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      10-05-2010, 09:53 AM   #1
J08M3
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Possible Steering Issue?

So a new intermittent problem has popped up on my '08 M.

Sometimes the steering feels very unpredictable. The resistance on the steering wheel and the effect it has on steering the car seems to change randomly. As far as I know the steering is controlled by the computer and is supposed to be speed related correct? It seems like there is some sort of computer glitch now and I can be just cruising along and all of a sudden the steering is very soft and the wheels turn a lot, or sometimes I can be accelerating from slow speed and the wheel is very hard to turn. Anyone ever hear of this or have a similar issue?

btw it's going in to the dealer on Thursday. But I like to have a little backup info from other people. Last time I brought my car there complaining about a noise from the rear, they worked on the front of the car (needless to say the problem was really in the rear ) I hate bringing my car to the damn dealer.
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      10-05-2010, 10:55 AM   #2
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Which dealer you go to?
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      10-05-2010, 11:14 AM   #3
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been to Southampton, hopefully they are better now they have new owners
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      10-05-2010, 08:08 PM   #4
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Anyone?
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      10-05-2010, 11:12 PM   #5
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I honestly don't understand exactly how our system works, since it's 'valvetronic'. But yes, there's obviously a computer operated valve somewhere that varies assist. If your inner belt is tight (drives both the water and P/S pumps), and pump doesn't 'whine' while turning stationary, then it can be the valve, rack, or an electronic gremlin. To eliminate the electronic part, I'd disconnect the battery and see what happens after that. If it doesn't improve, you'll have no choice but to take it in; it's going to be something mechanical. Probably the valve, but could be the rack too. Good luck man, and cover your seats, knob, carpet, and steering wheel .
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      10-06-2010, 12:02 AM   #6
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mine tweaked a little bit after my battery died on me. Once i charged it up, there was a malfunction w/ valvetronic. Dealer just did a reset and everything is smooth again.
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      10-06-2010, 12:56 AM   #7
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Is it the roads? I've noticed that my M is MUCH more sensitive to crowns and tramlines something fierce. part of that is the downside to really wide tires but part of it might just be the way the system works.
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      10-06-2010, 01:02 AM   #8
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As far as I know...the steering is very light and easy to use at lower speeds for parking. Somewhere around 70 mph, the steering basically goes into the "sport" mode where the steering is harder to turn. I think it's either on or off, no gradual stiffer buildup as the speed rises.

Back in 2008 when Road & Track was testing the M3, they were having a tough time on the slalom since the exit speed was just above 70 mph and so on the last two cones, the changing of the steering wheel effort was throwing off their steering around the cones.
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      10-06-2010, 06:13 AM   #9
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I noticed it at slower speeds. Under 30 mph I'd say. It's intermittent though so its hard to pin down. Seems slightly harder to turn the wheel then all of a sudden it's very easy then hard again. This is all within a split second time period. When it's happening it makes the car feel very unpredictable.

The worst part is that it's very tough to say when or what situation it happens in cause not only intermittent but only happens once in awhile. My feeling is dealership won't be able to replicate unless they get lucky.
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      10-06-2010, 08:53 AM   #10
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Check the PS fluid level in the PS pump.... The symptoms sound like the result of low fluid level... But then again it's kinda hard to diag a car over the computer... And I'm guessing you probably would have checked the fluid level in the first place...
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      10-06-2010, 09:08 AM   #11
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Let us know if the dealer finds anything. Could be a computer problem, I've had my share of computer failure, but I think its more to do with my old dealer messing with the computer than a factory problem. I go to Bay Shore BMW now as they seem to actually be able to fix something and not bullshit to my face about how they couldn't find the problem or the problem is fixed when it clearly isn't.
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      10-06-2010, 09:28 AM   #12
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I had a 7 series with Xtronic or what ever they call it power steering. The concept is that the assist varies based on road speed. When it broke, the steering was very heavy at low speed. Since this is not what you are experiencing, it could be alomost anything - belts, power steering pump, or the valvetronic controller. The dealer will probably have to diagnose.
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      10-06-2010, 10:07 AM   #13
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I didn't even think to check the steering fluid.... haha woops

Anyway it appears two lines on the stick, I'm assuming lower one is for when it's cold and upper for when it's hot? Or is it just supposed to be somewhere between the two lines?
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      10-07-2010, 05:36 AM   #14
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Did you get any fault codes or symbol malfunctions ?
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      10-07-2010, 06:03 AM   #15
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No
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      10-07-2010, 08:59 AM   #16
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Power steering fluid should be between the two lines. I don't think hot or cold engine matters much. Only if the engine is really hot (on a track day for example) will the engine heat occasionally effect the power steering fluid reservoir temp causing it to boil and splash out through the spill hole a bit. Have you been tracking at all and maybe lost some power steering fluid? Also, I recently found my tire air pressure was low so put about 5 more lbs in each tire, it feels much more responsive even at low speeds. Best...
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      10-07-2010, 09:02 AM   #17
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not the fluid.... at the dealer now. I have a feeling they will have no clue, so more than likely they will just buy new parts and start randomly replacing stuff.
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      10-07-2010, 09:04 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J08M3 View Post
I didn't even think to check the steering fluid.... haha woops

Anyway it appears two lines on the stick, I'm assuming lower one is for when it's cold and upper for when it's hot? Or is it just supposed to be somewhere between the two lines?
the fluid is supposed to be in between the two lines. check it when its cold. if you do go tracking, then its very possible that you lose some fluid because the there is a pressure release valve on the cap that will release pressure when the fluid heats up. you might need to top it off. you can buy the fluid at the dealer for bout $30 per bottle... its CHF 11S hydraulic fluid.
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      10-08-2010, 01:32 PM   #19
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Guess what happened????

Dealer had no freakin clue what it was..... so they tried to tell me it's because of my Eibach springs and I would have to put the OEM ones back on before they could do anything. blah blah blah, just a bs excuse. If it was the springs this would've happened immediately a 1 1/2 years ago when I installed them and would be all the time not intermittent. Just a BS excuse cause they don't want to admit they can't figure it out. But oh well.... if it gets worse I guess I just swap my springs back and bring it in.
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      10-08-2010, 02:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J08M3 View Post
Guess what happened????

Dealer had no freakin clue what it was..... so they tried to tell me it's because of my Eibach springs and I would have to put the OEM ones back on before they could do anything. blah blah blah, just a bs excuse. If it was the springs this would've happened immediately a 1 1/2 years ago when I installed them and would be all the time not intermittent. Just a BS excuse cause they don't want to admit they can't figure it out. But oh well.... if it gets worse I guess I just swap my springs back and bring it in.
did u check ur fluid levels?

edit just read that you did... must be something else then.
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      10-08-2010, 02:28 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by montreal red View Post
did u check ur fluid levels?

edit just read that you did... must be something else then.
Yea I have no idea what.... so hard to diagnose something that is intermittent. Especially if no one else has had this specific problem.... hmm.... we'll see, guess for now I'll live with it.
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      10-08-2010, 04:19 PM   #22
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I'm taking mine in on Thursday... More to come
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