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      05-21-2018, 07:04 PM   #1
thormx11
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2008 328i Vibration under acceleration

Sorry for the long first post but..

I just purchased my first BMW. It is a 2008 328I e90 with 156k miles. I am a mechanic, but never really worked on foreign cars. I got a deal on the car, as the previous owners mechanic told them the car needed a new differential, at the cost of $4800. They then just parked the car in the garage for 4-5 years.

The car runs & drives great when cold, it had new Bridgestone tires mounted & balanced right before it was parked (I believe the issue was present before the new tires) but after 5-10 minutes of driving, the car starts to get a vibration under normal acceleration. If you give it heavy throttle it doesn't seem to vibrate. The vibration seems to be in the body, although you can slightly feel it in the wheel it seems. Maybe that is because the body is shaking so bad that it also vibrates the wheel. It shifts great, and the vibration seems to continue through all the gears. It is like you are driving on the rumble strips.

I have searched lots of forums online, and this seems to be kind of a common issue. None of the stories I have read had anyone say the differential was the problem, most seemed to be the rubber driveshaft coupler (guibo) or the axles. The first thing I did was changed the differential fluid. The old fluid looked pretty good, no metal shavings or burnt smell. I then filled it back up with Mobil 1 75w90 fluid. No change to the vibration (was fine while the car was cold, but after a few minutes of driving it came back.) Then I changed the guibo out with a Dorman replacement from Advance Auto. The old one had some very small cracks if you bent it with your hands, but was not frayed or badly cracked as most people described. After that, it kind of feels like the vibration got a little better, but is still very noticeable. I only drove the car about 20 minutes after changing it.

I also cut a clamp off the right rear inner axle boot to look at the grease, but there was no signs of water/moisture like people have described in the forums I have read.

I have raised the car on a hoist while in our shop, but cannot replicate the vibration in the air. The differential does make some noise, but I really can't get the vibration to happen in the air.

I am starting to think it may be the differential, but would like to make sure before spending the time and money on one. I can get a used differential with a 6 month warranty for about $300 delivered, not sure what kind of work is involved in changing it though.
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      05-21-2018, 08:11 PM   #2
amrazM
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Is it xDrive?
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      05-21-2018, 08:21 PM   #3
thormx11
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Sorry, is that the AWD? This is just a base model 328i, RWD.
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      05-21-2018, 10:47 PM   #4
m3jala
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thormx11 View Post
Sorry, is that the AWD? This is just a base model 328i, RWD.
I had a differential go due to an oil leak in my previous car and the car had vibration. However for me it was constant and it was related to the speed of the car. It would start to be noticeable above 40mph. I know you are looking for input on other possible areas before spending on a new unit but wanted to throw my experience in there.
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      05-22-2018, 09:54 AM   #5
thormx11
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There are no leaks coming from the differential, and its not a constant vibration. It seems to be related more to RPMs instead of actual speed, it seems to happen mostly between about 1500-2500 RPMs, in any gear at any speed. The RPMs don't seem to drop/fluctuate when it happens, which makes me believe its not a coil or plug making it misfire.

My guess is that an oil/grease somewhere is warming up and breaking down, which would explain why it is fine cold and only happens after a few minutes of driving.
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      05-22-2018, 12:01 PM   #6
Biginboca
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Differentials are so cheap on these cars I would just swap one in if you think that’s the culprit. I’ve bought 2 differentials in great shape off eBay for like $200 delivered so far. And it’s an easy swap takes maybe 2 hours tops.

Also maybe the tires are bad have you tried rotating the tires to see if the vibration moves?

Seems to me it needs to be either driveline (driveshaft out of balance, guibo, or differential) or tire issues since you said it was parked right after new tires. Presumably the vibration started around when new tires installed.

Also if it coincides with engine rpm more than wheel speed have a look into the flywheel leaking. Research that on google.
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      05-22-2018, 12:38 PM   #7
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I had a similar problem with 2010 328i. Car would start vibrating during torque demand at speed. In other words, if you punched at 0 car would take off with no problem but if you applied moderately on gas at about 50mph car start vibrating as if transmission gears were grinding.

My problem was solved by a simple tranny oil change which is not recommended by BMW and I think thatís nonsense.
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      05-22-2018, 06:00 PM   #8
thormx11
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Transmission fluid was another thing I was thinking about. I don't believe it is tire related, as the issue started before the new tires were installed. Also, it does not feel like the tires have flat spots from sitting (the car was driven just a handful of times while it was parked for a few years) as this vibration feels totally different than flat spots or unbalanced tires. I also don't believe that it is a driveshaft balance issue since it is fine when it is cold, and only starts after the car warms up.

I am thinking to change the transmission fluid first and see if that helps, if not then I will plan on a differential I guess.
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      05-23-2018, 12:43 PM   #9
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Take a look at realoem with your Vin if you have a GM transimission then it is almost sure your torque converter.
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      05-23-2018, 02:22 PM   #10
thormx11
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It does have the GM transmission. I was kind of thinking a problem with the TC but wouldn't it set a code most likely?
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      05-26-2018, 05:12 AM   #11
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TC doesn't set up a code,only solenoids did
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