CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2009 BMW 328 shakes when accelerating

,

My 09 BMW 328i shakes only when I press gas patel (accelerates), especially up hills. It mostly shakes at the speed around 40 mile/hr. It does not shake at all when I coasting. Also, the problem becomes more obvious/severe after I drive it for a while. I have multiple garages check the car. I have replaced tires, spark plugs, camshift, and brakes and rotors. Of cause, many of these are normal maintenance that I need to do at time. One garage said that it might be the right engine mount, and would change it for me. But late they back out. Also I went to transmission shops and they did not think it is transmission-related. Any suggestions? Many thanks.

Motor mounts are usually felt on acceleration from low speeds. A shake during acceleration from 40 is symtom of missfires. There are also other possibilities with more information. Is the check engine light on?

Thanks.
No engine check light on.
Here is some more information:

  1. there are no any faulty warnings,
  2. it seems that the drive shift is fine,
  3. it appears that the whole car shakes, since passengers also can feel shaking,
  4. except for shaking, I do not feel loss of power that much,
  5. it is not speed-related,
  6. at higher speed,i.e., >65 miles per hour, shaking becomes less severe,
  7. in the morning when the car is cold, shaking is very mild, sometimes I do not feel any,
  8. on the other hand, when the car gets warm (driving after half of hour), sometimes the car also shakes at 20-25 miles per hour.

Thanks for the info. Just a little more though. Do you feel it vibrate through the steering wheel, and/ do you feel it more on your butt?

I feel vibration through the steering wheel more. Thanks.

Of course I can’t see it, but there’s there’s no codes, that would slightly eliminate misfire. I believe this is rear wheel drive. If it is it might be drive shaft or driveshaft center bearing. But if the steering wheel vibrates more, the culprit is more likely to be in the front suspension. I’m really wondering how multiple shops cannot find a vibration that passengers can feel. If we start looking for odd things that can cause vibration, sometimes when a serpentine belt gets stretched so far that there is no more room for the tensioner to tension it there will be a vibration. Maybe you can take it to a good alignment shop. If it’s front suspension like I suspect, they should be able to locate it. Without seeing it, we still cannot rule everything out.

Thank you so much. Yes, it is rear wheel drive. I think one garage did look center bearing (the rubber disk between transmission and driveshaft?). It looks good. The guys, however, did not remove exhaust to directly check driveshaft, but they said driveshaft should be good, because the vibration is not “up-down” type. Would you think I should have them to check it out?
Why do you want me to go to a alignment shop? to check suspension and alignment?
The interesting part is the vibration becomes much more severe/obvious after driving for a while. Would it be related to some rubber bearing? When it gets hot, it becomes weak and lost it ability functioning normally?

Seeing there are no trouble codes I would check suspension first. But another possibility is that you have a faulty EGR that’s not triggering a code. That would explain the temperature making a difference. Coils can fail when hot also when hot causing a misfire. Motor mount still not out. With all the work done on it, it’s hard to pinpoint. If the vibration matches wheel speed it would be tires. If it’s faster like drivesaft speed it would point to drivetrain. If it follows engine speed, points to motor mounts or misfire. Shaking at the wheel indicates suspension. Wished I could see it. Hope this helps

Really appreciated.

Does the frequency follow the wheels or the engine?
Is the frequency the same at 40 mph whether the transmission is highest gear or one (or two) lower?
To know that will give an indication whether it is suspension or engine/transmission.

Hey did you ever figure this out? This is EXACTLY what my '08 328i is doing

You might also post this on a BMW site, more chance of an owner posting back an answer.

If this vibration is felt through the steering wheel and becomes pronounced at one speed and then fades at a higher speed then this all indicates that there is a problem with one of the front wheels.

Whether that be…out of balance tire, a broken belt inside one of the tires, a sidewall defect…something of this nature. Of course if there is an out of balance wheel / tire AND a tired strut…this would amplify the issue and make it more pronounced.

The issue lies in one of the front wheels / tires… and possibly a strut (that has blown out due to trying to hold this unbalanced wheel and tire on the ground for so long that it blew out its damping ability)…but the initial issue most likely began at a tire or wheel.

Rotating the front wheels to the back would be one way to check.

2 Likes

I may be 100% wrong, as BMW is not my bowl of soup, but I recall at some point they had nasty problem with steering column internal joints, where the grease was getting dry and parts would start “binding”, resulting in two symptoms: vibration and “gritty” feel on the steering wheel in turns.
I support other posters that going to BMW dedicated forum[s] is more likely to pinpoint the potential issues at play rather than us here making more generic guesses.

Google ‘BMW steering column vibration’, lots of info.