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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
The new chapter in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) and wagon (F11)

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  #1  
Old 07-24-2011, 06:13 PM
ldoogy ldoogy is offline
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Power steering failure at 700 miles!

This is my first post on Bimmerfest -- I must say I was hoping it'd be something a bit more cheerful...

I have a 10 day old 550i with 700 miles on it, and today, WHILE DRIVING, I experienced a complete power steering failure, with a dash message that tells me to "drive moderately" due to a steering problem. The yellow steering wheel warning light is permanently on, and restarting the engine and the car doesn't seem to make this go away.

This car weighs a ton (actually, two) and the tires are pretty low and wide, which means that parking it is now a full-blown "workout". My wife can't even get the steering wheel to MOVE while the car is standing!

I will take it for service tomorrow, but was wondering if anyone has seen this before in the F10s?

My car is relatively loaded (M sports, etc.) but it doesn't have active steering.

Thanks!
- ldoogy.
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  #2  
Old 07-24-2011, 06:38 PM
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Sorry to hear the bad news. Please let us know the diagnosis.
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  #3  
Old 07-24-2011, 08:48 PM
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1st I've heard of this...keep us posted.
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Old 07-25-2011, 07:30 AM
Emilner Emilner is offline
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I had that warning, but it was due to the alternator failing. My steering never got very heavy though. Keep us posted...
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  #5  
Old 07-25-2011, 01:31 PM
ldoogy ldoogy is offline
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Update

In case anyone's interested, here are the messages I'm seeing.

I took it to the dealer today (another nice workout, driving without power steering... :-)), they said they've never seen this before with the F10. Let's see what they say.
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  #6  
Old 07-25-2011, 01:41 PM
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I guess there's no sense in getting angry, but man that's a tough pill to swallow at 700 miles. Thanks for the pics and keep us posted.
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  #7  
Old 07-25-2011, 01:50 PM
ldoogy ldoogy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJPark01 View Post
I guess there's no sense in getting angry, but man that's a tough pill to swallow at 700 miles. Thanks for the pics and keep us posted.
It is a tough pill to swallow. Considering how soon this happened after the vehicle was purchased, could I be legally entitled to a replacement, rather than a repair?
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  #8  
Old 07-25-2011, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by ldoogy View Post
It is a tough pill to swallow. Considering how soon this happened after the vehicle was purchased, could I be legally entitled to a replacement, rather than a repair?
No. Unfortunately the lemon laws don't apply just yet. The California laws state that a reasonable number of repairs have to be attempted before the company must buy back the car. The good thing for you is that this is a serious safety issue and not a problem with your navigation or cup holder, so a reasonable attempt in this situation is 1 or 2 attempts. Also BMW is usually very good about shepherding buyers through the process, without lawyers getting involved. But lets not jump the gun and pray for a simple solution first.
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Old 07-26-2011, 01:36 PM
ldoogy ldoogy is offline
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Just been notified that they've ordered a new electronic steering rack, because mine has "failed internally". They expect to be able to get me my car back by the end of the week.

I guess the question is whether or not I'm comfortable with having my brand new car get taken apart by the dealership. Should I be concerned?

Last edited by ldoogy; 07-26-2011 at 01:44 PM.
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  #10  
Old 07-26-2011, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by ldoogy View Post
Just been notified that they've ordered a new electronic steering rack, because mine has "failed internally". They expect to be able to get me my car back by the end of the week.

This is incredibly annoying, but I'm still hopeful for a positive outcome.
They said it was the EPS rack?
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:55 PM
ldoogy ldoogy is offline
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Originally Posted by TJPark01 View Post
They said it was the EPS rack?
He didn't specify. I presume all non-active-steering F10s have the exact same mechanism, no? He did specify it was electronic rather than hydraulic. He said they've never seen this issue before.
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  #12  
Old 07-29-2011, 10:56 AM
ldoogy ldoogy is offline
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Just heard back from the service center. They will need to hold on to the car for a while longer as they have run into some "calibration concerns". They expect to get it back to me next week (they've had it since Monday).

This is starting to annoy me.
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  #13  
Old 07-29-2011, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ldoogy View Post
Just heard back from the service center. They will need to hold on to the car for a while longer as they have run into some "calibration concerns". They expect to get it back to me next week (they've had it since Monday).

This is starting to annoy me.
Not surprising. It's a new model and they probably don't have any experience doing this job on this car. As the car ages and they see more of them, they will run into recurring problems which they can knock out faster because they've seen it and done it. when you get the car back, I would be mindful of a few things.

1. Does the car track straight on the highway
2. At low speed is there any strange noises coming from the rack (grinding noises)
3. Check power steering fluid periodically as they will probably have to dump this and refill.
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  #14  
Old 07-30-2011, 10:15 PM
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Smile They've fixed it!

Okay, got my car back today (Saturday, they've had it since Monday). When I went to pick it up I saw the repair file, with at least 100 pages worth of stuff. The cashier told me she rarely sees so much paperwork on one car... I took a look at it (they wouldn't let me keep or copy it), and it was tons of emails between my service center and some central BMW group that was advising them, plus tons of schematics on the EPS.

It was evident that they worked hard on my car and didn't really know how to deal with the problem...

In any case, I'm happy to report that so far (about 50 miles), the car feels as good as new. It is perfectly aligned, and steering feels buttery smooth again... No noises of any kind.

I've attached a scan of the report I got from them just so you folks can see what they did... I find it pretty interesting myself, being a tech geek. The repair process was clearly quite difficult.

The quick summary is as follows:
* They checked wirings and stuff on the EPS and all was good, so they decided to replace the EPS.
* After installation, they were getting some warnings regarding something called end stops. Not sure what those are but I suppose they are related to the calibration of the EPS.
* They tried a bunch of things including taking apart the steering wheel and messing with some sensor on there.
* Finally they did some sort of hard reset on the computer and that fixed everything.
* Then they wanted to align it and found that their machine was incompatible with F10, so they used settings for 7-series F01, which apparently worked.

Let's hope this will stay fixed, but for now I'm happy.
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  #15  
Old 07-30-2011, 10:55 PM
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I actually found that interesting to read as well. As I suspected, since your car is so new, they had no prior experience working on it, so it was basically a guinea pig. I'm glad it worked out, but keep a close eye on it (especially the alignment and potential uneven tire wear) and let us know if the saga continues.

Read this if you care, then it will become apparent what end stops are...
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File Type: pdf Electro-Mechanical Power Steering.pdf (2.23 MB, 234 views)
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  #16  
Old 07-30-2011, 11:07 PM
ldoogy ldoogy is offline
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Originally Posted by TJPark01 View Post
I actually found that interesting to read as well. As I suspected, since your car is so new, they had no prior experience working on it, so it was basically a guinea pig. I'm glad it worked out, but keep a close eye on it (especially the alignment and potential uneven tire wear) and let us know if the saga continues.

Read this if you care, then it will become apparent what end stops are...
Very interesting! Is the VW EPS component very similar to the BMW one?
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  #17  
Old 07-31-2011, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by ldoogy View Post
Very interesting! Is the VW EPS component very similar to the BMW one?
Honestly, I'm not sure. But I suspect that all EPS basically work the same way. In terms of feel and execution, that comes down to the calibration, software and engineering.
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  #18  
Old 07-31-2011, 11:29 AM
ldoogy ldoogy is offline
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What's funny is that this experience really made me appreciate what EPS does, for better and worse. During the week I was driving a 328i loaner that was clearly using hydraulic power steering. When I got the 550i back, it felt so different (remember I've only been in my car for about a week).

The resistance is SUPER low and , and you really are a bit more detached from the wheels. It is definitely more of a luxury car technology than a sports car technology. Are they using that same component in the new M5?
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  #19  
Old 07-31-2011, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ldoogy View Post
This is my first post on Bimmerfest -- I must say I was hoping it'd be something a bit more cheerful...

I have a 10 day old 550i with 700 miles on it, and today, WHILE DRIVING, I experienced a complete power steering failure, with a dash message that tells me to "drive moderately" due to a steering problem. The yellow steering wheel warning light is permanently on, and restarting the engine and the car doesn't seem to make this go away.

This car weighs a ton (actually, two) and the tires are pretty low and wide, which means that parking it is now a full-blown "workout". My wife can't even get the steering wheel to MOVE while the car is standing!

I will take it for service tomorrow, but was wondering if anyone has seen this before in the F10s?

My car is relatively loaded (M sports, etc.) but it doesn't have active steering.

Thanks!
- ldoogy.
I had that happen a couple of times. It goes away when the car is restarted. The problem went away.
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  #20  
Old 07-31-2011, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by ldoogy View Post
Are they using that same component in the new M5?
No, new M5 has hydraulic steering.
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Old 07-31-2011, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ldoogy View Post
What's funny is that this experience really made me appreciate what EPS does, for better and worse. During the week I was driving a 328i loaner that was clearly using hydraulic power steering. When I got the 550i back, it felt so different (remember I've only been in my car for about a week).

The resistance is SUPER low and , and you really are a bit more detached from the wheels. It is definitely more of a luxury car technology than a sports car technology. Are they using that same component in the new M5?
I hear you. But it's just one component of the steering system. The tires,front multilink with two lower control arms and double ball joints set up replacing the simple strut set up all work in concert together, it's not just simply hydraulic versus electric.
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ldoogy View Post
What's funny is that this experience really made me appreciate what EPS does, for better and worse. During the week I was driving a 328i loaner that was clearly using hydraulic power steering. When I got the 550i back, it felt so different (remember I've only been in my car for about a week).

The resistance is SUPER low and , and you really are a bit more detached from the wheels. It is definitely more of a luxury car technology than a sports car technology. Are they using that same component in the new M5?
Glad to hear that you problem was fixed.My question is ; Is it worth to have it ?
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by ldoogy View Post
It is definitely more of a luxury car technology than a sports car technology. Are they using that same component in the new M5?
I think it is a matter of BMW figuring it out. The Lexus LFA has electro mechanical steering and the auto journalists say that it is telepathic! Also I noticed the one in the 2012 Mercedes CLS550 also has very good feel.
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  #24  
Old 08-01-2011, 08:59 AM
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Glad to hear that you problem was fixed.My question is ; Is it worth to have it ?
Well, are you implying that this is somehow a BMW-specific issue? Or is this a more broad statement? If it's a German car thing, I can tell you that my last car, which was an Infiniti, needed a warranty engine replacement (YES!!) after about 10,000 miles. So it could just be that I have some auto curse, who knows... :-)
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Old 08-03-2011, 06:24 AM
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thank you for your reply,really i want to order 5 series soon and i wanted to know your opinion about it ,handling wise
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