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      02-24-2010, 02:53 PM   #1
RatherBeInCabo
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Steering Wheel Vibration/Shudder

Hello all,

This is my first post and I am trying to figure out what may be the cause of a very low speed vibration/shudder in the steering wheel. It occurs when I am parking or backing up and turning. If I am moving more than a few miles per hour, it does not happen. Also if the car is stopped in park or neutral and the wheel is turned back and forth, there is no vibration, only at a snails pace movement. It is so pronounced, that the passengers also can feel it.

The car is in warranty and I took it to the dealer and they said they could find no problem other than low tire pressure which of course had no affect on the problem. Since the dealer thinks there is no problem, so I have to try and figure it out myself. I took it to a local indy shop just to talk to them about it. The guy got in the car and noticed it immediately. He suspects steering pump since BMW says there were no codes.

Anyone else experience such a problem?
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      02-24-2010, 09:09 PM   #2
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Search lower steering wheel column in this forum.
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      02-25-2010, 06:45 AM   #3
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Sounds like a lower steering shaft issue, or steering column.

I had the loose steering wheel issue, not vibrating though, and they swapped column it helped but still there, so they swapped the lower steering shaft and BOOM the problem is GONE, and knock on wood still gone.
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      02-25-2010, 10:14 AM   #4
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Shudders usually point to a power steering gear rack or power steering pump not providing enough pressure to the rack.
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      02-25-2010, 11:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer This View Post
Shudders usually point to a power steering gear rack or power steering pump not providing enough pressure to the rack.
This is what I suspect but how do I get the dealer to agree? I am gonna try to get them to have a tech ride in the car with me. If the indy shop guy felt it right away, hopeflly the dealer tech will as well.
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      02-26-2010, 01:02 PM   #6
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OK, car is at the dealer and the SA took a ride with me and confirmed the issue. I got a bit nervous this morning because when I got in the car to head to the dealer, there was no vibration. I drove around the neighborhood for a few minutes and it started acting up. Now I know why the dealer could not confirm the first time...they did not warm the car up.

I will report back with the findings once I get the car back.
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      02-26-2010, 08:05 PM   #7
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Technician could not duplicate problem so I am getting car back as is. They said the service manager would go out with me next time which will be next week when I am off work again. They actually suggested it may be fuel related and that I should get the injectors cleaned.

On a positive note, they replace some scratched door trim for me under warranty.
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      02-26-2010, 08:19 PM   #8
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Here is a thread that I found and posted in a few weeks ago:

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=293898

I took it to the dealer, and basically with the service manager went for a drive, could reproduce the 'problem', but he said it was no problem really... we went and we found another 07 with the same tire/mileage in the lot, and took that for a test drive, and noticed the same exact thing in that one as well.

He basically said this is the characteristic of the power steering after some use, and frankly, I couldn't disagree... we were seeing the same thing on a CPO car in the lot too.

I think as the tires wear, the wheel turning at the lower speeds become harder for the steering pump/etc., and the shudder occurs. I think (as someone in the other thread suggested ) with newer tires, this may no longer be an issue.

I have learned to live with it for now.

I also am not sure if this would be a 328i only problem or both 328i and 335i (mainly due to power difference between the two engines, the extra force/perssure might be more noticeable on a 328i engine perhaps?? I need to see the other thread again to see if there are any 335 owners complaining about the same or not.)
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      02-26-2010, 09:53 PM   #9
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When I got in my car at the dealer, it was really acting up. My SA came out and confirmed and he then got the service manager to check it out and he also confirmed. Next step is that next Thursday, the BMW regional factory engineer will be in and they are going to have him check it out.

Until next week...
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      02-27-2010, 01:33 PM   #10
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^ please keep us posted on the progress, if any. I and many others are very interested in finding out if this is something that needs to be fixed or not, or what the source of the problem is.

Thanks.
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      02-27-2010, 04:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faz View Post
^ please keep us posted on the progress, if any. I and many others are very interested in finding out if this is something that needs to be fixed or not, or what the source of the problem is.

Thanks.
Will do...
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      03-04-2010, 09:35 PM   #12
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Update 3/4/10:

Just got a call from my SA and he said they were able to duplicate the problem with the BMW factory rep. They think the problem is with the Harmonic Tensioner whatever that is They are going to replace it tomorrow...so until then.
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      03-05-2010, 03:16 AM   #13
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Thanks for the update. Looking forward to hearing how the problem is resolved (what part number is changed), and if that fixes the problem in the long run.

It does make sense though... the harmonic damper is basically a heavier pulley to help reduce the vibration, mostly felt at idle.
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      03-05-2010, 09:25 PM   #14
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Update 3/5/10:

Here is a list of parts replaced:

11-28-7-530-314 Mechanical Belt Tensioner
11-28-7-530-315 Torx Screw

The vibration still persists but is somewhat less. They are also going to replace the Power Steering Reservoir but they had to order it and won't be in until next Wednesday, so until then...

Parts ordered:

32-41-6-768-094 Oil Carrier
71-21-2-122-171 Label Oil Container
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      03-06-2010, 09:41 AM   #15
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Thanks for the updates again. I can't see how a reservoir could help this problem, perhaps it was an unrelated problem (leak, etc.) that they came across while trying to solve this one?

And really sorry to hear the vibration is still there... REALLY hope that they can get it fully resolved for you. (as it means there is a chance for all of us to get it resolved.)
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      03-06-2010, 09:46 AM   #16
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A BMW tech explained to me just yesterday why they're "encouraged" to perform work on cars that are not under warranty, and to "resolve" warranty issues ASAP and not waste too much time on them.

I'm willing to bet the indy tech that looked at the OP's car is in the ballpark.
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      03-06-2010, 09:50 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer This View Post
Shudders usually point to a power steering gear rack or power steering pump not providing enough pressure to the rack.
It was the case on a used Volvo that I had. But the key is the vehicles are still under warranty, so they'd be hesitant to replace the rack before the warranty expires since the thread says it's a common issue.
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      03-06-2010, 09:58 AM   #18
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I just read the lengthy notes on the service order. The say the removed the drive belt and the vibration was completely gone. That is why the decided to replace the tensioner. Once it was replaced with belt, vibration returned.

It also says "Create TC Case for Steering Gear", what is this?
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      03-11-2010, 09:29 PM   #19
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Update 3/11/10:

OK, just got an update from SA. The replacement of the power steering reservoir had no affect on the vibration. Tomorrow they will be replacing the steering rack.

I have had an 09 and 10 328i as rentals. I am currently in the 2010 while my car is being serviced. Both the 09 and the 10 feel so much tighter in the steering, that I have been toying with the idea of trading the 07 in for a 10 but when I get back in my car, I really enjoy it. Plus the only way for me to get into the 10 would be via lease.

I am hoping that once all the steering components have been replaced, that it will feel similar to the newer loaners I have been using.
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      03-12-2010, 02:33 PM   #20
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thanks for the updates again.

keep them coming.
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      03-12-2010, 08:20 PM   #21
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It's Fixed!

Finally!!!

It is fixed...no more very low speed vibration and it feels like a new car!

Steering rack was replaced along with various hoses and clamps plus they did a 4 wheel alignment. It is rock solid.
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      03-12-2010, 08:26 PM   #22
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Nice! Glad to hear your issue was resolved thanks for the updates. This will help all of us if in the future it happens to any of us.

Cheers!
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