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cib24

BMW 530i Brake Shudder and Wheel Vibration After 1,000 miles on new discs and pads

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My wife and I just came back from a 10 day trip driving from London up through the Scottish Highlands and parts of Scotland (Isle of Arran, Isle of Mull, Isle of Skye, Loch Lomond, Cairngorms, Edinburgh) covering 1,879 miles during our journey and averaging a shade over 28 mpg (regular 95 unleaded - best on the motorway was about 34 mpg on a cruise) in my 530i filled to the brim with luggage in the boot and back seats. It was a memorable experience and the BMW never missed a beat the whole time, although after 10 days on some really bad Scottish island roads there are a couple of new stone chips and new minor rattles in the interior that never existed before (I think it's the front windows and sunroof glass) which I will need to attend to some day. We even made it from London all the way to the ferry town of Androssan on one tank of fuel (456 miles) and I guess we nearly ran out as I filled up 69.44 litres!

 

However, despite the great trip and the amazing cruiser that the BMW was for this journey, I have an issue with the front brake discs. I had the car MOT'd 7 days prior to our trip and replaced the advisory front anti-roll bar drop links and also took the opportunity to replace the scored and warped front discs and pads. I replaced the discs with Euro Car Parts Eicher Premium front discs (Link) and Pagid brake pads (Link).

 

Replacing the discs and pads removed the steering wheel shimmy at 50-60 mph and steering wheel and car shaking under braking from 70 mph down to 40 mph. On the new brakes the car was driven moderately mostly cruising up and around Scotland with no panic stops or any unusual driving that you would expect to cause issues. However, once we got to the Isle of Skye and about 1,100 miles into our trip, the shimmy started to come back under cruise between 45-85 mph and when braking at speeds from 90 mph down to 45 mph. I'm going to check the brakes again but I'm pretty sure this has nothing to do with warped discs so soon and has to do with uneven pad deposits or something else. I have read that it could also be attributed to the front thrust arm bushings being bad although we checked everything thoroughly in the pit at the MOT station with a crow bar and all bushings front and rear aside from the drop links I replaced appeared to be in very good shape with nothing unusual. Perhaps the thrust arms can appear to be fine but are actually worn once you take the part off the car? If it's uneven pad deposits then I would assume I could simply do a few hard stops out on the motorway and get the brakes hot and the issue should sort itself out.

 

But the purpose of this thread is to ask for other tips for what else I should be checking to figure out why I am having this issue so soon after putting new brakes and pads on the car?

 

Thanks.

 

 

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Edited by cib24

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Personally I wouldn't touch Eicher discs with a barge pole; they're just cheap shite IMO and would rather go for Brembo blanks or even simple grooved discs via Mtec etc. Pagid pads are ok, so are their discs!

 

Re the shimmy; could be rear upper arms too, get those checked

 

However, I had similar just before Christmas and after a week, could see that my OS caliper was beginning to stick, swapped calipers out for fully refurbed units and zero issues, worth considering!

 

Were either/or both front alloys hot to the touch, or starting to feel hot?

 

Really; it needs to be up on the ramps again, get all suspension arms and bushes checked, top mounts too if you can and also, see how the calipers/alloys are feeling after a drive about... Warm, that's fine, but hot to smelling burned, is not great! And look into better quality discs... 

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Hi Dan, thanks for the comments. Yes, I realised after the fact that Eicher wasn't a great brand but despite their cheapness I don't think they are the source of the issue at the moment (although I will definitely check them on both sides and with the feeler gauge just to be sure).

 

The calipers are a good point to check over as that very well could be it as I'm sure they have never been refurbished in 126,000 miles. I am hesitant to think it's anything in the rear as most of the rear suspension was replaced by BMW a couple years and c.30,000 miles ago...and the car drove absolutely perfect after installing the new discs and pads for that first 1,100 miles. I would think if it was an obvious front or rear bushing replacing the discs and pads wouldn't make the shimmy go away as the bushings would exhibit the problem all the time?

 

I'll have to go for a drive, pull over and check the alloys as I never thought to do that and see if they felt warm. Same with the calipers.

 

It's odd but this seems to be a common issue with these cars on the American BMW forums and I can't say I have ever had a car that had issues with pad deposits or a wheel shimmy like this one before, but all of my past cars have been Japanese and never anything considered as a "luxury" vehicle.

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I've had the shimmy & vibration you describe from both brake problems and failed thrust arm bushings.

 

When I replaced thrust arms I very carefully pushed, pulled and twisted on both the old arm and new. My testing wasn't scientific and measured as in checking deflection cm vs force or twist angle vs torque. But I couldn't detect any difference using my subjective method, although the vibration was eliminated. I did though find that one of the thrust arm bushings was leaking (a sure sign of failure) that I couldn't see with the arm in situ.

 

I've also had vibration due to uneven pad deposits. In my case it was due to pistons sticking in the calipers. It's a well known phenomenon since disc brakes rely on the piston being pulled back 0.1 to 0.2 mm by the seals when the pedal is released. If the piston doesn't withdraw, the inevitable slight runout in the disc results in a tiny touch on each rotation. The result is uneven deposits causing vibration under braking and in really bad cases, vibration while driving. You could try this test to confirm. Perform a "bedding procedure" to clear the uneven deposits and achieve smooth braking. Then drive the car on highways where you're able to avoid using the brakes for many kilometers, say minimum 50, the more the better. If you then find vibration, sticky calipers are suspect. Next, clear the discs as described and drive in town/city setting with many brake applications. If the brakes stay smooth after the highway test fails, sticky calipers are even more strongly implicated.

 

Dirty or damaged caliper guide pins have also been reported to create the sticky caliper problem. The maddening thing about either failure mode is that it can come and go as the caliper / piston may work it's way through a sticky bit to a clear patch but then return as the pads wear a fraction of a mm, and the caliper / piston changes relative positions to another bad spot.

 

I've also seen lots of reports of BMW/Lemfoerder bushings failing around 50k miles. The Meyle HD bushing of solid rubber (no liquid fill) are reported to last virtually forever.

 

Really frustrating are reports of people installing new brakes and eliminating the vibration - problem found and fixed, right? Only to have it return a thousand or so miles later. They've gone on to describe that new thrust arm, or just bushings, permanently eliminate the problem. I suspect what is happening here is that the bushing failure mode is loss of damping ability as well as a change in compliance which changes the resonant frequency of the suspension. While perfectly new brakes may be perfectly smooth, even slightly worn or worked in start to build micro or mini uneven braking. The failed bushings aren't able to damp this out and the resonant frequency is now in the same range as tire rotation. The vibration resonates and builds until becoming noticeable. And VERY annoying!

 

So unless you can find an obvious, outright failure in one or the other, I think your stuck trying one repair and hoping. Then the other if the vibration is still present or returns shortly.

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I had issues with Pagid pads and Brembo discs (kindly replaced by ECP) only to reoccur shortly afterwards. It was only after I had replaced the brake pads with another make think Lockheed or was it Textar...that the wobble slowly went away - clearly caused by Pagid's uneven pad material deposits on the disc. It took a fair few miles to wear it off ..

Edited by dmarkovina1

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My shimmy was only fully cured by complete front brake and suspension refresh! Did suspension first which massively reduced the shimmy but it was still there. Brakes got rid of it for good - still fine a few years and thousands of miles later. I think on these cars both brakes and suspension need to be quality and in good condition to avoid the dreaded shimmy!

 

If you've no record of a front suspension refresh, my money's on that being the cause and you'll sort it by refreshing. But also check the calipers as suggested above - make sure pistons and sliders moving freely. If they are sticking (warm wheels etc) but calipers seem OK, it can also be internally degraded flexi hoses, but pretty unlikely.

 

If that doesn't sort it, I've also seen over the years people chasing this problem have it turn out to be out of balance/buckled wheels, but unlikely so look at suspension first, unless you have someone nearby and can do a quick wheel swap to rule that out.

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Welcome, may also be worth checking for siezed brake calipers re the vibration. Some nice pictures BTW, there is just something so so right about an E39 in Titanium or Arctic silver.

 

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Interesting about Pagid pads - i fitted these 25k ago and my shudder keeps coming back despite refreshing the suspension, having discs skimmed insitu etc.

 

Only thing left is top mounts but just in case i've taken advantage of an ECP discount code and ordered some textar pads to try.

 

Code was EGG75 but i'm convinced ecp bump up prices to make the discount seem good....

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I never use ECP for parts for that very reason. 

 

I'll get oil and Mann filters from them as they're always well priced. 

 

I'd rather stick to Mtec for brake discs and I'm running their own pads currently, which I find very good indeed. 

 

However, I highly rate EBC Redstuff and Yellowstuff pads too, as well as Ferodo DS2500s, but they can be expensive! 

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 As a rule i tend to avoid ECP also but £40 delivered seems reasonable and if the substitute there is a branch just around the corner i can kick off in.

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On ‎03‎/‎04‎/‎2018 at 6:07 PM, duncan-uk said:

Interesting about Pagid pads - i fitted these 25k ago and my shudder keeps coming back despite refreshing the suspension, having discs skimmed insitu etc.

 

Only thing left is top mounts but just in case i've taken advantage of an ECP discount code and ordered some textar pads to try.

 

Code was EGG75 but i'm convinced ecp bump up prices to make the discount seem good....

 

I used OE BMW discs and pads when I did mine recently, and the pads were Textar branded in a BMW box, so you should be ok there.

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On 03/04/2018 at 6:07 PM, duncan-uk said:

Code was EGG75 but i'm convinced ecp bump up prices to make the discount seem good....

Absolutely they do.

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This is interesting. Replaced my top mounts which has improved steering feel before felt like a little movement needed to be taken up in the rubber before reacting so that's good. 

 

Brake judder still here but gentler but classic 80-45. 

 

Going to try a tyre balance as sure I can feel a slight shimmy in the wheel without brakes. 

 

But it do I need to look at control arms again? Replaced 30k ago with lemfoerder though. 

 

Is there a fit and forget brand?

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To add before I had the discs skimmed in situ I could feel it though the pedal so fairly sure this is not now brakes. 

 

Sorry op for thread hijack!

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In the states they seem to think the best control arms are the lemforder arms (best ball joint) with the meyle hd solid rubber bushing pressed in. Not a cheap way of doing it though.

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In my experience the biggest cause of judder after 1000mls or so is because folks don't properly clean back the hub flange prior to fitting the disc, don't take enough care not to trap any rust flakes that might be knocked off adj components while lifting the disc into position... and finally don't check that runout at the disc edge is within limits with a dial gauge or other accurate method.

 

If there is runout from about 500mls onwards the effects of a shimmy or judder will often be seen.

 

Some cheap discs will have unacceptable runout new from the box but if you don't measure it you won't know until a few hundred plus miles are covered and the judder starts.

 

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So dropped mine into an ats today (not my local one) asked them to try a balance on the front wheels. 

 

Had to go go through all the what symptoms blah blah. Just balance my wheels please. Aparantly one tyre is out of round....

 

Not sure they checked balance but no charge. 

 

Will swap spare and see if it improves be annoyed if so as I have Michelin PS3 with maybe 5/6k on them. 

 

Will report but not convinced...

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48 minutes ago, duncan-uk said:

 

...

Just balance my wheels please. Aparantly one tyre is out of round

...

 

You should check the warranty.

In North America at least, out of round ("uniformity" in tire industry speak) is guaranteed for the first 2 or 3 or so 32nd inch of tread wear. Which you should be comfortably under at that mileage.

 

A few years ago, I had a 2 sets Michelins replaced (pro-rated against wear) for out of round. Interestingly, I'd had a trouble free set of that particular tire without issues. The 2nd set developed an out of round  problem. And the replacements went out of round too. The first set was manufactured in an Oklahoma plant; the 2nd & 3rd in Mexico. I've got my finders crossed that the current set, a different model tire, from a South Carolina plant does better.

 

BMW spec for mounted tire radial runout is 1.1 mm, with wheel radial 0.3 mm max. Industry standard for tire uniformity is 1 mm. On the problem tires I had up to 1.5 mm mounted on wheels with ~0.1 mm radial. And they were pretty rough by 70 mph. Not surprising - you can balance an egg, but you can't make it run smooth.

 

Regards,

RDL

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23 hours ago, duncan-uk said:

So dropped mine into an ats today (not my local one) asked them to try a balance on the front wheels. 

 

Had to go go through all the what symptoms blah blah. Just balance my wheels please. Aparantly one tyre is out of round....

 

Not sure they checked balance but no charge. 

 

Will swap spare and see if it improves be annoyed if so as I have Michelin PS3 with maybe 5/6k on them. 

 

Will report but not convinced...

Hunter force variation balancing for me.  A total bollock ache for me to get to the nearest outfit that has the kit (Tyre Shop Chingford), but every single time I've ever had balancing by a normal balancing machine, I've never been happy.

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I need to drive it a little more, but two new rear tyres seem to have gotten ridden of my shimmy when braking.... replying so that after I've driven it more, I remember this thread exists!

Edited by TeddyRuxpin

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39 minutes ago, duncan-uk said:

But if tyre is egg shaped that won't help beyond identifying it. 

 

Dunno about that, but I've been told e few times by various tyre places that most tyres aren't completely round.

 

Hunter force variation balancing seeks more precise placement of wheel weights to counteract the forces of an out of round tyre and wheel.  All I know is the FV balancing has eradicated balancing issues than normal balancing machines haven't been able to.

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