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      02-19-2024, 05:16 PM   #1
smokinu454
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2016 535 wanders on highway

So I bought a new to me 2016 535i RWD non m sport with 90k miles on it. It needs constant steering input at highway speed, feels like it wants to wander back and forth, and sometimes it feels like it catches a groove in the pavement and wants to go that direction hard. Sort of feels like some sort of play in the steering wheel. The car feels more planted in a turn than going straight. Local Indy says the control arms look good but im not totally confident in the tech. I took it and had it aligned today, still same behavior. Any ideas? Could the control arms be just starting to go bad but not totally shot so the tech says theyíre fine?
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Last edited by smokinu454; 02-19-2024 at 05:23 PM..
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      02-19-2024, 05:33 PM   #2
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How are the tires? All the same tread pattern?
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      02-19-2024, 05:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ezaircon4jc View Post
How are the tires? All the same tread pattern?

All 4 seem to be about the same, all about 5/32Ē tread. 245/40/19 Michelin pilot sport 4 all seasons. Manufactured end of 2021 but not all the exact same date code. (5121,5121,5021,1022)

Last edited by smokinu454; 02-19-2024 at 05:46 PM..
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      02-19-2024, 05:47 PM   #4
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I had 2 different full sets of Michelin Pilot Sport tires. Excellent tire but back wore out well before the front both times. When was the last time a road force tire balance was done?
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      02-19-2024, 06:19 PM   #5
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I had 2 different full sets of Michelin Pilot Sport tires. Excellent tire but back wore out well before the front both times. When was the last time a road force tire balance was done?
Ive had good luck with them in the past as well. Im not honestly sure. I bought the car about two weeks ago. I dont feel any kind of vibration like you normally do when a tire is out of balance.
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      02-19-2024, 06:41 PM   #6
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Check item #5 where is connected to item #1 (front axle support) there is no leaking or rubber inside sign of deterioration on both side.
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      02-19-2024, 07:06 PM   #7
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Check item #5 where is connected to item #1 (front axle support) there is no leaking or rubber inside sign of deterioration on both side.

Itís very hard to tell because the forward arms are so far recessed at that point but I donít think I see any damage or any signs of leakage. I did notice on the rear control arms, where they meet the subframe, when the wheels are turned all the way to the limit, it seems to shove the arm all the way to one side sort of compressing the bushing down and making the bolt closer to one side of the eye of the control arm if that makes any sense. Are the rear bushings supposed to have that much give? When I jack the car up and try to shove the wheel around I canít find any play but Iím not a huge guy 😂
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      02-19-2024, 07:45 PM   #8
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You should jack up the front safely and inspect those tension struts closely. Friend of mine was complaining about similar symptoms up front and after inspection find out one the tension struts was leaking. Replaced both and issue is gone.
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      02-19-2024, 07:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conserve View Post
You should jack up the front safely and inspect those tension struts closely. Friend of mine was complaining about similar symptoms up front and after inspection find out one the tension struts was leaking. Replaced both and issue is gone.
Whats the typical lifespan of these arms/struts?
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      02-19-2024, 07:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conserve View Post
You should jack up the front safely and inspect those tension struts closely. Friend of mine was complaining about similar symptoms up front and after inspection find out one the tension struts was leaking. Replaced both and issue is gone.
As it most probably isn't a tire issue, I'd also put my money on worn suspension part(s).
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      02-19-2024, 08:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokinu454 View Post
Whats the typical lifespan of these arms/struts?
I say depends on driving habits and road conditions. In the scenario explain above was 60K mile. Don't change anything. Just get underneath do visual inspect and secondly with helper turning steering wheel side to side you can find out a lot.
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      02-19-2024, 08:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ezaircon4jc View Post
As it most probably isn't a tire issue, I'd also put my money on worn suspension part(s).
Could worn struts cause this?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Conserve View Post
I say depends on driving habits and road conditions. In the scenario explain above was 60K mile. Don't change anything. Just get underneath do visual inspect and secondly with helper turning steering wheel side to side you can find out a lot.
I will certainly give this a shot and see what I can find! Just need to enlist the wife as a helper to turn the wheel lol.
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      02-19-2024, 08:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokinu454 View Post
Could worn struts cause this?




I will certainly give this a shot and see what I can find! Just need to enlist the wife as a helper to turn the wheel lol.
If struts not leaking I doubt.
Or ask your neighbor. Give him a beer and proceed with inspection.

Last edited by Conserve; 02-19-2024 at 08:58 PM.. Reason: .
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      02-20-2024, 11:46 AM   #14
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Here is what they look like. I do see a few cracks in the drivers side. Nothing I would consider a lot but they are there. Is this much play excessive or normal?

https://youtube.com/shorts/uuzFxj1mEqI?si=6Y7moVl3mjhXwKjQ

https://youtube.com/shorts/DhT4qVTZt2U?si=_XZbvhaMM8pzsVaH
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      02-20-2024, 12:15 PM   #15
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Yeah, Worn Suspension parts is what I also suspect, I recently went over some rough stuff on my car and I am going to inspect the suspension pretty soon due to some rough handling (Mexican Potholes are very unfriendly) and a few ones here in Nevada caught me too. Can Definately affect your handling, all you need is one bad bump or pothole and can affect the ride quality. Especially after an alignment. I would replace the tires when they are ready to go, (5/32 is close to replace) and once those are replaced, see if there is a difference, and if not, Definately consider preparing for replacement suspension parts.
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      02-20-2024, 03:57 PM   #16
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in addition to the videos, I forgot to post these pictures. The only tear I could see is this on the drivers side. Does it look like it is bad enough to cause poor handling?
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      02-20-2024, 05:13 PM   #17
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That is more than enough to cause the symptom you describe. That one is shot, and way before it gets this kind of cracks the handling is allready compromised.

Also check your diff bushings. Many start looking at the front of the car when it handles badly, but the front wheels are alligned to the back so if there is a problem in the rear that car won't track straight. My rear diff bushing is kinda shot, made the car wander a bit. Placed the Bimmerhaus upgrade in it for now until I replace with the new part and since then the handling is back to normal.
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      02-20-2024, 06:16 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B-Buster View Post
That is more than enough to cause the symptom you describe. That one is shot, and way before it gets this kind of cracks the handling is allready compromised.

Also check your diff bushings. Many start looking at the front of the car when it handles badly, but the front wheels are alligned to the back so if there is a problem in the rear that car won't track straight. My rear diff bushing is kinda shot, made the car wander a bit. Placed the Bimmerhaus upgrade in it for now until I replace with the new part and since then the handling is back to normal.
Glad to hear this is enough to cause an issue. Im ready for this car to handle like a bmw should.

I will take a look at this as well!
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      02-21-2024, 05:32 PM   #19
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Replace them with the F01 7-series arms, then you get the oil filled bushings. Makes the handling + comfort better.
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      02-21-2024, 09:08 PM   #20
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Any clunking when you're on/off the brakes?
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      02-22-2024, 06:22 AM   #21
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Quote:
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Any clunking when you're on/off the brakes?
Not really but if Iím hanging my head out of the window going very slow, brake sharply to a stop, I hear a small pop when I let off of the brake but not really a ďclunkĒ.
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      02-24-2024, 04:45 PM   #22
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Mine would wander until I did an alignment.
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