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      02-01-2013, 03:28 PM   #1
M3Carbon
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Steering vibration common?

Car seems to be getting (IMO) too much vibration/shake in the steering wheel around 80+mph. I've experimented in different EDC modes and it makes no difference. To be honest, a car of this caliber I expect to be rock solid at this speed, or any really. Already had it in once to rebalance all four wheels. Should I take it back in? Looking for some input from people with more saddle time. Thanks.
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      02-01-2013, 04:02 PM   #2
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It's pretty common. I would have them rebalance your front wheels. I had to have tire rotated & rebalanced on one of my Volks when everything was new. I don't run TPMS & had a butt load of weights on one of the front wheels. It was the one I had them redo. They got it down to 3-4 weights.
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      02-01-2013, 04:06 PM   #3
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I believe it's very common especially with the m3 since the suspension is so sensitive. My car does it also but only between 75 and 80 mph especially when there's no heat in the tires. I just learned to deal with it and enjoy the car. I'm not gonna rebalance my tires or get an aliighnment everytime i hit a small pothole
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      02-01-2013, 04:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moxie View Post
It's pretty common. I would have them rebalance your front wheels. I had to have tire rotated & rebalanced on one of my Volks when everything was new. I don't run TPMS & had a butt load of weights on one of the front wheels. It was the one I had them redo. They got it down to 3-4 weights.
I have also had some similar vibration/wheel balance issues. Taking the car in tomorrow to have it re-balanced again.
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      02-01-2013, 04:28 PM   #5
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the car is very sensitive to any balancing issues or rims issues not the mention the road conditions. so i would say its pretty normal and a lot have faced this problem
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      02-01-2013, 05:26 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the replies. Sounds like many of you have faced this same issue with mixed results. I may ping the dealer tomorrow just to see if they'd take a second look at it gratis since I've put less than 200 miles on since the rebalance. I'll report any updates.

PS- car still kicks major a$$!
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      02-13-2013, 06:58 PM   #7
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Have you made any other suspension/chassis related upgrades lately? I've upgraded some bushings in the front and actually experienced vibration even when stationary.
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      02-13-2013, 10:28 PM   #8
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I also experiance this but depending on which rotors I put on for my AP BBK (I have two sets) vibrations are either more amplified or barely noticable after doing some rotor face cleaning with racing pads. But I would say that ever since I installed my BBK with spacers and then moved to new wheels, the car has never been smooth like it was stock. BIG waste of f*&king money IMHO. Not worth the trouble and more money I've had to through at the problem with alot of the work/testing done by myself to add.

I remember this M3 was smooth as silk at 120mph cruising on the Autobahn, tracks, Nurburgring, even on bumpy crap British highways. I never had any kind of slight or strong wobble in the steering wheel. Now no matter how smooth of a road, new tires, road force balanced, etc. I get over 78mph, its slightly rough, slight vibe in the steering wheel, slight shimmy under braking.

I sold all my OEM wheels and OEM brakes long ago thinking this problem was other issue's that could be fixed. Now I wish I had all my OEM parts to go back. I'd rather have a smooth ride than vibrations that shouldn't be there.

Lesson learned I guess.
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      02-13-2013, 10:30 PM   #9
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I had the tell tale vibration at +80 mph..had all 4 wheels rebalanced and solved the issue
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      02-14-2013, 03:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic311 View Post
I had the tell tale vibration at +80 mph..had all 4 wheels rebalanced and solved the issue
I've had all four wheels road force balanced at the BMW dealer several times. Got new tires with my wheels, road force balanced again several times. Very slight vibe at 80mph and higher, just test drove it tonight after working on my BBK. No vibe while braking finally but still got that ruff feeling in the steering. But its very, very light.
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      02-14-2013, 12:57 PM   #11
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If you are exhibiting vibration after Road-Force balancing, then something is off somewhere. There are many that say that match mounting the tire to the wheel is not important with Road-Force balancing, but it is still, especially with large diameter and wide wheels/tires.

Do you have spacers on the car? If so, make sure the mounting surface is absolutely clean, and that anti-seize paste was not applied ANYWHERE except for the hub protrusion and not on the back face of the spacer or rotor.

Also, please make sure your wheels are torqued properly, under or over torqued wheel bolts can cause vibration as well.
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      02-15-2013, 01:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malek View Post
If you are exhibiting vibration after Road-Force balancing, then something is off somewhere. There are many that say that match mounting the tire to the wheel is not important with Road-Force balancing, but it is still, especially with large diameter and wide wheels/tires.

Do you have spacers on the car? If so, make sure the mounting surface is absolutely clean, and that anti-seize paste was not applied ANYWHERE except for the hub protrusion and not on the back face of the spacer or rotor.

Also, please make sure your wheels are torqued properly, under or over torqued wheel bolts can cause vibration as well.

Yep, no spacers. Running ARC-8's 9.5" F & 10.5" rears with the right size tires. All bolts torqued in sequence to 90 ft-lbs. But all even. New tires, road force balanced. Hub face to wheel face all cleaned up and anti-size only on the protursion because I whipped it pretty much clean off the hub face. I even watched my tech at BMW measure the run-out of the hubs, wheels, checked all ball joints, suspension, tie arms, etc. No idea's at this point. Brakes are a different issue being addressed with AP and their tech support so I think its two different issue's I'm having compared to the Op.
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      02-15-2013, 10:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerRob08
Yep, no spacers. Running ARC-8's 9.5" F & 10.5" rears with the right size tires. All bolts torqued in sequence to 90 ft-lbs. But all even. New tires, road force balanced. Hub face to wheel face all cleaned up and anti-size only on the protursion because I whipped it pretty much clean off the hub face. I even watched my tech at BMW measure the run-out of the hubs, wheels, checked all ball joints, suspension, tie arms, etc. No idea's at this point. Brakes are a different issue being addressed with AP and their tech support so I think its two different issue's I'm having compared to the Op.
I have gone through this same issue. Road force balance is key (road force balance is more thorough than typical balance as they spin tire to ideal placement on the rim). Even after the road force balance, I still had a small vibration with the apex wheels. Not sure if the new Bridgestone tires or new apex wheels were to blame. I did notice that the apex wheels don't fit very snugly on the hub. Make sure lugs are tightened while wheels are in the air to insure they are lug-centric.

I hope this helps.
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      02-15-2013, 12:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerRob08 View Post
Yep, no spacers. Running ARC-8's 9.5" F & 10.5" rears with the right size tires. All bolts torqued in sequence to 90 ft-lbs. But all even. New tires, road force balanced. Hub face to wheel face all cleaned up and anti-size only on the protursion because I whipped it pretty much clean off the hub face. I even watched my tech at BMW measure the run-out of the hubs, wheels, checked all ball joints, suspension, tie arms, etc. No idea's at this point. Brakes are a different issue being addressed with AP and their tech support so I think its two different issue's I'm having compared to the Op.
Most likely it's the wheels. They may not be 100% true.

What kind of tires are they? If you could provide this information, I could most probably tell you what your problem may be definitively. I deal with these cars everyday.
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      02-16-2013, 01:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malek View Post
Most likely it's the wheels. They may not be 100% true.

What kind of tires are they? If you could provide this information, I could most probably tell you what your problem may be definitively. I deal with these cars everyday.
Well let me back up a bit. Originally when I installed my AP BBK I had to run 12mm spacers along with the OEM 18" wheels with the stock Pilot Super Sport Michelin's. Was super smooth up until that day. Every since there has been some degree of vibe's. So with a new set of Michelin's installed on my ARC-8 wheels about a year ago and new AP rotors, road force balanced, it was smooth. Then about this last fall started the steering wheel wobble at cruise and increased vibe under braking. Installed new Bridgstone Potenza's, correct size tires now on the ARC-8's (265/35R18F, 285/35R18 Rears) Road Force balanced again. Did some rotor disc cleaning with race pads to clean up the surface of any pad transfered materail build up and now pretty much smooth under braking but at cruise above 78mph, I still have this slight vibe/steering wheel wobble. Its never smooth like at say 50mph for example once I get it up past 78mph and higher.

A while back I had asked APEX about the wheels but the responce was that maybe I hit something or bent the rim(s). Very, very unlikely but I was running tires two sizes smaller for a while. Now with proper size tires, no spacers, I still got the same damn problem. Right nowmy Potenza's are ony about a month new and barely any miles as I don't DD the M3.

I think I have two seperate issues. One is the AP BBK rotors probebly gained some uneven pad material which I think so far is cleared up but I can't be sure with the steering wheel still manifesting a vibe at 78~80+mph.

Thoughts?
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      02-16-2013, 11:38 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerRob08 View Post
Well let me back up a bit. Originally when I installed my AP BBK I had to run 12mm spacers along with the OEM 18" wheels with the stock Pilot Super Sport Michelin's. Was super smooth up until that day. Every since there has been some degree of vibe's. So with a new set of Michelin's installed on my ARC-8 wheels about a year ago and new AP rotors, road force balanced, it was smooth. Then about this last fall started the steering wheel wobble at cruise and increased vibe under braking. Installed new Bridgstone Potenza's, correct size tires now on the ARC-8's (265/35R18F, 285/35R18 Rears) Road Force balanced again. Did some rotor disc cleaning with race pads to clean up the surface of any pad transfered materail build up and now pretty much smooth under braking but at cruise above 78mph, I still have this slight vibe/steering wheel wobble. Its never smooth like at say 50mph for example once I get it up past 78mph and higher.

A while back I had asked APEX about the wheels but the responce was that maybe I hit something or bent the rim(s). Very, very unlikely but I was running tires two sizes smaller for a while. Now with proper size tires, no spacers, I still got the same damn problem. Right nowmy Potenza's are ony about a month new and barely any miles as I don't DD the M3.

I think I have two seperate issues. One is the AP BBK rotors probebly gained some uneven pad material which I think so far is cleared up but I can't be sure with the steering wheel still manifesting a vibe at 78~80+mph.

Thoughts?
Rob,

Thanks for the clarification. At the speeds you are describing, you can absolutely rule out the rotors being the problem. If it were the rotors, the vibrations would present themselves in the 45-55 mph range and would become amplified upon braking.

What I would say the problem is, first and foremost the technician "Road-Force" balancing the wheels doesn't know what they are doing. Next time they do it, make sure you watch them do it. Often times I have seen guys use the machine without the actual Road-Force drum because they are misinformed about the purpose of the drum.

Second, when the wheel is on the machine, make sure they are using a 5 lug adapter lock, and not a single center hub lock when they are mounting the wheel to the Hunter machine. This will ensure more hubcentricity when the wheel and tire is spinning and tire run-out is measured more accurately by the machine.

Third, while the wheel is spining, make sure the wheel is true. If you looks like its wobbling abnormally when spinning, this is not a good sign and the wheels aren't 100% true. I also recommend you have them pop the tire bead from the wheel, use a lot of tire mounting lube. You wouldn't believe how many times wheel/tire vibrations are caused from lack of lubrication during mounting and the tire doesn't actually properly seat against the wheel until many miles down the road. Remember, the Hunter machine is measuring wheel balance and tire run-out on what it measures. If anything changes, the previous balancing isn't effective anymore.

Lastly, check your lower control arm bushings. If these items are worn (which they shouldn't be), it will be the cause of vibration in the wheel.

Malek
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      02-17-2013, 02:40 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malek View Post
Rob,

Thanks for the clarification. At the speeds you are describing, you can absolutely rule out the rotors being the problem. If it were the rotors, the vibrations would present themselves in the 45-55 mph range and would become amplified upon braking.

What I would say the problem is, first and foremost the technician "Road-Force" balancing the wheels doesn't know what they are doing. Next time they do it, make sure you watch them do it. Often times I have seen guys use the machine without the actual Road-Force drum because they are misinformed about the purpose of the drum.

Second, when the wheel is on the machine, make sure they are using a 5 lug adapter lock, and not a single center hub lock when they are mounting the wheel to the Hunter machine. This will ensure more hubcentricity when the wheel and tire is spinning and tire run-out is measured more accurately by the machine.

Third, while the wheel is spining, make sure the wheel is true. If you looks like its wobbling abnormally when spinning, this is not a good sign and the wheels aren't 100% true. I also recommend you have them pop the tire bead from the wheel, use a lot of tire mounting lube. You wouldn't believe how many times wheel/tire vibrations are caused from lack of lubrication during mounting and the tire doesn't actually properly seat against the wheel until many miles down the road. Remember, the Hunter machine is measuring wheel balance and tire run-out on what it measures. If anything changes, the previous balancing isn't effective anymore.

Lastly, check your lower control arm bushings. If these items are worn (which they shouldn't be), it will be the cause of vibration in the wheel.

Malek

Thanks Malek,

Well I did watch my tech do the balancing. I think from what I can tell he is very proficiant and experianced with the RFB. I know he spent all day the last time I had him balance the new tires by driving till the tires warmed up, remounting, etc. I can't say for sure if he used alot or little lube but I know he did. Also the mount is a 5 lug, not the center hub that you explained. I remember seeing him install lug nuts. Also he did a wheel run out and it measured as a "pass" on all four. Actually the rear wheels were marginal compared to the front wheels.

One strange thing I might not have explained exactly. Most of the time, depending on how smooth the highway is, the slight vibe in the steering wheel develps at about 78mph at times, then just smooths out mostly past 82mph and faster. But under braking, the vibration/wobble is manifested again under braking. So I think it could be the rotors. Especially since between the two AP rotor sets I have, one is allways worse than the other in terms of vibration under braking.

I had the tech about a month ago check the entire front end of the car out, no worn bushings or anything like that. I'm 99% certain its my brakes but we can't figure out what. Discs measure run out to .003", pads are new, calipers rebuilt, strap drive system on the rotors rebuilt. Even did a race-pad disc clean up and brake run in again. Still get that vibe at about 80mph at cruise and then under braking from faster speeds, the vibration is amplified. Disappears below 80mph when braking.

Real confusing.

Rob
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      03-14-2014, 12:13 AM   #18
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alright bring up a old thread because I have the same issue. I tried road force balancing which helped but still some vibration there. Tried new wheels and tires. I notice most of the complaints are from older cars. My guess is wheel bearing a getting loose. I think they are still in spec range but like everyone says sensitive suspension. I taking the plunge and ordered new bearings since my car is @ 75k. I'lkl just consider this part of proactive maintenance. ($439 shipped from Turner MS, both fronts) My next bet is the tension rod control arm bushing. I plan also replacing that later date.

If anyone has new insight please add it here.

Thanks
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      03-14-2014, 12:08 PM   #19
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I have used the Hunter Engineering site often in class. Most of the BMW dealers use Hunter equipment for balancing.

If you look a the bottom of the page you will see the video:
"Why does my car still shake?"

It's easier to just use the wheel balancer without doing the road force measurements so sometimes it gets skipped when the customer just asks to have the wheels balanced. The other videos on the page will help you understand what the actual process looks like in detail. Watch the "Centering Check" video also, this is where a technician can miss important details.

Hunter Wheel Balancers:
http://www.hunter.com/videos/index.cfm?cat=3

The technician needs to know the whole story to diagnosis your vibration before he starts the wheel balance. The videos may help you with that conversation.
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      03-15-2014, 02:47 PM   #20
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Anyone one know of a trust place in San Francisco to do road force balancing? I'm experience similar vibrations at +70mph
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      03-15-2014, 06:01 PM   #21
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Anyone one know of a trust place in San Francisco to do road force balancing? I'm experience similar vibrations at +70mph
Here you go:
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=627669

http://alekshop.com/
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      03-20-2014, 07:34 PM   #22
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Yes I got my wheel balanced at Aleks shop and I watched Aleks do it. He does great service. At least on my case the problem still lays on something else. All four tires were road force balanced.
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