2002 BMW X5 BMW cannot diagnos vibration problem

Tiny
HOOVER3
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 BMW X5
  • V8
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 80,000 MILES
Vehicle vibrates badly at exactly 65 miles per hour.
BMW first replaced the transfer case, and the vibration continued.

Next they switched wheels, axels, brake callipers, and tires. The vibration continued.

Next they replaced the transmission, and the vibration continued.

We have had them remove all the parts and it is back in the same shape it was one month ago.

Hoping someone can give us some help.
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Friday, January 2nd, 2009 AT 2:30 PM

18 Replies

Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Hi there,

A bit of diagnosis first, is the vibration felt only in the body, or in the steering predominately? If there is no vibration felt in the steering it will be a rear end problem, let me know what your are feeling.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Friday, January 2nd, 2009 AT 6:27 PM
Tiny
HOOVER3
  • MEMBER
The vibration is NOT primarily felt in the steering wheel, but there is SOME vibration felt on the steering wheel.
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Friday, January 2nd, 2009 AT 9:10 PM
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Hi there,

have they checked the drive shafts for a missing balance weight, it is a bit hard to know with out actually driving the car but I would be suspecting a tyre problem or drive line alignment problem, I know you have said that the tyres were checked, but may be a temp swap with a car that has no vibration issues will rule out tyres, I would try and get this done next.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Saturday, January 3rd, 2009 AT 2:13 AM
Tiny
HOOVER3
  • MEMBER
They have already swapped all of the tires, wheels and apparently axles with another vehicle. And rotors I believe it was.

Vibration continued.

Dealership called today and are going to try new hubs. Differential is next. We are on "pay as you go"
now.
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Saturday, January 3rd, 2009 AT 8:28 PM
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Did this vibration just start or has it been creeping up on you, did you hit or run over anything?

Mark
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Saturday, January 3rd, 2009 AT 10:38 PM
Tiny
HOOVER3
  • MEMBER
It didnt creep up - we had just driven 1900 miles in four days the month previous.

Vehicle was taken in for a water pump replacement where it was noticed vehicle needed new brake pads - they were replaced (he showed us the old ones). Vehicle was driven around town for one week (not up to the speed where the vibration starts (always at the exact same speed - 108 km per hour).

The first time out on the highway after brake work the vibration started -it is bad enough we pulled over to the side assuming a tire was coming off (or some such thing). Checked and found a slightly low tire. Went to destination and four hours later came out to the vehicle to a very soft tire. Put in 50 lbs pressure and drove to tire store where tire was repaired and balanced.

Took out on highway and vibration was still there. Took to BMW dealership two and a half hours away and it has been in there every since with all of the items listed above having been tried to see if would eliminate the vibration.
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Sunday, January 4th, 2009 AT 6:39 PM
Tiny
DR. HAGERTY
  • MEMBER
Mark is away for a few days and I might be able to assist, is there anything new to report?
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Saturday, January 10th, 2009 AT 11:42 AM
Tiny
HOOVER3
  • MEMBER
Nothing new yet this week. Checked Friday and parts were in to install new hubs. Thank you for your interest. We (as well as the bmw dealership) are at our wits end.
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Saturday, January 10th, 2009 AT 4:48 PM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
Stupid question here: Has the driveshaft been checked for balance? And the center bearing? I only ask because it's the only part that connects at the point you spoke of, the transfer case. And these are more common to your problem.
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Monday, January 19th, 2009 AT 5:23 PM
Tiny
DR. HAGERTY
  • MEMBER
I'm leaning to the same point as Merlin here, what has been done and by whom, some kid fresh out of school or a real technician? Have they inspected for the obvious or are they just dragging you under the bus here?
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Monday, January 19th, 2009 AT 8:18 PM
Tiny
HOOVER3
  • MEMBER
January 20, 2009 I will check at BMW dealership where the car is still residing and see if the driveshaft has been checked for balance - and the center bearing

Since January 9 they have been waiting for various parts to install new "hubs" - nuts that have been stripped are being "overnighted" from California.

Thank you for the continued interest. The vehicle has been in the service department since December 1/08 - and we have had to rent a car the entire time.
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Tuesday, January 20th, 2009 AT 8:54 PM
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Hi there,

I mentioned drive shaft balance some posts ago so I presumed that it had already been checked, what I would like to see is the car back together and you take it for a good drive and report back what changes you have noticed if any, also a report on what the dealer has done since this drama started, they are missing something vital or not checking components correctly, this should not be such a drawn out and expensive exercise as this.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 AT 2:40 AM
Tiny
HOOVER3
  • MEMBER
BMW North America assures us that the "best of the best" have been looking after our vehicle.

We should hear more soon from the dealership.
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Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 AT 5:20 PM
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Hi there,

Just wondering how you are getting on with the car, what have they found?

Mark (mhpautos)
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Monday, February 2nd, 2009 AT 3:19 AM
Tiny
HOOVER3
  • MEMBER
Thank you for checking. The X5 has been at another BMW dealership (Phoenix area now) for close to a week and they have concluded that for the first time in 26 years in the business that they do not have any idea what is causing the vibration. They are going to check a few more things (at OUR EXPENSE NOW). We will only leave it another day or two as the car rental costs have been astronomical and we are no further ahead than when the car first went in for repair December 1, 2008.
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Monday, February 2nd, 2009 AT 10:56 AM
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Hi there,

This is just unbelievable, I hope that you can get some resolution soon, keep us informed and feel fee to contact us if you need any technical points clarified or have any questions.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Monday, February 2nd, 2009 AT 3:20 PM
Tiny
THEBMWDOC
  • MEMBER
Hoover3, You are living a nightmare! Don't blame the vehicle although they have had there share of problems. First, I believe these gentlemen are heading in the right direction. For a BMW dealership after rechecking the work they previously performed, the wheels and tires would be the next obvious check. The driveshaft is what all BMW technicians would look at second. The reason, there is not an experienced tech. Out there that has not gone through this. Typically the driveshaft vibration is felt in two ways, a harsh shake on hard acceleration, and or a vibration that starts to be noticable in the seat of the pants at approx. 45 mph and up. However, sometimes just a look is not good enough, you CANNOT always tell with just a look if a counterweight is missing, and the centerbearings are most difficult to determine failure. Unfortunately the best diagnosis for the driveshaft problem is to actually bolt a different one in place and the tech. Should follow the proper repair instructions on the center bearing mount preload as BMW specifies, along with proper angle at each end of the shaft and that it is aligned straight in the vehicle. Since I am not aware of any vehicle modifications, I assume a stock vehicle. There has been very little success with rebuilding these shafts, (replacing the center bearing) unless it is a specialty shop for shafts. Have the dealer replace or try one from a known good vehicle.
Now I should of asked if the vibration is only at 65mph ( starts and ends) can you drive through it up to say 70 and then have no vibration.
Before the previous work you had a water pump installed, correct? Do your self a favor and open the hood and look at the radiator fan with the engine OFF and rotate the fan by hand. Is there a fan blade missing, if so that is the culprit, causing a drivetrain vibration. Of course by now all of these things have been checked including all drivetrain mounts, is there any other previous work (bodyshop, or alignment)work done? I have lots of questions? Will keep watching post
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Saturday, February 28th, 2009 AT 7:20 AM
Tiny
SUPERSHAFTS
  • MEMBER
A missing fan blade would act up sitting still reving the motor and be apparent EVERY time it went thru that rpm.

You say it starts at 65 mph and but you have no further info on the vibration,
does it get worse if you go faster,
does it get a litte better,
does it stay the same
does it have any change if you let off the gas,
If you throw it into nuetral
if you take it out of OD.

Im betting the front shaft is having a issue at the tcase connection or a issue at the rear shaft.

Bmw doesn't have a balancing machine at dealers, and many driveline shops don't have a specific machine that is better than others for balancing.

Hope eventually someone opens their eyes for you, id be driving that thru there showroom and trying to run them over if it was me.

.
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Sunday, April 13th, 2014 AT 11:36 AM

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