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e46 pulling to the left

BMW forum 3 series car: E21, E30, E36, E46, E90, E91, E92, E93, F30, F31, F34, F35

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e46 pulling to the left

Postby markwelshbmw » Fri, 21 Oct 2005 15:12:25 UTC

hello,i recently bought my first BMW, E46 2002 model 2litre SE,recently it started pulling to the left,as soon as you let go of the steering it pulls instantly.ive checked the tyre pressures which were ok,i also checked to see if a caliper was sticking,it wasnt,anyone have any idea what it could be,its only covered 35,000 miles??

thanks in advance.......... mark
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Postby mrlapou » Fri, 21 Oct 2005 15:18:10 UTC

Wheel alignment is next check..
Then worn bushes which also causes the steering to lose accuracy when on the move.
2004 A3 2.0TDi DSG
2002 318SE Touring Auto
1997 Bolens Twin 16Hp Auto
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Postby eca02apc » Fri, 21 Oct 2005 17:31:16 UTC

My dad had a similar problem with his 5 series. It pulled to the left as soon as you took your hands off the wheel. Took it to the dealership and had it put on the laser alignment grid. Drives perfect now, but so it should for £120 plus VAT plus labour and that was after heavy negotiation!! Plus his car was still under BMW warranty!

Then about three months into owning my e46, that started pulling to the left! I took mine to a different dealer, told them I wanted it sorting and that I wasn't prepared to pay for it! They managed to do the work under warranty.

Moral is, shop around if possible, but to get a BMW dealership to do it is expensive if you have to pay for it!

The alternative option is to take it to someone like ADR who also has laser alignment gear but who are likely to do it for much less.
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Postby eddie » Fri, 21 Oct 2005 18:48:28 UTC

They will only do wheel alignment under warranty in year one after that you gotto pay!
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Postby ihpj » Fri, 21 Oct 2005 18:49:54 UTC

If the pull is as exaggerate as that, then I'd go with the tracking, although you can check your tyres to see if there is any unusual wear to them.  A thing I learnt once-upon a time was that certain tyres have an uncanny ability to read the road differently.  I once had a Vectra onto which I had the (mis)fortune to put on 4 x Pirelli P6000 tyres.  Instantly the car would vere off left - everything was checked out and it came down to the tread pattern of those tyres, they 'read' the road and were very camber sensitive and caused the pull to the left.  Just one of those things.

Hope you get it sorted - eca02apc gives good advice!
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Postby markwelshbmw » Fri, 21 Oct 2005 18:59:54 UTC

cheers for the response guys,had the car 4 months now, there is no uneven tyre wear yet, will get it 4 wheel aligned soon see if that helps,last car i had needed a full set of tyres every  7,000 miles!!!! (vectra gsi v6) .so far pleased that after 5,000 miles of this new car there seems to be hardly any tyre wear,just the annoying pulling....

cheers guys
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Postby Princer » Fri, 21 Oct 2005 19:55:26 UTC

thats weird my 320d had new tyres when i brought it and it also very slightly pulls to the left as well.
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Postby mrlapou » Fri, 21 Oct 2005 20:54:25 UTC

Slight road camber can also cause this.
To check, in a safe place, drive on the wrong side of the road to see if the car pulls to the right...

7k miles from a set of tyres... you must drive like a bat out of H**L.... :shock:
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Postby eca02apc » Sat, 22 Oct 2005 12:26:12 UTC

mrlapou is quite right in what he is saying, the camber of the road will cause all cars to pull slightly to the left. A lot of the roads near where I live suffer from subsidence so have a heavy camber and the car pulls all over.

However, dual carriageways and motorways seem to have less of a camber so the car drives straight. Try doing about 50mph on a reasonably level bit of motorway, the car shouldn't pull at all.

It may just be the ruts and cambers that your tyres are following, but if it's still pulling on the motorway I would suggest it's more likely to be the wheel alignment.
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