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      01-17-2014, 11:06 AM   #1
bracken78
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Steering wobble under braking

Hi all,

After a little help/pointers please.

I have a BMW 330i E91 M-sport touring auto. When braking (and only when braking) the steering wheel wobbles. The harder I brake, the more it wobbles.

Has anyone had this issue and what solved the problem? After some online reading, things seem to be pointing to the control arm bushings being shot and maybe not the brake discs. I assumed new front brake discs where needed.

I am not a mechanic and have a trusted BMW independent I use for my servicing but would like to have some ideas before being told what we thinks is the problem.

Any help would be appreciated.

Cheers
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      01-17-2014, 11:18 AM   #2
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Warped rotors usually feel like a pulsation when you brake - not so much a 'wobble' in the steering wheel, so my next suspect would be something loose or worn in your steering/suspension assembly.

That's not my area of expertise, so I'll let others chime in with opinions.
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      01-17-2014, 11:25 AM   #3
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If it is wobbling when only when braking, and happens more the harder you brake, then it has to be rotors. I am no car expert, but as the rotors get worn down and more importantly start to become not perfectly level around the entire plate, when you brake, you feel the inconsistency in that. I could be mistaken as I am a car noob but I think this is accurate. Two options would be resurfacing if you can or replace rotors.
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      01-17-2014, 11:32 AM   #4
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Thank you for the quick replies. It is a constant wobble that get more violent the harder I brake. It has been slowly getting worse over the last month. It is quite slight and to give you an idea my wife does not notice it. My dad mentioned warped discs to.

Other items could be tire pressures or damaged wheel but bother are fine.

On Monday I'll be having a word with my mechanic for his view.
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      01-17-2014, 11:54 AM   #5
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when you say wobble, you mean the steering wheel is vibrating, yea?
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      01-17-2014, 12:31 PM   #6
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It's generally nothing to do with the discs, 9/10 on an e46/e9* it's the front control arm bushings, they fail which causes wobble getting more violent the more worn they get. Commonly the lolipop bushes on the front arms.
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      01-17-2014, 02:12 PM   #7
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I was struggling choosing a word so picked wobble but vibration might have been better.

On the way home just now I left the duel carriage and traveling at about 60 braked. not to hard but enough to slow down to come to a stop at the end of the slip road. The car will brake in a straight line and vibration can only be felt through the wheel and not the brake peddle. The vibration is actually quite noticeable and more than I remember.

The BMW passed it's MOT 30 days and 1000 miles ago no problem.

There are 4 speed bumps close to my work and the type where a square lump is in the road meaning the big 4 x 4 straddle them where as smaller cars have drive over them. (hope that makes sense).

I guess this would damage the control arm bushes?
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      01-17-2014, 02:16 PM   #8
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Not damage them as such there just a known weak point
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      01-17-2014, 04:43 PM   #9
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Thanks Jay
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      01-17-2014, 04:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay325i
It's generally nothing to do with the discs, 9/10 on an e46/e9* it's the front control arm bushings, they fail which causes wobble getting more violent the more worn they get. Commonly the lolipop bushes on the front arms.
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      01-17-2014, 07:01 PM   #11
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How much should these bushes cost to reply. I'm not able to them myself.
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      01-18-2014, 02:33 AM   #12
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Approx £100 inc fitting from past experience
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      01-18-2014, 03:15 AM   #13
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Agree on the bushings, particularly since the pedal isn't pulsing, per your report.
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      01-18-2014, 04:38 AM   #14
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This is exactly what's up with my car also was just going to make a thread I thought it was my discs! . Glad I see this.. anyways are there any upgraded bushes you can buy? Polyurethane for example? Cheers
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      01-18-2014, 05:15 AM   #15
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I will try to close this thread.

After speaking to my garage and having the bushes changed I'll report back.

Thanks all again.
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      01-18-2014, 07:06 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr-modster View Post
This is exactly what's up with my car also was just going to make a thread I thought it was my discs! . Glad I see this.. anyways are there any upgraded bushes you can buy? Polyurethane for example? Cheers
Yeah, powerflex do them - see Ebay
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      01-20-2014, 07:39 AM   #17
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Just talked to my garage and they want to see and test drive the car before giving their firm views (which makes sense to me) but there opinion was, either brake discs or the control arm bushes and maybe even wheel balancing but these have been checked and were fine so hoping not them.

They would firstly look at the bushes and change them if they didnít look right and see how the car drove there after. If the problem was still there after this change, then the discs could be at fault.

Quote for bushes was approx £192.00 and for the firm discs £274.41. Both prices inc VAT and use proper BMW parts.
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      01-22-2014, 09:55 AM   #18
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Sorry, just to be clear, does the steering wheel vibrate all of the time or only under braking?

What year is your car?

What sized brakes?

What brand brakes does it currently have fitted? Where were they bought from?

How long have these been fitted?

Did you receive juddering within a short time of new brakes being fitted?

I've been through the brake juddering saga and it was only solved by fitting genuine BMW brakes.
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      01-22-2014, 10:28 AM   #19
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Hi Subzero,

Please see below answers to your questions:

Sorry, just to be clear, does the steering wheel vibrate all of the time or only under braking? Only under braking from high speed (55mph plus).

What year is your car? 2006

What sized brakes? Not sure bit the same as the 335i

What brand brakes does it currently have fitted? Where were they bought from? Discs are original, but the pads are not. Not sure on make of pads.

How long have these been fitted? Pads for the last 20,000 miles and discs since new (48,000 miles)

Did you receive juddering within a short time of new brakes being fitted? Nope

I've been through the brake juddering saga and it was only solved by fitting genuine BMW brakes. On this point, I know where you're coming from. I had an S2000 before this and fitted non genuine brakes and had issues. The issues went once genuine brakes where fitted.

The car is booked into my garage on the 7th Feb so might be awhile before I have news but I’ll keep this thread updated. My money is on the bushes.


EDIT to add, brake discs... my garage is a BMW independent. They will only use OME parts but with discs they said some makes (two) and assured me they where identical to what BMW fitted new but only in a different box. Is this right?

Last edited by bracken78; 01-22-2014 at 10:33 AM.
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      01-22-2014, 12:45 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bracken78 View Post
Hi Subzero,

Please see below answers to your questions:

Sorry, just to be clear, does the steering wheel vibrate all of the time or only under braking? Only under braking from high speed (55mph plus).

What year is your car? 2006

What sized brakes? Not sure bit the same as the 335i

What brand brakes does it currently have fitted? Where were they bought from? Discs are original, but the pads are not. Not sure on make of pads.

How long have these been fitted? Pads for the last 20,000 miles and discs since new (48,000 miles)

Did you receive juddering within a short time of new brakes being fitted? Nope

I've been through the brake juddering saga and it was only solved by fitting genuine BMW brakes. On this point, I know where you're coming from. I had an S2000 before this and fitted non genuine brakes and had issues. The issues went once genuine brakes where fitted.

The car is booked into my garage on the 7th Feb so might be awhile before I have news but Iíll keep this thread updated. My money is on the bushes.


EDIT to add, brake discs... my garage is a BMW independent. They will only use OME parts but with discs they said some makes (two) and assured me they where identical to what BMW fitted new but only in a different box. Is this right?
Before you pay anything to a garage, and since you've had the discs and pads on for ages, I would consider doing 7 or 8 hard stops (just enough to not trigger the ABS). Do the stops from 70-15mph and then cool the brakes. Do not stop the car until the discs are cool. After the 5th or 6th braking test you should start smelling the brakes. This should clear the face of the disc and encourage rebedding of the pads and discs. It is well worth doing before handing out £hundreds in brakes and suspension work. It may work if pad transfer to the disc face is responsible for your problems, which means an uneven surface. But this can only be done in the early stages as it eventually turns to cementite which is incredibly hard.

Also is any wheel brake hotter than any other? Maybe you have a binding caliper.

My money is on the discs tbh. The e90 doesn't have anywhere near as much trouble with bushes as the E39 or E46 as it has a differently designed suspension.

Regarding the discs - everyone claims to know where BMW get their discs from but the truth is no one does for sure. I suspect they're either Zimmerman discs or Textar. But I would just get genuine from the dealer. Your independent should be able to get a 10% trade discount on them too. Not only that but if you get the genuine products you get a 2 year no hassle warranty on the parts AND BMW will stump for the labour as well if they need replacing.

Last edited by Subzero2003; 01-22-2014 at 12:51 PM.
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      01-22-2014, 12:47 PM   #21
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Also are you sure they are the same as the 335I? I'm pretty sure it was only the later possibly LCI 330d that got the 348mm brakes. The earlier 330I and 330d had smaller 325mm brakes IIRC (which is good news as they are quite a bit cheaper!)
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      01-23-2014, 04:33 AM   #22
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Iíll try as you suggest and do some hard stops. The discs are old, I agree, but the pads are only 2 years old. I am just doing more miles that the last Owner.

All wheels stay the same temperature with none getting any hotter than the other so wheel bearings donít seem to be an issue.

On the brake disc names, Zimmerman and Textar where the names mentioned by the garage and they promised that both make the discís for BMW. From http://www.maindealerdiscount.com/ the brake disc prices come in at around £320. I might ask them for prices using parts from a main dealer.

On discs size, I donít know. I was under the impression the 330i and 335i shared the same discs. I donít know about the Ďdí.
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