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      04-12-2012, 09:57 PM   #1
1speedbike
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Question Whole car vibrates when turning steering wheel at low speed...

Hey fellow addicts. I'm hoping someone here can offer up some advice, because I don't really know what's going on with my car. Any help at all would be GREATLY appreciated.

The whole car seems to vibrate/shudder/shimmy when I turn the steering wheel slightly from center in either direction at low speeds (<5 mph). This happens both with the brake depressed (decelerating) and not. It seems to happen when I pull into my driveway and garage slowly, or when pulling into or backing out of parking spots. Otherwise, I'm not really going 5 mph. At higher speeds it doesn't happen at all.

It only happens when the steering wheel is just barely past center, and then it stops shuddering once I get about 1/4 turn or half a turn in, and then it's fine turning the rest of the way. If I start with the wheel centered, then just as I start turning it, I feel the shaking, and then I turn it just a little bit more and it's suddenly back to normal until I lock the wheel all the way left or right. There is no noise that I can tell accompanying this.. maybe just the squeaking of my super squeaky brakes.

I only noticed it really happening after my GF pointed it out, but it definitely did NOT happen before 1) installing M3 control arms + sway bar and 2) putting on 19" wheels.

I have NO idea what it could be, but I'm assuming it can't be too good. Did the install on the M3 parts get messed up and that's why it's all shakey? I can imagine that might be the case, especially since the control arms are connected to the wheels that steer.. but what could have gone wrong with such a relatively simple install?? I don't know, but any help would be awesome and very much appreciated.
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      04-13-2012, 06:39 AM   #2
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Double check that everything is torqued down correctly on your install would be my first place to start. Did you do the install yourself or have a shop do it?
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      04-13-2012, 08:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Focusedintntions View Post
Double check that everything is torqued down correctly on your install would be my first place to start. Did you do the install yourself or have a shop do it?
A shop did it that I would hope is very familiar with these kind of installs because they seem to do these things all the time... It's rare that they would have messed up, I think. But anything is possible. Ugh.

Someone else mentioned it could be bad power steering fluid. Does that sound reasonable?
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      04-13-2012, 09:03 AM   #4
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Try to raise RPM's with clutch engaged and see if there is still something. Could be 19" wheels to much on power steering
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      04-13-2012, 08:29 PM   #5
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Make sure steering fluid is full too. I had this same issue in my SUV and noticed steering fluid was low. Once I filled it up all was good. Good luck!
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      04-19-2012, 05:50 PM   #6
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UPDATE: Went to BMW, they retorqued all of my suspension parts. They said the tightness was WAY off and everything was loose, so it was probably dangerous to drive on. However, the problem still happens but not as bad. Going to change the power steering fluid myself and see what happens. Anyone know of a DIY?
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      04-20-2012, 06:42 AM   #7
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Hey i was right! haha...glad to hear it got sorted out before anything bad happened though. Youtube on the power steering??
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      04-20-2012, 09:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Hey i was right! haha...glad to hear it got sorted out before anything bad happened though. Youtube on the power steering??
Yes, thank you!!

I've been trying to look it up, and it's apparently rather complicated on the N54. Something about the filter being integrated into the reservoir. Don't wanna go back to the dealership yet again. Maybe I'll see if it needs topping off?
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      04-20-2012, 09:37 AM   #9
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Sorry I coulnt be more help Andre. Im out of ideas!

But I think you still owe me brownies

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When you come back stateside I will bake you a delicious tray of quadruple chocolate brownies for your help!
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      04-20-2012, 10:34 AM   #10
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Sorry I coulnt be more help Andre. Im out of ideas!

But I think you still owe me brownies



Quoted for posterity
True, you did suggest the same thing. Thank you as well! Now I just gotta figure out the steering fluid part.

And I will not forget our brownie arrangement.

Regular, or special?
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      04-20-2012, 10:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1speedbike View Post
True, you did suggest the same thing. Thank you as well! Now I just gotta figure out the steering fluid part.

And I will not forget our brownie arrangement.

Regular, or special?
Now thats a loaded question on 4-20
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      04-21-2012, 10:53 PM   #12
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Another update...

The power steering fluid was low, so I topped it off. The vibration still happens. Don't really know where to go from here.
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      04-22-2012, 06:53 AM   #13
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Did you try getting an alignment?
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      04-22-2012, 09:01 AM   #14
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I know it seems like a lot of trouble to go through, but the only way to find out what might be causing this is to go back to original equipment. If that solves the problem then do the upgrades one at a time, then see at which point the problem starts. Right now there are too many unknowns.
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      04-22-2012, 09:10 AM   #15
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did you get an alignment? sounds like an alignment issue...
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      04-22-2012, 10:06 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crex View Post
Did you try getting an alignment?
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfv2 View Post
did you get an alignment? sounds like an alignment issue...
I've gotten three alignments within the past three weeks, and the problem's persisted
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      04-22-2012, 10:07 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lester View Post
I know it seems like a lot of trouble to go through, but the only way to find out what might be causing this is to go back to original equipment. If that solves the problem then do the upgrades one at a time, then see at which point the problem starts. Right now there are too many unknowns.
Yeah this is a pain in the ass. Since I have extended warranty on the car I'm hoping I can just keep bringing the car back to BMW and complaining until they fix the problem. If it's something warranty related at least it'll be free. If it's from something aftermarket (well.. OEM parts but I guess that still counts), then I'm out of luck. Ugh.
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      04-22-2012, 02:35 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1speedbike View Post
Yeah this is a pain in the ass. Since I have extended warranty on the car I'm hoping I can just keep bringing the car back to BMW and complaining until they fix the problem. If it's something warranty related at least it'll be free. If it's from something aftermarket (well.. OEM parts but I guess that still counts), then I'm out of luck. Ugh.
Another thing that seems to happen a lot is the sway bar gets installed backwards. You might want to double check that.
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      04-22-2012, 06:02 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Another thing that seems to happen a lot is the sway bar gets installed backwards. You might want to double check that.
I'm not sure if that's the case, but I will definitely check. I got the sway bar used from another forum member and the bushings were already mounted in place. I had a non-BMW owned place install it, but they work on many BMWs and I don't know if they'd be THAT careless, though it's possible. But the final thing is that BMW tightened everything aftermarket in my suspension to the correct torque specs, which I'm guessing would include the sway bar. I'd hope that a BMW tech would know which way it faces. Though at this point, anything could happen.

Any idea of how visible the sway bar is if I just look up underneath the car without a lift/ramps/jacks? I don't have access to any of those any more. I know there's a plastic cowl in the way, but I'm hoping I can somehow peek around it.

And thank you! Seriously, thanks so much for taking the time to at least come up with suggestions. A lot of people on here don't even bother with helping others troubleshoot these days. I really appreciate it.
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      04-22-2012, 06:25 PM   #20
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youll need to pull over the undertray. Really easy. But I still get PTSD flashbacks from all those little screws

....SO MANY SCREWS...
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      04-22-2012, 06:54 PM   #21
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Quote:
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youll need to pull over the undertray. Really easy. But I still get PTSD flashbacks from all those little screws

....SO MANY SCREWS...
Thanks man! Yeah, they looked like a pain in the ass. I think those alone are worth paying someone else to do it!

And you're obviously exempt from my earlier statement that not many people on here really bother helping any one else any more. But you're an OG so that's expected
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      04-22-2012, 07:32 PM   #22
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Same thing happens to my car on occasion. Just a vibration when turning the wheel just off center when the car is stopped or barely moving. My car is running factory suspension and currently on 17" wheels. It doesn't happen all the time. I seem to think it's the particular road surface I'm on, but that could just be me talking out my a$$.
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