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  #1  
Old 12-05-2019, 07:19 PM
WannabeX5 WannabeX5 is offline
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F Series Steering Dead Zone-Any Fixes?

So i recently picked up a CPO 2016 328d M sport wagon. The car has the 'standard' suspension but has the staggered 400M wheels with summer rubber. I am coming from a 2009 328i wagon sport package and I must say, i love everything about this car EXCEPT the steering. I honestly am concerned that it there is something wrong with it but the dealer says it is normal? The steering is just so weird. There is that dead zone to the point I can turn the wheel a bit and the car doesn't move and then suddenly it just feels like it 'catches' and the car darts in the direction. It is SO weird. When you push it into a corner it feels like it loads up fine and feels stable. I always read that the steering in the F30 was numb but i didn't quite expect this.

Does this sound normal? Do you just learn to get used to it? Any potential fixes/mods that can make it feel more neutral?? Or should I push the dealer a bit more to look into it as an issue and maybe ride along with them or something.



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  #2  
Old 12-05-2019, 09:47 PM
eddymerckx3 eddymerckx3 is offline
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...potential steering rack failure (e.g. loose bolts)??

see: https://f30.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh....php?t=1469927.
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  #3  
Old 12-05-2019, 10:11 PM
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Check the control arms?
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  #4  
Old 12-06-2019, 04:16 AM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is offline
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There's nothing wrong. The difference between the E90 hydraulic steering and the F30 electric is night and day. It's too light and the dead zone at turn in is large. Sport Mode is better but still lacks road feel. BMW heard complaints about the effort in the E90 and went in the opposite direction on the F30. A shame.
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Old 12-06-2019, 10:01 AM
John MS John MS is offline
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My 2014 328i has no steering dead zone as you describe. A slight move of the steering wheel left or right and the car will begin moving slightly. It is very controlled, connected and direct. However electric assist steering action is lighter than on cars with legacy hydraulic steering. Less effort is required to move the steering wheel.

If the steering seems to suddenly connect after a dead spot the car may need an alignment and possibly replacement worn bushings or components. Unevenly worn tires can cause a sensation like the one you describe. You may want to have a good independent mechanic take a look. Or a reputable tire shop.
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Old 12-06-2019, 12:07 PM
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gkr778 gkr778 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WannabeX5 View Post
So i recently picked up a CPO 2016 328d M sport wagon. The car has the 'standard' suspension but has the staggered 400M wheels with summer rubber. I am coming from a 2009 328i wagon sport package and I must say, i love everything about this car EXCEPT the steering. I honestly am concerned that it there is something wrong with it but the dealer says it is normal? The steering is just so weird. There is that dead zone to the point I can turn the wheel a bit and the car doesn't move and then suddenly it just feels like it 'catches' and the car darts in the direction. It is SO weird. When you push it into a corner it feels like it loads up fine and feels stable. I always read that the steering in the F30 was numb but i didn't quite expect this.

Does this sound normal? Do you just learn to get used to it? Any potential fixes/mods that can make it feel more neutral?? Or should I push the dealer a bit more to look into it as an issue and maybe ride along with them or something.
Congratulations on your F31, WannabeX5! What you describe sounds like a defect for sure. While you're visiting BMW of San Antonio, it would be a great idea to have one of their service advisors or techs do a ride along. If they still claim it's 'normal', take the car to a good independent repair shop that specializes in wheels, tires, and suspension work as John MS recommended.

My F30 never exhibited a "dead zone" in its steering, but I will say that after replacing the OE RFT tires (Bridgestone Potenza S001) with non-RFT Michelin Pilot Super Sport, overall steering response improved noticeably.
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Old 12-06-2019, 12:43 PM
WannabeX5 WannabeX5 is offline
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I have been watching reviews and nobody seems to comment on this so I am wondering if it is just this car. I think I am going to make an appointment at the dealer across town and see what they say. It does feel very off and im noticing it more and more on the highway.

I am up in MN and only bought it from BMW San Antonio. Wouldn't recommend that dealer... they have been absolutely terrible to deal with.
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  #8  
Old 12-06-2019, 02:57 PM
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gkr778 gkr778 is offline
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Good plan WannabeX5! Hopefully, the dealership you visit in Minnesota will be able to properly diagnose and fix the issue, and hopefully the repairs aren't too expensive or complicated.

Best wishes!
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  #9  
Old 12-06-2019, 03:01 PM
pshovest pshovest is offline
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Sounds like you've got the M-Sport body package only. Run the VIN decoder and post the list of options on your car. Print to .pdf and upload file under "manage attachments".
https://www.mdecoder.com/decode/p158417
You'll need to hit the "Back" button and enter last 7 digits of VIN
What RFT's and pressures are you running?

Last edited by pshovest; 12-06-2019 at 03:18 PM.
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  #10  
Old 12-06-2019, 04:07 PM
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I've had 3 F3X's, including an F31. NONE of them had a "dead spot" on center. Yes, the steering is not as communicative as it was on the E9X. But there is no dead zone. Alignment or bushings, something is wrong with your car.
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  #11  
Old 12-06-2019, 09:25 PM
John MS John MS is offline
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It's not just because your car is somehow different. It should steer the same as every other model like your car.
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  #12  
Old 12-07-2019, 07:03 AM
JeroM3 JeroM3 is offline
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Maybe you aren't used to the steering feel. Try test driving another used f30. My F80 has a very light on center feel that took me a long while to get used to. There is almost no feedback there especially while driving on the highway. I had to be more mindful of my steering inputs as the lack of feedback would result in me drifting off center if I wasn't paying attention. On the track, it only took a few laps to get to the steering feel.
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  #13  
Old 12-07-2019, 12:53 PM
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There is a SIB out to fix the EPS software, will require an I-Level update. Applies to all F3x cars with basic steering (F31d only come with basic steering in the states, VSS is gasser only unless special order).
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Old 12-07-2019, 02:27 PM
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Iíve seen a few complaints about an on-center dead spot but Iíve never experienced it on my 2014 335i. I have plenty of complaints about steering feel, but it responds precisely and accurately (well except for VSS on tight turns but thatís a separate issue). Small steering motions on the highway are all thatís needed to either stay in my lane or switch lanes, and the car/steering responds immediately.

For reference I think this is my 5th BMW since a 1995 325i, and thereís no more of a dead spot with this one than any of the others Iíve owned.
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  #15  
Old 12-08-2019, 11:49 AM
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Believe it or not, there is an advantage to a small dead spot. Imagine you are on the autobahn doing 200 kph and sneeze (Gesundheit!) Laser crisp steering could put you into the guardrail.
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Old 12-12-2019, 08:55 AM
WannabeX5 WannabeX5 is offline
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Just wanted to update this, i took the dealer foreman for a ride and he noticed something felt looser than normal and the steering when put into 'sport' mode would not firm up at all (I noticed this as well). So he looked into it and did the TSB update for the steering and i can say now that it is as good as I feel it is going to get (Which is other terms is MUCH better.) The car feels normal now and what I expected when switching to an F3X. It is still numb and devoid of feel but it doesn't feel broken and unsafe at speed with a huge dead spot before resistance kicks in.

Thanks for your input guys!
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Old 12-12-2019, 10:29 AM
John MS John MS is offline
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Glad it was fixed with an update.
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Old 12-12-2019, 10:48 AM
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gkr778 gkr778 is offline
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Thanks for sharing the update WannabeX5, and thank you to capt_slow for mentioning the SIB!
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Old 12-12-2019, 01:01 PM
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+1. Another poster showing good manners, reporting back and saying "thanks!" It's like the good old days. Hopefully not a sign the apocalypse is nigh.
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Old 12-12-2019, 10:06 PM
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capt_slow capt_slow is offline
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Originally Posted by gkr778 View Post
Thanks for sharing the update WannabeX5, and thank you to capt_slow for mentioning the SIB!
My pleasure. Glad everything worked out.

I actually have the opposite problem, my steering is too jerky, especially over small bumps. It's almost like the steering wheel is being pried out of my hands. Then in sport mode, the steering is so stiff it almost feels like I'm going to tear my arms off. Need to take it in for the SIB update.
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Old 12-15-2019, 08:19 AM
Rebound Rebound is online now
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Originally Posted by capt_slow View Post
There is a SIB out to fix the EPS software, will require an I-Level update. Applies to all F3x cars with basic steering (F31d only come with basic steering in the states, VSS is gasser only unless special order).
Can you please tell me a little more about this? I have a 2014 F33 with M Sport Suspension. The steering is fine, however.
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Old 12-19-2019, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Rebound View Post
Can you please tell me a little more about this? I have a 2014 F33 with M Sport Suspension. The steering is fine, however.
It supposed to fix some stiff or jerky motions in the steering. My dealer just did this work based on my complaints. The paperwork references SIB 32 03 19. My I-Level has been updated to F020-19-11-538.

On the drive home, I noticed that the steering is lighter than before, but no discernible dead zone on the highway. Sport mode is also improved, it doesnt feel as stiff as before.
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Last edited by capt_slow; 12-19-2019 at 09:19 PM.
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  #23  
Old 12-19-2019, 10:56 PM
Hookster57 Hookster57 is offline
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Do you have to ask them to do the update or do they do it automatically at service intervals?


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  #24  
Old 12-20-2019, 06:52 AM
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Desertnate Desertnate is offline
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Originally Posted by quackbury View Post
Believe it or not, there is an advantage to a small dead spot. Imagine you are on the autobahn doing 200 kph and sneeze (Gesundheit!) Laser crisp steering could put you into the guardrail.
True. A *little* slack isn't a bad thing on public roads.

I experienced a similar scenario on a rural two lane with a Mini loaner car back in the early 2000's when the "new" Mini's hit the market. The steering on that little car was VERY tight and an unexpected sneeze nearly put me into oncoming traffic! Scared me enough I still remember it.
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  #25  
Old 12-20-2019, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Hookster57 View Post
Do you have to ask them to do the update or do they do it automatically at service intervals?


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They will only do a update if it's...
1) Called out in a SIB, whose symptoms you reported as an issue (eg. steering stiff)
2) Called out by a engineer via a PUMA case (issue escalated by dealer to BMW)
3) Part of a recall
4) Replaced ECU

Dealers wont flash the car by request. You could always DIY, but you should check the coding forum first.
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