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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 03-09-2005, 04:13 PM
nave560 nave560 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2002 330i
Steering is kind of hard

Got a used 2002 330i from the dealer. Before I bought it, the dealership put new tires on it. I don't know if this is because I'm not used to the car yet, but the steering feels hard. It's not a big hassle, but I was just wondering if this is normal? Or should I get it checked out? Oh and another thing, when I go over hard bumps or one of my wheels hydroplanes, the steering wheel will turn.
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  #2  
Old 03-09-2005, 04:16 PM
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Nick325xiT 5spd Nick325xiT 5spd is offline
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Is this:
a) your first car?
b) your first BMW?
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  #3  
Old 03-09-2005, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nave560
Got a used 2002 330i from the dealer. Before I bought it, the dealership put new tires on it. I don't know if this is because I'm not used to the car yet, but the steering feels hard. It's not a big hassle, but I was just wondering if this is normal? Or should I get it checked out? Oh and another thing, when I go over hard bumps or one of my wheels hydroplanes, the steering wheel will turn.
Check tire preasure?
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  #4  
Old 03-09-2005, 06:37 PM
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Matthew330Ci Matthew330Ci is offline
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compared to most other cars, bmw's steering wheels are "harder" to turn. it's normal.
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Old 03-09-2005, 06:42 PM
nave560 nave560 is offline
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a) This is not my first car. My family has owned a 2000 MB ML430, a 1996 Volvo 960, and a 2002 Lexus LS430
b) Yes, this is my first BMW

The hard steering doesn't bother me that much, I actually perfer it to the other cars I've driven. I was just worried if it was a problem or not. The REAL thing that scared me was how my steering wheel would turn on it's own (not by much) when I hit a pothole, hard bump, or hydroplaned.

Oh, and my tire pressure is at what it says it should be on the inside of the driverside door.

Last edited by nave560; 03-09-2005 at 06:45 PM.
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  #6  
Old 03-09-2005, 06:50 PM
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Nick325xiT 5spd Nick325xiT 5spd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nave560
a) This is not my first car. My family has owned a 2000 MB ML430, a 1996 Volvo 960, and a 2002 Lexus LS430
b) Yes, this is my first BMW

The hard steering doesn't bother me that much, I actually perfer it to the other cars I've driven. I was just worried if it was a problem or not. The REAL thing that scared me was how my steering wheel would turn on it's own (not by much) when I hit a pothole, hard bump, or hydroplaned.

Oh, and my tire pressure is at what it says it should be on the inside of the driverside door.
It might as well be your first car. Those things are transportation appliances.
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Old 03-09-2005, 06:55 PM
nave560 nave560 is offline
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Your right. I like the BMW a lot better than anything I've driven thus far. Driving the Lexus is like watching a slow and boring, romantic movie. Driving the BMW feels like your the star action hero inside an action movie, killing the bad guys and getting with the girl at the end.

I guess I'm just paranoid.
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  #8  
Old 03-09-2005, 06:58 PM
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Nick325xiT 5spd Nick325xiT 5spd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nave560
Your right. I like the BMW a lot better than anything I've driven thus far. Driving the Lexus is like watching a slow and boring, romantic movie. Driving the BMW feels like your the star action hero inside an action movie, killing the bad guys and getting with the girl at the end.

I guess I'm just paranoid.
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  #9  
Old 03-09-2005, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nave560
I like the BMW a lot better than anything I've driven thus far. Driving the Lexus is like watching a slow and boring, romantic movie. Driving the BMW feels like your the star action hero inside an action movie, killing the bad guys and getting with the girl at the end.

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  #10  
Old 03-09-2005, 10:50 PM
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FenPhen FenPhen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nave560
Oh and another thing, when I go over hard bumps or one of my wheels hydroplanes, the steering wheel will turn.
The BMW's steering communicates more road feel back to you, in addition to being heavier than most cars. Just hold on to the wheel a little more firmly (i.e. use both hands and wrap your fingers around the wheel grips).

If you run one of your front wheels into standing water, it will be slowed a lot by the water and your wheel will pull toward that wheel. Stay away from standing water!!
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  #11  
Old 03-10-2005, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nave560
Your right. I like the BMW a lot better than anything I've driven thus far. Driving the Lexus is like watching a slow and boring, romantic movie. Driving the BMW feels like your the star action hero inside an action movie, killing the bad guys and getting with the girl at the end.
You need to write ads for BMW .

James.
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  #12  
Old 03-11-2005, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick325xiT 5spd
Is this:
a) your first car?
b) your first BMW?
He needs to trade in his MY2002 for an early MY2001 Ultimate Parking Machine
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  #13  
Old 03-11-2005, 10:45 PM
CharlieG CharlieG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edsmax
He needs to trade in his MY2002 for an early MY2001 Ultimate Parking Machine
I have a bad feeling I just bought one of those. Is there a way to find out if it is or if it was retrofited? Admittedly this is my first BMW, but I am used to a Boxster and and a MINI and the wheel seems both too easy to turn and too long a steering ratio.

It is a 330i 2001, sport package and 5-speed. Not sure what manufacture date was, but it was delivered 7/29/2000.

Thanks for any insight you might have!
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  #14  
Old 03-13-2005, 06:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieG
I have a bad feeling I just bought one of those. Is there a way to find out if it is or if it was retrofited? Admittedly this is my first BMW, but I am used to a Boxster and and a MINI and the wheel seems both too easy to turn and too long a steering ratio.

It is a 330i 2001, sport package and 5-speed. Not sure what manufacture date was, but it was delivered 7/29/2000.

Thanks for any insight you might have!
FROM THE E46 FAQ...

Q: What is the 'steering retrofit'?
A: In response to consumer feedback, BMW NA initiated a program to satisfy owners of MY2001 E46s who prefer less boost in the power steering system. These owners maintain that a loss of 'feel' was associated with the newer systems which had more boost than MY2000 and earlier E46s. Intitially, BMW NA maintained a list of owners who would be interested in changing their steering racks for systems with less boost. People who have called in to have their name added to a list of persons interested in a retrofit back in Jan/Feb began to be contacted starting the week of April 16, 2001 en masse. BMW NA is going through the list and contacting those with 323/325 and 330's that were produced between June and December 2000, and is offering a one-time free-of-charge changeover to a less boosted steering system.

BMWNA has been very clear on the statements to those contacted. They typically cover the following items:

Steering rack and components will be replaced with pre-June 2000 components at no charge.
You have your choice of BMW centers to install the retrofit.
BMWNA will contact your chose center to give them the details and parts needed for the retrofit. BMWNA requests a couple of days before you try to schedule an appointment with your center.
BMWNA makes it very clear that the retrofit will make steering more difficult at lower speeds.
There has been some confusion as to whether June-Dec 2000 325's and post Jan 2001 cars with "new-new" feel were eligible for the retrofit. Latest news is that the post Jan 325/330's are eligible due to the phase in started in Jan 2001. "New-new" feel cars might be and will be evaluated on a case by case basis according to some sources.
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  #15  
Old 03-13-2005, 09:09 AM
joema joema is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nave560
...The REAL thing that scared me was how my steering wheel would turn on it's own (not by much) when I hit a pothole, hard bump, or hydroplaned...
You probably have a sport or performance package e46. The wider, lower profile tires, combined with the e46 steering geometry causes some feedback. It's alternately referred to as bump steer, tramlining, or camber pull.

It can be surprising or disturbing to people not expecting it.

It's not a defect, but is generally expected behavior for that model car and tire. You'll get used to it after a while. In a few cases front end misalignment can make it worse, so you could have that checked just to be sure.

It's more noticeable with some tires than others. Some report the Bridgestone Potenza S-03 is worse, and the new Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 is better in that regard.
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  #16  
Old 03-13-2005, 09:45 AM
RANDY P RANDY P is offline
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That's the 1st time I've ever seen anyone ask that question

Can you spin the wheel lock to lock when you're sitting parked and the car is running? Average adult can easily do it one - handed. If not I'd say you lost pressure in the system - it'll feel somewhat normal as you're driving along but you'll get a game of tug of war over every bump or when you slow down. All that kickback through the wheel over bumps and whatnot is a dead giveaway. Take care of it before your rack gets destroyed - it needs the assist to live.

If in fact the car is OK, may I suggest some time at the gym?

Cheers!

rjp
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Old 03-13-2005, 09:50 AM
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Nick325xiT 5spd Nick325xiT 5spd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RANDY P
That's the 1st time I've ever seen anyone ask that question

Can you spin the wheel lock to lock when you're sitting parked and the car is running? Average adult can easily do it one - handed. If not I'd say you lost pressure in the system - it'll feel somewhat normal as you're driving along but you'll get a game of tug of war over every bump or when you slow down. All that kickback through the wheel over bumps and whatnot is a dead giveaway. Take care of it before your rack gets destroyed - it needs the assist to live.

If in fact the car is OK, may I suggest some time at the gym?

Cheers!

rjp
if you're used to a lexus, you will think that BMW steering is extremely stiff. period. end of story.

we've established that the real problem is that he just bought his first car and he's getting used to the change.

Edit: and '99-00 steering is pretty light, too.
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Old 03-13-2005, 10:05 AM
RANDY P RANDY P is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick325xiT 5spd
if you're used to a lexus, you will think that BMW steering is extremely stiff. period. end of story.

we've established that the real problem is that he just bought his first car and he's getting used to the change.

Edit: and '99-00 steering is pretty light, too.
On ANY BMW made after 1984 it's light. Still amazing that anyone would bring it up - unless there was something definitely wrong.

rjp
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Old 03-13-2005, 01:20 PM
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amazed none of you said the word already, look up tramlining and you'll find your answers to your steering wheel "moving by itself". I've test driven MANY BMWs, same models, same years - and they all drive differently - mainly due to the tires/rims it seems. Some drive horrendously (tramlining EVERYWHERE, no fun to drive holding the steering wheel to the left the whole time). Others may be misaligned (but on the highway they are fine). Don't nkow what to say other than check your tires (change them to something else again)..
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Old 03-13-2005, 01:26 PM
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Nick325xiT 5spd Nick325xiT 5spd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RANDY P
On ANY BMW made after 1984 it's light. Still amazing that anyone would bring it up - unless there was something definitely wrong.

rjp
Yes, but 2002 and later 3'er steering is way heavier than, say, yours.
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