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Old 08-19-2017, 07:12 AM   #1
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Default Car vibrates at highway speeds.

Vibration only happens at highway speeds. Starts around 60-65 MPH and stays until around 80-85 MPH. If I go over 80+ then the vibration seems to go away. Vibration only occurs in the front end - as far as I can tell - and is noticeable on the gas/brake pedal, seats, dash and the steering wheel.

This is bugging me and I canít seem to figure this out. I have a 2007 530xi N52 engine with 105k miles. Iím the second owner and bought it at 90k miles. Previous owner was an old lawyer and it was dealer maintained.

Car doesnít necessarily have any issues besides this. It has been vibrating since I bought it highway was a little backed up so I couldnít drive too fast for the test drive - my fault there). I did have my mechanic look at it prior to purchasing it and he said there were no issues so I went ahead with it.

A year later, the vibration is still there. A second mechanic told me it was my rims. They said I had two or three bent rims and tires were worn thatís the reason. I bought all new wheels and tires and the vibration still persists. Only thing that happened is now there is a creaking sound ever since I bought the new wheels. The creaking happens when I go over bumps or make a turn.

My brake caliper was seizing so I had to get a new one on the driver wheel. My mechanic said the vibration was occurring due to the sticking caliper even though the vibration has been happening for the past year and the caliper just started seizing the past month. After the caliper has been replaced, the vibration is still there, unchanged.

I was then told it was the lower control arm by the first mechanic. He also said I need sway bar links as well as shocks. I bought all new (OEM) front lower control arms, front sway bar links, all four shocks and shock mounts. I bought all of that and paid him to install it. Sway bar links and lower control arms were supposed to fix the vibration and the mounts were supposed to fix the squeaking sound. After all new items put in, the car drives the exact same. Didnít notice a single difference in the drive, not even the shocks felt different. The vibration and squeaking is still there.

Iím not being told itís the thrust arm and bushings.

Do you guys have any idea what it could be? This is my first real car and it drives beautifully despite the vibration. Itís just annoying whenever I get on the highway that I feel it. Itís subtle and nothing crazy but I still notice it.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 08-19-2017, 10:30 AM   #2
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The first thing you should have done was to do a tire balancing. If that doesn't work then do the Thrust arms(the big curly ones). You stated you got all new wheels and tires, so rims shouldn't be the issue. Before you waste anymore money go to a reputable tire shop and get all four balanced.

Thrust and control arms usually smooth out at high speeds and you are more likely to feel vibration, if they are bad, at lower speeds. Vibration is usually caused by bad tires, unbalanced tires, bent rims, or worn out bushings in the control/Thrust arms. Your problem definitely sounds like a balancing issue since it is at high speeds. I would suggest going to a different shop from the one who installed the wheels and tires, get them balanced again, regardless of if they were already balanced. This is the cheapest option so worth the try. If that doesn't work you should then replace the thrust arms and get an alignment.

Please report back whenever you do get it fixed.
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Old 08-19-2017, 10:34 AM   #3
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The first thing you should have done was to do a tire balancing. If that doesn't work then do the Thrust arms(the big curly ones). You stated you got all new wheels and tires, so rims shouldn't be the issue. Before you waste anymore money go to a reputable tire shop and get all four balanced.

Thrust and control arms usually smooth out at high speeds and you are more likely to feel vibration, if they are bad, at lower speeds. Vibration is usually caused by bad tires, unbalanced tires, bent rims, or worn out bushings in the control/Thrust arms. Your problem definitely sounds like a balancing issue since it is at high speeds. I would suggest going to a different shop from the one who installed the wheels and tires, get them balanced again, regardless of if they were already balanced. This is the cheapest option so worth the try. If that doesn't work you should then replace the thrust arms and get an alignment.

Please report back whenever you do get it fixed.
Already got an alignment when the lower arms were replaced. Was planning on getting a balancing today already but out at work and places close early. Traveling tomorrow so I don't think I can do it unless I stop at a place in between - tomorrow is Sunday though and most places are closed. I'll try to get it Monday. Thanks for the post, though.

Last edited by Nadhir; 08-19-2017 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 08-19-2017, 10:56 AM   #4
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The first thing you should have done was to do a tire balancing. If that doesn't work then do the Thrust arms(the big curly ones). You stated you got all new wheels and tires, so rims shouldn't be the issue. Before you waste anymore money go to a reputable tire shop and get all four balanced.

Thrust and control arms usually smooth out at high speeds and you are more likely to feel vibration, if they are bad, at lower speeds. Vibration is usually caused by bad tires, unbalanced tires, bent rims, or worn out bushings in the control/Thrust arms. Your problem definitely sounds like a balancing issue since it is at high speeds. I would suggest going to a different shop from the one who installed the wheels and tires, get them balanced again, regardless of if they were already balanced. This is the cheapest option so worth the try. If that doesn't work you should then replace the thrust arms and get an alignment.

Please report back whenever you do get it fixed.
By the way, would anything happen if i'm driving with it vibrating for too long? Most I've driven is an hour but i'm going on a 12 hour road trip and just don't want it to mess anything up.

Secondly, do you know what would cause the creaking? I only noticed it when I got the new wheels and I hear it whenever I turn or go over bumps.
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Old 08-19-2017, 11:44 AM   #5
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If you are hearing a "clickity clack" sound especially when you turn the wheel from a stop, it's either the control/thrust arms or the sway bar links. If you have time jack up the car and take a look. A 12 hour drive depends on how bad they are, if one of the ball joints should pop out you will be stuck. I wouldn't do a 12 hour drive. If you replace the Thrust arms and sway bar links then a 12 hour drive would be fine even if it was still vibrating.
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Old 08-19-2017, 11:46 AM   #6
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I forgot you did say you changed the srtuts, correct? The mechanic should have told you that your thrust arms were bad because they have to be removed to get the struts out.
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Old 08-19-2017, 11:57 AM   #7
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If you are hearing a "clickity clack" sound especially when you turn the wheel from a stop, it's either the control/thrust arms or the sway bar links. If you have time jack up the car and take a look. A 12 hour drive depends on how bad they are, if one of the ball joints should pop out you will be stuck. I wouldn't do a 12 hour drive. If you replace the Thrust arms and sway bar links then a 12 hour drive would be fine even if it was still vibrating.
I replaced sway bar links and lower control arms. Mechanic said thrust arm is fine but bushing is bad and it's one unit so entire thrust arm needs replacing. He told me this when I picked up the car.

edit: it's not a clickity clack noice. More like a squeaking noise like something needs oil. Clickity is more like a small knocking sound but this creaking sounds like a door when it needs oil.

Last edited by Nadhir; 08-19-2017 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 08-19-2017, 11:59 AM   #8
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I forgot you did say you changed the srtuts, correct? The mechanic should have told you that your thrust arms were bad because they have to be removed to get the struts out.
yes, all struts and Shocks along with the mounts were replaced. He told me that the bushings were bad when I picked it up. I told him about my trip and he said it shouldn't be an issue so I don't know. He also said the lower control arms would fix the vibration but it didn't. :
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Old 08-19-2017, 05:17 PM   #9
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This is crazy. A lot of money spent on something only one thing is doing. First i would of started out with a new tires rotation and balance. If the wheels balanced then it was not the wheels. Tires because you needed new ones. Rotation because if it corrected itself in the front then it was the ones moved to the rear. Secondly the swing arms do not make a noise. You know they are bad when going over a pot hole or speed bump you will hear a clunk noise as if something if loose. The only thing left are control arms, hub assemblies, tie rods and thrust arm. If it does not feel like you are rolling on a flat spot then it's not the hub assemblies. That leaves three. Do a visual check and you will see the issue.

The squeaky noise will only come from shock or strut assemblies. Nothing else. They probably was not tightened down enough but then you will hear a cluncking noise with it.

Last edited by seanjordan20; 08-19-2017 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 08-19-2017, 08:29 PM   #10
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Let me share my story about vibration. I have a 2008 530i LCI and the car ran beautiful until last week .

It suddenly developed a violent vibration, mostly coming from the back, but you could feel it in your driver's seat as well as passenger seat. This happens only when accelerating, disregarding the speed. As soon as you hit the gas pedal the car starts shaking. The vibration is not consistent, so at times, it vibrates in a way that you think the next moment the car will brake apart, then intensity lowers and repeats.

I was sure that guibo and bearing was the problem, bought the parts, went to the shop.

I left the car at the shop, because the mechanic said that when he removed the shaft from the car, the CV joint at the differential side just fell off in pieces, but he assembled the thing together and hoped that it will work.

So i might end up with buying only a new CV joint or maybe a full DS
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