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Alex B View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Vibration felt through whole car
    Posted: 07-January-2005 at 11:31

I have a vibration through the whole car which i can feel from 60-90mph.  I've had my wheels balanced 3 times at different places.  replaced front and rear brake discs and pads.  I've even dumped my Fulda Extremo tyres and fitted new OE Conti eco contacts. 225/55/16.  The problem is still the same.  I've had the car checked over by a TCS BMW specialists in High Wycombe and by North Oxford main dealer.  They can't find anything wrong.  The wheels are OE and if swapped front to back the problem is the same.  It is not wheels/tyres/brakes.  The car is very low miles at 44000.  The dealer says all the bushes look good and have never heard of any prop shaft probs on an e39.  I've read plenty of previous posts about similar problems.  Has anyone actually fixed this problem?  I've spent around £700 already and am starting to hate the car i loved for so long.  Please help!!

 

I've read loads of previous posts similar to my problem but haven't got a definite solution

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Toxic View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-January-2005 at 11:45

Alex,  I'm in the same boat as you at the moment.  The vibration is small, but very high frequency and I feel it in the seat and up through my right leg from the accelerator pedal.

My local independent thinks it's fine, but he's not driving it every day.

I have 110k miles on mine so I've more wear & tear in the car.

I was thinking first that it might be discs also, but I'm seriously starting to think it might be worn bushes in the suspension arms.  I'm more inclined to start at the back of the car since there is nothing really coming up through the steering.

I've swapped the wheels, balanced them and prodded about at the rear bushes.  I'm not sure how they are to react if you apply a small bit of lateral pressure on them with a flat bladed screwdriver but they did move 4-5 mm.

I'm going to look into how easy it is to replace the back arms/bushes first and see if I can do it myself and save a few euro. 

I found a local motor factors that can get febi parts in which work out a lot cheaper than OEM parts.  www.febi.com

Tom
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-January-2005 at 11:56
Tom, what you describe is exactly what i have.  Very small vibrations but high frequency felt through my seat and the floor.  Feeling my trousers vibrate against my legs and through the accelerator pedal.  The best place I can feel it is if I put my hand on the side of the passenger head rest.  I agree it is almost certainly at the back of the car cos the steering is fine.  I never mentioned that I replaced the front discs cos i also had steering judder under braking.  The judder is fixed (warped discs).  I'm not sure where to look next.  Let me know how you get on if you go for the bushes.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-January-2005 at 11:58

If you exhaust is slightly loose it can rattle against the body at certain speeds/frequencies and cause vibration in the car...usaully from the back too.

Worth a look....

B

 

 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-January-2005 at 12:17

Could it be from a worn engine/transmission mount?

Not sure of the details of any of these but might be worth a look.  As Tom is saying that would give a feel of a vibration other than thru the steering wheel. 

If it is a high frequency it sounds like it's due to something that is moving about quickly hence something moving about in the engine/transmission area?

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-January-2005 at 12:43

What I haven't mentioned is that I only noticed the problem after having my offside rear ABS sensor replaced at the main dealer.  To do this they had to remove the wheel and drill out the old sensor and its attachment bolt as they had both seized.  I had driven the 800 mile round trip to Scotland only 2 weeks previously and it wasn't there then.  I did the same drive the day after the sensor replacement and there it was.  Is it something they have knocked during the sensor replacement?

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-January-2005 at 15:39

Andrew & Brybusa, I had suspected something like what you guys have mentioned and also my independent suggested also it could be coming from something resonating through the car.  My cat is not in great shapes at the moment and could possibly be the cause, but then again its been like that for a while and the problem is only recent.

Also suspected something in the engine bay are like a loose or worn engine mount.

Reasons why I discounted them was if I am driving on a glass like road surface the vibration is almost gone, but as soon as you hit a nice rough surface it's back with a vengeance.

I had a look at the rear wishbones today and they look relatively easy to replace....2 bolts each, pop them out and new ones in.  Had a quick look in the Bentley and it confirmed it.  The procedure is 2-3 lines long.  They're no way as difficult as the front ones.

There are 4 bushes on each corner at the rear.  2 are replaceable by themselves (swing arm & subframe mounting) and the other 2 (Upper rear control arm & upper front control arm) have to be replaced with the arm.  The 2 arms are the easy ones to replace.  Other 2 look a but more to them.

Another thing that crossed my mind was the wheel bearings.

Like you said Alex, this can be a cheap or expensive fix.  If u hit the nail on the head first time, you're lucky.

Parts #14 & 18 are the 2 arms I mention above that are straight forward enough to change.

Alex, at least you are in the position that you have it narrowed down to one corner. The drilling they had to do may have done some damage to the bearing or bushes. 



Edited by Toxic
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-January-2005 at 19:37
No sure if anyone has suggested this guys but, i had the same problem with my 525 sport, turned out that when i was getting new tyres fitted they forgot to refit the small plastic centering rings onto the wheels, sometimes they arent obvious because they actually sit in the wheel edge.  just a suggestion.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-January-2005 at 14:27

I took the car out on a long drive today over various road surfaces.  Definate difference between smooth tarmac surface and rough concrete surfaces thro housing estates.

Also, in a stopped position, I revved the car slowly up to 4,500rpm and the vibrations can also be felt up thro the accelerator & clutch pedal.

I'm baffled as to what might be causing it....maybe its a combination of both vibration from the dying cat and worn bushings.

Seeing as my cat has been on my list for a few months I think I'll tackle that first and check all the exhaust mountings while I'm at it.

GSF have one for £195+VAT, so I'll be ordering one first thing Monday.  Might take a week to 10 days before I'm back with a reply, but I'll keep it posted.

Tom
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-January-2005 at 18:47

if your car has the virbration when stopped like you say, it's more worrying i would think!!  when you drive it and get the vibration what RPM is the engine doing?  4500 also? or is it speed related and not revs when driving?

I would have thought with the vibration happening when stopped, it's an engine problem!! small end bearings, cam, and unbalanced pulley, could also be an engine mount? hopefully the latter!!  I would have the mounts checked, or just change them as a matter of course!!  i doubt you have any engie probs!!  or i hope you haven't!


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-January-2005 at 15:22
Originally posted by J7 VNK J7 VNK wrote:

if your car has the virbration when stopped like you say, it's more worrying i would think!!  when you drive it and get the vibration what RPM is the engine doing?  4500 also? or is it speed related and not revs when driving?

I would have thought with the vibration happening when stopped, it's an engine problem!! small end bearings, cam, and unbalanced pulley, could also be an engine mount? hopefully the latter!!  I would have the mounts checked, or just change them as a matter of course!!  i doubt you have any engie probs!!  or i hope you haven't!

It's more speed related....the cat defiantely needs doing but I don't think it is the major cause of the vibration.

Definately the rougher the surface the worse the vibration....no matter what speed.  I exited off the motorway today and the exit ramp started into a sweeping 90 deg left bend and then to a sweeping 90 deg right bend.  Definately the vibration was worse turning right.  This to me suggests more of a problem on the right as more of the weight is placed on the right when turning right.  I hit a large pothole a few weeks back thet did serious damage to my back right alloy...new tyre also.

I'm going to start replacing the bushes and arms in the rear starting with te right side but also at same time get the cat done.  Lets hope the costs stay low.



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Tom
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-January-2005 at 16:02
Originally posted by Toxic Toxic wrote:

Also, in a stopped position, I revved the car slowly up to 4,500rpm and the vibrations can also be felt up thro the accelerator & clutch pedal.

I'm baffled as to what might be causing it....

replacing the bushings and arms in the rear wont help a vibration if it vibrates when stopped, as you have said above! maybe it is worse when driving, BUT if you do have a vibration when stopped and revving, i would tend to assume these are somehow one in the same thing!!  so i would still start with your engine/gearbox mounts!!

unless, the vibration when sanding still is simply a 'rattle' from a loose cat/exhaust/heat shield etc...


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-January-2005 at 10:32

Tom, It sounds like you have 2 problems then.  I don't have any engine vibration at all but your symptoms for the high frequency vibration at 60-90 are identical to mine.  I'm wondering if BMW North Oxford could have 'knocked' something out of alignment or adjustment while working on my abs sensor?  That may be a red herring, but it only appeared after job.  Did your vibration come gradually or suddenly or was it only after you had the pothole incident?  I can see a common factor of rear right hand side here.



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-January-2005 at 15:13

Alex,

I have a feeling I have 2 problems.  One vibration coming from revving the engine, whether it be from bad engine/gearbox mounts or exhaust vibration.

2nd is from driving the car.  Reason I say this is I can feel a vibration through the floor pan sitting at idle and gradually raising the revs.  2,000rpm seems to be where it kicks in.  There is no vibration seen on the sun visor or passenger headrest at this time.

However driving at 70-80, the headrest and sunvisor can be seen to vibrate.

I'm going down to my local independent tomorrow and he is going to give me 4 wheels to put on the car and see if they make any difference.  If they do, then the garage that supoosed to have balanced the wheels last for me didn't do it right.

I'll also have a good poke around with thim under the bonnet and try to convince him of the vibration.

My vibration only seemed to happen after I hit that pothole.  I replaced the tyre & wheel and got the wheels balanced and 4 wheel alignment, but no improvement.

I still suspect some suspension bushing wear, so with teh wheels off tomorrow, I'll get his opinion on the bushings and their condition.

Update tomorrow evening.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-January-2005 at 03:12

Tom

I don't know if you have taken steps on this before or know its not a factor but not wanting to worry you, could the engine vibration be a result of the dreaded Nikasil issue?  This might explain the vibration when stationary but not the vibration as a result of hitting a pothole.

Hmm.

The only other thing I could think of that might produce a high frequency vibration at speed might be a worn wheel bearing (or damaged one after hitting the pothole) and with a combination of possibly worn suspension bushes allowing metal to metal contact and hence the vibration felt thru the car body.  This effect may be exaggerated immediately after hitting a new pothole and then settle down once the suspension components move about to their 'normal' positions afterwards.

Best of luck at the indy.  Keep us posted

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-January-2005 at 05:17
Originally posted by Andrew Rolland Andrew Rolland wrote:

Tom

I don't know if you have taken steps on this before or know its not a factor but not wanting to worry you, could the engine vibration be a result of the dreaded Nikasil issue?  This might explain the vibration when stationary but not the vibration as a result of hitting a pothole.

Hmm.

The only other thing I could think of that might produce a high frequency vibration at speed might be a worn wheel bearing (or damaged one after hitting the pothole) and with a combination of possibly worn suspension bushes allowing metal to metal contact and hence the vibration felt thru the car body.  This effect may be exaggerated immediately after hitting a new pothole and then settle down once the suspension components move about to their 'normal' positions afterwards.

Best of luck at the indy.  Keep us posted

Andrew

Andrew, I'm thinking along the line that it might be a bearing but I'm told you would be deafened if the bearing was gone....

As far as the Nikasil thing, I'm not losing any oil between serice (8k miles) probably a litre, so I should be ok there? Right?



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-January-2005 at 05:35

A litre seems quite a bit to me!!  but not sure what the actual consumption figures are!  I know the M5 used to use that in a about 1000 miles!!

As for a bearing, what bearing are you talking about?  an engine bearing?  as I doubt it could be a wheel bearing!!

As for being deafened!  not the case at all, if a big end goes you'll get a low rev (tickover) rumble or a knocking if it's bad!  but not the case in the small end bearings or an ancilliary!

Another thing for the revving vibration could simply be an uneven run!  misfire etc.. but you should be able to tell this and i'm sure a garage would have picked up on! 

Good luck!


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-January-2005 at 07:55

Vibration coming thru' the floor pan usaully IS the exhaust coming loose....

Get it up on a ramp and check it before throwing £££££ away...

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-January-2005 at 13:06
Originally posted by J7 VNK J7 VNK wrote:

A litre seems quite a bit to me!!  but not sure what the actual consumption figures are!  I know the M5 used to use that in a about 1000 miles!!

1 litre per 8000miles consumption maximum.

The indy didn't have the wheels for me today so I'm off to another shop tomorrow to get them balanced and aligned.  Last place I got them done has a bit of a vendetta against me over €20 so I think they might have been a bit lax a dazy with the balancing.  While the car is up on the ramp, I'll have a good look under at the exhaust.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-January-2005 at 13:46
When I've had a worn wheel bearing it's made a sort of moaning noise
when taking a bend at speed, but only in one direction, ie if it moaned
through a left hander it was one of the right -side bearings.

Thia is probably way off, but I wondered if the difference in vibration on
different surfaces could be due to resonance in a tyre if it was
significantly over/under inflated? Just a guess.
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