Have you noticed that your BMW is drifting to one side of the road or the other as you drive? Are you wondering what might be causing this problem? If so, check out the below three reasons your wheels might be to blame.
Inaccurate Tire Pressure
If you just pull up to the free air pump at your local gas station and pump away until your wheels feel nice and firm, you're filling your tires wrong. Your BMW is built to be super responsive to the road and in order to do that, every aspect of your car needs to be tuned precisely.
A lot of BMWs perform optimally when the front and rear tires have different tire pressure settings. Check your owner's manual to see what the perfect tire pressure is for your model and stick to those recommendations the next time you fill up the air in your wheels.
Road Crown And Camber Issues
Road crowns refer to the tilts of roads built in precipitation-heavy areas. When a road has a crown, it means that the right side of each lane is lower than the left side of each lane, allowing water to flow freely off and away from the road.
If you're driving frequently on heavily crowned roads, your car is going to be leaning to the right a lot. As it leans, it's going to distribute more weight on your right wheels, causing them to tilt slightly outward at their tops.
The tilt of your wheels is called wheel camber. Wheels that are perfectly perpendicular to the ground have a neutral camber. Wheels that tilt inward at the top have negative cambers and wheels that tilt outward at the top have... you guessed it -- positive cambers.
The correct way to adjust your wheels for heavily-crowned roads is to have a trained mechanic decrease the cambers of your car's left wheels to account for the road crown-induced positive cambers of your car's right wheels.
Too-Tight Lug Nuts
Most people are well aware that their car's lug nuts should be good and tightened onto their cars. What many people don't know, however, is that lug nuts can be tightened too much.
Your BMW's lug nuts hold its wheels onto their axles. It takes just a single lug nut being twisted on a little too hard to bend an axle, which will cause your car to drift.
Each car's owner's manual specifies how much torque should be applied to the vehicle's lug nuts when tightening them. Most BMWs require their lug nuts to be secured at 90 ft. lbs. of torque pressure.
If you've worked on your car yourself in the past and gave your wrench your all so your lug nuts were good and tight, there's a good chance that this was the start of your vehicle's drifting problems.
When mechanics tighten lug nuts, they use a special air gun that displays the amount of torque being used. In fact, proper lug nut tightening is so important that some mechanics' shops require a supervisor to double check each and every lug nut tightening job.
If after reading this article you think your lug nuts might be causing your BMW to drift, get it to a BMW auto repair mechanic immediately. Ask them to check your wheel axles for damage, and to adjust your lug nuts to the proper torque amount for your vehicle.
There are many factors that could cause your car to drift slightly to the left or right when driving down the road, but most of them revolve around the vehicle's wheels. If your BMW seems to have a mind of its own when it comes to steering, it's likely that one of the above three wheel issues is to blame.