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X3 F25 (2011 - 2017)
The second generation X3 added style and new features to the BMW's mid-sized SUV. Talk about the BMW F25 X3 with other X3 owners now!

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  #1  
Old 01-04-2014, 07:54 PM
gamecoc430 gamecoc430 is offline
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2014 Steering Problem or normal?

Hi, new owner of a 2014 X3 28i and love it so far. But there is one thing that seems wrong. The steering wheel feels like there is a center portion (almost like a detent) and has to be overcome to steer slightly left or right of center. Is this normal with this type vehicle?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2014, 05:32 AM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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No, the steering should have no dead spot.
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  #3  
Old 01-05-2014, 05:41 AM
gamecoc430 gamecoc430 is offline
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Thanks for replying. Guess it's time to take it in and let the dealer see what's going on. I was hoping it was normal and just the way the new steering system works. We only have 1400 miles on it, but other than this one glitch we love it. Thanks again.
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  #4  
Old 01-05-2014, 06:51 AM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gamecoc430 View Post
Thanks for replying. Guess it's time to take it in and let the dealer see what's going on. I was hoping it was normal and just the way the new steering system works. We only have 1400 miles on it, but other than this one glitch we love it. Thanks again.
Have you check the tire pressure?
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  #5  
Old 01-05-2014, 01:01 PM
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Liverman Liverman is offline
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I believe this is due to the alignment being set to understeer. It is probably within spec, but you can get the dealer to align it for less understeer (and better tire wear). That is not included in the free maint, however.

It should feel like there is resistance to overcome to move off center and a tendency to return to center. Not really a "detent".
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  #6  
Old 01-05-2014, 02:36 PM
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Drewsky Drewsky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liverman View Post
I believe this is due to the alignment being set to understeer. It is probably within spec, but you can get the dealer to align it for less understeer (and better tire wear). That is not included in the free maint, however.

It should feel like there is resistance to overcome to move off center and a tendency to return to center. Not really a "detent".
Understeer/oversteer is not an alignment term. They are undesireable loss of directional control:
understeer = turn wheel and front wheels can't hold on, car fails to turn into the direction desired.
oversteer (aka fishtail) = turn wheel and back wheels can't hold on, causing direction of car to turn too far into the direction desired.

No ideas what you are speaking of; alignment doesn't cause "dead spots" in the steering feel.

Last edited by Drewsky; 01-05-2014 at 02:37 PM.
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  #7  
Old 01-05-2014, 06:04 PM
bitcalc bitcalc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewsky View Post
Understeer/oversteer is not an alignment term. They are undesireable loss of directional control:
understeer = turn wheel and front wheels can't hold on, car fails to turn into the direction desired.
oversteer (aka fishtail) = turn wheel and back wheels can't hold on, causing direction of car to turn too far into the direction desired.

No ideas what you are speaking of; alignment doesn't cause "dead spots" in the steering feel.
Nice explanation. I was not the only one who didn't understand what was going on.
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  #8  
Old 01-05-2014, 07:16 PM
gamecoc430 gamecoc430 is offline
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Thanks for everyone's comments. It doesn't feel like an alignment problem. It feels almost like BMW built a catch to hold the steering wheel straight in case you let go of the steering wheel. When you turn the steering wheel very slightly to the right or left there is resistance, until you overcome it, then it sort of feels like it clicks (but with no audible sound inside the car) and begins to turn. It doesn't take a lot of pressure to overcome the stopping point, but it just doesn't feel like any other steering I have driven.
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  #9  
Old 01-06-2014, 11:10 AM
Coder Coder is offline
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Sounds like a steering problem to me. Please let us know what the dealer says.
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  #10  
Old 01-06-2014, 01:59 PM
RichNY RichNY is offline
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I think Liverman was likely thinking of camber, caster, and toe, which are alignment-related and can affect handling and impact on-center feel a bit. In this case, I don't experience anything like the op is describing. Worth having the dealer check alignment, I think, but generally it wouldn't cause something like the op describes.
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  #11  
Old 06-01-2017, 05:31 AM
bleeneeste bleeneeste is offline
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Same issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamecoc430 View Post
Hi, new owner of a 2014 X3 28i and love it so far. But there is one thing that seems wrong. The steering wheel feels like there is a center portion (almost like a detent) and has to be overcome to steer slightly left or right of center. Is this normal with this type vehicle?

Thanks!
This is an old thread but I am hoping that you are still here and have the issue resolved! I am having the exact same issue. Problem exists with summer tires and wheels and the winter setup. The alignment has been done 4 time, twice by BMW and 2 more by a reputable shop I have worked with for 25 years. Really do ditch this ride as it is very annoying on the long commute.

Happy to be redirected to another thread about this issue.
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  #12  
Old 06-01-2017, 06:32 AM
bleeneeste bleeneeste is offline
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I think this is the real thread about the issue yet I don't really resolution:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/arc.../t-596423.html
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  #13  
Old 06-01-2017, 08:14 AM
JBeckQuest JBeckQuest is offline
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I have the same car the OP referenced and am experiencing the same thing. I thought it was a feature of some sort.
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  #14  
Old 06-01-2017, 08:15 AM
dreamingx3 dreamingx3 is offline
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I've been researching the steering issues with the F25. Here's a summary of what's out there in the forums, and from my own experience:

"Notchy feeling when making minor movements off of center" -
Symptom: A steering change is being made off-center, and then a point is reached where the resistance jumps higher. This is probably a glitch in the power steering programming. There are thresholds in the the amount of boost, and this seems to be one of them. I have experimented with this, and when I switch between Sport and Comfort (which remaps the power steering boost and boost points), the notchiness goes away and comes back. It is usually worse in hot weather. It's more noticeable on the X3, probably because the steering is very light on center, and these cars are twitchy and require lots of minor corrections to keep going straight. Even when the alignment is specifically adjusted to minimize the twitchiness, the notchiness stays. It is not the same cause as the resistance in the steering column that has been observed on some of the E90 3-series.

"Twitchiness on the highway". This is mainly a function of the steering ratio and the lack of centering. On these cars, very minor movements of the steering wheel produce immediate changes in direction. There is no on-center dead zone, the steering effort is extremely light, and the standard alignment specs have very little auto-centering or resistance on-center. The centering and on-center steering effort can be greatly improved by doing a very precise alignment that pushes caster and toe-in right to the edge of the factory "green" range. This makes the car much more "natural" to drive in a straight line. It can be further improved by using "Sport" mode instead of "Comfort", which increases the overall steering effort. Highway gearing in Sport mode can be maintained by putting the shifter into "manual" and manually shifting the gears. But the steering ratio, lack of on-center dead zone, and the corresponding sensitivity cannot be changed, so there is still some "twitchiness".

Hope this helps!
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  #15  
Old 06-01-2017, 02:39 PM
missedbass missedbass is offline
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3 year old thread, and the answer is?
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  #16  
Old 06-01-2017, 09:11 PM
mstgeer mstgeer is offline
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This is a known issue with the BMW electric steering. My 12 exhibits this situation when above 65 degrees or on extended highway travel. Search z4 notchy steering fix for 2 different solutions. One is to install grease fitting, 2nd is to adjust preload on steering gear on column.

Last edited by mstgeer; 06-01-2017 at 09:13 PM.
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