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530d E61 Constant Engine Vibration

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Hi all,


My car has recently developed a vibration that is detectable at all speeds, including idle. Most noticeable as a vibration through the steering wheel, but also through the bum. It seems to get worse after a run on the motorway. At motorway speed it gives very high frequency vibration through the wheel - almost enough to bring on a sense of numbness!


It’s probably coincidence, but it became noticeable shortly after replacing the six glow plugs (manifold out job), due to having errors on 5 of them. The errors are now clear, and I even took it all apart a second time to confirm that everything was back together, and the plugs were in one piece!


On desperation I have added a bottle of injector cleaner to the fuel, but no discernible difference after 60 miles. 


The crankshaft damper pulley was replaced a year ago. 


No no error messages present, apart from DPF message 452, which has been there for 15k miles, and doesn’t affect DPF regeneration. (I think this is just a flag that the DPF has covered 120k miles, rather than a condition based message, in any case)


Any thoughts welcome

Edited by UltimateWarrior

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I'm in the same boat at the moment, although my engine vibration is between 1,000 and 1,500 rpm and my car is a constant 1,500rpm at 70mph on the motorway. In the past 3 months i have changed:


The crankshaft damper pulley - was totally knackered

Engine + transmission mounts - old ones weren't too bad


Now 2 weeks ago this vibration started that can be felt through the steering wheel and accelerator pedal, doesn't make any difference if the car is at standstill(park or neutral) being revved or driving along.


Tomorrow i will be pulling the drive belts and checking all my pulleys and tensioners. 


Will update once i have done this.


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Thanks for the reply. 


I hadn’t thought of engine mounts, but I guess that would fit with the symptoms. 


Is is there a definitive way to determine if they are knackered?


It’s an auto, so no DMF (I believe).


i don’t think the symptoms match those described for the prop shaft donut. It just seems like a constant rough running. 

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Is it possible that I have introduced an air leak or damaged a vacuum hose when removing the intake manifold? Do my symptoms match either of these scenarios?


The seals on the manifold looked ok, and the bolts were torqued correctly (quite lightly, iirc). Perhaps i have damaged the manifold ?

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Well pulled my belts, started the car vibration is still there between 1200rpm and 1500rpm

Took off the crankshaft pully, again started the car and still have the vibration grrrrrr

Gave up in the end, didn't want to leave the day like that on a loss, so pulled my headlamps gave them a wet sand, compound and polish, really pleased how they turned out.

Will have to get my car up on ramps, remove undertrays, have someone in the car keeping the revs between 1000 and 1500rpm while I look for the cause of this vibration

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Here's a method of checking for play in mounts.

Open Bonnet

Get back in car - Shift into drive (works in reverse too to check opposite side) 

Keep left foot on break pedal and massage the accelerator with your right foot observing the amount of movement or play from the engine.

You can see the engine through the bottom of the bonnet in the open position or better still have someone do the pedals while you observe.


Here's a nice article on replacement and symptoms of worn mounts. Just found this today, made me question mine..



A few videos on youtube will show what worn mounts will look like and how they will behave..

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3 hours ago, Caladan said:

My best guess is torque converter or flywheel.


Torque converter? Interesting. Could you explain how this would manifest itself as an engine vibration? I’m familiar with the ‘usual’ TC symptoms, but not engine vibration. 

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