Steering Issues, Help - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series & 4 Series > F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 / F34 / F36 (2012 - current)

F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 / F34 / F36 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation BMW 3 Series Sedan F30/F31/F34 and the first first generation 4 Series Coupe F32/F33/F36. Get the latest 3 and 4 series pricing from our ordering and pricing guide sticky thread.

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-14-2019, 06:10 AM
yesitsme yesitsme is offline
Registered User
Location: Texas!
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 32
Mein Auto: 2016 328i GT Pre LCI
Steering Issues, Help

OK some of you were great in giving me some yes/no opinions on my PS4 to Runflat switch. The P7s are great but they have allowed me to feel a bigger underlying issue and pattern.

TLDR: When the dealer aligns it, they can't get it to drive straight unless they reinit the steering rack, then after a few days the pull and odd steering feel comes back.

I'm still having problems.

3 different types of tires (Driveguards, PS4, P7 Summers).
1 new steering rack (By what I know to be the worst dealer in town now) - I think this is where the problem started
6 different alignments since

Here's what's happening: The dealer aligns the car. The car drives great. It feels perfect. I even have texts to my SA thanking him right after each one thinking we finally "got it." I drive it for a couple days and it's amazing. It feels excellent. Feels like a new car.

After some time driving, the car gets worse and worse where the "feel" of the steering center is off to the left. Turning the steering wheel to center causes the car to start turning to the right. Turning right feels like it reacts immediately. Turning left of center feels light and less responsive. In the parking lot, it feels more centered but drifts right. When driving, I feel it more. It feels really odd in sport mode. I just started driving it in sport to feel any difference, and it's hard to describe. There is a difference.

It's at the point where it's really hard to drive it straight down the road. It feels vague and unusual. I feel like if someone's next to me I can't tell if I am going to drift into them by the steering feel.

It almost feels like the suspension wants to center the steering wheel at low speeds in the center, and then at speeds the rack wants to recenter it off to the left.

Some more facts:
Prior to going to that one dealer for the steering rack replacement, the car pulled left. However I used dealers that did not align the car with weights. The foreman at the place that replaced the rack never felt a pull, but replaced the rack anyway.

Each time it has been to the other dealer that I have been using, the first alignment right away is crap even though the numbers are perfect. I then bring it back, they have to tweak it and the shop foreman inevitably finds someone messed up, but they also reinitalize/re-teach the steering rack. Then it drives great and I am excited they finally fixed it, and then it's where I am now - pulling hard to the right and center seems to mean turn right.

All tire pressures are equal left and right. I have increased the tire pressures and lowered them, and also set all the same to see if there is a difference. None really.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old 04-14-2019, 07:20 AM
spyked spyked is offline
Registered User
Location: Beltway DC
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 73
Mein Auto: 2020 X3
xDrive or RWD? If xDrive, I wonder if the car is sending power to front wheels in an unbalanced way somehow, causing a "pull" sensation? Does the car have DDC? If so, maybe something in that system is wonky. One side not matching the opposite side in terms of settings/configuration? If one shock is softer than the other, that could cause an unbalanced feeling too.

Hope they fix it for you!
2020 X3 xDrive30i
Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2019, 07:50 AM
yesitsme yesitsme is offline
Registered User
Location: Texas!
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 32
Mein Auto: 2016 328i GT Pre LCI
@spyked - Thank you for the reply. No adaptive suspension or ddc that I know of. It's a pretty bare bones 328GT with conv package and nav.

TLDR: Steering forms a "notch" above a certain speed. Had trouble getting dealer to feel it, partly due to weather. Getting an elaborate setup for a GoPro to film it. Thinking about taking a bath on a trade for an X3

Just an update:
It's not so much a pull, it feels like the steering wheel is dead on at low speeds, then as I get up to say, 30+ it feels like there is a second "notch" or center feeling that forms slightly to the left. Centering the steering wheel at that point turns the car right. The steering wheel feels heavy from center to turning right. It feels light turning left. The road surface does not seem to make a difference, nor does the crown. I'm literally correcting left by holding the steering wheel in that "notch" all the time, no matter what surface. Tire pressures are equal according to 2 gauges.

I tried dropping it off at the dealer, but the foreman wasn't listening to me at all (asking questions for stuff I literally said 3 times a minute earlier) and told me it was only on acceleration that he felt the pull. Thus he said it was normal for XDrive . As someone who has had an xDrive car, this is abnormal. His suggestion was another alignment, to which I repeated for the 4th time - it's had 6 alignments so far and when it left the shop prior, it was 100% perfect and center. He ignored me and told the SA that the car was fine.

Another foreman drove it, but to my bad luck we got a lot of wind and it was blowing the car around everywhere. I drove it home and I couldn't feel it anymore either because I was fighting the wind.

I bought a Go Pro Hero 6 Black, and a mount for the car so I can video the steering wheel. I'm going to put ISTA on a laptop on the passenger seat with a "magnifying glass" app showing the steering angle. I have a sticky arrow on the steering column and a red zip tie on the center of the steering wheel to show the angle too.

I also have a local dealer trying to get me a deal to switch me to an 19' X3 lease. Just bought this thing though, and love it otherwise. Lots of neg equity

Last edited by yesitsme; 04-21-2019 at 08:03 AM.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old 04-21-2019, 11:36 AM
southcoastguy southcoastguy is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Mattapoisett, MA
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 827
Mein Auto: 328xi
Other things to check. 1. Tires out of round. 2. Bent rim(s). 3. control arms are bent. 4. Other parts of steering mechanism/ suspension are damaged.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2019, 11:08 AM
yesitsme yesitsme is offline
Registered User
Location: Texas!
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 32
Mein Auto: 2016 328i GT Pre LCI
I wanted to share with everyone what this ended up being.

1. A dealership in the Dallas area replaced the steering rack but failed to properly update the software modules with the correct version. They only installed software on the rack itself. They also used a version of the software that was older than it should have been. The other dealer commented that it was downright ancient. Although other dealers have been replacing parts, they never updated the entire car.
2. The codes started showing up: Flexray errors, etc.
3. The ICM unit also was never initialized properly. The ICM unit calculates the steering angle using input from the YAW and Lateral acceleration sensors. Those were not calibrated correctly.
4. The original dealer updated the car to the latest version across every module. The steering felt noticeably different, and strange at first. Even wrong. After a week of driving normal steering feel came back but it was still not straight. Even after these were fixed, it turns out the dealer did a crappy alignment.

Now here's the kicker: Even the loaner cars I had from these different dealerships had horrible alignments. To them, my car felt just fine. I can't believe it! I think everyone in Dallas is driving around with a horribly aligned BMW and just doesn't know any better - or how awful a BMW feels with a bad alignment. This was NEVER a problem in any other state I have been in. I've never seen such incompetence or lack of care.

My solution? I ended up taking a chance and going to Christian Brothers automotive. I had gone there with another car but was afraid of them being able to work with my BMW's magical unicorn parts. I showed them the notch on the steering rack that is used to center the wheel and asked them as a favor to use that to center the wheel for the alignment. It was clear that the dealers weren't using it. Their alignment rack was top notch and they are downright anal about it. I showed them the ideal specs I wanted (14 total toe in front, 18 in the back) and they did it. I drove away and for the FIRST TIME in MONTHS the car drove awesome. I think the computer is still adjusting to the new specs, and I may need to reinitialize the rack.

If you are in Dallas, you probably have no clue how a BMW is supposed to drive. Not one dealer seems to know how to align a car.

Oh, and I also popped on some R1 slotted and drilled geomet rotors. Nice upgrade.
Reply With Quote

See More Related BMW Stories

Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series & 4 Series > F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 / F34 / F36 (2012 - current)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Power steering flush issues serge_ua E46 (1999 - 2006) 10 10-16-2018 12:59 PM
steering and vert motor issues ragged claws E85 / E86 Z4 (2003-2008) 11 10-06-2018 11:59 AM
335i power steering/ belt/ a/c etc issues m alexander E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013) 2 03-04-2007 08:58 AM
steering! ajsbimmer E63 / E64 6 Series (2004 - 2010) 10 02-19-2007 11:50 AM
E46 M3 Maintenance issues - power steering jayf 1M & M2 6 11-30-2005 04:06 PM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:25 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
© 2001- VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.