E90Post
 


European Auto Source
 
BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > UK > UK Technical Forum > Wheel alignement / off centre steering wheel



Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      03-09-2011, 07:09 AM   #1
e92liv
Private First Class
3
Rep
190
Posts

 
Drives: e92
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: North West, UK

iTrader: (0)

Wheel alignement / off centre steering wheel

Hi all,

Well I knocked my wheel alignment out last week, I drove into and over a curb that I didn't see! ...it was in Liverpool city centre turned to go down a side street, and hit this some sort of small island in the road, with no warning beacon on it was really strange anyway I don't know what it's purpose of being there was!

Anyway caused no damage I could but I think it knocked my tracking out, well my steering wheel was off centre from a while ago anyway so thought for £30 I'd get the tracking done and get the wheel centred up properly as it was bugging me!

Well the place I went has some kid of laser alignment machine, and a computer system which the customer can see an you select the make/model of the car and it loads up the correct settings - I know everyone recommends using hunter? systems? But for £30 thought I woulnuse these guys again

Well I asked him to make sure the steering wheel would be straight, he said he had clamped it up inside. Well my wheels where spot on apart from the one that hit the bloody curb, so he adjusted that..

Well anyway car feels normal again now but the steering wheel Is still not straight, slightly turned to the right when driving in a straight line

So just wondering if a slighty wonky steering wheel is normal or could they improve it and get it straight? Currently if I level the steering wheel straight the car wants to go left slightly

Any help? Cheers
__________________
Appreciate 0
      03-09-2011, 10:40 AM   #2
gIzzE
Major General
gIzzE's Avatar
United Kingdom
71
Rep
5,164
Posts

 
Drives: Mercedes ML, F25 X3 and 2.8i Z
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Norfolk, UK.

iTrader: (2)

Sounds like the front wishbone ball joint is gone.

Can you jack the car up and see if there is any play in it??
Probably the drivers side.
Appreciate 0
      03-09-2011, 11:35 AM   #3
e92liv
Private First Class
3
Rep
190
Posts

 
Drives: e92
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: North West, UK

iTrader: (0)

I've not got a jack if that is the problem is it an expense fix?

Well I was going to go back to the tyre place today and ask them to have another go.. I thought maybe its just the alignment is out when the steering wheel is lined up straight? I could ask them to have a look If they think the ball joint you mention is worn when they jack the car up to do the alignment check

like I said my steering wheel has been off centre since as far as I remember, prob from when I bought the car last year
__________________
Appreciate 0
      03-09-2011, 11:38 AM   #4
doughboy
Major General
doughboy's Avatar
United Kingdom
85
Rep
6,384
Posts

 
Drives: E91 335i Sold.
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: UK

iTrader: (2)

He hasn't done the alignment properly, or the steering wheel wasn't held straight ahead when he did it.

If you let it go, does the steering wheel move, or the car change direction, when you accelerate / decelerate? If so it sounds like the rear wheel alignment is out.

Take it back and ask them to do it again.

Did he check the back wheels too? It's important on a RWD car to do a full 4 wheel alignment starting with the rear wheels.

Last edited by doughboy; 03-09-2011 at 11:47 AM.
Appreciate 0
      03-09-2011, 11:52 AM   #5
e92liv
Private First Class
3
Rep
190
Posts

 
Drives: e92
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: North West, UK

iTrader: (0)

yeah i just think he either didn't clamp the steering wheel at all, or did but the steering wheel wasn't fully straight when he did?!

heres a picture of the print-out i got of my car... now he only adjusted the front drivers wheel, looking at that printout it looks like my rear left wheel is out of alignment?

http://www.imagebam.com/image/ce6f2d122846900


I think the car just goes straight when accelerating?
Appreciate 0
      03-09-2011, 12:04 PM   #6
TikoV
Captain
Scotland
12
Rep
664
Posts

 
Drives: BMW 335d/X5 40d
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Glasgow

iTrader: (0)

Funny thing is I just got mine recently done too....and I have the same exact symptoms.Front wishbone eh? Does this mean it's gone or on its way in getting there....Car is under warranty anyway.
__________________
Appreciate 0
      03-09-2011, 02:58 PM   #7
e92liv
Private First Class
3
Rep
190
Posts

 
Drives: e92
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: North West, UK

iTrader: (0)

taking the car back tomorrow and there going to take a look...

so does anyone understand that print out I received? how does my final alignment look to anyone in the know?
Appreciate 0
      03-09-2011, 03:15 PM   #8
TikoV
Captain
Scotland
12
Rep
664
Posts

 
Drives: BMW 335d/X5 40d
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Glasgow

iTrader: (0)

This is mine after it was done....

__________________
Appreciate 0
      03-09-2011, 04:03 PM   #9
Tippo
Second Lieutenant
2
Rep
254
Posts

 
Drives: Mk2 TT V6 quattro
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: West Midlands

iTrader: (0)

Firstly just take it back to get them to do it again, mine was like this a couple of weeks back after getting mine aligned.

The 2nd attempt improved it no end and now is pretty much straight on most roads, on some though you will get a tiny angle to the right due to the camber we have on most UK roads.

They did say to me to take it back again if I wanted but I am happy with how mine drives now.
Appreciate 0
      03-10-2011, 10:01 AM   #10
m1bjr
LSD - No, you're not seeing things
m1bjr's Avatar
United Kingdom
37
Rep
3,313
Posts

 
Drives: RS250 CUP
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Somerset UK

iTrader: (4)

Send a message via MSN to m1bjr
The rear toe values are all wrong too.
Bad rear toe on one side like you have will also cause the car to pull or crab slightly.
You will find you are holding a little angle on the steering wheel to compensate for it crabbing.

He should have been centring the wheel, clamping it, and then he would definately need to adjust both sides.
And get the rears done too, that car is probably quite skittish with no rear toe in.

I would get it to BMW, you may need to reset/zero the steering angle sensor after too.
__________________

Last edited by m1bjr; 03-10-2011 at 10:11 AM.
Appreciate 0
      03-11-2011, 09:52 AM   #11
e92liv
Private First Class
3
Rep
190
Posts

 
Drives: e92
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: North West, UK

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by m1bjr View Post
The rear toe values are all wrong too.
Bad rear toe on one side like you have will also cause the car to pull or crab slightly.
You will find you are holding a little angle on the steering wheel to compensate for it crabbing.

He should have been centring the wheel, clamping it, and then he would definately need to adjust both sides.
And get the rears done too, that car is probably quite skittish with no rear toe in.

I would get it to BMW, you may need to reset/zero the steering angle sensor after too.
Was this to me or the other guy?

I took my car back yesterday, he got it upon the ramp again and spent a good twenty minutes getting it 'right'

It is better, I think, but I still have to tun the steering wheel slightly to the right to go straight!

Can anyone recommend a place in merseyside / northwest where I could get this done properly? How much would a BMW stealer charge?
__________________
Appreciate 0
      03-11-2011, 10:01 AM   #12
doughboy
Major General
doughboy's Avatar
United Kingdom
85
Rep
6,384
Posts

 
Drives: E91 335i Sold.
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: UK

iTrader: (2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TikoV View Post
This is mine after it was done....

Tikov, that looks f##ked.

The front camber is not adjustable, so yours having out of spec near zero camber says to me you have a bent wishbone/arm and the wheel has moved inwards slightly reducing the camber.

It needs new parts for sure!
Appreciate 0
      03-11-2011, 10:05 AM   #13
doughboy
Major General
doughboy's Avatar
United Kingdom
85
Rep
6,384
Posts

 
Drives: E91 335i Sold.
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: UK

iTrader: (2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by E90liv View Post
Was this to me or the other guy?

I took my car back yesterday, he got it upon the ramp again and spent a good twenty minutes getting it 'right'

It is better, I think, but I still have to tun the steering wheel slightly to the right to go straight!

Can anyone recommend a place in merseyside / northwest where I could get this done properly? How much would a BMW stealer charge?
They need to adjust the rears FIRST on a RWD car, this sets the 'thrust angle' which should be zero, but if its slightly out then the fronts are set to compensate for it.

They haven't done it right if you still have the symptoms you describe.

Remember left hand camber will cause the car to drift to the left, but the wheel should remain straight. Try it on a good wide flat road like Mway or similar.
Appreciate 0
      03-11-2011, 01:14 PM   #14
m1bjr
LSD - No, you're not seeing things
m1bjr's Avatar
United Kingdom
37
Rep
3,313
Posts

 
Drives: RS250 CUP
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Somerset UK

iTrader: (4)

Send a message via MSN to m1bjr
MY reply was directed to Liv, but applied to both
__________________
Appreciate 0
      03-11-2011, 03:27 PM   #15
e92liv
Private First Class
3
Rep
190
Posts

 
Drives: e92
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: North West, UK

iTrader: (0)

well i was on the motorway today, driving around 70 and put my wheel level and the car was moving to the left (crabbing maybe?)... though with my steering wheel slightly tilted to the right the car seems to go in a straight line - same as it was then before two wheel alignments

well I'm tempted to take it somewhere else now, i used to take my previous cars to ATS but i wasn't convinced they were doing the tracking properly, and with no screen to look at or printout to see you had to take the guys word for it

my previous car was a corsa diesel, i got it second hand, and got new tyres on it, the tracking was out that much that the inside on the two new front tyres on both sides went through to the canvas within a year!

the tyres on my e90 cost 100+ each so i'm keen the tracking isn't out to not encourage any excessive or uneven tire wear to be honest
Appreciate 0
      03-11-2011, 03:38 PM   #16
TikoV
Captain
Scotland
12
Rep
664
Posts

 
Drives: BMW 335d/X5 40d
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Glasgow

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by doughboy View Post
Tikov, that looks f##ked.

The front camber is not adjustable, so yours having out of spec near zero camber says to me you have a bent wishbone/arm and the wheel has moved inwards slightly reducing the camber.

It needs new parts for sure!

OMG...the car is still under warranty. Will this be fixed by dealers or am I in for a battle.

Also, why the f**k did the engineer who did the alignment not pick up on this. He tried to adjust something by popping the hood but said he couldn't get the screw to turn. Is this the camber he was trying to adjust? Just a thought.

Many thanks for bringing this to my attention, I will be visiting the dealers to investigate the matter further.

Regards

Tiko
__________________
Appreciate 0
      04-12-2011, 06:08 AM   #17
e92liv
Private First Class
3
Rep
190
Posts

 
Drives: e92
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: North West, UK

iTrader: (0)

just an update, been very busy lately so the problem still isn't fixed...

took the car back to the tyre place, told them the steering wheel was still not straight, told the guy in charge to ensure the steering wheel is straight! well anyway after about 45mins the car was finished, drove down the road - and the steering wheel was still not straight! so i've given up with these cowboys, i think im right in assuming the rear wheels need adjusting as its RWD, these guys didnt even touch the rear wheels (only to put the alignment mirror things on!)...

anyway, using the website, "alignmycar.co.uk" I've found a local centre, 85 inc VAT... that sound reasonable? told the guy my problem, he seems to know what hes talkin about, and i think its using one of those hunter alignment machines? worth a try?
Appreciate 0
      04-12-2011, 01:14 PM   #18
e92liv
Private First Class
3
Rep
190
Posts

 
Drives: e92
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: North West, UK

iTrader: (0)

well i went to ninemeister in warrington today, which turns out to be a porche specialist, with a hunter machine, the guys their know their stuff.

i showed him my previous print out, and he agreed with what some of you guys on here had suggested, that the last place hadn't adjusted the rear wheels at all, and that they had tried to botch the result, by miss-aligning the front wheels to compensate, as well as not adjusting the steering wheel...

well they realigned my rear wheels, and then the techie called me in as there was a problem,

the tracking rod, and arm (or whatever they are called) had been heated up by the previous garage, to adjust the front wheels, but the techie says they mustn't have loosened the nut, and so heated the rod up red hot to force it. he says they must have heated the metal so that it was glowing red hot, and the metal has almost welded itself together, well anyway it has now seized. their was also signs of rust on the rod and arm which i think he was suggesting has formed since the last place had 'fixed' my tracking.

well he said he would try to heat it up, to free it, then keep it moving while it was cooling so that it wouldn't seize again, but he tried this and say he wasn't able to free it, and didnt want to heat up the metal any more than he had tried!

anyway outcome is, new parts are ordered and its going in tomorrow to get fitted, and then they will finish off the alignment.

so all in this has cost me almost 350...
Appreciate 0
      04-12-2011, 03:07 PM   #19
m1bjr
LSD - No, you're not seeing things
m1bjr's Avatar
United Kingdom
37
Rep
3,313
Posts

 
Drives: RS250 CUP
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Somerset UK

iTrader: (4)

Send a message via MSN to m1bjr
I was about to re-iterate the rear toe issue, but it seems you are on the way to a proper fix

Rear wheels toe'd the wrong way do indeed cause the car to crab.
It must have been a fair way out though.
My guess is someone has 'drifted' it into a kerb at some point bending the toe arm.
No doubt they tried to bend it back with heat.

Oh well, it'll be like a new car to you afterwards
__________________
Appreciate 0
      04-12-2011, 03:11 PM   #20
m1bjr
LSD - No, you're not seeing things
m1bjr's Avatar
United Kingdom
37
Rep
3,313
Posts

 
Drives: RS250 CUP
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Somerset UK

iTrader: (4)

Send a message via MSN to m1bjr
Tikov

If you lift the bonnet and look at the nearside top of each suspension turret,
near one of the three nuts is a silver pin with a hex socket head - about 4mm diameter.
To adjust camber slightly you need to remove that, or drill it out. This is what the tech was trying to remove.
(Its a locating pin to aid assembly on the build line thats all)

The three top nuts can be loosened and the whole strut top slides in/out a few mm.
I doubt you will get anything like enough adjustment, and as a DB says , the lower arm or posibbly the hub carrier is bent.
__________________
Appreciate 0
      04-12-2011, 04:15 PM   #21
toxicnerve
Colonel
41
Rep
2,834
Posts

 
Drives: E92 335d M-Sport
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: UK

iTrader: (2)

I've just had a Hunter alignment carried out by Wheels in Motion (Chesham).

Results attached below, any thoughts? Apparently the "SAI" value is a measurement of the angle that something or other (damper IIRC) is located into a balljoint. I was told that this being in the red is not a big deal as the camber etc are all within tolerance and likely to have been that way since manufacture.

Would appreciate some thoughts if anyone has any!
Attached Images
 
Appreciate 0
      04-13-2011, 02:04 AM   #22
parapaul
Colonel
parapaul's Avatar
United Kingdom
38
Rep
2,216
Posts

 
Drives: E91 330d M Sport
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Stoke on Trent

iTrader: (1)

Garage List
Sounds like your guy was right...

http://www.familycar.com/Alignment.h...lination (SAI)

So is this true of all decent alignment machines, that you can input the car type and it will find the correct settings? I'd wondered whether the KDS was a closeely guarded secret, but perhaps it isn't
Appreciate 0
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:43 AM.




e90post
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST