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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wheels and Tires Forum Sponsored by The Tire Rack > Is a radial pull still a thing?



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      03-05-2017, 10:56 AM   #1
Atx328
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Is a radial pull still a thing?

So I had my local shop put a new set of conti dw mounted on a square set of 400m rims.

Afterwards I noticed a mild but noticeable pull to the right at highway speeds. I figured that my alignment must be off so last week I popped back into the same shop to have them check the alignment.

Sure enough all four wheels were a somewhat off factory specs. So the next day I head up to Dallas from Austin and I notice that while the steering feels livelier (almost like tires are rolling easier) the pull to the right is still noticeable and I need to keep a slight but steady downward pressure on the left side of the steering wheel to keep the car heading down the freeway in a true fashion.

So could one on my front tires have a defect that is causing a radial pull? I haven't had something like that happen since I used to buy cheap performance dunlops in the 90's when I had an Acura that I drove like it was on fire.

Other ideas? Unfortunately I got the tires from tire rack so I can't expect my local shop to invest time rotating or remounting the tires for free as I chase down this gremlin.
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      03-07-2017, 12:07 PM   #2
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First thing I would try is to swap the front wheels, if there is a pull to the left, you can eliminate it being an alignment or suspension issue.
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      03-07-2017, 12:14 PM   #3
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So your alignment is off?
If so get alignment and see what happens.
Tell the shop what is happing anf swap two front tires left to right and right to left. You may need to pay for this...
Ask for m3 spec. alignment if you have m3 control arms.
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      03-07-2017, 12:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atx328 View Post
...
Sure enough all four wheels were a somewhat off factory specs. So the next day I head up to Dallas from Austin and I notice that while the steering feels livelier (almost like tires are rolling easier) the pull to the right is still noticeable and I need to keep a slight but steady downward pressure on the left side of the steering wheel to keep the car heading down the freeway in a true fashion.
On roads with a crown, BMWs have always drifted to the side a bit. Might just be that. Try finding a road that you can drive to the left of the crown and see if it drifts left.
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      03-07-2017, 12:21 PM   #5
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What were your old/new alignment specs?

You can't just ask for "an alignment" and then once they're done futzing with it, dismiss it from being a probably cause.
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      03-08-2017, 12:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunny View Post
So your alignment is off?
If so get alignment and see what happens.
Tell the shop what is happing anf swap two front tires left to right and right to left. You may need to pay for this...
Ask for m3 spec. alignment if you have m3 control arms.

I did get an alignment but I will be returning to the shop tomorrow to do the tire swap left to right and vice versa.

And yes I will be paying the shop for the added work. It isn't their fault if the tire is mildly defective.

It's a good indy shop that has bailed my out twice when my ham fisted diy efforts on other vehicles required rescue. So I don't mind paying them a bit more to determine the root cause.

Wouldn't be ironic if I use the $70 conti gift card foe this work that I received for buying a set of four tires in December?
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      03-08-2017, 12:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floydarogers View Post
On roads with a crown, BMWs have always drifted to the side a bit. Might just be that. Try finding a road that you can drive to the left of the crown and see if it drifts left.
I checked the crown idea before I posted this initial thread. I used to build roads in the summers of my college years so I am familiar with the impact the crown can have on steering inputs. It never drifts left under any circumstance but always to the right.

I previously owned a mazdaspeed Miata with a very neutral and somewhat aggressive alignment - but not full race. It was a very light weight car and would follow any road crown, dip or bank instinctively.
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      03-08-2017, 12:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FCobra94 View Post
What were your old/new alignment specs?

You can't just ask for "an alignment" and then once they're done futzing with it, dismiss it from being a probably cause.
I can post a picture of the before and after specs. The shop tech actually showed me the out of alignment numbers prior to doing any work and all four wheels were off factory specs by a bit. I usually wait for work to be done but in this case they informed me it was going to take several hours to adjust and properly road test the vehicle. So they actually gave me a loaner so I could run a few errands while the work was completed.

I have an appointment in the morning with the same shop to diagnose the pull and the first thing the plan to do is put it back on the alignment rack to make sure that it is still in spec with the final settings.
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      03-12-2017, 12:46 AM   #9
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So I confirmed with shop today that the tire does have a pull. It pulled on the left side after we switched them but not as noticeably. If I never had to rotate them, I could probably live with the current state. I talked to tr and they will warranty the tire. The only sad part is that I will have used up all the money I saved by purchasing these while they still had the rebate.
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