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Cliff Burton
Cliff Burton, BMW Technician
Category: BMW
Satisfied Customers: 200
Experience:  Master certified (Level 1) BMW tech.
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2003 530i: front end..struts, control arms, ball joints etc..vibrating

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BMW 2003 530i just had front end replaced - struts, control arms, ball joints etc. Reason I brought it in was a vibrating humming noise when the car made right turns. The noise is still there. Noise goes away w/left turns or straight line. Noise is especially noticable when going around right turn cloverleaf exit ramps. No noise under about 25 miles per hr. Car tracks straight, brakes well, no shimmies or other vibrations otherwise drives fine. Tires are properly inflated and relatively new. Car has high mileage 168,000 but I have owned it the entire time. My mechanic is checking it out today, since he did the front end work. Did he miss something or possibly short change me?    The vibration is definately noticable, not minor, although it does not affect the way the car drives - not transmitted to the wheel like an alignment problem.

Sounds like a Left side wheel bearing. When turning right- the right wheels turn slower and the left turn faster- which is why the noise changes when turning. You should be able to go around corners with the front window down and then again with the rear window down to see which wheel it's coming from (front or rear) or you can raise the car on a lift and spin the wheels while feeling the fender for a vibration / listening near the hub of the wheel for any weird noises.


The other option would be worn or cupped tires that can cause a similar noise. This should be obvious though as the tread on the tires would not be flat and would be lumpy or scalloped.


Hope this helps you out!! --Cliff

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