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      02-18-2012, 11:29 AM   #1
BigAl
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E92 M3 Steering

Hi, I wonder if there is anyone out there that can shed some light on what has become a very annoying trait of my M3. Over the past six weeks my cars steering "feel" has completely changed. To try and describe it is that it feels like the steering has become super sensitive. Its like driving on way over inflated tyres and am feeling every little bump on the road. Much much more than normal. The cars steering feels almost "nervous" if that makes any sense. Its not tracking or suddenly changing direction nor is it pulling in any direction, however when turning right handed corners the problem seems more extreme.

It feels like the wheels are loose almost, I realise that that is a ridiculous thing to say but that is how it feels, distinctly different to what it has been before. Or it feels like there was a track rod end or something away.

Now the car is a 2007 with only 42000 miles on it, however there is no extended warranty applying to the car.

I have taken the car into the local BMW dealership who have had it for almost two weeks trying to solve the problem, but they have not.

They have changed a full front strut, a rear tie rod and a complete steering rack and I am sure I dont need to tell you just how much that has cost!! However I am not on to have a go at the dealer, I just want the car to drive as it should. But even with all that work done, tyre pressures adjusted, wheels balanced KDS done it is exactly the same!!

I have noticed however when i press the M button and my car goes into the "extreme" setting the steering looses to a great extent the nervousness.

My car is fitted with EDC so with the sport setting and the servotronic on it behaves better.

The dealer says they have checked the power steering pump etc so I am at a loss...........

HELP, is there anyone out there who has had such an experience or has sufficient experience to diagnose my cars problem.

Thanks and sorry for the lengthy post.
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      02-18-2012, 02:33 PM   #2
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Hi,

Tyres have 5mm tread front, 7mm tread rear. New tyres have 8mm.
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      02-18-2012, 05:22 PM   #3
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these issues are usually alignment problems.
get a printout of the specs and post them here......

A car can feel totally different if you go from 1 deg toe out to 1 deg in!!
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      02-18-2012, 06:58 PM   #4
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Thanks, however as my first post said the BMW dealership,after having fitted the new steering rack (which didnt cure the problem) performed their 4 wheel computer alignment check (know here as KDS) and made some adjustments. allues changed from red to green on my print out however I will get these readings listed tomorrow and see if you can make head or tail of them.

Thank you for your time
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      02-18-2012, 10:45 PM   #5
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There is one more thing that came to mind.....When I do pre-race tech inspections on E9X vehicles, I have to try to move the wheels in every axis using hand pressure from outside the vehicle. I am sure you've seen techs tugging your wheels, you know what I mean?

Anyway, I had to fail a few of those models because one of the wheels can have a LOT of front to back movement. (usually just one) It is almost like the toe-control links have gone soft. I swear that i moved one 2 inches once!! That can had the same mileage as yours but was not an M.

I wonder if this may be playing a part? In the morning, go out to your M, and grab the front wheels and look for play. Something like that would not show up on an alignment, but can produce tire cupping and shimmy!!!

Hope this helps, I know how frustrating it is when the dealer just shrugs their shoulders!
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      02-19-2012, 01:15 PM   #6
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Thanks again,

I will give this a try in the morning!!

Here's hopping..........
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      02-19-2012, 02:17 PM   #7
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Arrrrgh!!!......

Wishfull thinking on my part.

No movement on the wheels, either on a top/bottom or side/side force from me when vehicle parked on driveway.

It is soooo frustrating. Do you think that there could be something going on hydraulically?

When I start my vehicle up in the morning and make my first movement of the steering wheel there seems to be a judder or shimmy of the wheel. Almost like a little kick back or shudder thro the steering wheel. This is before the car moves, and its a power assisted shimmy if you like. Also I should add that the steering does feel "light" all of the time, not a "planted" feel, which may be adding to the shimmying feel up through the steering wheel over anything but smooth roads.

The only thing that helps is when i press the M button and the servotronic comes on.

Although new to the forum I have had the car since new and indeed owned 5other M3's over the past 15 years, infact every single model.........(E30, E36Evo, E46 cabrio, E46 coupe , E46Cs coupe & my E92 M3) so I know when things just dont "feel" right. On previous models I have had steering shafts replaced, track rod ends, steering rods etc etc. Never a full steering rack which has been done to no avail.

So what could go wrong hydraulically to cause this do you think? Could the power steering be playing up or anything associated with this?

You are spot on however, it is VERY frustrating and spoiling my driving pleasure and experience. The dealer is "trying" to be helpfull, however I am well over 2000 trying to get this fixed and I do feel I am getting the "well we cant really find anything wrong, just keep driving the car until something really does go wrong then we will fix it" I have had that so many times over the years and it is or does feel that I (we as customers) end up researching and doing their work for them.

Any more advice would be greatly appreciated.
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      02-19-2012, 06:21 PM   #8
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I dunno Al....

I have seen issues like this before, and the dealer just replaces everything until they get it. My brother had an E46 that had an odd shimmy and it was finally cured by a combination of parts including new lower arms, strut caps, tie rods, rebalancing wheels, alignment and so on.

I guess the good news is that they got it eventually, but if you pay out of pocket, the cost would be enormous!

It also never hurts to try another dealer too. In my brothers case, he took the car to an independent shop known to be clever, and they advised the dealer on what they thought.

I'll ask around see what I can find. My patient is a tech at BMW and he is great. (of course, they are staying away from me right now because I have a lawyer chasing BMWNA!)
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      02-20-2012, 02:08 PM   #9
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Thank again DocJohn,

Am gonna switch wheels and tyres to 18's just to see if that makes any difference in the feel, will do that over the weekend.

If no change then I will take your advice and switch dealer and try the main M agent in Edinburgh to see if they could overturn any thoughts my local Stirling BMW dealer has.

Am not sure how they will feel following up on other dealers investigations...... Especially if parts have been fitted that did not need to be. However at present I really dont care. I just want my M back to steering and handling like it used to and should. It really is spoiling my daily drive and enjoyment.
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      02-20-2012, 02:48 PM   #10
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I had a similar thing with my Porsche Cayman S last year.

I bought new wheels and tires and had them mounted. The I felt this weird "lightness" and dicsonnectedness at speed and especially during accerlation.

It's like when you're accelerating hard on a powerful motorcycle and the front wheel starts getting light and floppy.

I had the car re-aligned and the wheels re-balanced and it got better but still wasn't perfect like before with my 19" wheels.

Turns out, and this is my theory, the first set of losers who installed my wheels lost a bolt and put a longer (heavier) bolt in. I think this bolt (on the front) changed the balance and caused vibration which either threw off the balance dynamically or actually changed the alignment.

Anyway with my old 19's the car felt correct (with the right bolts) and I was glad to have them back on.

Not sure this helps you, but I'd make sure your tires are road force balanced and the bolts are *all* identical.

let us know...

I now have an M3 by the way (my 2nd M3) 2011 sedan and I don't like the steering at all. Artificial feeling, and very unlike my E36 M3 in terms of feedback and heaviness. I miss the steering on my E36 M3 :-(

Enjoy.

Danny
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      02-20-2012, 08:00 PM   #11
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Thanks for that. Am gonna try switching wheels and tyres and see how it feels at the weekend. Will keep you posted as they say. But yeah you are right, that kinda account for some of the feeling. Yeah I had a E36evo, new back in 1998 and despite what all the polls say it was a great car. (most people who dug it out for not being as good as the E30 M3 probably never drove either of them!!) Am lucky, or old enough now to have owned them all at some point. Incidentally the E36 had a new steering shaft fitted under warranty at 47000 miles my records tell me.
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      02-25-2012, 07:28 PM   #12
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Ok, here we are again, but this time with a bit of a smile on my face. Today I went down to the local wheel & tyre shop and took off my 19" VMR's, put back on my standard 19" alloys and put a fresh set of 245x30x19 on the front and 275x30x19 on the rear, all wheels balanced again obviously and wait for it....................problem solved!!! WTF as they say!

I have no real idea why this has happened but am very Very happy I have my M3 back to how it used to perform, it was driving me crazy. Its cost alot of money but hey, thats the way it goes I guess. The strange thing was the tyre shop checked each wheel as they came off for balance and they were spot on. I have no idea other than our cars are super sensitive in their set up and for some reason mine was playing up on that wheel/tyre configuration.

I was going to invest in a nice shiney new set of 19" Avant Guard M359's coz I love the look of the competition wheel but not so sure now.

So I guess to anyone out there reading this its a word just to say be carefull of what wheel/tyre config you go for, it could end up messing up your pride and joy, not to mention your mind and wallet.

Thanks to those who took an interest last week with their advice, it was greatly appreciated.

Al
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      02-25-2012, 07:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigAl View Post
Ok, here we are again, but this time with a bit of a smile on my face. Today I went down to the local wheel & tyre shop and took off my 19" VMR's, put back on my standard 19" alloys and put a fresh set of 245x30x19 on the front and 275x30x19 on the rear, all wheels balanced again obviously and wait for it....................problem solved!!! WTF as they say!
You should have mentioned you were on non-OEM wheels in your first post. The E9X M3 is notoriously sensitive to wheel & tire issues and lots of people have had problems with aftermarket wheels. In any case, why did you go with 245x30 and 275x30 rather than stock sizes?
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      02-25-2012, 07:58 PM   #14
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Agree, very sensitive. My winters have a distinct vibration at around 130 kph and start feeling a little slippery. Get up to 140 and it disappears...
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      02-25-2012, 08:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocJohn View Post
There is one more thing that came to mind.....When I do pre-race tech inspections on E9X vehicles, I have to try to move the wheels in every axis using hand pressure from outside the vehicle. I am sure you've seen techs tugging your wheels, you know what I mean?

Anyway, I had to fail a few of those models because one of the wheels can have a LOT of front to back movement. (usually just one) It is almost like the toe-control links have gone soft. I swear that i moved one 2 inches once!! That can had the same mileage as yours but was not an M.

I wonder if this may be playing a part? In the morning, go out to your M, and grab the front wheels and look for play. Something like that would not show up on an alignment, but can produce tire cupping and shimmy!!!

Hope this helps, I know how frustrating it is when the dealer just shrugs their shoulders!
This maybe true of non-M control arms..but the M arms use sealed delrin bearings...very durable..so unless you have hit something or have a ton of miles..I would not suspect the control arms.
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      02-26-2012, 04:57 AM   #16
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Sorry a late nite typo, the fronts are 245x35x19, rears as noted 275x30x19. the fronts are stock, the rears are the option tyre that BMW and others give, dropping to the 30 profile gives the same rolling diameter (or so am told and witnessed on their programming equipment).

I never really noted regarding wheels as I thought that the VMR wheel is of a similar quality of wheel and with all offsets supposed to be the same. Well thats what I thought but there must be something that my car does not like about them thats for sure. Hence my apprehension about popping a set of 19" Avant Guards on.

With regard to the control arms, whilst any post is helpfull I did go out and check but my car never had this issue - additionally my car has "only" 42,000 miles and not hit anything and had just had a rear arm fitted, front struts, KDS alignment and steering rack all from BMWGB. Pretty heavy duty stuff for a car with so few miles and no accidents. I have owned it from new. I am at present "in debate" with BMW over the amount of work that has had to have been carried out on my car.

Will keep you "posted" as they say.
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      02-26-2012, 06:36 AM   #17
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I would like to offer my theory based on experience. Apart from using aftermarket wheels as being a possible cause, I have a suspicion that it may be the sidewalls, of the tyres you had originally, that were at fault. I had a Golf R32 that I used to track a lot on road tyres, and I had a set of goodyear eagle f1 tyres which I used hard for one track day. After the track day, the car felt very unstable and nervous on the motorway especially when I made just a small left to right wiggle on the steering wheel, and the car failed to catch up with my steering inputs. The steering was also excessively light. I suspected that it was due to the tyres due to the feel of the car and the problem was alleviated when I replaced the tyres. The Goodyear tyres were visibly normal and the thread was fine, but I could quite easily flex the sidewall with just stepping on it, which led me to believe that the internal side wall support of the tyres had completely failed after the track day.
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      02-26-2012, 08:38 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tibra1 View Post
This maybe true of non-M control arms..but the M arms use sealed delrin bearings...very durable..so unless you have hit something or have a ton of miles..I would not suspect the control arms.
COOL!
I am glad to know our money went into some good race-spec equipment!
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      02-26-2012, 08:46 AM   #19
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Quote:
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I never really noted regarding wheels as I thought that the VMR wheel is of a similar quality of wheel and with all offsets supposed to be the same.
You thought VMR wheels were of a similar quality as the OEM BBS wheels? You get what you pay for. VMR (and Avant Garde) are bargain basement wheels. Why do you think they cost 1/3rd-1/4th the price of OEM?
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      02-26-2012, 12:01 PM   #20
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Yep your probably spot on Rolf, safe to say the OEM wheels are gonna stay put, I actually quite like them now that they are back on!!

Now has anyone out there had to repair their carbon fibre roof? I see a post of last year saying infill with top coat and buff it up but anyone had any other experience of this? Mine looks as if a damned cat tried to climb or jump up onto my roof and its claws have went tho the coating, the weather here has got underneath it and started to delaminate it a bit. Theres no way am forkin out to BMW for a new roof! Any suggestions.......be sensible now!!
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      11-18-2012, 02:10 PM   #21
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How did the change of tyres fix the juddering felt when manoeuvring at slow speeds?

I haven't changed anything and when pulling out the drive I sometimes feel a slight judder through the steering wheel while reversing out. Cars going in for a service in a couple of weeks and I'm going to mention it to them so I expect I'll be without my M3 again for a few days if not weeks. Bloody hope not though, sick of coming on leave from sea and driving courtesy cars!!! Hope it's something simple but at least I have warranty.
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      11-18-2012, 02:25 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigAl View Post
Sorry a late nite typo, the fronts are 245x35x19, rears as noted 275x30x19. the fronts are stock, the rears are the option tyre that BMW and others give, dropping to the 30 profile gives the same rolling diameter (or so am told and witnessed on their programming equipment).
275/30 is too short of a tire. It's 3.1% shorter than the stock 265/35/19's. Remember, The M3 uses an unusual staggered setup where the rear tire is physically taller than the fronts. 275/35/19 is a closer match to stock, and many people run it without issues.
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