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      10-15-2014, 02:18 PM   #1
c_surmeli
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F30 328i steering to the right when not interfered

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Hello fellow Bimmer People. Hope you're all enjoying your rides.

I've a serious problem with my beloved BMW. It's a F30 328i xDrive 2014. And the problem is that the car steers to the right little by little on a straight road and if I not intervene to the steering by keeping it to the left, the car can shift a lane all by itself in a short distance.

It's a very disturbing problem as you may imagine as well and what is more disturbing is that my local BMW dealer suggested that it's got to do with the roads of the city which is totally absurd. For the record, no other car steers to the right or left without it's drivers consent in the city. 😄

I'm really pissed about it so I need some technical guidance about the situation. The technical details of my car about this situation are the following:
  • it's got M adaptive suspension
  • 19 inch wheels
  • electrical steering

Also my car had two separate rod balancing services and everything from the dampers to the wheels have been checked and reported as fine.

Has anyone had a similar problem with their BMW? What could be wrong my ride?

Thanks in advance.
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      10-15-2014, 02:25 PM   #2
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      10-15-2014, 02:36 PM   #3
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If your car has been checked, and the usual culprits - tire pressure, alignment, wheels have been checked then it more than likely is just the roads.

If you drive outside of your usual roads and towns see if you still have the problem on a highway.

There are a few areas where road crown is very dramatic and has almost steered my car off the road, and larger tires + contact patches will exaggerate the problem. So people who are driving cars with 205 tires on little wheels may not have any issues and if you're driving with the big 255's you'll notice it more.

If it happens constantly then I would recommend asking the dealer to come out on a drive with you where they can demonstrate it. As mentioned you could compensate by adjusting the tires to always want to pull away from the crown, but then if you hit a road without it you're going to have the opposite problem.

If your dealer checked the alignment and said it was OK, then they are likely correct in that it is the roads.
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      10-15-2014, 02:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c_surmeli View Post
...It's a very disturbing problem as you may imagine as well and what is more disturbing is that my local BMW dealer suggested that it's got to do with the roads of the city
Hi don't mind me being a little Frank here. (poor frank always gets blamed)

the dealers information is actually correct. Most sporty BMWs have such tight steering that they do what is called tramlining. This is where they in fact follow the grooves in the road and actually go where other vehicles have worn a patern in the road. Sometimes tramlining isnt a factor when a road is newly paved the crown of the road which usually is at the highest in the center of the road forces vehicles away from that point meaning if you are on a 2 lane road where traffic is flowing in both directions the crown causes your vehicle to want to steer to the right and the other vehicles traveling in the opposite direction to do the same. This is a safety feature that the governments have come up with to use the road surface to help prevent accidental lane crossings. So likewise if you are on a 4 lane road and you are in the right most lane your vehicle will likely follow a rightward pattern however, if you are in the left lane that is traveling the same direction your vehicle will want to steer left. This type of behaviour is normal for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by c_surmeli View Post
...For the record, no other car steers to the right or left without it's drivers consent in the city...
Sorry but Frank is back, this is simply not true. The active forces the road exerts on ever car makes them want to steer to the direction away from the crown of the road to some degree. How tight the steering is will determine how much you feel it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by c_surmeli View Post
  • it's got M adaptive suspension
  • 19 inch wheels
...
this above is certainly evidence that you have a sporty BMW that has a tight suspension and steering package. YOU will feel the road movements a bit more because you have a lower profile tire and ///M adaptive suspension.

OK let me introduce you to Franks brother JACK.

If you are on a four laned road in the inner most left lane and you notice that the crown of the road in definately in the center of the road which is to the right and your vehicle is still pulling right then your car is JACKed up and I would certainly get the alignment looked after. Just make sure you take it to someone that knows all the tolerances of the negative camber and such so that they get it right for you.

Now that you have been introduced to Frank and Jack, please let us know what you find out.
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      10-15-2014, 03:13 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the replies until now. Much appreciated! 👍

Quote:
If you are on a four laned road in the inner most left lane and you notice that the crown of the road in definately in the center of the road which is to the right and your vehicle is still pulling right then your car is JACKed up and I would certainly get the alignment looked after. Just make sure you take it to someone that knows all the tolerances of the negative camber and such so that they get it right for you.
This actually happens. I was previously on 4 lane road at the left most lane and my car shifted to the right.

Also what alignment are you exactly referring to?

Quote:
If it happens constantly then I would recommend asking the dealer to come out on a drive with you where they can demonstrate it. As mentioned you could compensate by adjusting the tires to always want to pull away from the crown, but then if you hit a road without it you're going to have the opposite problem.
I was thinking about this but first I wanted to gather some concrete information about the situation.
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      10-15-2014, 03:25 PM   #6
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The alignment of your wheels is adjustable.

If your car constantly pulls to the right then take it into the dealer, and make the service manager come out for a drive with you and show him a road that it is readily apparent on.

Did you actually have the car taken in for an alignment? Balancing the tires will not have anything to do with the car pulling, have them check the alignment to see if something is out of spec and tell them the car is pulling to the right.

Have you hit any large potholes or other obstacles that may have thrown out the alignment?
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      10-15-2014, 03:27 PM   #7
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Usually this is resolved by a front-wheel alignment. I had one after only 5,000 or so miles and BMW said it wasn't covered. Went to a local 'Brakes Plus' which charged 1/3 of what BMW did. It's a pretty basic and routine fix. No problems since.
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      10-16-2014, 07:58 AM   #8
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I'm finding it difficult to believe there are BMW owners on this forum that don't understand the concept of wheel alignment. The front suspension in most every car is adjustable for caster, camber, and toe-in/out; BMWs also have the same adjustments on the rear suspension as well. Overall, the wheels have to be aligned such that they are parallel to the chassis and allow the car to roll completely straight ahead with the steering wheel centered. This is done with an alignment machine, a lift on which the car is placed and devices are then attached to each wheel to measure the aforementioned categories (caster, camber, etc.) via a system of laser beams.

When the car veers to the right or left with the steering centered, it usually indicates a problem with either the wheels not being in parallel alignment to the chassis or it can be a low tire on one side or an actual tire problem. With non-unidirectional tires, a simple right-left tire swap can sometimes cure the problem; most BMWs have performance tires with unidirectional tread (they have to rotate in the direction of the arrows on the sidewall) so this swap isn't possible. If the tire has a defect in its inner structure, it will pull to one direction or the other.

Finally, when things like this occur to a BMW that is under warranty, it should be taken to the dealership to get it checked out and fixed, depending on what's causing the problem. A 4-wheel alignment at the dealer is going to cost about $200; tire replacement will also be higher than at a tire dealer; however, it could be due to faulty suspension parts, although this would be rare on a car this new. If taken to a 3rd-party tire dealer, be sure that they can do a 4-wheel alignment instead of just the front-wheel alignment.
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      10-16-2014, 09:05 AM   #9
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My car had a crooked steering wheel to the right but tracking straight, dealer alignment cost me $89 and fixed the issue.
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      10-16-2014, 11:04 AM   #10
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They charged you for a miss-aligned steering wheel for a car under warranty? Was it that way when you bought it from BMW??

Have you done any after-market wheel suspension work on the car? if not, I don't believe you should have been charged
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      10-16-2014, 04:45 PM   #11
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I did the wheel alignment and all was perfect on the front wheel (just opened a bit the toe-in) and the rear wheel, but my car too tends to veer right, very slightly but this happens.
This attitude is very soft and I don't consider it a problem, but I experience it...
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      10-24-2014, 03:30 AM   #12
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Sorry it's been some time fellas. I forgot to report the changes.

I did the alignment(not my BMW Dealer but another respected garage) and now everything seems normal. No excessive veering, thank God. I just experience some minor right veering as 'Gio72' mentioned but I view it as normal as well at the moment considering my car's sportiness.

Thanks all for your knowledge. You've been much helpful. 😄
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      10-24-2014, 06:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alienranch View Post
Usually this is resolved by a front-wheel alignment. I had one after only 5,000 or so miles and BMW said it wasn't covered. Went to a local 'Brakes Plus' which charged 1/3 of what BMW did. It's a pretty basic and routine fix. No problems since.
Some of the smaller local shops use skill instead of computers. I had a Mazda 6 a number of years back, and it was plagued with steering wheel vibration and steering quicker to one side than the other. The dealer tried a couple times and it was slightly better. When on a trip visiting family my Cousin suggested I go to this local shop thats known for doing great work. They balanced the tires and aligned them, and wow, the car was like a guided missile with zero vibration! They told me one wheel must have been damaged at some point because it was very difficult to balance but they did their best. It was like a whole new car driving home.
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      10-24-2014, 06:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c_surmeli View Post
I did the alignment(not my BMW Dealer but another respected garage) and now everything seems normal. No excessive veering, thank God.
I should have read this before making my suggestion above - but anyhow its great the problem is resolved!
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      10-26-2014, 04:28 AM   #15
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Some important news fellas!

A friend of mine, who is very knowledgable about cars, suggested to take my ride for a test drive.

We were riding at the comfort mode on a straight, 4 lane road and some minor veering was occurring but incidentally he switched to the Eco Pro mode and everything was suddenly fine. The car was going as if it were being pulled on a straight train road. Then he switched back to comfort and things turned back to normal, veering occurred. Then back to Eco Pro and everything was fine again.

We took the car back to the official BMW dealer and told them the situation. It turns out that the electric motor of the wheel was faulty and the system didn't even alerted it. And since the electric motor of the wheel is deactivated because of efficiency on Eco Pro mode, steering was fine on Eco Pro.

The dealer person was shocked to see that the car didn't give any alerts about the problem and also about a driver diagnosing the problem.

So now the wheel's electric motor is being replaced and hopefully everything will be fine.

I'll write back the results.
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