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Topic Review (Newest First)

  • 09-25-2011, 01:36 PM

    Z4 Steering - Possible fix? Please try it. I want to know if this works.

    I have had my 2004 Z4 for about 5 years. I quickly noticed the steering issue that many other have complained about and tried to fix. I thought someone described it very well when they said the power assist seems to come and go as you drive, causing the car to constantly over-correct as you drive down the road...usually in a somewhat zig-zag path.

    I only drive my car in the summer and store it in my garage in the winter. I always disconnect the battery for storage. A couple of years ago, i took it out of storage and a few of the lights on the instrument panel no longer worked. On example was the outside temperature indicator which only had a couple of dashes instead of numbers. I didn't worry about it.

    Eventually, I took the car in for routine service. The service writer informed me that everything checked out good, but a few sensors on the car needed to be reset since apparantly the battery had become too weak or had been disconnected at some point. This caused the sensors to require resetting. The service technician reset the sensors so all of my indicators on the instrument panel then worked. He also mentioned that if it happened again, reinitialize the sensors by turning the steering wheel all the way to the left and then all the way to the right (or vice versa). That process will reinitialize the sensors (according to him).

    That was in June 2011. It wasn't long after that I realized I didn't have the steering issues anymore. My assumption or hope is that reinitializing the sensors also apparently reinitialized sensors in the steering system. And these sensors apparently make the system work properly.

    I have no proof of this other than the fact that my car doesn't have the problem any longer and driving is much more pleasurable.

    C Harter ([email protected])
  • 06-07-2011, 01:38 PM

    BMW Z4 Sticky Steering

    Quote Originally Posted by wettertx View Post
    There is a string of messages regards to sticking steering going back a couple of years. Since I just got a very low mileage 2004 Z4 and it started having the "classic" sticking steering as described by several others I am wondering if there are any owners satisfied with the repairs, mods, etc.?KWIK AG
    I own a 2003 BMW Z4 that is in excellent condition with has 27,000 miles on it and that Iíve have had since it was new. The car has never driven in winter and kept in a heated garage. I just got the car back from BMW service and repair. When the car was new, every once and a while the steering would get sticky or notchy, and extra force would have to be used to break the steering wheel loose and turn the wheel. It was very intermittent and happened very infrequently when new; however, the last year or so it has gotten much worse and happens whenever the car is driven. I recently took it to a dealer for repair and got it back yesterday. The dealer replaced part of the steering column at a cost of over $3,000.00. It seems to have corrected the problem. I called BMW customer service to see if they would do something and assist with the repair cost and they basically gave me the finger because the car is out of warrantee. From reading on-line there is definitely a problem with the steering on these cars, otherwise so many people would not be complaining about the same thing. I donít understand why BMW wonít admit there is a problem with the steering on these cars and step up to plate when it comes to the repair? These are not inexpensive Kias!!! BMW is REALLY hurting their customer relations with the individuals who own these cars. I know that this incident has damaged their reputation with me. My wife owns a Ford Edge and we were thinking of replacing it with a new X3 next spring. WELL GUESS WHAT!!!!
    You need to file a complaint with NHTSA. You can do it on-line very easily at their web site.
  • 10-16-2009, 11:03 PM

    steering issue - everone needs to file a complaint

    Everyone who has expereinced this MUST file a safety complaint with the NHTSA at their site. It is an outrage that BMW, in many cases such as mine, is ignoring this serious problem. What is it going to take for them to realize the seriousness of the issue (death of their customers!) FILE THE COMPLAINT TODAY, DON'T WAIT.2005 Z4 3.0 T Silver, Black interior
  • 10-15-2009, 11:21 PM

    Re: Casey BMW fixed my steering

    I complained about this problem with Richmond BMW several times over the last 2 years.. Finally, in July, I specifically TOLD them to leave the car parked outside in the heat, then drive it.. they finally validated the sensation! Thank G-d I spent the $1800 for the Gold Plus extended warranty we purchased 3 years ago.. as it paid for itself with the repair which consisted of replacing the steering column, which would've cost over $3200..
  • 09-22-2009, 03:53 PM

    Check out the complaints to NHTSA

    If you search for complaints on 2004 Z4 at this link:

    You'll find numerous "hot steering binding" complaints. They seem to be spread out over three categories, e.g. Steering, Steering column, Electrical Power Steering, etc., which may make it look less frequent to the NHTSA computers.

    Clearly there is a problem and I am surprised that NHTSA has not launched a defect investigation.

    Well, perhaps if just a few more complain, there might be an investigation and recall.

    So if you have the problem and feel it is a safety issue, grab your VIN, go to NHTSA.GOV, and file a formal complaint.
  • 09-20-2009, 12:48 PM

    Re: Sticky Steering Saga Continues

    Given that your car is out of warrenty, this is probably the best deal you will get. Mine (2003 3.0) was replaced under my CPO warrenty, and has worked flawlessly ever since. At least you will have peace of mind abou how your car drives. You may be able to get your money back in the future if a class action suit is filed. Good luck.
  • 09-19-2009, 10:43 AM

    Re: Casey BMW fixed my steering

    I filed a complaint. Hope everyone else with this problem will as well. Perhaps BMW will wake up! Losing customers is not going to help them sell cars in the future.
  • 09-16-2009, 06:45 PM

    Re: Sticky Steering Saga Continues

    My 2004 Z4 developed the classic sticky steering problem after the warranty expired. The dealer is offering me a repair under these terms: BMW pays for the part ($2600!) and I pay for the labor (5 1/2 hours at $118 per). Do any of you have any experience with out of warranty coverage? Am I getting a good deal or does the fact that they will eat the cost of the part mean they have acknowledged there is a problem and should over the labor too? Thanks for your thoughts.
  • 07-18-2009, 04:46 PM

    Re: Casey BMW fixed my steering

    Got the Z back from Casey and steering issue has been resolved. Since the warranty had expired and I had 2 cases of this problem already documented while in warranty, there was no problem at all. Mike Bullus from Casey made this a pleasant experience. Now Casey is on my good side.
  • 07-15-2009, 12:50 PM

    Re: Casey BMW fixed my steering

    File a safety complaint with the NHTSA at their site. Be sure to have your vehicle VIN as NHTSA takes safety complaints with the VIN much more seriously.

    NHTSA Safety Complaint Link

    Frankly, if all the people with defective steering filed formal complaints with NHTSA I am quite sure BMW would be forced to issue a formal recall/fix. However, as long as people act like sheep and do not file formal complaints, BMW will be able to continue to sweep this safety problem under the rug, and only addressing the loudest and most persistent people.
  • 07-12-2009, 09:42 PM

    Re: Casey BMW fixed my steering

    I just purchased my used '04 and have been driving it all weekend. It has been hot here and I noticed the sticky steering...noticed is an understatement! I researched it and just found out how common this seems to be and am clearly outside of warranty...can anyone tell me about how much this is going to cost to fix? I can't believe this is not a recall, from what I have experienced already, it could be DEADLY!

  • 07-10-2009, 08:04 PM

    Re: Casey BMW fixed my steering

    You are luck that BMW is fixing yours. Prestige BMW told me it was fixed for model year 2005 (January build date) and would not do anything as no fault was registered! I've told my wife if I get into an accident on a hot day to sue the hell out of BMW as it was likely due to sticky steering issues. I have purchased 2 BMWs and this may be it for me if this is the way they back up their product.2005 Z4 3.0 T Silver, Black interior
  • 07-10-2009, 11:54 AM

    Re: Casey BMW fixed my steering

    Mine goes into Casey BMW next week for the same problem. I also worked with Mike Bulluss on this issue. So far he seems to be very supportive...we shall see how it turns out.
  • 07-10-2009, 11:20 AM

    Re: Sticky Steering Saga Continues

    Just spoke with my dealership they will be replacing my steering column at BMW's expense next week. Last summer they thought it was the tires and then the alignment. I can't believe this many of us had issues and there wasn't a recall.
  • 06-18-2009, 10:17 AM

    Casey BMW fixed my steering

    I recently experienced the sticky steering problem in my 2003 3.0. It had a CPO warrently when I purchased it from an aquaintance last summer. The symptoms would begin to show once the ambient temperature reached about 75 degrees. The steering felt notchy, like there were gates that you wuld have to move through as you rotated the wheel. I worked with Mike Bulluss at Casey BMW in Newport News, Virginia. He test drove the car and got clearance from BMW to replace the steering column under warrenty. Mike made the entire process quick and painless. I cannot say enough positive about him or about Casey in my particular case. I understand that other dealers may not be so customer-oriented. Casey, in my book, is tops.
  • 06-14-2009, 12:31 AM

    Re: PUMA Case #

    I came across your post about the sticking steering problem. I just had an AH HA moment. My z4 did this a few times then just went away on its own and I thought I was imagining the whole thing.
  • 05-05-2009, 04:30 PM

    Re: PUMA Case #

    I have experienced that problem 3 or 4 times in the 4 years I've owned the car. Got stone-walled at Beverly Hills BMW today. I'll be working on this one.
  • 01-16-2007, 04:52 PM
    John Maxwell

    Re: Sticky Steering Saga Continues

    I moved to Florida six months ago and am now experiencing this problem. I took my car into the dealership and they are waiting on a decision by BMW management as to what to do.

    Since there is a highway safety issue here, I reported this to NHTSA's hotline last week. Has anyone else reported this problem to NHTSA?
  • 06-14-2006, 08:35 AM

    Re: Got the run around from dealer and BMWNA

    I think we have two problems here. One is the steering column and one is BMWNA and specific dealers. Everyone knows of the problem and what the fix is. I quess it is just how nice and persistent you are!

    04 3.0 Z4 6sp sport (wife)
    04 330CiC 6sp ZHP (me)
    98 Bravada winters (wife)
    96 Grand Cherokee (me)
    68 396 Chevelle convertible (restoring)
  • 06-12-2006, 10:18 PM

    A known issue

    They have been replacing steering columns for the past year. Take the loaner, make it a good one, and tell them you'll be back when they put a new column in.
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