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      02-09-2021, 08:38 PM   #1
BenN
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picked up used car: driveline vibration under load plus a few other niggles

Hi guys,

Recently bought a used 2017 F26 20d xdrive msport auto for my wife, really nice spec - m sport pro pack, 20" factory rims, pro nav, hk speakers, reverse camera, adaptive led's etc.. she's very happy, and so am i, mostly.

My daily is an F31 335d xdrive, so really familiar with the xdrive system and how it should feel, both cars are different drives and i love how different they both feel to drive.

Purchased as approved used from a UK BMW dealership at distance with 36k miles on the clock, comes with 1 year approved used BMW warranty. Car has full dealership service history, with both sets of brakes, tyres and major service recently carried out at the supplying dealership. I've spotted a few niggles with the car that i'm going to have investigated by my local dealership and wanted to run these past you guys:

- Car tends to slowly drift left at motorway speeds and the steering wheel sits left of centre. When straightening the wheels so the car tracks straight, steering wheel still sits 1-2 degrees left of centre. Physically straightening the steering wheel makes the car slowly drift right at motorway speeds. Car has had alloy refurbs, tyres show signs of sidewall wear so i believe the previous owner liked the kerbs. I believe a full alignment is required here? Dealer that sold me the car to pay if this 'needs' doing.

- Tailgate area rattles and squeaks - i believe there is a TSB for this, trunk needs an adjustment? Anyone know whether this would be covered by BMW warranty?

- Some of the alloys have been refurbished, centre caps are horrendously corroded, supplying dealer sending me new caps to have fitted.

- I can feel a faint shudder or vibration through the driveline which starts at around 25mph until 35mph, you can drive through it and doesnt seem present at other speeds. Same sensation present in other drive modes, eg sport, comfort. Same sensation present irrespective of gear, or revs - if i manually drop to 2nd/3rd gear the revs raise and the sensation seems to be amplified. Best way to describe what im feeling is similar to when you shift to a too-high gear, and an engine feels like its labouring, also sounds abit like an exhaust blowing. Feels more like a vibration, felt through the seat, coming from mid to rear of the car, cant feel anything through the steering wheel or pedals. Car had new tyres in the last 6 months, i thought wheel balance but then the issue goes away if i back off the throttle and coast.

Due to COVID rules right now in the UK, zero test drives are allowed prior to sale, plus it was a long distance sale so we only saw the car on the day of collection. Picked up the car on the 31st Jan, notified supplying dealer of the above issues on the 1st-2nd Feb. Salesman has already used the '.. well its passed approved used checks' line on me several times now, so i'm kinda sat here feeling abit fobbed off until i can have an unbiased oppinion at my local dealership, 2 weeks from now - the earliest i could get booked in. Considering i was told pre-sales that any car that has alloys refurbished, has its alignment checked: i don't have much hope with the rest since the car feels out of alignment. Car was quickly turned around for end of month sale, so maybe this got missed out?

I initially thought the driveline shudder was a characteristic of this engine, especially with it sitting around the 30mph mark, maybe for economy purposes with this being the 20d engine, anyone have any thoughts or experience on this? I'm naturally quite concerned about this issue, really love the car but the last thing i want to do is inherit something bad from the past owner. What i would like to know from you guys are the possible outcomes here, and what i can expect to be covered under warranty? Any bills for wear and tear would be billed to the supplying dealer, and if they cannot help i would look to explore other options: but i hope it doesnt come to this as we are otherwise happy with the car.

Recent spell of snow here in the UK, and the xdrive seems to be behaving as i'd expect from my experience in my F31: no grinds, jerks or strange behaviour, gearbox shifts smoothly also.

Sorry for the long post, any help, thoughts or things to try out would be greatly received.
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      04-13-2021, 06:36 PM   #2
OldSchoolGamer
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I have the exact same driveline shudder on my just purchased 2018 X4 M40i. It still has warranty so I may take it to the dealer for a check up.
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      04-14-2021, 05:07 AM   #3
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Just wanted to give a quick update on this, as its still ongoing.

The car went into my dealership and they confirmed that two things were happening, the shudder which i felt was definitely there and the rear of the car was skittish according to the technician.

Rear wheels were heavily out of balance - after a re-balance car felt completely different to drive. Vibration issue was still there and the dealership started its diagnostic steps.
I'm not fully aware of all the steps they took in their diagnosis, but i'm aware they ruled out the wheels/tyres by trying others on the car, did the usual disconnection of transfer box etc..
Next step was to replace the rear differential, this has now been done but the problem persists and has changed the characteristic of the issue (seems to happen at different speeds now, swapping out the differential seems to have disturbed the real problem). Next step is to swap out the prop shaft, which i'm currently awaiting to be delivered - so i will updated once this is done.

Dealership were cautious on doing a KDS incase it masked the real problem, so the alignment issues are still there, this will be corrected once everythings fixed up.

OldSchoolGamer please keep me posted how you get on, presuming yours is an F26 too, and not a G series car?
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      04-14-2021, 08:36 AM   #4
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Wow, I知 surprised it has been such a complicated problem to diagnose. Now I知 afraid to even start the process lol.

I値l update this thread as soon as the car is at the dealer. Thanks for the update!
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      04-14-2021, 08:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSchoolGamer View Post
Wow, I知 surprised it has been such a complicated problem to diagnose. Now I知 afraid to even start the process lol.

I値l update this thread as soon as the car is at the dealer. Thanks for the update!
Yeah, you and i both. Our issue seems road speed dependent and irrespective of Rev's or the gear you are in, more prominent when under load - so going up-hill for example.
It's definately not normal, or a characteristic of the engine - which is even more apparent now you have a similar if not the same problem.
I also believe the rear differentials would be different, well atleast they are between the 2ltr and 3ltr diesel engines, so its looking even more likely prop or driveshaft related.
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      04-14-2021, 10:19 AM   #6
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my driveline vibration that sounds the same as yours was due to the slip joint in the driveshaft being stuck.
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      04-14-2021, 10:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ga9213 View Post
my driveline vibration that sounds the same as yours was due to the slip joint in the driveshaft being stuck.
Really useful - thank you: was this one of the Left/Right driveshafts or propshaft?
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      04-14-2021, 10:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenN View Post
Really useful - thank you: was this one of the Left/Right driveshafts or propshaft?
prop shaft. Needs to be able to compress and expand to account for changes in length on accel/decel
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      04-14-2021, 10:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ga9213 View Post
prop shaft. Needs to be able to compress and expand to account for changes in length on accel/decel
Thank you, what was the solution?
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      04-14-2021, 10:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenN View Post
Thank you, what was the solution?
I discovered it as I was replacing the driveshaft so that was my solution, but knowing now you can easily just pull the driveshaft, loosen the yoke and pack it full of grease to keep it from seizing again.
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      04-14-2021, 10:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ga9213 View Post
I discovered it as I was replacing the driveshaft so that was my solution, but knowing now you can easily just pull the driveshaft, loosen the yoke and pack it full of grease to keep it from seizing again.
do you suspect your new driveshaft will do the same after a while, or was there a fault in your old one that means it went dry?
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      04-14-2021, 10:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenN View Post
do you suspect your new driveshaft will do the same after a while, or was there a fault in your old one that means it went dry?
New one would probably do the same after some time. I didn't bother to repack it on install which, in hindsight, I should have done. Might even be a way to repack it while installed on the car...so long as it's not yet seized.
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      04-14-2021, 10:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ga9213 View Post
my driveline vibration that sounds the same as yours was due to the slip joint in the driveshaft being stuck.
I was thinking it was driveshaft related so this really helps. I'll pass it along to the dealer when I take it in for service. Thank you for sharing!
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      04-14-2021, 10:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ga9213 View Post
New one would probably do the same after some time. I didn't bother to repack it on install which, in hindsight, I should have done. Might even be a way to repack it while installed on the car...so long as it's not yet seized.
Do all of these cars have the same problem then? Do you think it's just the prop shafts used on the AWD models?
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      04-14-2021, 10:51 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSchoolGamer View Post
Do all of these cars have the same problem then? Do you think it's just the prop shafts used on the AWD models?
Interesting thought - My F31 335d doesnt have this issue, and it's xdrive spec - not saying its the same prop shaft across both models, but they are similar size and age designs, so i would presume a similar spec by means of design, but im only guessing here. In the case of our F26, it has 36k miles on the clock and is 3.5yrs old, so i would find it strange for this to dry out at such a young age by means of wear and tear. I would hope its a manufacturing defect somewhere, but its not great if this will return in the near future.

If anyone else has had similar issue, please reply, it would be great so see an idea of how widespread this is.
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      04-14-2021, 11:00 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSchoolGamer View Post
Do all of these cars have the same problem then? Do you think it's just the prop shafts used on the AWD models?
Hard to say. This was on my wife's F25 (2016) with 60k miles.
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      04-14-2021, 11:10 AM   #17
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My car has about 36k miles.
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      04-20-2021, 01:01 PM   #18
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It's at the dealer now, will keep you posted.
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      04-21-2021, 04:04 PM   #19
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Turns out it was the prop shaft. Part is in Germany and will take some time to get here. I値l post an update after the new prop shaft is installed.
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      05-06-2021, 08:55 AM   #20
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Great to hear you have had similar success OldSchoolGamer. Our prop took a few weeks to come over from Germany and was fitted last wednesday, absolutely transformed the car and now drives as-it-should now.
My dealer fitted a complete prop including guibo, u-joints, centre bearing and i couldnt be more pleased.
Regarding the other issues we had outstanding, we rounded the day off with a full KDS alignment and the total toe was 20 degrees from where it should've been (not sure how bad this really is in reality). In turn this fixed my steering wheel alignment gripes and its now a draem to drive - front end feel is considerably diffferent and it no longer jitters into every dip and pot hole in the road.
From when we took delivery of this car to today its night and day a different drive, its a shame as my Wife thought it drove fine at first, and was sceptical there was anything wrong (how many other folk are driving them round like this?) - seeing her reaction when she drove the fixed-car for the first time makes all the effort we put into resolving this worthwhile

Keep this thread posted on how you get on, its nice to hear how it turns out and maybe this will help others out in future!
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      06-05-2021, 12:07 PM   #21
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Prop shaft was finally replaced last week and now vibration under acceleration is gone. It still doesn't seem to be as smooth as it should be though.
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      06-07-2021, 11:00 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSchoolGamer View Post
Prop shaft was finally replaced last week and now vibration under acceleration is gone. It still doesn't seem to be as smooth as it should be though.
Thats great to hear, really pleased for you.

I feel we are both at the same place with this now. Since the ugly vibration has disappeared, i can feel a much lighter one at the front of the car now, can be felt through the pedals/wheel and is indicative of something at the front that appears from 20-30mph. She's not my daily, so its taken a few weeks for me to realise im still not happy. Every time i get back in my buttery smooth F31 335d it reminds me that somethin's still not right with that F26.

Ours is back in the dealership next week, since our rear alloys were so far out of balance i want to rule out the front's. This car has had 4 wheel refurbishments pre-purchase, and i think they simply didn't re-balance the wheels, which is bad IMO.

Anyways, if the vibe is still there afterwards and i can get it confirmed by a technitian i will pursue diagnostics into the front part of the driveline, fingers crossed its another bad prop and nothing else.

Keep u posted!
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