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      09-05-2017, 03:52 AM   #1
Mountain_Commando
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Overly Reactive Steering?

Hi guys,

My previous bimmer was a 2013 328i with sportsline package. The steering on that car was rock solid stable. It would track straight like an arrow regardless of the road texture or tilt.

My current bimmer is a 2014 435i with M-Sport package. For some reason, the steering on this car seems to react to any deviations from fully flat surfaces of the road. Meaning if the road surface is grooved or tilted, the steering seems to want to move into the same direction as the groove/tilt, to the point that I have to fight the steering to keep it going straight. This is especially annoying on bad roads, because the steering reacts unpredictably, like it has a mind of its own. This happens regardless of whether I'm in Comfort mode or Sports/Sports+ modes.

Is this normal? I had thought that M-Sport package would have an even more stable steering than sportsline?
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      09-05-2017, 04:20 AM   #2
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It's called tramlining and every car has it to some extent. Having had a 2013 328i with the sport suspension in the past, I can say that I didn't witness any significant tramlining, so it's not inherent to the car itself. It's either your tires or your suspension.

More info here:

https://m.tirerack.com/tires/tiretec....jsp?techid=47

I have noticed in my current car that there was more tramlining when my non RFT Conti CS5 were wearing down near their limits which was greatly reduced with new tires. How old are your tires and how much tread do you have left?

Old and worn suspension components can also effect tramlining and your car is just about that age to start replacing worn parts.
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      09-05-2017, 04:43 AM   #3
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The Tirerack article describe the possible causes well.

Something as simple as tire setting pressure can make a difference. Many run pressures too low, run-flat tires are particularly sensitive to correct working pressure to prevent running on the sidewalls.
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      09-05-2017, 08:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmg View Post
It's called tramlining and every car has it to some extent. Having had a 2013 328i with the sport suspension in the past, I can say that I didn't witness any significant tramlining, so it's not inherent to the car itself. It's either your tires or your suspension.

More info here:

https://m.tirerack.com/tires/tiretec....jsp?techid=47

I have noticed in my current car that there was more tramlining when my non RFT Conti CS5 were wearing down near their limits which was greatly reduced with new tires. How old are your tires and how much tread do you have left?

Old and worn suspension components can also effect tramlining and your car is just about that age to start replacing worn parts.
Ah, that article explains it perfectly! My front tires are fairly worn out, thus I did suspect they were the culprits (though I didn't know why, but now I do thanks to the article).

On the suspension though, I'm only at 28,000 km (17,400 miles). Plus the suspension feels nice and stiff on fast corners whilst on Sports mode. Guess I'll start with the tires and see how that goes.

Cheers!
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      09-05-2017, 11:22 AM   #5
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I've noticed that my 2014 335i m-sport has significantly less tramlining than my 2002 330i did. In fact so far I've noticed an almost complete lack of tramlining which is a little bit eerie tbh; I still instinctively tense up and grip the wheel harder whenever I'm in one of those highway lanes with a rough pavement line passing under one wheel.

Anyway, I believe decreased tramlining was one of the reasons BMW muted steering feel in the F3x. EPS makes it easier for the engineers to dial it out.
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      10-06-2017, 02:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmg View Post
It's called tramlining and every car has it to some extent. Having had a 2013 328i with the sport suspension in the past, I can say that I didn't witness any significant tramlining, so it's not inherent to the car itself. It's either your tires or your suspension.

More info here:

https://m.tirerack.com/tires/tiretec....jsp?techid=47

I have noticed in my current car that there was more tramlining when my non RFT Conti CS5 were wearing down near their limits which was greatly reduced with new tires. How old are your tires and how much tread do you have left?

Old and worn suspension components can also effect tramlining and your car is just about that age to start replacing worn parts.
Ok I just got new front tyres (non-RFT's), and WHAT a difference! I didn't realize how much driving joy I was getting robbed off till now. Thanks for the tip!
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      10-06-2017, 03:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain_Commando View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmg View Post
It's called tramlining and every car has it to some extent. Having had a 2013 328i with the sport suspension in the past, I can say that I didn't witness any significant tramlining, so it's not inherent to the car itself. It's either your tires or your suspension.

More info here:

https://m.tirerack.com/tires/tiretec....jsp?techid=47

I have noticed in my current car that there was more tramlining when my non RFT Conti CS5 were wearing down near their limits which was greatly reduced with new tires. How old are your tires and how much tread do you have left?

Old and worn suspension components can also effect tramlining and your car is just about that age to start replacing worn parts.
Ok I just got new front tyres (non-RFT's), and WHAT a difference! I didn't realize how much driving joy I was getting robbed off till now. Thanks for the tip!
Tires are always one of the most important items to upgrade/replace! glad you figured it out!
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      10-07-2017, 08:53 AM   #8
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You may also want to get an alignment done when getting new front tires. You can get just the standard 2-wheel alignment or a 4-wheel alignment, but it's definitely worth it to avoid uneven tire wear and handling quirks.
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      10-07-2017, 11:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roundel335 View Post
You may also want to get an alignment done when getting new front tires. You can get just the standard 2-wheel alignment or a 4-wheel alignment, but it's definitely worth it to avoid uneven tire wear and handling quirks.
Yes I think you're right. I was just thinking alignment would further stablize the handling.
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