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From digest.v6.n842 Thu Jul 3 08:33:34 1997
From: "Brett Anderson" <>
Date: Wed, 2 Jul 1997 19:06:18 -0400
Subject: Re:<E36 M3> Never ending tire problem:-(

> From: "H. Andy Chi" <>
> Date: Tue, 01 Jul 1997 08:55:44 -0700
> Subject: <E36 M3> Never ending tire problem:-(
> Hi all,
> Well, I took my car in this morning for oil service and possible
> alignment at the dealer.
> The service guy I deal with is generally very honest, but he's telling
> me I might need new tires on my stock 97 M3 front tires (14000miles).
> Basically, after they inflated the tires to 36psi last week, the
> handling improved a lot (understeer is gone), but the car DRIFTS to the
> right even at 30mph. Is this a tire balance problem? Are my tires
> causing the problem (the tread looks fine)? An alignment problem (which
> I have a gut feeling that's what it is)? Is my service guy trying to rip
> me off?
> If he's trying to rip me off, which Southern California BMW dealer do
> my fellow American digesters recommend???
> Andy
> 97 M3 black/black (ok, so I drive a lot and put 14K miles on my 97 car
> already....)

All cars will drift right almost all of the time, the question is, how much is acceptable.
The major reason for drift is the road camber, most roads slope off to the right, the car follows this slope.

Other things that effect the way a car tracks are the tyres and the alignment, also the drivers perception of a straight wheel, I swear some people are cross eyed.

As a rule of thumb, I have a straight stretch of highway near me that has no noticable camber ( its there , but slight ). If I straighten up the car and let go of the wheel, and the car takes 50 yards to move from the left side of the lane, to the rights side of the SAME lane, I consider that acceptable.
If its more, the first thing to do is swap the front tyres left to right, and see if the drift is neutralized or even reversed. If there is no change after swapping the tyres, put them back where they were and get an alignment done by a shop with a good KDS style machine and make sure they weight down the car.
Take it in with an empty trunk and a full tank of gas, if they weight the car correctly and perform the alignement, it should track perfectly, provided nothing in the suspension is bent.

Alignment is only warranteed for 1200 miles, so you will have to pay for it. A car can be knocked out of alignment by a single pot hole so even with 14K miles you may be over due for one

Brett Anderson

BMW and ASE Master Technician

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