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Old 12-04-2002, 12:00 PM
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hmr hmr is offline
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325 not eligible for steering retrofit?

I contacted BMWNA thru the Owner's Circle and asked if I was eligible for the steering retrofit on my '01 325Ci (March production).

The reply said that only 330's were eligible.

Did any of you 325 owners get the steering retrofit?

Here's the reply:

I am with BMW of North America, LLC and I have read your correspondence
regarding the steering equipment level change.

The model of vehicle that you indicated in your correspondence, a 2001 BMW 325Ci, was produced with the steering feel that the steering equipment level change provides. The equipment level change only involves customers with 2001 330i vehicles.

Thank you for taking the time to contact BMW.


Lauren McLuckie
BMW Customer Relations


Oops, sorry, I misread. She said that I already have the "right" steering. Of course, I don't. I've driven a couple '02 325 loaners that had a totally different steering feel.

Last edited by hmr; 12-04-2002 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 12-04-2002, 12:59 PM
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The HACK The HACK is offline
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When was your car produced?

I'm inclined to agree with the BMW rep. The steering was corrected in April of 2001, anything produced after that is not eligible.

The reason why the 325i loaners you got had the "better" steering feel is because they're all made in the South Africa plant in Roslyn. All of the 325i loaners coming out of SA had the ORIGINAL steering rack from the E46 328/323 until 2002 production year started, which had the 3.0 turn lock to lock ratio like the European Compacts. So, regardless, all the loaners will have superior steering than whatever your car has, regardless of whether or not you qualify for the retrofit.

Also, I think a few people had gotten BMWNA to retrofit their steering for the 325i/Ci after making a big enough stink, but originally the retrofit was only intended for 330i/Ci owners...It was NEVER officially offered to 325i/Ci owners.

Complain hard enough, you might get it retrofitted.
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Old 12-04-2002, 01:04 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is online now
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the steering was only corrected in post April 330s-- they switched to the 2002 rack. Unfortunately, the 325i/ci (atleast the German built ones), kept the lighter feeling steering rack for the whole 2001 model year. I have a late May 2001 build 325i that definitely came from the factory with the light steering. I had the steering retrofit performed on it-- it definitely made the steering a little firmer , but not as much as i would've liked. I'm not 100% sure about what the HACK says regarding the South African 325i's-- I know it was a theory that we kicked around on bimmer.org a while back, but I don't remember any conclusive evidence one way or the other.
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Old 12-04-2002, 06:43 PM
exBMWannabe exBMWannabe is offline
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Actually, to confuse things more, I believe that all MY2001's 330's (produced from June 2000 to Aug 2001) had the light steering and wasn't "corrected" until the next model year starting Oct 2001. For those 330's produced prior to MY2001, they went back to using the 328 (MY2000 and earlier) racks. That's what I have now.

I have an Sept/Oct 2000 ED production and was one of the first on the block to get the retrofit in Feb 2001. Much better feel, minimal center wheel "numbness" as well as less prone to tramlining and jerking wheel due to bad roads.

There was lots of confusion as to whether 325's were affected or not on BMW's side as well as 325 owners. I would tend to believe that there was a mix of racks that were used and that there were some of the "light" versions floating around until MY2001 "revised" steering from the compact came out.

Anyhow, I'm not surprised about BMW's response since that was the story early on about 325's. As far as I can recall, they never formally confirmed that there was a "light" steering version of those MY2001 325's.

Good luck.

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Old 12-04-2002, 07:53 PM
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hmr hmr is offline
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Thanks for the replies guys. I'll correspond further with them and see if I get anywhere. The '02 325i loaner I had recently really impressed with the steering feel of that car and made me finally inquire about the retrofit program. The initial response I got from BMWNA was not at all what i expected, and I just wanted to confirm that no other 325 owners had gotten the retrofit.

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