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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 02-27-2012, 01:51 PM
rolm rolm is offline
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Hate the Steering Wheel on my 2010 X3

I Hate the Steering Wheel on my 2010 X3. It must be the way I am holding the steering wheel it seems the stitching is burning the inside of my thumbs. I did take it back to the dealer and they said there is nothing wrong with the steering wheel that is the way they are all built. Why would BMW use such a cheap plastic covered wheel vs leather.

Looks like bmw well not do a thing to resolve the issue is there a place where I can buy a new steering wheel or have mine rebuilt with real leather.
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  #2  
Old 02-27-2012, 06:34 PM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rolm View Post
I Hate the Steering Wheel on my 2010 X3. It must be the way I am holding the steering wheel it seems the stitching is burning the inside of my thumbs. I did take it back to the dealer and they said there is nothing wrong with the steering wheel that is the way they are all built. Why would BMW use such a cheap plastic covered wheel vs leather.

Looks like bmw well not do a thing to resolve the issue is there a place where I can buy a new steering wheel or have mine rebuilt with real leather.

Can you take a picture? Was not aware that they made any steering wheels for the X3 without leather.
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  #3  
Old 02-28-2012, 06:16 AM
usaret usaret is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evlengr View Post
Can you take a picture? Was not aware that they made any steering wheels for the X3 without leather.
I'm with you.

I was under the impression that even when they have vinyl seats they still got leather steering wheels.
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  #4  
Old 02-28-2012, 06:40 AM
rolm rolm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evlengr View Post
Can you take a picture? Was not aware that they made any steering wheels for the X3 without leather.
I may be mistaken on the leather vs vinyl I have driven many Cadillac's and their steering wheels where real leather and they were perfectly moulted. If the X3 steering wheel is leather as bmw claims I have no idea were BMW buys their leather it must be cows raised in the desert.

The best solution for me is to wear driving cloves I have never worn driving cloves always thought they were a bit gay. This is the 1st time I have had such negative experience with a steering wheel.
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Last edited by rolm; 02-29-2012 at 06:18 AM.
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  #5  
Old 02-28-2012, 07:06 AM
usaret usaret is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rolm View Post
I may be mistaken on the leather vs vinyl I have driven many Cadillac's and their steering wheels where real leather and they were perfectly moulted. If the X# steering wheel is leather as bmw claims I have no idea were they by their leather it must be cows raised in the desert.

The best solution for me is to wear driving cloves I have never worn driving cloves always thought they were a bit gay. This is the 1st time I have had such negative experience with a steering wheel.
BMW tends to use better leather than most companies. BMW's leather is thicker full grain leather where others use thinner, sanded, stamped, and processed top grain leather.





If you have leather interior remove one of your back seat headrest's and untuck the leather at the base of it. You'll see that it's very high quality.
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  #6  
Old 02-28-2012, 07:12 AM
usaret usaret is offline
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Originally Posted by rolm View Post
If the X# steering wheel is leather as bmw claims I have no idea were they by their leather it must be cows raised in the desert.
If it is leather clean it with a warm wet washcloth. After it has dried overnight condition it with Lexol. Repeat every six months or so. If you have leather seats you should do the same with them. The leather on my seats is so soft you can pull it up and roll it through your fingers.
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  #7  
Old 02-28-2012, 07:13 AM
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CleanKM CleanKM is offline
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Do you have the regular one or the M wheel?

I love my M wheel. Its thick enough so that i dont feel like im driving a go cart and extremely comfortable. First time ever I am hearing about someone not liking a BMW wheel...
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  #8  
Old 02-28-2012, 07:33 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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When I first got my '06 I hated the "feel" of the wheel cover. The "pebbling" of the surface felt just wrong somehow. I have to say it didn't take long before that all smoothed out and now the wheel is great. I can barely feel the stitching anymore and it just all went together well. I think it just takes some time and perhaps Lexol (though I didn't use that) to get it worked in to the point you will not notice the stitches anymore.
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  #9  
Old 02-28-2012, 12:00 PM
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Sport Wheel is really nice

The wheel with the Sport Package is great. The feel texture and size wise couldn't be better.
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  #10  
Old 02-28-2012, 06:50 PM
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Maybe it does just need some TLC. A nice cleaning and treatment with Lexol should help. I checked my steering wheel this morning for a "rough" feel and one of the things I like is the fatter wheel the X3 has over other BMW's like the basic 3'ers that feel like a hot wheel.
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  #11  
Old 02-29-2012, 06:26 AM
rolm rolm is offline
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Thanks for the feed-back I will google what Lexol is and where to buy in the Toronto area. As I said this is the 1st I have had an issue with a steering wheel. I am currently wearing cloves and that is a real pain. I hope Lexol will work. We will be going away for a few weeks and I was thinking of covering the steering wheel with Vaseline to soften the stitching. I will try Lexol 1st.
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  #12  
Old 02-29-2012, 07:38 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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If you can't find Lexol then any leather cream, or even Mink Oil would do just fine. I would not use Vaseline.
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  #13  
Old 03-01-2012, 06:25 AM
rolm rolm is offline
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I had leather conditioner from when I bought my leather coat as per the instructions on the bottle I wiped the steering wheel with a soft cloth soaked in warm water, dried the wheel and then I applied the conditioner on the wheel ( smeared on with my fingers and covered it to a point just before it dripped off) I left it on went back 30 minutes later and to my surprise the conditioner had soaked in and the wheel was completely dry. I repeated this 3 more times and every-time the conditioner had soaked in. Seems weird the leather must have been completely dry. I will repeat a few more times and see if this softens the wheel.
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  #14  
Old 03-04-2012, 08:11 PM
bimmernut1 bimmernut1 is online now
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Since cars' steering wheels have got progressively thicker over the years, I've found the problem is that the stitching can rub quite a bit. There's not much you can do about that. As far as the leather itself, besides the suggestions for making it softer, it can be re-wrapped. I'm not sure if they sell a kit for your model year BMW but you can check around the internet.

When the steering wheel on my 911 got slick from age, I bought a kit and rewrapped it myself. 240+ stitches if I recall. My fingers were sore for days from pushing the needle through that many little holes. However, it turned out decent and the leather is high quality.

Here's a shot of the finished job. I added the little center touch just at the end.
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  #15  
Old 03-18-2012, 02:25 PM
Bimmer's Garage Bimmer's Garage is offline
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I replaced my stock steering wheel with a sports steering wheel from the e46.
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  #16  
Old 03-18-2012, 03:27 PM
rolm rolm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmernut1 View Post
Since cars' steering wheels have got progressively thicker over the years, I've found the problem is that the stitching can rub quite a bit. There's not much you can do about that. As far as the leather itself, besides the suggestions for making it softer, it can be re-wrapped. I'm not sure if they sell a kit for your model year BMW but you can check around the internet.

When the steering wheel on my 911 got slick from age, I bought a kit and rewrapped it myself. 240+ stitches if I recall. My fingers were sore for days from pushing the needle through that many little holes. However, it turned out decent and the leather is high quality.

Here's a shot of the finished job. I added the little center touch just at the end.

Hats off to you it looks great
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  #17  
Old 03-18-2012, 03:29 PM
rolm rolm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer's Garage View Post
I replaced my stock steering wheel with a sports steering wheel from the e46.
Was it a direct bolt-in or were mods needed
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  #18  
Old 03-18-2012, 06:33 PM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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Hmmm, with all the little things I pick on BMW about the X3 steering wheel is not one of them. I like the fat feeling and they way my thumbs wrap instinctively around the 10 and 2 spots. I do clean and condition all the leather in my X3 monthly with Lexol.
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2013 S4 Loaded (and NO RFT's) Awesome is an understatement
2008 MT X3 RIP you were a faithful sidekick and will be missed.
2007 AT X3 RIPOS
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1984 GTI Wolfsburg Edition Neuspeed and more
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  #19  
Old 12-30-2012, 03:31 AM
topdriller topdriller is offline
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I bought my X3 new in 2008. Because this is Greece, and everything is different in Greece, they add a sliding scale luxury tax to all cars over 1600cc. I bought a fairly basic 2.0 diesel with halogens - a must in my opinion - and the Panoramic glass roof. The seats / interior are vinyl / leatherette and whilst not leather they work well here in a hot summer climate, wet winter climate. The car cost 58,000 (48,000 or $79,000). In othe words, you don't really want to buy a car here in Greece but import one from say Germany and they either slap a huge (and illegal import tax on it) or confiscate it if they catch you driving it after 6 months in the country.

Anyway, I hated the steering wheel that came with the basic model and a year or so ago found a near perfect M Sport leather steering wheel on eBay for 177 ($285). I took it to the local BMW dealer and asked how much for the corresponding airbag. They casually told me it would cost 850 (1112) for the correct airbag. They also refused to give me the correct airbag serial number! After much hunting, I recently found a second hand airbag in England for 240 ($384) and a few weeks ago the BMW folk fitted it for free - 5 minute job.

I only mention all of the above because the M steering wheel gives the car a totally different and far better driving experience.

TD.

Last edited by topdriller; 12-30-2012 at 03:34 AM.
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