E90Post
 


The Tire Rack
 
BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > Off-Center Steering Post-Alignment (there's a BUT...)



Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      10-21-2018, 04:01 PM   #1
hdrewh
Lieutenant
29
Rep
421
Posts

Drives: '09 E90
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New York

iTrader: (3)

Off-Center Steering Post-Alignment (there's a BUT...)

Last week I replaced my worn summer tires with Pilot Sport 4S's and a wheel alignment. I've gone through this annoyance once before, so I watched while the alignment was done and saw that the steering wheel was perfectly centered and locked in place.

The car tracked fine but still, the steering wheel is off-center by about a half inch to the left, enough to be annoying. They rotated the left and right front wheels+tires. Sure enough, car still tracks fine but the steering wheel is now off the other way.

What could be the explanation for this behavior? Something about the wheels and/or tires?

for info: car is a stock 328 but added Eibach springs+Koni FSDs a long time ago. Tires are 17x9, 1" wider than stock. Prior tires were Continentals, also 17x9 and I did not have this problem.

Thanks
__________________

2009 E90 328i Montego Blue, Black Leather, 6MT, ZPP, Logic 7, HD radio, CA, fold-down seats, PDC. ED pickup 6/12/2009
mods: Koni FSDs, Eibach Pro's, Sport/Heated Seats, BMW Perf. short shifter, M-tech shift knob/e-brake handle/steering wheel, split armrest, black grilles, 50% tint, 3M clear bra.

Last edited by hdrewh; 10-21-2018 at 06:13 PM.
Appreciate 0
      10-23-2018, 01:35 AM   #2
juld0zer
Major
325
Rep
1,088
Posts

Drives: E82 135i 7DCT
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: 2153

iTrader: (0)

Road curve?
Appreciate 0
      10-23-2018, 07:42 AM   #3
hdrewh
Lieutenant
29
Rep
421
Posts

Drives: '09 E90
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New York

iTrader: (3)

Quote:
Originally Posted by juld0zer View Post
Road curve?
Doubtful, symptoms are consistent on all roads, both sides and middle.
__________________

2009 E90 328i Montego Blue, Black Leather, 6MT, ZPP, Logic 7, HD radio, CA, fold-down seats, PDC. ED pickup 6/12/2009
mods: Koni FSDs, Eibach Pro's, Sport/Heated Seats, BMW Perf. short shifter, M-tech shift knob/e-brake handle/steering wheel, split armrest, black grilles, 50% tint, 3M clear bra.
Appreciate 0
      10-24-2018, 08:24 AM   #4
gamesfrager
Second Lieutenant
Canada
71
Rep
296
Posts

Drives: 2011 328i
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Calgary

iTrader: (0)

See if this helps https://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=749585
Appreciate 0
      10-24-2018, 10:52 AM   #5
hdrewh
Lieutenant
29
Rep
421
Posts

Drives: '09 E90
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New York

iTrader: (3)

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamesfrager View Post
Yes, have that bookmarked for the weekend, although it doesn't explain the symptom.

Thanks.
__________________

2009 E90 328i Montego Blue, Black Leather, 6MT, ZPP, Logic 7, HD radio, CA, fold-down seats, PDC. ED pickup 6/12/2009
mods: Koni FSDs, Eibach Pro's, Sport/Heated Seats, BMW Perf. short shifter, M-tech shift knob/e-brake handle/steering wheel, split armrest, black grilles, 50% tint, 3M clear bra.

Last edited by hdrewh; 10-24-2018 at 11:01 AM.
Appreciate 0
      10-24-2018, 10:58 AM   #6
Volasko
Colonel
Volasko's Avatar
Canada
355
Rep
2,110
Posts

Drives: 2006 E90 330i BSM 6MT ZSP
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Toronto

iTrader: (2)

Garage List
You could have play in the steering universal joints that shows the wheel centered but at the wheels it is slightly off. I don't understand how swapping the front wheels should make the problem change sides especially being that they are new.
Appreciate 1
FCobra942125.00

      10-25-2018, 03:15 AM   #7
juld0zer
Major
325
Rep
1,088
Posts

Drives: E82 135i 7DCT
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: 2153

iTrader: (0)

Are the tyre sizes identical on both sides?
Appreciate 0
      10-25-2018, 12:13 PM   #8
bNks334
Major
bNks334's Avatar
311
Rep
1,008
Posts

Drives: '11 135i (N55)
Join Date: May 2014
Location: New York

iTrader: (1)

Since the offset seems to follow the tires I would swap your front tires to the rear and see if it goes away...

Was your old alignment way out? That could cause a tire to wear unevenly resulting in a pull even with the current perfect alignment. Check tire pressure too. If one tire is lets say 10psi lower it could definitely cause a pull.

If these are new tires with the fresh alignment then just take it back to the shop and let them figure it out.
Appreciate 1
FCobra942125.00

      10-25-2018, 09:07 PM   #9
hdrewh
Lieutenant
29
Rep
421
Posts

Drives: '09 E90
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New York

iTrader: (3)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bNks334 View Post
Since the offset seems to follow the tires I would swap your front tires to the rear and see if it goes away...

Was your old alignment way out? That could cause a tire to wear unevenly resulting in a pull even with the current perfect alignment. Check tire pressure too. If one tire is lets say 10psi lower it could definitely cause a pull.

If these are new tires with the fresh alignment then just take it back to the shop and let them figure it out.
Yes, new tires, fresh alignment, but done at Midas, I'm not confident they would be able to diagnose properly, and they already had it on the machine 3x. I'll rotate front/rear and see, but if I do that and the car tracks perfectly with the steering wheel centered, what would that actually mean? Some type of tire defect?
Tire pressures are good, 32F/38R.

Thanks.
__________________

2009 E90 328i Montego Blue, Black Leather, 6MT, ZPP, Logic 7, HD radio, CA, fold-down seats, PDC. ED pickup 6/12/2009
mods: Koni FSDs, Eibach Pro's, Sport/Heated Seats, BMW Perf. short shifter, M-tech shift knob/e-brake handle/steering wheel, split armrest, black grilles, 50% tint, 3M clear bra.
Appreciate 0
      10-26-2018, 08:14 PM   #10
code85
Enlisted Member
Canada
0
Rep
30
Posts

Drives: 2011 335is cab
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Markham

iTrader: (0)

I've been fighting this dilemma recently as well, went back to the shop that did my alignment and I'm sure the tech gave up helping me.

I'm stumped on what this can be, I read multiple threads and forums where they say the shop needs to have a BMW specific alignment software, put full tank of gas, put weights on the driver seat, etc.
Appreciate 0
      10-27-2018, 08:35 PM   #11
bbnks2
Major
490
Rep
1,086
Posts

Drives: 135i N55
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: NY

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hdrewh View Post
Yes, new tires, fresh alignment, but done at Midas, I'm not confident they would be able to diagnose properly, and they already had it on the machine 3x. I'll rotate front/rear and see, but if I do that and the car tracks perfectly with the steering wheel centered, what would that actually mean? Some type of tire defect?
Tire pressures are good, 32F/38R.

Thanks.
Yes, then you would know it's a tire issue... It already seems to be confirmed to be tire related since you stated that the pull follows the tire swap from side to side.

Again, not sure why you are here on the forum asking us when you PAID to have these tires and alignment done on your car. Take that shit back. Call corporate. Do what you need to to get them the fix this. I am guessing you're leaving a few details out though... Like, you got the tires mounted first, drove around with a bad alignment, and then went back for thw alignment later???? It's highly unlikely you got a "defective" tire. If the pull changes sides when you moved tires then I can't see how that would be the alignment either.

Can you post up the alignment sheet?
Appreciate 0
      10-28-2018, 08:54 PM   #12
hdrewh
Lieutenant
29
Rep
421
Posts

Drives: '09 E90
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New York

iTrader: (3)

Today I noticed a tear in the ball joint boot of the tension strut (realoem calls it a radius rod). No idea how long that's been there but could that contribute to or (explain entirely) my symptoms? Strangely as I've now put a couple hundred miles on the car the symptoms seem to be decreasing.

__________________

2009 E90 328i Montego Blue, Black Leather, 6MT, ZPP, Logic 7, HD radio, CA, fold-down seats, PDC. ED pickup 6/12/2009
mods: Koni FSDs, Eibach Pro's, Sport/Heated Seats, BMW Perf. short shifter, M-tech shift knob/e-brake handle/steering wheel, split armrest, black grilles, 50% tint, 3M clear bra.
Appreciate 0
      10-29-2018, 06:51 AM   #13
bbnks2
Major
490
Rep
1,086
Posts

Drives: 135i N55
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: NY

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hdrewh View Post
Today I noticed a tear in the ball joint boot of the tension strut (realoem calls it a radius rod). No idea how long that's been there but could that contribute to or (explain entirely) my symptoms? Strangely as I've now put a couple hundred miles on the car the symptoms seem to be decreasing.

I doubt it. you still need to replace that arm though. The ball join will wear out and start to pop/clunk.
__________________
135i: E30 map by TwistedTuning, VRSF DP, Kerscher +15mm fenders, Kosei K8R 255/40/17, M3 control arms, UUC trans mounts, DV+, Whiteline RSFB, 5" intercooler, Charge Pipe, PC925 (23lb), UUC SSK, YCW Coilovers 6k/16k, Monroe shock mounts, Diff lockdown, Catch Can, N20 TMAP, 335is clutch, SMFW, 034 engine mounts, M3 Steering rack
Appreciate 1
FCobra942125.00

      10-30-2018, 10:43 AM   #14
bbnks2
Major
490
Rep
1,086
Posts

Drives: 135i N55
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: NY

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hdrewh View Post
Today I noticed a tear in the ball joint boot of the tension strut (realoem calls it a radius rod).
If you put a crowbar on the arm, does the ball joint move as if it's loose? That would be a bigger issue than just a torn boot. If it's loose it could cause alignment to move when driving. It wouldn't show as being out of alignment in a static position on the alignment rack though.
__________________
135i: E30 map by TwistedTuning, VRSF DP, Kerscher +15mm fenders, Kosei K8R 255/40/17, M3 control arms, UUC trans mounts, DV+, Whiteline RSFB, 5" intercooler, Charge Pipe, PC925 (23lb), UUC SSK, YCW Coilovers 6k/16k, Monroe shock mounts, Diff lockdown, Catch Can, N20 TMAP, 335is clutch, SMFW, 034 engine mounts, M3 Steering rack
Appreciate 0
      12-03-2018, 11:13 PM   #15
Three35Built
Ford Tech for the $ dependency
United_States
2
Rep
13
Posts

Drives: 335i FBO
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: 303

iTrader: (0)

have someone look under the front of the car when it is on the ground. you or someone inside the car and turn the wheel back and forth quickly and hard (called dry steering). Technicians do this to test for suspension wear and play in tie rods, ball joints, pitman arms, drag links, etc.

Make sure you do this while the car is on the ground though. Jacked up or on a lift wont be as noticeable.

Also about the alignment issue- usually a crooked steering wheel is due to adjusting one side too much and the other too little. (more details for example are tie rod adjusted more one way). Alignment rack thinks the car is aligned when it's really not. When the car is pulled onto the alignment rack (with modern technology atleast), you turn the wheel left and right for the rack to laser measure toe after its rolled onto the plates.

Tire pressure can affect alignment as well. We always put the same pressure that's on your door placard in the tires. If they're bigger wheels, we judge ourselves by load range on the tire.

*I am not an alignment tech nor do I do alignments all day everyday. I just know the basics.
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


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:34 AM.




e90post
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, 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