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F07 Gran Turismo (2010 - Current)
The 5 Series Gran Turismo -- now available in the USA as a 535i, 550i and 550i xDrive model.

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  #1  
Old 04-02-2013, 06:52 AM
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ErnestHouse ErnestHouse is offline
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Question Is there something wrong with the 5 series steering?

In articles about the F10 LCI update, they often mention the steering getting fixed. Like this: "Mechanically, the F10 LCI will received reworked steering, and the 550i will come with the new and more powerful N63Tu engine. Production for the F10 LCI as beginning in July 2013, with deliveries starting in August/September of 2013."

Sometimes there's a mention of the N55 engine being replaced in the 535i as per the 4 series Coupe but the 4 series Coupe has the N55 so caveat emptor.

Is there a "problem" with the 5 series steering in general (F10 and F07) or is it limited to just the F10?
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  #2  
Old 04-02-2013, 12:53 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is online now
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The F07, at least in my version, still has the hydraulic steering, so no, it does not have the same issues as the electric pump on the F10's. Now, whether those issues are an issue for you or not depends on your perceptions and how you drive. It's not a problem in function, it's about the feel. The electric motor disconnects you more from the wheels. Most vehicles will go to this system, if they haven't already, since there's more parasitic loss from running the power steering hydraulic pump constantly verses the electrical load on the electrically assisted systems. I expect this to constantly improve as processor power and force feedback technology and experience continue to evolve...some of those enhancements may be able to be done in software as an upgrade, but some will require hardware updates, probably limited to running changes or new model designations. But, it's not an issue with the F07, at least on my x-drive model.
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:05 PM
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ErnestHouse ErnestHouse is offline
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Thanks. THe 2013 have Servotronic steering and I can't find anything in the BMWUSA specs that says if that's hydraulic or not. I know there's complaints about feel of electric systems and on the Q5, a notchiness at center that develops at certain speeds. If it is hydraulic, I suppose it could fall prey to efficient dynamics for better mileage in the 2014 LCI. Yours is a 2011?
Thanks.
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:29 PM
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ErnestHouse ErnestHouse is offline
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Just leaving breadcrumbs for anyone that comes along later. Excerpted from a C&D comparison of EPS vs HPS using two BMW 5 series cars: http://www.caranddriver.com/features...n-test-feature


"Makers are moving aggressively to EPS because eliminating an engine-driven hydraulic pump increases gas mileage by about 1 mpg. Before hydraulic power steering (HPS) goes the way of the buggy whip, though, we wanted to understand the differences so we concocted this test. BMW conveniently offers both types of assist on 5-series models equipped with four-wheel drive. (HPS survives here because the slightly *bulkier EPS unit fits in only the four-cylinder model.) A $61,125 BMW 528i xDrive served as our EPS lab rat while its 535i xDrive ($69,695) sibling stood up for HPS. Beyond the type of steering assistance, the notable differences are six cylinders in the 535i xDrive versus four in the 528i xDrive, 143 pounds more weight on the more expensive BMWs front axle, and 19-inch 40-series tires (535i) versus 18-inch 45-series rubber on the 528i. The basic run-flat, all-season tire design and 245-mm *section width are common to both.?
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:52 AM
Hannover Hannover is offline
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I know this question is a few months old but I thought I'd chip in.

It's true that a lot of the criticism of BMW's steering generally has more recently been associated with the move to electrically-powered assistance as opposed to the more traditional hydraulic system.

But I think this is a red herring. If you search for 'vague steering', 'steering wander', 'steering correction', steering problems' etc. it's BMWs that come up every time, and you'll see a grand history of ongoing issues with the steering on various BMW models, both 2 and 4 wheel drive, and with both hydraulic and electric power steering, sometimes necessitating replacement of the steering racks and columns, even on the recent F30.

My E60 (hydraulic steering) had alignment issues from new, which were corrected by the dealer, but it's always had a tendency to wander, requiring constant correction to keep it in a straight line and avoid drifting out of lane. Even when driving around town at low speed the car wanders vaguely around requiring excessive and constant steering input. Never driven another car like this in my life. Vague and disconnected steering just isn't what we expect from BMW, and although my car isn't as bad as some reports I've read about the new F10, I have to say it's pretty wierd. And we're not talking about tramlining here, which is typical of almost every BMW I've driven since the 90s.

My dealership sypathised with the issue but were unable to find anything wrong with the car or provide a solution despite several investigations, and eventually confirmed that it was all 'in spec' and that this is a characteristic of the vehicle. They did suggest that, if I wanted to spend some real cash, the only thing left would be to try replacing... you guessed it... the rack and column, but couldn't guarantee any improvement as they were unable to identfy a fault with the existing parts... I did have the alignment checked on the KDS system, which was all fine...

This is a story I have read so many times whilst searching for an improvement over the past couple of years, which is why I remain convinced that there is something deeper behind all this than just the move to electrical assistance. And if such issues affecting so many models are as widely reported to dealers as they are discussed on the internet, how come BMW haven't done anything to address it in this modern day of such highly advanced technology and know-how?!

As far as I see it, the power, emissions, economy, technology and prestige that we all love about our cars goes straight out the window if your car has steering issues. I still have my car as I have learnt to live with it as it is, and I still love everything else about it. But with these issues becoming so widespread and it seems affecting every new model, I really am now thinking twice about buying yet another BMW.

Time for a change, I think.
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