Vibration from steering wheel and braking - MINI Cooper Forum

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Aug 20th, 2014, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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Vibration from steering wheel and braking

Hi all,

I've bought a 2003 Cooper S recently which has only done 55k but has had quite a lot of work done by me.

On a mission now to get it all sound and the other issue I have at the moment is a vibration coming from the steering wheel at speeds of 40-50mph AND this vibration gets worse under braking. When the steering wheel is vibrating I clutch down (to coast) but it still continues. I'm thinking by doing this I've ruled out the driveshaft being a problem.

Before you say wheel balancing - i've had that done, double checked and also had the wheels checked for buckles and flat spots. Furthermore, I've had a full, 4 wheel Hunter alignment done, 3 new Pirelli P-Zeros put in and the wheels balanced once again. The problem still continues. As the wheels are not staggered i've rotated the wheels too.

The control arm bushes were put down as an advisory saying they are corroded but no excessive play. I had these checked and they are fine and no corrosion evident. The brake discs I feel could be warped. However, would this cause vibration when driving and the brakes not being applied?

Anyone else have any ideas on what it could be? The tyres are Pirelli P-Zero runflats all round and front are new.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Aug 21st, 2014, 03:10 AM
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A driveshaft (axle and cv joints) may well vibrate whether the clutch is in or not.
Are the wheel bearings and ball joints and tie rod ends all ok?

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Aug 22nd, 2014, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info on the driveshaft, didn't know or think that.

Wheel bearings, ball joints and tie rod ends are all ok.

It is very bad under braking (light braking) more than anything else. I'm just not sure why if it is the brakes could it also occur when the car is driving with no brakes applied (its not crazy bad then though).
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Aug 22nd, 2014, 04:20 PM
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The marked worsening under light breaking really makes me think of either warped rotors or
uneven pad deposits on the rotors. The fact that it happens somewhat with no brakes applied
would indicate that if it is the brakes, then the calipers must be sticking and dragging at least
a little bit. If this is ruled out, then thoughts proceed to driveshafts, wheel bearings, differential
bearings, or the drive shaft of the transmission (since it continues with the clutch in -- an additional
question - does it also continue in neutral - and if so, is it linked to road speed or engine speed then?).

Is there any increased vibration with acceleration?

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 2014, 02:17 PM
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55K should show needing brakes. A well used MINI can chew brakes up quick and previous owner my have done short braking ( wait til light changes to brake ) and heated rotors or even track days. I replace pads every 25K and rotors every 50K because of track times. I did a full set of drilled and slotted rotors $150 and EBC pads $180 and stainless brake lines $100 and sensors $50 just on Ebay. dealer wanted $1200.

Charlie Croker ,BRG 03 Cooper S, SCCA Solo, PDX, Time Trials, RoadRally, and Stella, 011 Oxford Grn Countryman S, with complete Sport Package, stock at present
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