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2006 BMW M3 Front Suspension / Steering Issue

Hi, I have been a big fan and amused for years by your show and am really excited that I can actually ask you a question via your website.

I have a 2006 BMW M3 with only 26K Miles that I absolutely love, but about 5K miles ago I was turning onto the Key Bridge in DC and unexpectedly hit the expansion joint at an angle that seemed to really shock the car and steering. The car has really low profile 19" wheels and while I’m not an expert, but I really feel that the front suspension has never been the same. There seems to be something loose that’s felt when going over bumps and also the steering crowns really badly (more than you would expect for a car with it’s respective wheel/tire package). I’ve taken the car to several BMW service centers (still under service / warranty until August 2010) and no one has found anything wrong! Could this just be my imagination? The car just doesn’t feel as stable or secure or fun as it used to and as an M3 should.

Do you think it could be the steering rack, a suspension piece, strut, or worse the structure / strut tower structure of the car?? Please help and thank you!!

Jordan in Washington DC

I would not mention hitting anything if you want warranty consideration, just describe that “things don’t feel right”

I had to replace many suspension components on a 2002 M3 that had its tires stolen and got dropped on the ground. I came away amazed just how much bigger the pieces were compared to the “normal” car. Wheel bearings that easily deserve the “massive” description, not likely a expansion joint damaged your car, a wheel tire assembley perhaps, next to the Porsche these M3’s are next in line to being a street legal race car, very strong

You should see if another owner of a similar car will take you for a ride so you can compare. I am sure that there must be a BMW enthusiast club in the DC area that could be a resource. See if their car behaves the same or if your symptoms are more than your imagination. I doubt an expansion joint could cause any real damage. If BMW hasn’t found anything wrong, drive on.