SureTrack Community Fix: Shimmy On Down The Road

Real Fixes from ShopKey’s SureTrack® expert information resource are documented issues from actual shop repair orders and community discussions. Read on to see how SureTrack can help you correct issues that are not easily diagnosed using OEM information alone. SureTrack is currently available free with the purchase of a current Snap-on® diagnostic software version or in our ShopKey Pro product.


Got a shimmy while you’re driving but typical causes aren’t the problem? This might be an older vehicle but the fix here could work in newer ones as well. SureTrack community member wilhiteauto had a BMW in the shop where the customer complained of a shimmy in the vehicle at highway speed. They posed the question to the community, and with the help of fellow community member BMWTECH and others, they were able to resolve the issue quickly.

The following Community Fix summarizes the interaction between members of the community that led to the solution.

Vehicle
1986 BMW 535i 3.4L

Title
Shimmy comes and goes, replaced brake system parts.

Complaint
When vehicle is at operating temperature, it will shimmy at around 60 MPH. It will go away if you come to complete stop put it in park, then put it in reverse, and then put in drive. Shimmy will come back after some heavy braking.

Diagnostic Steps Performed/Parts Replaced
Checked for loose drive line parts and found none. Do you think it’s the transmission going bad?

Best Answer from Community Member BMWTECH
Don’t overlook something simple like a bad caliper. I have seen a lot of them that will start to bind after 15 minutes of driving or so. Easy to check, just drive it until it does it then use temperature gun to check temperature of all four rotors. They should all be very close to the same temperature.

Cause
Bad rear brake caliper.

Correction
Replaced pads, rotors and calipers on rear. Took almost all of the shimmy away.


SureTrack® adds to the power of ShopKey Pro with an exclusive combination of expert knowledge and detailed parts replacement records, all wrapped in an interactive community. Designed to help automotive shops increase accuracy and efficiency from diagnosis to completed repair, the industry’s most comprehensive repair information resource is just a few clicks away.

Want more? Here’s how you can see more Real Fixes in SureTrack:

About the Author

Nick Taylor

Nick Taylor is the SureTrack Community Administrator and a Senior Applications Specialist at Mitchell 1 with over 25 years of experience with electronic repair data systems. Nick previously worked in the automotive dismantling and engine rebuilding industries.