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      08-03-2012, 08:26 AM   #199
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Any car that is in the luxury car segment should not have significant steering wheel vibration when brand new out of the factory as long as it is not related to balancing (even that should not happen).

Obviously there is a problem here that BMW does not want to acknowledge. There are so many complaints and issues in regards to this topic and it would be naive to believe that this is normal and should be accepted.

BMW and the dealership network should accept this as an issue and not ignore it. Otherwise peoples voice is going to get higher and they might lose loyal BMW customers.
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      08-04-2012, 06:20 AM   #200
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Anyone have this issue on their 2013 or on 19's?
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      08-04-2012, 09:19 AM   #201
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I can answer that question in about 2 weeks!

It is entirely possible that the control loop for the electric steering has some oscillation at a particular vibrational frequency that may only happen with certain wheel / tire / road combinations.

Remember that video posted where Johny Lieberman praised BMW for going back to hydraulic steering on the f30, that it was much better than the electric steering on the e90? Maybe BMW listed to him and got so confused they couldn't solve this problem.
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      08-04-2012, 07:19 PM   #202
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Vibration issue

I am quite sure that BMW is working on a solution for this issue (even though they claim this is normal and is not an issue).

It is a preference matter. If you love this car so much and can live with the vibration until BMW comes up with a fix (in 3 months, 6 months, 2 years) then people should buy it.

BUT, if you are an enthusiast and the vibration is bugging you (like in my case) and can't wait until BMW comes up with a solution, then people should not buy this car just because of the possibility that theirs might have the same problem.

BMW NA is not understanding and do not want to acknowledge customer complaints in regards to this issue and you might end up getting stuck with a car that you hate at the end (like in my case).

I am not venting out here, but bringing this to people's attention as an example. Good luck with your decision.
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      08-04-2012, 10:11 PM   #203
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I went back to the dealer and drove the car extensively to check the vibration again. I am happy to report that I barely saw or felt any vibration at all. I don't feel any vibration while driving at any speed. I did see a very minor shake when I took the hands off the wheel but it only happened in a bumpy road.

So I ended up buying the car! I am pretty sure I got "vibration free" f30.
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      08-05-2012, 01:46 PM   #204
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Glad you got the F30 & that it's vibration free, Soth. Now go drive & enjoy it!
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      08-05-2012, 05:14 PM   #205
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim_78 View Post
I am quite sure that BMW is working on a solution for this issue (even though they claim this is normal and is not an issue).

It is a preference matter. If you love this car so much and can live with the vibration until BMW comes up with a fix (in 3 months, 6 months, 2 years) then people should buy it.

BUT, if you are an enthusiast and the vibration is bugging you (like in my case) and can't wait until BMW comes up with a solution, then people should not buy this car just because of the possibility that theirs might have the same problem.

BMW NA is not understanding and do not want to acknowledge customer complaints in regards to this issue and you might end up getting stuck with a car that you hate at the end (like in my case).

I am not venting out here, but bringing this to people's attention as an example. Good luck with your decision.
Yep, or in my case where i bought the car and have an issue...
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      08-05-2012, 09:11 PM   #206
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justinnum1 View Post
Yep, or in my case where i bought the car and have an issue...
If this isn't related to tire balance, then I wonder what it is?
Since this has never happened before in a BMW 3 series, as their steering has been nearly perfect, then the electric assist becomes suspect.

However, the electric assist is not "active steering", meaning it can't actually move the steering arm to say compensate for cross winds, or help correct with DSC.
Maybe the actual steering rack mounts weren't torqued properly?
Or, the mount bushings are faulty?

Could also be some defect causing more play in the steering pinion gear.
This would directly result in the steering wheel moving left to right.
But then, I would think that at different speeds any play would result in different rates/frequency of oscillation.
Do you guys with the problem notice the vibration change in intensity at speed?

Another thing could be electric assist or EPS. Since the system has the ability to add and reduce steering effort via servotronic, maybe it's not holding the effort steady.
Rather, it might be holding and letting go, allowing the natural wheel motions to come through with no damping to control those motions.

In my 06 A4, I could easily remove the servotronic fuse and render it dead.
Is the servotronic fuse accessible in the F30 to remove it and see it it makes a difference?
In the A4 once I removed it low speed effort was very heavy, and once up to speed I couldn't notice it at all. When it was fully working slow speeds gave a light effort and then got heavier as the cars speed got above 15-20mph.

I'm only offering that as a suggestion. If you try it, it's your own decision. It's just one thing that could be checked by a BMW tech, and eliminate if nothing changes.
In my A4 all it affected was low speed steering effort.

What's additionally puzzling is that this vibration seems to come at around the same speeds as wheel balance, typically above 50mph.
But, with unbalanced tires the vibration typically gets stronger the faster the vehicle speed. And then some times the vibration actually goes away once the car is above say 70mph.
Does this happens to those of you with this vibration problem?
Do the vibes start at a certain speed every time?
Does the vibration intensity change as you go faster?
Does it go away after a certain MPH?

I too would be pissed if my new car had steering vibration.
It doesn't matter if the car costs $10 or $50K, steering vibration is not acceptable. It's quite annoying, and it completely removes any steering feel whatsoever.
Since the steering wheel is the most direct connection between driver and automobile, any vibration or problem becomes unacceptable as it's constantly felt, and makes driving the car an annoyance rather than pleasure.

I really do hope my 3 doesn't have this issue as I would be as pissed as you guys. Before signing the papers I'm going to insist on driving the car before I finalize the deal. Since there isn't a cure yet, I don't want to take delivery of a new car hoping and waiting on BMW to find a cause and fix.

Last edited by RPM90; 08-05-2012 at 09:17 PM.
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      08-05-2012, 09:15 PM   #207
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soth View Post
I went back to the dealer and drove the car extensively to check the vibration again. I am happy to report that I barely saw or felt any vibration at all. I don't feel any vibration while driving at any speed. I did see a very minor shake when I took the hands off the wheel but it only happened in a bumpy road.

So I ended up buying the car! I am pretty sure I got "vibration free" f30.
Sounds right.
Even in my 135i, which has the hydraulic rack, if I lighten my grip and just lightly hold the wheel with my finger tips, there is a natural and occasional and light left to right wheel motion depending on road surface.
That's normal as it's part of steering feel reporting what the tires are doing on a particular surface.

It sounds like the vibration some are reporting is not that at all, and it's not natural or normal.
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      08-05-2012, 09:33 PM   #208
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPM90 View Post
If this isn't related to tire balance, then I wonder what it is?
Since this has never happened before in a BMW 3 series, as their steering has been nearly perfect, then the electric assist becomes suspect.

However, the electric assist is not "active steering", meaning it can't actually move the steering arm to say compensate for cross winds, or help correct with DSC.
Maybe the actual steering rack mounts weren't torqued properly?
Or, the mount bushings are faulty?

Could also be some defect causing more play in the steering pinion gear.
This would directly result in the steering wheel moving left to right.
But then, I would think that at different speeds any play would result in different rates/frequency of oscillation.
Do you guys with the problem notice the vibration change in intensity at speed?

Another thing could be electric assist or EPS. Since the system has the ability to add and reduce steering effort via servotronic, maybe it's not holding the effort steady.
Rather, it might be holding and letting go, allowing the natural wheel motions to come through with no damping to control those motions.

In my 06 A4, I could easily remove the servotronic fuse and render it dead.
Is the servotronic fuse accessible in the F30 to remove it and see it it makes a difference?
In the A4 once I removed it low speed effort was very heavy, and once up to speed I couldn't notice it at all. When it was fully working slow speeds gave a light effort and then got heavier as the cars speed got above 15-20mph.

I'm only offering that as a suggestion. If you try it, it's your own decision. It's just one thing that could be checked by a BMW tech, and eliminate if nothing changes.
In my A4 all it affected was low speed steering effort.

What's additionally puzzling is that this vibration seems to come at around the same speeds as wheel balance, typically above 50mph.
But, with unbalanced tires the vibration typically gets stronger the faster the vehicle speed. And then some times the vibration actually goes away once the car is above say 70mph.
Does this happens to those of you with this vibration problem?
Do the vibes start at a certain speed every time?
Does the vibration intensity change as you go faster?
Does it go away after a certain MPH?

I too would be pissed if my new car had steering vibration.
It doesn't matter if the car costs $10 or $50K, steering vibration is not acceptable. It's quite annoying, and it completely removes any steering feel whatsoever.
Since the steering wheel is the most direct connection between driver and automobile, any vibration or problem becomes unacceptable as it's constantly felt, and makes driving the car an annoyance rather than pleasure.

I really do hope my 3 doesn't have this issue as I would be as pissed as you guys. Before signing the papers I'm going to insist on driving the car before I finalize the deal. Since there isn't a cure yet, I don't want to take delivery of a new car hoping and waiting on BMW to find a cause and fix.
Wow, big post, i will try and adress as much as possible

-The shop foreman who i have taken a few rides with told me that he has talked to some BMW engineers who think its related to not enough amperage for the EPS unit. We also agreed that its more likely a hardware issue than a software one.

-It displays a lot of the symptoms of wheel vibration, but they balanced my tires, and others who i have read have had wheels and tires replaced to no avail.

-If i never owned a BMW before, or i wasn't OCD/anal..i would probably not think much of it. But having owned 10+ bmw's i immediately knew something was up. I ordered the car the day i could(sometime in early december) and didnt think to really look for the vibration since i never experienced it in another bmw(at least ones with hydraulic steering). I actually like the feel of the electric system and that i can adjust the tightness.

I will call tomorrow and talk to the head of service. Will update tomorrow. And to be quite honest im not going to give them any time to try and find a fix. I am going to ask for another 3 series, or a 135(planning on driving one tuesday at a different dealer, my dealer doesnt have any 135s).
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      08-05-2012, 09:39 PM   #209
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPM90 View Post
Sounds right.
Even in my 135i, which has the hydraulic rack, if I lighten my grip and just lightly hold the wheel with my finger tips, there is a natural and occasional and light left to right wheel motion depending on road surface.
That's normal as it's part of steering feel reporting what the tires are doing on a particular surface.

It sounds like the vibration some are reporting is not that at all, and it's not natural or normal.
I have test driven 3 different 335 sport line and 1 328 modern line 2012s. The only one that exhibited any steering wheel vibration was the USA test drive 335 which did have a vibration under braking at around 40 mph . I felt it was a brake warp issues considering a15k mile demo being pushed hard by partipants in the drive. Hope mine is not my first.......
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      08-06-2012, 08:17 AM   #210
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I was looking at the post very early in the F30 release, where the suspension parts of the E90 and F30 were compared with the F30 on the lift. It is interesting to note that the front lower control arm on the F30 (part number 31126852991) is the same shape as that of the E90 (part numbers 31126770849 and 31126770850). However, on the E90 the rear bushing was rubber and on the F30 that bushing is solid. BMW probably did that to give the steering more feel so enthusiasts would not complain about the steering.

What I would consider doing is buying a set of control arms from the E90 and bolting them in. They are listed as $114.04 each from Realoem. It is a very easy job and can be done with hand tools on the driveway. If that solves the issue, you are a happy F30 owner! Or try the E90 M3 control arm (part numbers 31102283577 and 31102283578) which is a little longer and get yourself some extra negative camber in front and also list at $114.03 from realoem.

There is historical precedent for this. Past BMW's have had steering wheel shimmies and using the control arm from another model solved it (I think the E28 5-series switched to the 7-series arm for example).
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      08-06-2012, 10:25 AM   #211
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mocohead View Post
I was looking at the post very early in the F30 release, where the suspension parts of the E90 and F30 were compared with the F30 on the lift. It is interesting to note that the front lower control arm on the F30 (part number 31126852991) is the same shape as that of the E90 (part numbers 31126770849 and 31126770850). However, on the E90 the rear bushing was rubber and on the F30 that bushing is solid. BMW probably did that to give the steering more feel so enthusiasts would not complain about the steering.

What I would consider doing is buying a set of control arms from the E90 and bolting them in. They are listed as $114.04 each from Realoem. It is a very easy job and can be done with hand tools on the driveway. If that solves the issue, you are a happy F30 owner! Or try the E90 M3 control arm (part numbers 31102283577 and 31102283578) which is a little longer and get yourself some extra negative camber in front and also list at $114.03 from realoem.

There is historical precedent for this. Past BMW's have had steering wheel shimmies and using the control arm from another model solved it (I think the E28 5-series switched to the 7-series arm for example).
I shouldn't have to do anything to a 40,000 dollar car to make the steering wheel smooth. As i noted, i have owned several different models and never had any steering wheel vibrations(aside from maybe a wheel balance issue). This is more of a hardwar issue related to the electric steering.
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      08-06-2012, 10:45 AM   #212
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justinnum1 View Post
I shouldn't have to do anything to a 40,000 dollar car to make the steering wheel smooth. As i noted, i have owned several different models and never had any steering wheel vibrations(aside from maybe a wheel balance issue). This is more of a hardwar issue related to the electric steering.
I was trying to be helpful. Handle your situation however you want.
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      08-06-2012, 10:49 AM   #213
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I was trying to be helpful. Handle your situation however you want.
I appreciate it, I have a feeling this is purely electric steering related. Sorry if i came off as an ass.
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      08-06-2012, 11:21 AM   #214
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I registered here just so I could contribute my experience with this issue.

My new (leased) 328i Sport with 6MT (no variable steering) has the steering vibration problem from 40-60 mph, which I originally assumed was just a matter of the wheels not being properly balanced.

On my first service appointment the wheels were rotated and underwent the roadforce balance procedure. They said it was better but not fixed and that I needed to bring the car back so they could start a PUMA case to work with BMW directly. At least they acknowledged the issue.

From my perspective there was no improvement in the steering vibration after the rotation and re-balancing.

At the follow up service appointment BMW authorized my dealer to swap the tires for a different brand. I started with Pirellis and now I have the Goodyears. They said the shop foreman did extensive road testing and they were sure I would be happy with the results.

The vibration is perhaps minimally improved with the different tires but is still definitely there. I think they're hoping I'll live with it.

I test drove another 328i Sport model while mine was in the shop. It also had the steering vibration but is much less prominent than mine. I might not have even noticed it if I hadn't already been so sensitized to the issue. So it seems to me that this is some sort of design issue and is unlikely to be remedied by multiple trips to the service department.

Some of you have requested video evidence. The vibration can definitely be seen in the steering wheel and is present in all driving modes. It is more than annoying; it interferes with the core driving experience. Everything else about how this car drives and rides is great. Very impressed with the performance and gas mileage.

Other than that I now have some regrets after acquiring this vehicle. It would have been a deal killer had I known ahead of time. I'm glad I don't own the car and that my lease is a relatively short 30 months. I'll just follow this thread and hope that BMW will come up with a credible solution for those of us with this issue before too long.

--
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      08-06-2012, 09:24 PM   #215
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trpt View Post
I registered here just so I could contribute my experience with this issue.

My new (leased) 328i Sport with 6MT (no variable steering) has the steering vibration problem from 40-60 mph, which I originally assumed was just a matter of the wheels not being properly balanced.

On my first service appointment the wheels were rotated and underwent the roadforce balance procedure. They said it was better but not fixed and that I needed to bring the car back so they could start a PUMA case to work with BMW directly. At least they acknowledged the issue.

From my perspective there was no improvement in the steering vibration after the rotation and re-balancing.

At the follow up service appointment BMW authorized my dealer to swap the tires for a different brand. I started with Pirellis and now I have the Goodyears. They said the shop foreman did extensive road testing and they were sure I would be happy with the results.

The vibration is perhaps minimally improved with the different tires but is still definitely there. I think they're hoping I'll live with it.

I test drove another 328i Sport model while mine was in the shop. It also had the steering vibration but is much less prominent than mine. I might not have even noticed it if I hadn't already been so sensitized to the issue. So it seems to me that this is some sort of design issue and is unlikely to be remedied by multiple trips to the service department.

Some of you have requested video evidence. The vibration can definitely be seen in the steering wheel and is present in all driving modes. It is more than annoying; it interferes with the core driving experience. Everything else about how this car drives and rides is great. Very impressed with the performance and gas mileage.

Other than that I now have some regrets after acquiring this vehicle. It would have been a deal killer had I known ahead of time. I'm glad I don't own the car and that my lease is a relatively short 30 months. I'll just follow this thread and hope that BMW will come up with a credible solution for those of us with this issue before too long.

--
Unfortunately your experience mirrors many others here including myself.
Sorry to hear your car has the vibration and hopefully BMW is actually working on this vice giving lip service.
Good Luck!
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      08-06-2012, 10:56 PM   #216
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trpt View Post
I registered here just so I could contribute my experience with this issue.

My new (leased) 328i Sport with 6MT (no variable steering) has the steering vibration problem from 40-60 mph, which I originally assumed was just a matter of the wheels not being properly balanced.

On my first service appointment the wheels were rotated and underwent the roadforce balance procedure. They said it was better but not fixed and that I needed to bring the car back so they could start a PUMA case to work with BMW directly. At least they acknowledged the issue.

From my perspective there was no improvement in the steering vibration after the rotation and re-balancing.

At the follow up service appointment BMW authorized my dealer to swap the tires for a different brand. I started with Pirellis and now I have the Goodyears. They said the shop foreman did extensive road testing and they were sure I would be happy with the results.

The vibration is perhaps minimally improved with the different tires but is still definitely there. I think they're hoping I'll live with it.

I test drove another 328i Sport model while mine was in the shop. It also had the steering vibration but is much less prominent than mine. I might not have even noticed it if I hadn't already been so sensitized to the issue. So it seems to me that this is some sort of design issue and is unlikely to be remedied by multiple trips to the service department.

Some of you have requested video evidence. The vibration can definitely be seen in the steering wheel and is present in all driving modes. It is more than annoying; it interferes with the core driving experience. Everything else about how this car drives and rides is great. Very impressed with the performance and gas mileage.

Other than that I now have some regrets after acquiring this vehicle. It would have been a deal killer had I known ahead of time. I'm glad I don't own the car and that my lease is a relatively short 30 months. I'll just follow this thread and hope that BMW will come up with a credible solution for those of us with this issue before too long.

--
So the vibration is always at those speeds?
You don't get it at 30 or 60?

Something other than the wheels is setting up that oscillation within a specific mph.
The obvious is wheels, but since that has been changed and tried over and over, then we can likely exclude the wheels.

What else is spinning?
It doesn't necessarily mean that the rotating part is the culprit. It could just be the catalyst that creates the oscillation that transmits the frequency to something that is attached to it, like a bushing.
Wheel bearings?
Out of round hub, or excessive run out?
Out of round rotor?
Even an unbalanced drive shaft could cause vibration.

For the brake rotor the tech could simply rotate it a couple of lugs and see if the vibe changes. You guys could try this easily at home if you have a floor jack. I know you shouldn't have to do this in a new car, but if someone is feeling adventurous it's an easy thing to try just to see.
If there is a change, then you can tell the tech and it could point them in the right direction for things to check.

But, this is more towards a specific car. This problem is broader than that, so the rotor indexing may not do anything.

Have you guys tried staying at the constant speed that the vibration is occurring but shift down or up a couple of gears to see if the vibration changes or goes away? It could indicate something in the trans setting up an oscillation.

Those of you with the vibe should set up a list posting your build dates.
It would help set up a data base to see if the problem cars are within a certain build date range.
Also note the plant it was built at.
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      08-07-2012, 02:22 AM   #217
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I just picked up a 2012 June build from the Welt and have slight vibration at around 50-60mph. In sport mode it is barely noticeable. Will try to get it resolved stateside, but not a deal killer for me.
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      08-07-2012, 03:25 AM   #218
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A friend of mine closed off the air-intakes that is just in front of the wheels. According to him it solved his problem, he is working for Boeing at their wind tunnel facility. Perhaps in his case is was pure luck or coincidence. If you look at the demos on YouTube they demonstrate the airflow over the front wheels.
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      08-07-2012, 07:52 AM   #219
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There seem to be several people putting some thought into this so I wanted to bring up a few points because I feel like something very important is being overlooked in this discussion.

First, I believe there are a lot of people who assume, because they have not experienced it personally, that those of us complaining are exaggerating or making a mountain out of a molehill. I have been driving for 25 years and I can assure you this is not the case. If you experienced it at the intensity many of us have you would feel the same.

Second, there seem to be some people who have experienced some minor steering wheel vibration and assume anyone else who has mentioned it is experiencing it at the same level. I highly doubt that is the case because...

Third, the steering wheel shake/vibration always happens around the same speed range (roughly 40-60mph) but varies dramatically in intensity depending on the road... This has been my experience and I'm very curious if those who have experienced major problems with steering shake can test it and see if they agree.

For me, I can go down certain stretches of roads and experience little to no steering shake at 40-60. Other roads there is a clear vibration/shake that is annoying but not the end of the world. But certain stretches of roads the shake is horrendous and feels like the wheels are about to fall off. And these are not "rough" pothole-ridden roads and driving on them at speeds lower/higher than 40-60 is just fine! I don't know if my experience is unique, but I can clearly reproduce this if I drive over these roads! I have also driven a long time on one particular highway and seen pretty much all 3 levels of shakiness over a 20 mile stretch.

Unfortunately, I know very little about cars so I don't know what this means but since some folks are proposing solutions based on the descriptions here I wanted to re-emphasize this part of the problem. And ask others if they have experienced the same.
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      08-07-2012, 08:23 AM   #220
mocohead
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Scudder's post is exactly why I keep asking for videos. I think it would be helpful for somebody in Scudder's position to see if other cars are doing what his/hers is doing.

Another possible culprit here is wheel alignment. Is anybody with this issue in the LA area? If so please consider taking your car to West End Alignment (18008 South Vermont Avenue Gardena, CA 90248 (310) 808-9233) and tell Darin (the owner) that Randy sent you. Explain the issue and ask him to align the car. He charges $100 (cash only) but is an absolute GURU when it comes to alignment. This is a quick, painless and warranty safe way to try to solve your issue. Note that Darin requires a couple of weeks notice as his shop is extremely busy.

Good luck getting this fixed folks!
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