vibration.

Spacers were a temporary fix till I got new wheels/tires. Purchased ARC-8 18x9.5 & 18x10.5. Just prior I purchased new tires but should have waited till I got the wheels. OEM size. 245/40R18 & 265/40R18.

BMW local dealer Road Force balanced the wheels and it was fairly smooth. No spacers installed with the ARC's. So far I've put on about 8,000 miles on the tires and a few weeks ago noticed the vibration returned. BMW road force balanced again for two days and still I have it. vibration at 80+mph and slightly amplified with braking.

Going to have the tech there road force balance again Saturday.

So I wonder if your problem is simular to mine? Hopefully its just tires and nothing more. Let us know. I'll post my findings too.
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      10-03-2012, 11:41 PM   #4
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Start going down the list..tire condition..wheel trueness..wheel balance,.spacer alignment..etc etc.. its a process of elimination

the suspension on this car is so direct that it transmits vibrations if anything is even slightly off spec
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      10-04-2012, 12:12 AM   #5
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yeah that is the only way really but damn expensive and fustrating. I for example will to probebly get new right size tires for my wheels, then rebalance. If still out, then I may eihter exchange wheels or purchase new, then will have to rebalance again. Each damn time it's over $200.

I really doubt I hit anything hard with my wheels, can't speak for the OP on his vibration but these wheels are tough so just depends I guess. But then I ask myself, how the hell do Michelin PS2'S go out of round after just 8,000 miles? If its the tires of course and they look almost new still.
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      10-04-2012, 01:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin @ eas View Post
Are you running the 15mm spacers with your Apex wheel setup?
No spacers any more.
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      10-04-2012, 01:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerRob08 View Post
So to make sure I'm reading your op post correctly. You noticed a slight vibration of the steering wheel when you purchased it with the stock wheels, then you installed spacers and still the vibration is the same and also the same with ARC wheels?

Did you at anytime change tires? Or are they the original tires from the day you picked up the car?
Problem is very similar to yours. I posted in your thread.

I noticed it with the stock 19's with OEM Michelin PS2 tires and the Apex's with new Michelin PSS's. Dealer is continuing to blame the wheel and tire setup despite road force balance being OK.

EDIT: turns out the left front wheel has a road force measurement of 21, which is not what my SA told me yesterday. Just talked to the shop foreman earlier today.

I am now going to get all the runout measurements on the wheel. If that doesn't have a problem, the PSS is going back on warranty for being out of round.
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      10-06-2012, 09:57 PM   #8
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I have a similar issue and it is driving me nuts. I have been to 2 dealerships, 2 tire stores and a german car specialist and every time they balance the front wheels, they say the previous balance was off. Car has 10k miles and 4/32 left before I hit the wear bars. 15mm spacers make it much worse. Can't find the issue!!!
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      10-08-2012, 07:01 AM   #9
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I have 13k miles on my '11 and I have the same vibration from 75-85 MPH. I'm convinced the conti tires are to blame.
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      10-08-2012, 11:14 AM   #10
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My dealer is still blaming the tires as well, but the hunter road force balancer says "Force Matching will benefit but rim condition may affect computed results and ride quality" as well as "Rim: Limit Exceeded"....

I am in touch with Apex as well and they are helping me troubleshoot the problem.
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      10-08-2012, 12:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urBan_dK View Post
My dealer is still blaming the tires as well, but the hunter road force balancer says "Force Matching will benefit but rim condition may affect computed results and ride quality" as well as "Rim: Limit Exceeded"....

I am in touch with Apex as well and they are helping me troubleshoot the problem.
I had my tires road force balanced as well, never got that message - I still can't get ride of the slight vibration.

My Conti tires also make this annoying "Wa Wa Wa Wa Wa" sound while driving at any speed.
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      10-11-2012, 04:40 PM   #12
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No update yet. Still have the vibration, dealership blames the wheel/tire, Apex blames the tire. My next move is to take it to a tire shop that can warranty Michelin tires to see if the tire really is at fault.
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      10-11-2012, 10:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urBan_dK View Post
...there has been steering wheel vibration when traveling approximately 75-85 MPH...
Most likely a front wheel is, or front wheels are, bent.
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      10-12-2012, 02:29 PM   #14
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Update: Brought car to Discount Tire (authorized Michelin retailer) to file warranty claim. After a nightmare phone conversation with Michelin, they finally authorized the warranty replacement of both front tires. They will arrive next week.

Major props to Discount Tire who went to bat for me to get them to approve the warranty. Big thumbs down to Michelin for trying to not honor their own "Michelin Promise Plan."

I still have my doubts that this will fix the problem, but we'll see.
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      10-19-2012, 08:43 PM   #15
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New wheels/tires getting vibration

Quote:
Originally Posted by urBan_dK View Post
No update yet. Still have the vibration, dealership blames the wheel/tire, Apex blames the tire. My next move is to take it to a tire shop that can warranty Michelin tires to see if the tire really is at fault.
Just purchased Apex wheels EC-7 9.5/10 w/ PSS 255/275. Had them road force balanced using the Hunter 9700, and today I'm getting a steering wheel vibration/trepidation at above 70 mph.

Brand new wheels and tires. I'm fuming.
I'm sure this is not normal.

I'm surprised to hear that this is a very common problem. I'm going back to the shop to get them on the Hunter machine again.
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      10-19-2012, 09:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by em5464 View Post
Just purchased Apex wheels EC-7 9.5/10 w/ PSS 255/275. Had them road force balanced using the Hunter 9700, and today I'm getting a steering wheel vibration/trepidation at above 70 mph.

Brand new wheels and tires. I'm fuming.
I'm sure this is not normal.

I'm surprised to hear that this is a very common problem. I'm going back to the shop to get them on the Hunter machine again.
The reason for your wheel vibration is that your Apex wheels even though they are supposed to be hub centric will with out a doubt not be exact. Best way to find out is to measure the hub then the bore on the wheel see what the difference is and order yourself a set of hub centric rings to make up the difference. I bought mine here https://www.justforwheels.com/index.jsp

Believe me i had 5 sets of wheels which were all supposed to be hub centric but were out by a hair but it was enough to cause vibrations which drove me insane because i switched rims, tires, multiple wheel balances without any progress and everyone blamed the rim, tire or last place to balance the car. Once i figured this out i cured my vibration problems and mutiple road force balances were a thing of the past. My steering wheels is super smooth now without any vibration.
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      10-20-2012, 05:11 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hova00 View Post
The reason for your wheel vibration is that your Apex wheels even though they are supposed to be hub centric will with out a doubt not be exact. Best way to find out is to measure the hub then the bore on the wheel see what the difference is and order yourself a set of hub centric rings to make up the difference. I bought mine here https://www.justforwheels.com/index.jsp

Believe me i had 5 sets of wheels which were all supposed to be hub centric but were out by a hair but it was enough to cause vibrations which drove me insane because i switched rims, tires, multiple wheel balances without any progress and everyone blamed the rim, tire or last place to balance the car. Once i figured this out i cured my vibration problems and mutiple road force balances were a thing of the past. My steering wheels is super smooth now without any vibration.
Hey thanks for your suggestion. I'll have to try the hubcentric rings.

Indeed the centerbore on the Apex wheels is 72.6 and the e90 M3 centerbore is 72.5
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      10-20-2012, 09:25 PM   #18
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Are your tires match mounted? (where the lightest part of the tire is mounted onto the heaviest past of the wheel, basically where the TPM sensor is located?)

The front bushings are also a problem on this car. They transmit a lot of harmonic vibration.
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      10-21-2012, 03:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malek@MRF View Post
Are your tires match mounted? (where the lightest part of the tire is mounted onto the heaviest past of the wheel, basically where the TPM sensor is located?)

The front bushings are also a problem on this car. They transmit a lot of harmonic vibration.
They are match mounted. Which bushings are you speaking of, specifically? Are they failed bushings or just that way normally?
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      10-21-2012, 03:14 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by em5464 View Post
Hey thanks for your suggestion. I'll have to try the hubcentric rings.

Indeed the centerbore on the Apex wheels is 72.6 and the e90 M3 centerbore is 72.5
Can you get a .1 mm thick hubcentric ring? I noticed the Apex wheels fit on a bit more loosely than the factory wheels, enough that they don't bind when attempting to remove them like the factory ones. Perhaps this is part of my issue....
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      10-22-2012, 02:41 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urBan_dK View Post
They are match mounted. Which bushings are you speaking of, specifically? Are they failed bushings or just that way normally?


The bushing is not failing or problematic for a factory car. It becomes inadequate on lowered vehicles or cars running wider offsets, larger tires up front, spacers.
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      10-23-2012, 05:48 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urBan_dK View Post
Can you get a .1 mm thick hubcentric ring? I noticed the Apex wheels fit on a bit more loosely than the factory wheels, enough that they don't bind when attempting to remove them like the factory ones. Perhaps this is part of my issue....
You can from the place i bought mine from. I actually bought 0.5mm and they are made from metal so they last more than one use if you decided to swap wheels for the season.
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