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Wandering danger

Question : I JUST bought a used 1996 1.8-litre BMW 318i with an M43 power plant.

I am facing the following problems:

1. The car 'slips' at the rear when driven over potholes or manhole covers.

2. When driven (moderate speed of between 60 and 80km) through water puddles, I have to hold the steering with both hands or otherwise I am not sure where I will end up!

3. Experiencing hard ride from both front and rear suspension. I have replaced the following items:

a. Front shocks are new - Boge.

b. Front coils are new - standard.

c. New front absorber mounting bush - OEM.

d. Replaced ball joints (two each side) - OEM.

e. New front lower arm bush - OEM.

f. Replaced both rod ends - OEM.

g. Replaced rear bearings - SKF.

h. Checked chassis and was told that the car was not involved in any accident.

Tyres are BS Turanza AR 10 205/55 R16 (new).

I have done wheel alignment and balancing a couple of times.

Rear absorbers are Boge (came with the car).

My mechanic has repaired the worn steering pinion shaft.

I was told that the rear lower arm bush was worn but nothing has been done yet.

My mechanic said one of the rear absorbers may not be in a good condition.

Answer : As it appears that you have done a lot of work on the suspension and replaced most of the worn parts, the problem most likely is not from that area.

I am however a bit suspicious about the wheel size you are using.

My information is that your car should be using 15-inch wheels but yours are 16- inch but with the correct section tyres.

If someone has replaced the wheels to 16-inch from the original 15-inch, then that is the cause of your problem as the wheels may not have the correct offset and that is causing the wandering and instability.

This is also shown by the difficulty in driving the car over water puddles as the car wants to drive itself.

The bigger wheels also contribute to higher unsprung weight and hence your hard ride.

If however I am wrong in the wheel size, you should still check the wheel offsets as I am sure the wheel offset is wrong or else the car would not be wandering around.


Suspension and tyres

Original vs compatible

Upsetting sounds

Sound from front suspension

Stiff suspension

Bouncy Avanza

Hard suspension


Wandering danger

Still vibrating

Rear suspension

Bumpy ride

Suspension change

Air Suspension confusion

Spark plugs
Timing belt


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