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      05-21-2012, 03:34 PM   #1
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help! steering wheel vibrates....

So my steering started vibrating. I can't point out at what moment it started doing it, but I didn't hit anything that would attract my attention. I had my wheels checked and was told that one of the wheels is a bit bent and that may be the reason why... well, I just got a SC, so decided to upgrade the wheels as well, so I putted the new wheels and tires on and it still vibrates!!! I notice it around 70-80 mph, mostly 80... I don't notice much after 100, or below 70.. .Please help, what could it be???!!!
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      05-21-2012, 04:02 PM   #2
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You said that you didn't hit anything? But one of your wheel is bent. It is possible that you hit something slightly, and can't remember. You might one to check the suspension component on the side of the wheel that is bent. Usually vibration could be a cause of many things, like tire with flat spots or out of balance, bent or out of round wheels and problems with suspension components. Hopefully this will help.

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      05-21-2012, 04:53 PM   #3
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The slightest of bends in a wheel can cause a vibration even more so in a car like the M3 with its suspension..I suggest to road force balance all your new wheels/tires
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      05-21-2012, 05:02 PM   #4
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Try road force balance with the new wheels. Then go to suspension components.
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      05-21-2012, 06:18 PM   #5
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This is very common with the e9x M3s. Some wheels are more sensitive to it than others. The RG63s are a bi%$# to get balanced right.

Take the car back to the wheel place and have them re-balance the front wheels. Then have them check the balance again by remounting the wheels on the machine. I've had me wheels rebalanced about 6 or 7 times in the last month and a half. Every time they come out different.
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      05-21-2012, 08:43 PM   #6
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An alignment might help too.

The same impact that bent your wheel might have knocked the alignment out of place!
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      05-22-2012, 12:19 AM   #7
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hmm, ok. Just to be clear, I got brand new rims, and vibrations are identical to those that I had with stock wheels. The wheel is bent from a previous owner, so it was long time ago... the only way for me to be accurate about when vibrations started, I'd have say gradually increased over time.

Could it be that the brakes are at fault? What is the likelyhood of an alignment being an issue?
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      05-22-2012, 12:27 AM   #8
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Sounds like a balance issue to me ... the dealership needs to have a look to confirm IMHO

Also keep in mind that if you do have vibration it will increase by the square of the speed!
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      05-22-2012, 12:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kotik View Post
hmm, ok. Just to be clear, I got brand new rims, and vibrations are identical to those that I had with stock wheels. The wheel is bent from a previous owner, so it was long time ago... the only way for me to be accurate about when vibrations started, I'd have say gradually increased over time.

Could it be that the brakes are at fault? What is the likelyhood of an alignment being an issue?
Brakes would be the issue if you experienced the vibration only when you apply the brakes..wheel balance, inspect suspension components, alignment its a process of elimination when you are chasing these issues. GL
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      05-22-2012, 12:42 AM   #10
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thanks all!

Alter Peter, I don't feel any vibrations at speeds above 100mph (I'm in Germany), I do many fast runs including cruising at 140mph etc... I don't feel it.

Brakes, no it doesn't vibrate when I brake

the stealership around here is booked for next 20 years (like at least 45 days), so i'm gonna have to go to a local shop to get it checked, and I want to help them figure it out.
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      05-22-2012, 05:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kotik
thanks all!

Alter Peter, I don't feel any vibrations at speeds above 100mph (I'm in Germany), I do many fast runs including cruising at 140mph etc... I don't feel it.

Brakes, no it doesn't vibrate when I brake

the stealership around here is booked for next 20 years (like at least 45 days), so i'm gonna have to go to a local shop to get it checked, and I want to help them figure it out.
Off topic: I've read a few times here how you often cruise on the autobahn at 100mph +. That makes me wonder, what gearing do you have? My car is at 3k rpm at 80 mph. How long do you cruise for those speeds for and do you foresee and premature engine wear?
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      05-22-2012, 07:49 AM   #12
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:/ I have a 6 spd, so at 100mph it's about 4k rpm, i've cruised at 5k rpm too... The way I see it, M3 was created in Germany, with autobahn in mind, so no, I don't think there is any premature wear. I think a stop and go type of driving under 2k would be worse than me cruising at 100mph. Would the engine last longer if I cruised at 3k rpm, I'm sure it would, but I don't think it would happen in my lifetime, maybe waaay ahead...
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      05-22-2012, 01:36 PM   #13
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had the alignment done, wheels re balanced (different shop), still vibrates... I asked the mechanic what it could be, he said probably brakes (didn't look at them though), cause they didn't find anything wrong.
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      05-22-2012, 01:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kotik View Post
had the alignment done, wheels re balanced (different shop), still vibrates... I asked the mechanic what it could be, he said probably brakes (didn't look at them though), cause they didn't find anything wrong.
Road force balance, not just a static balance.

Do you have wheel spacers?
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      05-22-2012, 02:00 PM   #15
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Maybe it's that SC you just installed! Hope you get it worked out...

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      05-22-2012, 02:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urBan_dK View Post
Road force balance, not just a static balance.

Do you have wheel spacers?
what is road balance? never heard of it...
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      05-22-2012, 02:12 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kotik View Post
what is road balance? never heard of it...
Google it
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      05-22-2012, 02:47 PM   #18
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I have the same issue and have read about it many times in other threads. For whatever reason, many folks have the vibration at approx. 80 mph. It does it a little differently for each of my 3 sets of wheels/tires, depends on outside temp and the road surface. I just live with it.
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      05-22-2012, 03:36 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kotik View Post
So my steering started vibrating. I can't point out at what moment it started doing it, but I didn't hit anything that would attract my attention. I had my wheels checked and was told that one of the wheels is a bit bent and that may be the reason why... well, I just got a SC, so decided to upgrade the wheels as well, so I putted the new wheels and tires on and it still vibrates!!! I notice it around 70-80 mph, mostly 80... I don't notice much after 100, or below 70.. .Please help, what could it be???!!!
Common causes of vibration. Go through the list and eventually it WILL be solved.

1)wheels and tyres are out of balance
2)wheel is bent, resulting in axle or radial runout (a few millimetres can be felt)
3)Wheel hub is not sitting flush with hub of the car
4)wheel spigot is not centred on the car's hub (very common with aftermarket wheels that come with spigot rings). The wheel should fit snugly around the hub lip of the car.
5)wheel bolts not torqued in the correct pattern
6)Tyre has too much runout despite being in balance i.e. tyre wobbles from side to side or up and down despite alloy wheel being perfectly round
7)Tyre sidewall has variation in stiffness - cured by road force balance
8)wheel bearing bent
9)suspension components are faulty or out of alignment


I had a slight vibration at the same speeds and I jacked up the car and spun both front wheels and there was a tiny bend in the inner rim of one of the front wheels - no more than 2-3mm out of trueness. Had it fixed and all was good. Had another set of wheels custom powder coated and ended up vibrating, which turned out to be due to the spigot having a bit too much paint and not allowing itself to sit perfectly flush with the hub of the car.

Last edited by mlhj83; 05-22-2012 at 07:53 PM.
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      05-22-2012, 05:48 PM   #20
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You definitely need to have the wheels road force balanced. The suspension design of these cars makes them very sensitive to even the slightest imbalance.
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      05-22-2012, 06:39 PM   #21
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There are dozens of threads reporting mysterious steering vibration at 75/80 mph. I'm convinced it's a trait of this M3 although it doesn't affect them all it does seem to affect quite a lot of examples.
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      05-22-2012, 07:19 PM   #22
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Quote:
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There are dozens of threads reporting mysterious steering vibration at 75/80 mph. I'm convinced it's a trait of this M3 although it doesn't affect them all it does seem to affect quite a lot of examples.
It's not a design trait as such, but rather because the chassis setup of the M3 is precise enough that there is little tolerance of any imperfection. My M3 and indeed many others have been perfectly smooth from new. Any vibration is a problem somewhere. 99% of the time, it's to do with the alloy wheel and tyre. Even if the tyres and alloy wheel balance perfectly using a dynamic balancer, there are still a number of problems a wheel and tyre can have that can cause vibration namely:

1.Tyre or wheel runout
2.Is the wheel hub sitting perfectly flush with the car's hub
3.How the spigot of the wheel sits on the car's hub lip - hubcentric
4.The irregularity of the sidewall stiffness of the tyre

I can guarantee that if the wheel and tyre is properly balanced and the above 4 points are checked, 99% of vibration problems will be solved. Also note that there are broadly speaking 3 types of vibration that one can feel through the steering wheel:

Rhythmic vibration - this is due to an imbalance on the car
Road surface vibration - texture of the road surface
Impact vibration - self explanatory

Rhythmic vibration being the one that requires fixing.

Road force balancing while better than dynamic balancing still does not deal with points 1, 2 and 3. Points 1,2 and 3 can be diagnosed at home or at a good mechanic. All you need is a good eye.

Last edited by mlhj83; 05-22-2012 at 07:38 PM.
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