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      09-20-2013, 02:01 PM   #1
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Anyone have high speed driveline vibration?

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Has anyone noticed high speed driveline vibration on their F30? I had a 2013 328i 6MT M-Sport which was just replaced by BMW due to this problem. Last week I picked up my 2014 (same spec) at the Welt and it has the same issue. Really frustrated - and it's not me being too picky. Car and Driver just reported the same problem in their long term 2012 328i 6MT wrap up article (Oct issue).

Here's the issue: From about 72-95 MPH there's floor & seat vibration as well as low frequency drumming/booming noise that can be heard in the back ground. It peaks about 85 MPH and at that speed, the rear view mirror vibrates so badly that headlights of the cars behind you in the mirror are a blur. The seat vibration is much worse in the rear where there's a lot of vibration in the cushion. Car and Driver's description of the problem was nearly identical to mine (the only difference being they think their car started having the issue at 5900 miles, but both of mine were bad on delivery).

The dealer and BMW NA field service reps tried a lot of things: Balanced the tires, then replaced the wheels, rear differential and finally the prop shaft. It moved the vibration around, but never fixed it. At that point, BMW offered to replace the car.

I rode in a friend's 335i 8AT and it was glass at all speeds. Both my cars had different tires (Pirelli Cinturato on the '13; Bridgestone S001 on the '14) so I don't think it's that.

I also I don't think it's a manufacturing problem - would be unusual to have three cars from three different model years having exact same issue. I believe BMW missed something in the development of the car. I'm guessing it's related to the combination of N20 + 6MT.

I'm at a loss at this point since taking the car back to the dealer isn't going to get me anywhere. Perhaps if we band together - we can get BMW's attention and get them to look at the issue back at R&D in Munich?

Comments/advice welcome.
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      09-20-2013, 04:05 PM   #2
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328i 8AT, no vibration issues.
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      09-20-2013, 05:56 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear of your troubles. The f30 is riddled with problems and now that more folks are taking delivery, we are seeing a wider variety. I myself have had various vibration issues, engine breakdowns and rattles in 2 different f30s. You may want to save yourself any more aggravation and look into another manufacturer. I doubt another f30 will restore your confidence in the vehicle/brand. Good luck!
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      09-20-2013, 08:27 PM   #4
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Sorry to hear about that. Do you also happen to have steering wheel vibrations that some others have as well?
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      09-20-2013, 08:51 PM   #5
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Try depressing the clutch when it occurs to see if there's any change. If there is, it's the driveline - motor, trans or driveshaft. If there isn't, it's the diff, axles, bearings or wheels/tires.

I have a feeling there's an error stacking issue. Components are well within spec individually, but are out of spec as an assembly.


My 335 is buttery smooth. A great number of the components are common to both models.
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      09-20-2013, 09:35 PM   #6
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328i AT no issues
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      09-20-2013, 10:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BavarianFanatic View Post
Try depressing the clutch when it occurs to see if there's any change. If there is, it's the driveline - motor, trans or driveshaft. If there isn't, it's the diff, axles, bearings or wheels/tires.

I have a feeling there's an error stacking issue. Components are well within spec individually, but are out of spec as an assembly.


My 335 is buttery smooth. A great number of the components are common to both models.
Thanks for the advice. No change in Neutral. I understand your comment about tolerance stack - but don't think that's the case here. If that was the case, replacing key components (diff, prop shaft, etc.) should have made a bigger difference than they did. I believe it's a specification issue. If you look underneath, there's a dynamic damper on the rear subframe (43 Hz) and another on the rear diff (80 Hz on MT; 40 Hz on AT). There are labels on the parts that indicate the frequency. I believe these (one or both) are either out of spec from the supplier or tuned incorrectly. These vibration dampers are usually tuned just for this kind of driveline resonance. Unfortunately at the field service level (dealer, BMW NA tech support) there's not much that can be done to troubleshoot other than order new parts and do some trial & error parts swapping. But if the spec if wrong, that won't make much difference.
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      09-20-2013, 10:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beemer3 View Post
Sorry to hear about that. Do you also happen to have steering wheel vibrations that some others have as well?
Steering is clean. No issues at all with either car.
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      09-21-2013, 02:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3xED View Post
Has anyone noticed high speed driveline vibration on their F30? I had a 2013 328i 6MT M-Sport which was just replaced by BMW due to this problem. Last week I picked up my 2014 (same spec) at the Welt and it has the same issue. Really frustrated - and it's not me being too picky. Car and Driver just reported the same problem in their long term 2012 328i 6MT wrap up article (Oct issue).

Here's the issue: From about 72-95 MPH there's floor & seat vibration as well as low frequency drumming/booming noise that can be heard in the back ground. It peaks about 85 MPH and at that speed, the rear view mirror vibrates so badly that headlights of the cars behind you in the mirror are a blur. The seat vibration is much worse in the rear where there's a lot of vibration in the cushion. Car and Driver's description of the problem was nearly identical to mine (the only difference being they think their car started having the issue at 5900 miles, but both of mine were bad on delivery).

The dealer and BMW NA field service reps tried a lot of things: Balanced the tires, then replaced the wheels, rear differential and finally the prop shaft. It moved the vibration around, but never fixed it. At that point, BMW offered to replace the car.

I rode in a friend's 335i 8AT and it was glass at all speeds. Both my cars had different tires (Pirelli Cinturato on the '13; Bridgestone S001 on the '14) so I don't think it's that.

I also I don't think it's a manufacturing problem - would be unusual to have three cars from three different model years having exact same issue. I believe BMW missed something in the development of the car. I'm guessing it's related to the combination of N20 + 6MT.

I'm at a loss at this point since taking the car back to the dealer isn't going to get me anywhere. Perhaps if we band together - we can get BMW's attention and get them to look at the issue back at R&D in Munich?

Comments/advice welcome.
Very odd. I wouldn't accept it.
Have them take it back and try again.
You're paying good money to have this car, it should be smoooooth.

You said your friends F30 335i was smooth as glass, showing that it's not you being too picky.
Mine too is very smooth at speed, a 335i Msport sport AT.
Smooth with the OEM S001's and still as smooth with current
Conti DWS as tires.

It doesn't appear to be a design problem though. If it were, then the majority if not all F30 328i's would have this problem.
Could be related to some part/parts that are coming in off spec from time to time.
Or, it's an inconsistent line problem.
It could very well be a manufacturing problem, and it could be from suppliers problems, to assembly line issues.

It sucks that you've received 2 different model year F30's, both with the same problem.
Vibration/s felt in the seat and cabin are usually related to something in the back.
Your problem seems different to the early F30's that had front end causing vibration felt in the steering wheel.

You:
"The dealer and BMW NA field service reps tried a lot of things: Balanced the tires, then replaced the wheels, rear differential and finally the prop shaft. It moved the vibration around, but never fixed it."

Interesting. Then perhaps it's farther forward, which would be the trans.
Mounting? Clutch plate out of spec? Flywheel out of spec?
Try full depressing the clutch pedal so that the clutch fully disengages from the flywheel.

Keep us posted.
Quite interesting.

Last edited by RPM90; 09-21-2013 at 02:16 AM.
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      09-21-2013, 02:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3xED View Post
Thanks for the advice. No change in Neutral. I understand your comment about tolerance stack - but don't think that's the case here. If that was the case, replacing key components (diff, prop shaft, etc.) should have made a bigger difference than they did. I believe it's a specification issue. If you look underneath, there's a dynamic damper on the rear subframe (43 Hz) and another on the rear diff (80 Hz on MT; 40 Hz on AT). There are labels on the parts that indicate the frequency. I believe these (one or both) are either out of spec from the supplier or tuned incorrectly. These vibration dampers are usually tuned just for this kind of driveline resonance. Unfortunately at the field service level (dealer, BMW NA tech support) there's not much that can be done to troubleshoot other than order new parts and do some trial & error parts swapping. But if the spec if wrong, that won't make much difference.
Also, try different gears at same speed and note any changes.
IOW, 4th at 75mph, then 5th at 75mph.
5th at 80mph, 6th at 80mph, you get the idea.

I know this may sound odd, but ust to rule this out, this happens all the time, even with the windows and sunroof fully closed?
Basically related to odd pressure wave build up in the cabin if heavy incoming air has no place to escape.

Parts spec could be wrong.
But finding if the spec is wrong will make a difference, if they can locate which part or parts are out of spec.
The supplier may be manufacturing the part/s out of correct spec.

Last edited by RPM90; 09-21-2013 at 02:20 AM.
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      09-21-2013, 05:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3xED View Post
Thanks for the advice. No change in Neutral. I understand your comment about tolerance stack - but don't think that's the case here. If that was the case, replacing key components (diff, prop shaft, etc.) should have made a bigger difference than they did. I believe it's a specification issue. If you look underneath, there's a dynamic damper on the rear subframe (43 Hz) and another on the rear diff (80 Hz on MT; 40 Hz on AT). There are labels on the parts that indicate the frequency. I believe these (one or both) are either out of spec from the supplier or tuned incorrectly. These vibration dampers are usually tuned just for this kind of driveline resonance. Unfortunately at the field service level (dealer, BMW NA tech support) there's not much that can be done to troubleshoot other than order new parts and do some trial & error parts swapping. But if the spec if wrong, that won't make much difference.
Out of interest have the guys trying to troubleshoot your issues removed or swapped the damper(s), in an attempt to see if it changes the vibration and/or frequency?

HighlandPete
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      09-30-2013, 11:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
Out of interest have the guys trying to troubleshoot your issues removed or swapped the damper(s), in an attempt to see if it changes the vibration and/or frequency?

HighlandPete
By the time I figured out the dampers could be the cause, I was done with the service department, the new car was on order and the tickets to Munich were booked. It wasn't worth upsetting that process.

Yes, I would have liked to have tried this for myself. Looks like I may get that chance with the next car.
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      09-30-2013, 11:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPM90 View Post
Very odd. I wouldn't accept it.
Have them take it back and try again.
You're paying good money to have this car, it should be smoooooth.

You said your friends F30 335i was smooth as glass, showing that it's not you being too picky.
Mine too is very smooth at speed, a 335i Msport sport AT.
Smooth with the OEM S001's and still as smooth with current
Conti DWS as tires.

It doesn't appear to be a design problem though. If it were, then the majority if not all F30 328i's would have this problem.
Could be related to some part/parts that are coming in off spec from time to time.
Or, it's an inconsistent line problem.
It could very well be a manufacturing problem, and it could be from suppliers problems, to assembly line issues.

It sucks that you've received 2 different model year F30's, both with the same problem.
Vibration/s felt in the seat and cabin are usually related to something in the back.
Your problem seems different to the early F30's that had front end causing vibration felt in the steering wheel.

You:
"The dealer and BMW NA field service reps tried a lot of things: Balanced the tires, then replaced the wheels, rear differential and finally the prop shaft. It moved the vibration around, but never fixed it."

Interesting. Then perhaps it's farther forward, which would be the trans.
Mounting? Clutch plate out of spec? Flywheel out of spec?
Try full depressing the clutch pedal so that the clutch fully disengages from the flywheel.

Keep us posted.
Quite interesting.
When I arrived back from my ED pick-up, my October issue of Car and Driver was waiting. In it, they concluded their long-term test of a 2012 328i 6MT Sport Line. Guess what they complained about?

"Gripes focusing on driveline vibration began at 5900 miles and continued throughout the test. The buzz was subtle enough that it was more often seen, not heard or felt, as a rearview-mirror quiver. The tremor began at 75 mph and heald steady throughout the upper registers. We doubt that the engine is to blame for this very un-BMW-like roughness. The cause could be deep within a tire, an out-of-balance driveshaft, or some other unhappy rotating component. Our dealer searched for the gremlin but never found it."

This is identical to my problem - except I felt the vibration from delivery on both cars - whereas Car and Driver thought it developed over time. Either it was there from start and they never noticed it - or it does get worse with miles.

BTW: I think this is only a 328i + 6MT issue. The number of those cars are (sadly) dwindling as most opt for the 8AT, and those that do get 6MTs get the 335i.
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      09-30-2013, 11:50 PM   #14
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I just saw this thread. Interestingly I too had vibration issues. However I just had Coilovers installed and then had the car set up by one of the leading suspension and steering centres here in Australia they did a thorough 4 wheel alignment and set up using no computers as they are often wrong. They did it the old fashioned way whatever that is.

Anyway the car now has zero vibrations and drives better then it did on the day of delivery. My advice take the car to a race engineering company and have them set the suspension and steering and wheels properly it may fix your problem.

From whatmy experts said the computers doing alignments are often wrong they spit out saying it's all correct and the car is in fact not right.
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      11-15-2013, 04:18 AM   #15
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This is identical to my problem by I have a 330i.

Really annoying on the motorway

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3xED View Post
When I arrived back from my ED pick-up, my October issue of Car and Driver was waiting. In it, they concluded their long-term test of a 2012 328i 6MT Sport Line. Guess what they complained about?

"Gripes focusing on driveline vibration began at 5900 miles and continued throughout the test. The buzz was subtle enough that it was more often seen, not heard or felt, as a rearview-mirror quiver. The tremor began at 75 mph and heald steady throughout the upper registers. We doubt that the engine is to blame for this very un-BMW-like roughness. The cause could be deep within a tire, an out-of-balance driveshaft, or some other unhappy rotating component. Our dealer searched for the gremlin but never found it."

This is identical to my problem - except I felt the vibration from delivery on both cars - whereas Car and Driver thought it developed over time. Either it was there from start and they never noticed it - or it does get worse with miles.

BTW: I think this is only a 328i + 6MT issue. The number of those cars are (sadly) dwindling as most opt for the 8AT, and those that do get 6MTs get the 335i.
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      11-15-2013, 05:12 AM   #16
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Nope! My car is buttery smooth and problem free.
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      11-15-2013, 10:31 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sedan_Clan View Post
Nope! My car is buttery smooth and problem free.
Ditto...except for an occasional limpy, she's doing good!
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      11-15-2013, 11:57 AM   #18
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335i 8AT here, 5800 miles or so and zero problems thus far (aside from failed aux cooling fan that was quickly replaced last summer).
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      11-15-2013, 01:09 PM   #19
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'13 328i AT: Yes. I notice the issues at lower speeds, around 66-65. i believe this is one the the reason my dashboard rattles (rattled some clips loose). Sadly, the dealership refuses to recognize it as a legitimate problem.
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      11-15-2013, 02:24 PM   #20
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my 135 was like this. sucked. e90 335xi was fine as is my current f30 335xi (dhp).
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      11-15-2013, 02:51 PM   #21
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Do your tires show an unusual wear pattern? That would indicate suspension/alignment issues for sure. Another possibility, however remote, could be something to do with your flywheel/clutch being out of balance. I had an issue like that with a Porsche 944S2 where the rubber center for the clutch disk started to come apart and threw chunks of the rubber into the outer edge of the pressure plate, causing quite a bit of vibration. The fix was a new clutch disk with the conventional springs instead of a rubber hub. I also wonder if maybe those RFT tires might have something to do with it...that might explain why C&D saw it manifest itself after nearly 6K miles. I will be switching out my tires for non-RFTs as soon as these existing ones wear out (or start vibrating). Either way, BMW should fix this on a new car.
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      11-15-2013, 02:51 PM   #22
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I notice my passenger side seat starts vibrating after 70mph very annoying
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