Retractable steering wheel problem [Archive] - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

Retractable steering wheel problem

06-15-2012, 03:01 PM
After they worked on my transmission, my steering wheel does not move nor retract automatically when I turn the engine on or off anymore. Any ideas ?

06-15-2012, 08:48 PM
Man, I am far from the most knowledgable member, but I will give you a bump for the great user name.

Only thing I suggest is check fuses and of course let us know if the joy stick that adjusts the steering wheel still works.

Good luck.

06-15-2012, 11:50 PM
Try moving the wheel up and down a little, then save new seat memory positions. If that doesn't work, see if you can find someone with INPA near you to delete the old bad position data (in the CIM - chassis integration module) and reinitialize the steering column, then save new positions in the seat memory settings. The part with reinitializing the steering column to re-learn its extents isn't always necessary, but sometimes. Generally this will happen as a result of a voltage issue (under/over-voltage seen at the CIM module, and so it shuts down some functionality to protect itself and its peripherals).

06-17-2012, 01:46 PM
Thank you Db750 and Keif for your answers. To answer Db750, the steering wheel still moves up and down, in and out manually, but does not retract automatically when I turn the engine off like it used to. A mechanic the other day told me that perhaps when they disconnected the battery, the should have reprogrammed the steering wheel. Could this be true ? And to Keif, what is the INPA ? Anyway, I'm going to relay this info to my mechanic, you might be onto something.
Thank again !

06-17-2012, 08:22 PM
INPA is one of BMW's tools for lighter diagnostic stuff. I had the exact thing you are talking about happen quite a few times, and doing what I mentioned fixed it every time. I'm pretty sure I read about it in WDS (BMW's Wiring Diagram System) or in some of the BMW training documents.


Found it in WDS under "Fully electric steering wheel adjustment". At the bottom of the page, there is the following...
"In the case of a voltage drop below 7.5 V, the stored position data of the steering column in the CIM control unit becomes invalid. The fault 5D38 'Position data, steering column' is stored in the fault code memory. The stored steering column position can no longer be called up from the seat memory. When the system voltage reaches the normal value again, the CIM control unit regenerates itself. The position data are valid again. The memory position of the steering column, however, must be stored anew in the seat memory. Delete the fault code memory."

06-18-2012, 01:02 AM
I had this issue, ever since I bought the car it wouldn't move automatically. Although when I disconnected the battery it started working again! I had to drive it to its farthest positions for it to initialise itself. DIS showed an error with a hall sensor but clearing the fault and trying to re-initialise using DIS failed. Try pulling the battery again if the above method doesn't work.