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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I used to have a 2003 BMW 330i with the sports package and regular all season tires. I loved the handling, ride quality that was just right without being harsh and the steering was tight enough and not loose to give good road feedback. I decided to get a CPO 2008 335i with the sports package with the Bridgestone 050A run flat tires expecting the same or even better satisfaction but have been sadly disappointed. The 2008 335i has a ride that is very stiff and steering that feels very tight that almost feels like a workout every time I drive it. The car also feels heavy and not nimble especially at slower speeds and city driving.

Will switching to all season non RFT tires help get my 2008 335i to feel and handle like my old 2003 330i?
 

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Pedant and Curmudgeon
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IME, there is little difference in steering feel between RFT and go-flat (I just took my go-flat snow tires off my 335d/sport). The 335i has a couple hundred pounds more than the 330i on the front tires, and is a heavier and wider car overall.
 

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Tar Heel Faithful
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Switching to non-RF tires will help but it's not going to feel like the E46 (I've driven both).
 

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Unfortunately, you moved out of one of the best steerings in the passenger car world. E9x's are notorious for having heavy steering, and it's just the way it is. I am in the pursuit of trying to get "E46-Steering Feel" and I am almost done with the things on my list, and I am no where close. E30/E46 has this triangular-looking control arm system and E90/F30 has this dual arm system for front which I think the main culprit of change of steering feel.

Ride complain is a different issue. E9x (non M) is made for RFT tires so they have done some wired things with the suspension. Also, E9x's have smaller rear sway bars compared to E46, which understeers more.

If you want the steering/road feel of E46:
-Non-RFT tires - Michelin Pilot Super Sports or something similar with high road feel.
-M3 control arms up front
-M3 subframe bushing rear
-M3 Sway bars
 

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Unfortunately, you moved out of one of the best steerings in the passenger car world. E9x's are notorious for having heavy steering, and it's just the way it is. I am in the pursuit of trying to get "E46-Steering Feel" and I am almost done with the things on my list, and I am no where close. E30/E46 has this triangular-looking control arm system and E90/F30 has this dual arm system for front which I think the main culprit of change of steering feel.

Ride complain is a different issue. E9x (non M) is made for RFT tires so they have done some wired things with the suspension. Also, E9x's have smaller rear sway bars compared to E46, which understeers more.

If you want the steering/road feel of E46:
-Non-RFT tires - Michelin Pilot Super Sports or something similar with high road feel.
-M3 control arms up front
-M3 subframe bushing rear
-M3 Sway bars
PS: If your E9x have more than 30K miles, flush your power steering oil. At least do the "turkey baster" method they have listed on these forums. I change mine every 20K miles and steering feels lighter and smoother every time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the recommendation about the power steering fluid flush. I will notice the difference in the steering, right away, huh? I was hoping the switch to non RFT tires would help but it does not sound like it except for a softer ride it seems.
 

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Thanks for the recommendation about the power steering fluid flush. I will notice the difference in the steering, right away, huh? I was hoping the switch to non RFT tires would help but it does not sound like it except for a softer ride it seems.
Do the "Turkey Baster Method". Some say that you should have it flushed properly every 50K miles or so, and won't hurt to do above in between..

Mine was at 80K miles and never been flushed. Oil was slightly thicker/darker and after going through a full can of fluid with a turkey baster, I felt like it was a new car. If you have above 70K or so miles and has never changed the power steering oil, you are pretty much driving an old truck.
 

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I have not driven an E46 but I love the steering on my E90. Plenty of feel and great communication between the road and the wheel. There's a little slop on center but that could be the all season tires on mine. It's heavy but my 5' 2" wife has no problems with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Do the "Turkey Baster Method". Some say that you should have it flushed properly every 50K miles or so, and won't hurt to do above in between..

Mine was at 80K miles and never been flushed. Oil was slightly thicker/darker and after going through a full can of fluid with a turkey baster, I felt like it was a new car. If you have above 70K or so miles and has never changed the power steering oil, you are pretty much driving an old truck.
I am only at 37,000 miles right now. I will need to check my records to see if the fluid has been changed prior to my ownership.
 

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I used to have a 2003 BMW 330i with the sports package and regular all season tires. I loved the handling, ride quality that was just right without being harsh and the steering was tight enough and not loose to give good road feedback. I decided to get a CPO 2008 335i with the sports package with the Bridgestone 050A run flat tires expecting the same or even better satisfaction but have been sadly disappointed. The 2008 335i has a ride that is very stiff and steering that feels very tight that almost feels like a workout every time I drive it. The car also feels heavy and not nimble especially at slower speeds and city driving.

Will switching to all season non RFT tires help get my 2008 335i to feel and handle like my old 2003 330i?
I agree its the way 90x cars are designed. I thought there was something with the car. Slow speed turning does give you a workout. I came from a 2001 325i coupe and just bought a 2010 328i M Sport Convertible. Its definitely a different car. I checked the Power Steering fluid becuase i thought maybe it was low, but it was full. Although I noticed it smelled burnt. Is that normal? Its a CPO car with 40,000 miles.
 

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I went from an E46 to an E92. It's funny, if you go back to posts about the E46 you'll see all kinds of complaints about the steering feel of the E46 compared with the E36. Then there was the infamous over boosted steering in the early model (I think 2000 or 2001). BMW actually offered a retrofit to the steering because of the complaints. Yet, many still complained that the steering feel of the first model E46 was never recovered in the later models. It's true that the steering in the E90 is different and definitely heavier than the E46. But you get used to it very quickly and it's still got very good feedback and excellent response at speed. You absolutely have to get rid of the Bridgestone RE050 RFT's. Those are just plain junk..hard as bricks, noisy, and their handling goes away in very short order. After 10K mi. mine were shot. And I pretty much babied them. I put on a set of Conti DW summer tires, and they are a big improvement in all respects. There's no harshness at all in the ride, even if it remains sport sedan firm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
For me the 2008 335i gives me some neck and shoulder pain for some reason. I know it sounds silly but my wife says the steering is heavier in this car compared to our previous car and our Audi A4. However, she does not get the pain like I do. Frustrating and silly. She got used to the 335i and I am still trying to.
 

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Yes, the E90 steering is heavy but I also quickly got used to it. In fact I like the way it feels….way better than any front wheel drive car!
I find it helps to keep the tyre inflation up to 36 on these. Looking forward for my first power steering fluid change.
 
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