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      04-27-2013, 04:47 AM   #1
the_rangdo
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530D Engine Vibration

I've started getting high frequency vibration through the cabin (steering wheel, seats, front, back, etc) - nothing visible but it feels like a massage all the time so it's not feeling good. Happens at idle (1000rpm is very noticeable on the steering wheel), in gear and neutral, and while driving and is pretty constant at all revs. And obviously adds to any road feeling through the tyres so at times the car can feel pretty crap.

2 weeks ago I did a 360 mile each way trip to Cornwall and it was smooth as butter so something's happened since, all I've done since getting home is fill up (always with v-power)

Initially I thought it was tyres (front were 18k miles old RE050 with saw-toothing, rear brand new Pirelli P7 - all RFT) so I swapped them all around, no change.

Then I thought maybe it was engine mounts, but on popping the bonnet and seeing the engine cover moving around it's definitely engine block related. I took the cover off to ensure it wasn't just loose but it's not that. I've tried moving the exhaust with my wife sat in the car to see if the steering wheel vibe changes, nothing.

Power doesn't seem reduced, consumption figures are still around normal.

After seeing this Youtube vid of a E46 320d I thought I'd do the same - this is mine

I used a cloth as the glass was shifting around so much on the bare cover, the cloth doesn't help much either.

It is booked in with the dealer but not until the 8th May thanks to courtesy car availability. On booking they checked the key-fob and no errors reported there.

FWIW I also seem to have the 70-75mph slight shake that's widely mentioned when Googling that's like a wheel balancing problem but I've had that checked as well. But to be honest, all I want to do right now is lose the vibes.

I'm trying to self diagnose as much as possible to avoid any run-around so any ideas?
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      04-29-2013, 05:19 AM   #2
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Obviously needs some checks. I assume you are still under the OEM warranty.

Strange it is high frequency vibration from 1,000 rpm. First thoughts would be a smooth running test, prove the injectors are OK. Engine mounts, front vibration damping pulley, ancillaries, etc. But it could be something contacting between the drivetrain and body, like an exhaust mount broken off, or something as simple.

The high speed vibration, you have to eliminate wheel and tyre run-out, like buckled rims. If a Hunter road force balance doesn't sort the wheels then you have a more difficult route to finding the cause.

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      04-29-2013, 09:41 AM   #3
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Still under warranty until Oct this year thankfully. The courtesy car has been booked out for 4 days for me, although it won't be returned until my car is vibe free.

1000rpm is the easiest to detect in the car without driving but as can be seen from the video it's not exactly smooth at 600rpm (just not quite as obvious until you're sensitive to it)

The 70mph one seems to be quite common with varying levels of success at resolving - a Google of "BMW F10 vibration" turns up plenty of results. It may well have always been there and I've just put it down to change in surface when it happened, but it's being effectively amplified now with the engine vibes added to it.

Thinking about it, it was there with my winter wheels on as well so it's not the rims unless I've been really unlucky

Got another Cornish trip coming up in 4 weeks, really need it sorted by then, not happy doing a long trip in its current state.
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      05-14-2013, 02:17 PM   #4
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Well it ended up being quite a shopping list of stuff as I got some minor niggles looked at while it was in for the vibration.

The 70-75mph wheel balance wobble is apparently a buckled alloy - no idea how I've done that but new wheel arrives tomorrow.

Got a new front offside shocker bush fitted which has resolved a bit of a knocking noise over low-speed lumpy surfaces. A new catalytic converter/front silencer as something occasionally rattled loudly in there. And a new drivers kick plate as the silver strips kept coming off.

The main thing I took it in for, the high freq vibes, they said was related to a service bulletin around the steering wheel airbag, and a software update apparently should fix it.

A smooth running test was done, all o.k. on that so the injectors should be fine, yet the vibes are still there. No other faults recorded. Not really sure how they could pass it off as cured really, I feel like I've got pins'n'needles while driving.

Obviously it's going to get mentioned again tomorrow, but in the meantime I'm trying figure out where the problem could be.

Maybe pure coincidence but this all started when V-Power changed to being Nitro+. Could that cause it maybe? Can't find any issues when Googling.

Also, doing a standing torque test on the engine (foot on brakes and revving) to test the engine mounts. The engine moves about an inch to the left when in reverse, it moves about 1.5 inches to the right (forward). How much movement is normal?

Not feeling the joy at the moment.
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      05-20-2013, 02:40 PM   #5
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Well, car's back with the dealer today to get these vibes fixed. I've hopefully been insistent enough to convince them to check the engine mounts - we'll see. They were trying to tell me it's just something loose vibrating against the engine bay wall. So that would explain why the tailpipes are shaking as well would it :/

And just to add to the mood, got out of the car at the dealer and got warnings telling me to change the battery "at my earliest convenience"

FFS, it's only 2.5 years old. I was planning on it being a keeper but getting a tad concerned it's turning into a dud.
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      05-22-2013, 02:06 PM   #6
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Slowly but surely (hopefully) getting there.

Battery was a software 'glitch' - bit of reprogramming, all seems to be o.k.

The vibration I got told was a characteristic of the car They'd compared it to other cars they have and they all have vibration through the steering wheel at idle.

So I asked them if I could try this out for myself. They sat me in a car and sure enough there was some high freq vibration through the steering wheel that strengthened at around 1000rpm but it didn't feel as strong as mine. Had a check of the engine itself only to notice it was a 520 they were comparing it to.

OK, so with that baseline I went outside with the Tech boss and tried mine out. First thing he said was how much he could feel it through the floor from the passenger seat, he'd just been concentrating on the vibes through the steering wheel FFS. I only gave the steering wheel as an example of how it feels to me but did say it was the whole cabin. He sat in the back and confirmed he could feel it there too.

We then looked at the engine and he had to agree that my 6-pot was visually vibrating more than the 4-pot. First thing he said was that it was just the cover until I pointed out that any part of the engine you placed your hand on had that same strong vibration He also agreed that a fine vibration was visible on the tail-pipes (they almost look slightly blurred)

So after head scratching and some prompting by me he's agreed to change all the mounts, engine and transmission. Unfortunately this won't happen until after my Cornish trip so I expect I'll feel like I've got MS after the trip down there but hopefully once I'm back it'll be sorted. I hope so, for the past day or so I've been pondering what brand I'd switch to if this doesn't get resolved.

Lesson learnt though, got to be extremely careful with wording as the scope of investigation appears to be incredibly narrow leaving you to have to argue and try and get some time with the tech guys themselves rather than the front-desk middleman, and even then it's a slow, steady process.

I wonder how many people are pottering around with a 'characteristic' car
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      05-23-2013, 01:42 AM   #7
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Slowly but surely (hopefully) getting there.

...

Lesson learnt though, got to be extremely careful with wording as the scope of investigation appears to be incredibly narrow leaving you to have to argue and try and get some time with the tech guys themselves rather than the front-desk middleman, and even then it's a slow, steady process.

I wonder how many people are pottering around with a 'characteristic' car
I believe many can echo your experience. Even with written descriptions, there can be communication issues within the garages.

Agree, getting to the tech's can be the challenge. Hopefully you are now going to get it sorted, rather than "they are all like it sir".

I had a major problem getting across to BMW the way my engine in the E39 developed a "tick-tack" sound track. It wasn't until I eventually got to the BMW UK engine man that the attitude to the problem changed. Within a few sentences on the phone with him, he knew exactly what I had experienced and a new engine was on the cards if found necessary, (which it was). I had explained all the details to the garage, and even though the BMW guy was involved, they hadn't explained my description of failure.

They don't all listen....

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      06-03-2013, 11:46 AM   #8
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Slowly but surely (hopefully) getting there.

Battery was a software 'glitch' - bit of reprogramming, all seems to be o.k.

The vibration I got told was a characteristic of the car They'd compared it to other cars they have and they all have vibration through the steering wheel at idle.

So I asked them if I could try this out for myself. They sat me in a car and sure enough there was some high freq vibration through the steering wheel that strengthened at around 1000rpm but it didn't feel as strong as mine. Had a check of the engine itself only to notice it was a 520 they were comparing it to.

OK, so with that baseline I went outside with the Tech boss and tried mine out. First thing he said was how much he could feel it through the floor from the passenger seat, he'd just been concentrating on the vibes through the steering wheel FFS. I only gave the steering wheel as an example of how it feels to me but did say it was the whole cabin. He sat in the back and confirmed he could feel it there too.

We then looked at the engine and he had to agree that my 6-pot was visually vibrating more than the 4-pot. First thing he said was that it was just the cover until I pointed out that any part of the engine you placed your hand on had that same strong vibration He also agreed that a fine vibration was visible on the tail-pipes (they almost look slightly blurred)

So after head scratching and some prompting by me he's agreed to change all the mounts, engine and transmission. Unfortunately this won't happen until after my Cornish trip so I expect I'll feel like I've got MS after the trip down there but hopefully once I'm back it'll be sorted. I hope so, for the past day or so I've been pondering what brand I'd switch to if this doesn't get resolved.

Lesson learnt though, got to be extremely careful with wording as the scope of investigation appears to be incredibly narrow leaving you to have to argue and try and get some time with the tech guys themselves rather than the front-desk middleman, and even then it's a slow, steady process.

I wonder how many people are pottering around with a 'characteristic' car
How's it going now?

I had an E90 LCI 330d which had a glow plug control unit problem which caused it to run like crap and misfire somewhat on a cold start, and then produce excessive sulphur emissions when up to temperature. Idle at warm wasn't smooth and got worse the longer it was left.
Anyway, once that was fixed, the other problems were fixed, naturally.

But, idle still just wasn't quite right in my opinion. The needle was steady, but it just never seemed quite as perfect as it used to - slightly more vibration. Give anybody who hasn't had a 330d and they would say it runs like a good'un, but you know your own car. Never did find out what the problem was as I was swapping to my F30 328i soon after but maybe the "damage" done could be something similar to the problem you're experiencing?

Glad to hear they are checking engine mounts and the works now anyway for you.

Which dealership are you dealing with out of interest? I'm only in the Haslingden/Helmshore area so rather close to you. I've always used Bowker BMW Blackburn and they have been absolutely brilliant over the 7 years I've had cars from them and would happily recommend them - though I haven't had a testing problem like this with any of my BMW's - E60 520d (3 years - 92k miles), E90 LCI 330d (3 years - 81k miles), F30 328i Luxury (1 year so far, 2 more to go - currently 25k miles).
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      06-05-2013, 05:46 AM   #9
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I'm using Williams Rochdale, just a couple of miles from home so pretty convenient - although I'd be much happier if I only had to visit once-in-a-service-interval while.

No update yet, it's booked in for next Tuesday, 11th June. Everything crossed things will get sorted.

As part of my home-brew diagnosis I tried switching to BP Ultimate from V-Power Nitro - FWIW my commute mpg has improved, currently at about 36-37 from about 34-ish. Might just be coincidental with the change in weather
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      06-15-2013, 09:06 AM   #10
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Well, engine mounts have been changed and things are much better. You can put your feet on the floor now and not feel like they're being vibro-massaged.

The 70mph wheel balance issue really was wheel balancing (go figure). I've used the same garage for years without a problem, so whether their machine just isn't up to the job of big wheels or not I don't know. Used another place my neighbour swears by.

All 4 wheels were out, and in particular my front offside that was fitted with a new Pirelli P7 Cinturato recently and had no weights on at all. I queried it at the time of fitting but they swore the tyre was so perfect it didn't need any weights. And with all the engine vibration issues the balance issue moved down the priority list a bit. It's got weights now and the 70mph shimmy has gone.

Yet again though, when initially reporting to the dealer the investigation stopped as soon as they spotted a buckled wheel and assumed that fixed it (can't have road-tested and not noticed it wasn't fully resolved unless their limbs are devoid of feeling). Fair enough the balancing wasn't of their doing but it should have been noticed.

All I've got to do now is copy music to the new SSD drive I had to buy as my old one decided to start doing a Norman Collier yesterday (to much cursing thinking iDrive was being stupid) and as of today is DOA.

And I'll then be back to car enjoyment ready for the Silverstone trip in 2 weeks. TFFT
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      06-17-2013, 03:49 PM   #11
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Well, engine mounts have been changed and things are much better. You can put your feet on the floor now and not feel like they're being vibro-massaged.

The 70mph wheel balance issue really was wheel balancing (go figure). I've used the same garage for years without a problem, so whether their machine just isn't up to the job of big wheels or not I don't know. Used another place my neighbour swears by.

All 4 wheels were out, and in particular my front offside that was fitted with a new Pirelli P7 Cinturato recently and had no weights on at all. I queried it at the time of fitting but they swore the tyre was so perfect it didn't need any weights. And with all the engine vibration issues the balance issue moved down the priority list a bit. It's got weights now and the 70mph shimmy has gone.

Yet again though, when initially reporting to the dealer the investigation stopped as soon as they spotted a buckled wheel and assumed that fixed it (can't have road-tested and not noticed it wasn't fully resolved unless their limbs are devoid of feeling). Fair enough the balancing wasn't of their doing but it should have been noticed.

All I've got to do now is copy music to the new SSD drive I had to buy as my old one decided to start doing a Norman Collier yesterday (to much cursing thinking iDrive was being stupid) and as of today is DOA.

And I'll then be back to car enjoyment ready for the Silverstone trip in 2 weeks. TFFT
Great news!

AND SILVERSTONE!! Will be there myself too!! Cannot wait.
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      06-17-2013, 04:46 PM   #12
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Sounds like a good result.

Hope you can now enjoy the car.

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      06-18-2013, 01:21 AM   #13
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AND SILVERSTONE!! Will be there myself too!! Cannot wait.
I was forced to do last years journey in my wife's Fiat 500 (with winter tyres permanently fitted due to her low mileage) thanks to the fields being bogs.

Nothing against the Fiat but it's not something to do 200 miles each way in
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      06-18-2013, 07:30 AM   #14
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I was forced to do last years journey in my wife's Fiat 500 (with winter tyres permanently fitted due to her low mileage) thanks to the fields being bogs.

Nothing against the Fiat but it's not something to do 200 miles each way in

Ha no it's not! Fun little car though!

Which corner(s) are you on?
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      06-19-2013, 02:07 AM   #15
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Talking

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Ha no it's not! Fun little car though!

Which corner(s) are you on?
Village A, not the fastest section but get to see plenty of overtaking into the corner.

Alonso in the vintage Ferrari giving it some sideways was fun to watch
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      06-19-2013, 03:38 AM   #16
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Village A, not the fastest section but get to see plenty of overtaking into the corner.

Alonso in the vintage Ferrari giving it some sideways was fun to watch
Ah right yeah it's a good technical bit is that, especially as they want to bunch up to maximise DRS down Wellington Straight!
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      06-19-2013, 12:19 PM   #17
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.... it just never seemed quite as perfect as it used to - slightly more vibration. Give anybody who hasn't had a 330d and they would say it runs like a good'un, but you know your own car. Never did find out what the problem was...
Well after a few days driving about I feel in the same situation. Idling is now much smoother, the occasional hard gear change thump has gone, but as soon as I drive it's like I'm feeling the road surface directly through the wheel and pedals, stronger than I recall before all the recent issues.

It's not revs related, and it does vary some with road surfaces so the smoother the surface the better/less the vibes are.

When I got the wheels balanced at the weekend I also had them rotated (all RFT, moved 4k old Pirelli C7s from front to back, 18k old RE050A from back to front) but that's not changed it. Surely I'd be unlucky to have harsh tyres from 2 manufacturers at different ages.

So I just don't know if I'm being totally anal or there's something else to investigate. I'm trying to ignore it to try and rule out my head but roads I don't remember 'feeling' are a lot more obvious now.

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      06-19-2013, 01:55 PM   #18
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Well after a few days driving about I feel in the same situation. Idling is now much smoother, the occasional hard gear change thump has gone, but as soon as I drive it's like I'm feeling the road surface directly through the wheel and pedals, stronger than I recall before all the recent issues.

It's not revs related, and it does vary some with road surfaces so the smoother the surface the better/less the vibes are.

When I got the wheels balanced at the weekend I also had them rotated (all RFT, moved 4k old Pirelli C7s from front to back, 18k old RE050A from back to front) but that's not changed it. Surely I'd be unlucky to have harsh tyres from 2 manufacturers at different ages.

So I just don't know if I'm being totally anal or there's something else to investigate. I'm trying to ignore it to try and rule out my head but roads I don't remember 'feeling' are a lot more obvious now.

Well like I said, you know your own car and even if you can't describe it properly, you know something has changed or something is wrong.

But convincing anybody else, such as the engineers, you'll unfortunately have great difficulty with.
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      06-22-2013, 06:23 AM   #19
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A moment of madness today

Ordered a full set of Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 via Event Tyres, won't be fitted in time for our Silverstone trip which is a shame.

Tweaking air-pressures and different road surfaces varies the strength of the vibes so it has me fairly convinced it's the tyres, probably the RE050A. I thought they'd done 18k miles, I actually think it's more like 21-22k. On previous cars I noticed that even with reasonable tread left (4.5mm) they change character quite a bit around that point.

Good a reason as any to finally get rid of the RFTs, things have improved a lot over the past few years but they're still not that great. And in particular getting replacements in a hurry is a pain in the butt. I got an un-repairable puncture last year, no Continentals available at all for a week, got the last 2 Bridgestones available and it still took the rest of the day for them to be delivered and fitted - as a contractor I'm paid by the day, so they cost me a fair bit of cash all-told.

Wish I'd switched over then. And should have learnt my lesson before getting the Pirellis back in March. All hind-sight

Owning a nice car can be a right old PITA at times
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      07-06-2013, 06:38 AM   #20
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Goodyears fitted, life is good

What a difference, I can hear passengers on the m-way without having to shout, road surfaces don't feel like I'm driving on bare alloys. Slightly increased body-roll now, to be expected. Thanks to the British weather finally giving us a summer I can't easily test the wet grip yet.

At least the Pirelli RFTs didn't blow up on the trip to Silverstone
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      07-27-2013, 11:17 AM   #21
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My day's been ruined

Had a service done at the local indy today (2nd official oil change, vehicle check, etc) - went to pick it up, first thing he says is "The ride on yours is harsh"

FFS, seems I've started to get numb hands now, or maybe I was successfully blocking it.

They've checked everything over, nothing obvious wrong with the suspension. The only thought they had was if it was something to do with the rear air suspension maybe??!?

I've emailed BMW GB with a breakdown of the saga to-date, see if that gets me anywhere.

On the plus-side, Goodyear Eagles in torrential rain makes for awesome levels of grip
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      09-10-2013, 12:03 PM   #22
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Hopefully this is the final stage, the car's in tomorrow for a replacement rear diff damper. Not sure if it's front or rear only but either way mine's splitting so there's too much play going on down there.

These various bushings/dampers/mountings don't seem that durable.
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