steering hard and will not centre... - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 05-23-2012, 09:03 PM
One28i One28i is offline
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Unhappy steering hard and will not centre...

A month ago, on the way to work, my E39 I6 manual trans steering went hard on me. No noise or moans when I turn the wheel, just requires a lot more effort. Also the steering @ quarter turn will not centre. Before quarter turn, it will try to centre, but still sticks to where u leave the wheel, and past quarter, it will try to centre quickly, but as it passes the quarter turn mark on either side, slows down. Speed doesn't make the steering return quicker or slower, which I also found to be odd.

Check fluid, red, and smell like dextrin ATF fluid, that what the BMW parts guy gave me a few years ago to top up.

So I removed the PS tank, to flush, and clean the filter. Have done it twice now, but the steering is still hard. I think it improved a bit when I did the flush, but the flush was whatever was in the tank, and a bit in the rubber lines.

I ran the system with low fluid @ idle no turn to see flow, and I do have flow or pressure in the system.

Is it common that the rack fails? Keep in mind, I keep all the fluid topped up. Mileage on the car is 198,000 km.

Look forward to your input, experience, and guidance.
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  #2  
Old 05-24-2012, 07:57 AM
rdc8118 rdc8118 is offline
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Had the similar problem while ago. Really hard to turn and binding every quarter turn. I lifted the front end off the ground, started the engine and it still had the problem with no load. Following another persons advice from the forum, I hosed the crap out of the u joint in the steering arm just above the rack with wd40. Let it sit a little, then hosed the u joint down with white lithium grease and let it sit overnight. No more binding for the last year. As a preventative measure every couple of months I'll repeat the process.

Don't know if it will solve your problem but a spray can of wd40 and a spray can of white lithium grease is cheap and worth a shot.
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  #3  
Old 05-28-2012, 10:55 PM
One28i One28i is offline
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God bless you rdc8118, I sprayed rust check, since I couldn't find where I last placed the WD40 can, and my steering centres itself. I didn't even hose it down. Just soaked it with lube. So giddy. I was preparing and pricing a pump and a rack for the car, and was going to go search for DIY on how to do it.

The steering is actually light. I think since I had the car in 2006, it has had a hard steering. Thought it was a BMW thing.

To think a bit of lube solved this major headache I have been having for a month now.

Once again, thank you.
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  #4  
Old 05-28-2012, 11:41 PM
Tommylaw9 Tommylaw9 is offline
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can someone take a pic of where this should be sprayed?
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  #5  
Old 05-29-2012, 12:17 PM
mrpumpk1n mrpumpk1n is offline
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same request as tommylaw as above. im having the same problem but on v8
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:12 PM
One28i One28i is offline
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http://bmwfans.info/parts/catalog/E3...oint_assembly/

If you look at the lower joint steering assembly, just above where the screw number 2 goes, that is where you need to lube it.

It is hard to take a pic from above, its a tight fit, but if you aim right, u can get a direct hit.

Also from the bottom if exposed, but I didn't raise the car.

Also need to soak it over night, and if you hit the right spots on the u-joint, you will know right away when you turn the wheel.

Enjoy this best DIY maintainance tip to ensure your Bimmer gives the feed back it as designed for.
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Old 04-02-2014, 02:28 AM
colino colino is offline
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I realise that was an ancient thread, but before I checked the codes (assuming a module was down!) I searched and found this nice, basic answer.

Timely reminder to check the basics first and do a simple fix instead of condemning perfectly good parts because we've become accustomed to elderly electronics giving up the ghost.

Thanks to all.
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  #8  
Old 04-07-2014, 01:58 PM
JKRIT JKRIT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colino View Post
I realise that was an ancient thread, but before I checked the codes (assuming a module was down!) I searched and found this nice, basic answer.

Timely reminder to check the basics first and do a simple fix instead of condemning perfectly good parts because we've become accustomed to elderly electronics giving up the ghost.

Thanks to all.
+1 Remarkable how much drag the steering column U-joint can cause. Replaced PS pump to no avail; Ordered a rebuilt rack & pinion; Then I discovered this thread. A couple of squirts of lube on this joint and all is well! Rebuilt R&P will be returned unopened.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:16 PM
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musa musa is offline
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This is incredible! I've been having somewhat similar issue and just accepted it and lived with it. I thought an indie who used to work on my car messed up something when he replaced the tie rods years ago. I will definitely lube that part!
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  #10  
Old 09-04-2019, 06:43 PM
xenopherous xenopherous is offline
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This is the diagram to that u joint if anyone's wondering
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