really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,475 miles

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« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #193

Jun 132013

Z4 6-cyl

  • 54,850 miles
I was driving on the interstate at a moderate speed. When attempting to change lanes the steering became "sticky" and it was difficult to turn the steering wheel. This has happened multiple times since this incident. It appears to be worse when the weather is hot. In reading various BMW forums I found that this is a common problem with the 2003 Z4's and the NHTSA has or is conducting an investigation. I understand BMW has corrected the problem on later models. This really creates a dangerous driving situation and I am fearful of driving this car. Is there any action being taken by the NHTSA or BMW? I have contacted BMW but they will not acknowledge that there is a problem.

- Rock Hill, SC, USA

problem #192

Jul 152013

Z4 6-cyl

  • miles
Apparently there is a bearing inside of the steering column and it is not a sealed bearing (poor design). The grease leaks out of it and it becomes very difficult to steer and dangerous. The bearing is not replaceable so you have to replace the entire steering column at a cost of $3,000 to $4,000. The warmer the temperature the harder the steering. I won't even let my wife drive the car for fear she will have an accident. I even have trouble keeping it on the road at times.

- Mechanicville, NY, USA

problem #191

Jun 262013

Z4 6-cyl

  • 51,000 miles
I purchased this car used and have had problems with the steering since buying it 5 years ago. Had it at a BMW repair store they have informed me the steering column will need to be replaced for $ 3000 plus. After doing some research this is a common problem with this BMW. Why has BMW not issued a recall? this could be a severe problem that could cause accidents and death while you are driving! [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #190

Jun 242013

Z4 6-cyl

  • 35,800 miles
I'm having a safety issue with the steering being sticky. It is especially problematic at higher speeds and requires reasonable force to correct. This, in turn, causes over-steering constantly making the car very dangerous to drive on the highway. Car is low mileage: Under 36,000.

- Kennesaw, GA, USA

problem #189

Jun 222013

Z4 6-cyl

  • 102,500 miles
My steering column turns similar to the fan control switch on the Z4 from detent to detent and not smoothly like a volume control on a radio. If you reach forward to the fan control console and turn it you will note that it does not turn smoothly it goes from stop to stop to stop about every 5 degrees. Each stop is called a detent. So as you turn the knob it starts in a detent then as you turn it clicks into the next detent and stops then you have to twist a bit harder till it clicks into the next detent. That is how my steering column acts when it is hot outside. It clicks into one detent and that position may not keep you driving straight down the road. You try to correct it and it will not turn unless you push extra hard then it goes past the point that would keep you going straight down he road into the next detent and you are progressively headed off the other side of the road. As you try to correct it by turning back, it will not smoothly turn back, it resists till you push extra hard then it goes past the point that would keep you going straight and stops in the next detent and now you are headed off the road in the other direction.

- Berkeley Springs, WV, USA

problem #188

Jun 012013

Z4 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
The steering sticks meaning it becomes unresponsive and requires extra effort on my part to move it again. I have to continue to move it else it sticks and I lose control for about a second. Very scary at high speeds. Basically if going in a straight line and I want to turn it is not smooth and I have to almost fight with it to turn.

- Springfield , MA, USA

problem #187

Jun 132011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 64,000 miles
Chronic problem with the steering being sticky when the weather is warm or when the car sits in the hot sun. The steering wheel when held steady driving down the road seems to stick in an exact position and if the weather is very warm the stickiness is such that when the car needs steering correction to stay in the driving lane that significant pressure is required to unstick the position of the steering direction. Once the driver's pressure causes the steering wheel to become unstuck the wheel will suddenly veer in the direction the pressure was applied, ie. Toward oncoming traffic or towards the ditch until the driver can quickly counteract the sudden release of the unstuck steering wheel. When the weather is particularly warm the car is no longer safe to drive for fear of loss of control. This car was purchased new from the local BMW dealership and driven almost exclusively by my wife since new.

- Champlin, MN, USA

problem #186

Jun 052013

Z4 6-cyl

  • 18,850 miles
I bought my used BMW Z 4 three years ago from a private party with 13,500 miles. Car is in showroom condition but when the temperature rises and the car sits in the sun, I have issues with the steering wheel sticking and locking. I find myself constantly fighting the steering wheel in hot weather and have no confidence in the steering capability of my vehicle. My last episode was last week when the temperature was in the 80's and the car sat out in the sun all day while I was at work. This car has under 19,000 miles on it and I find it unacceptable that BMW will not address this issue and do a recall immediately to address this common problem. I hope it doesn't take a fatality to occur before a recall is issued for this steering malfunction.

- Berlin, CT, USA

problem #185

Jun 082013


  • 34,200 miles
Steering got stuck, and car slid left to right.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #184

Aug 202012

Z4 6-cyl

  • 12,500 miles
Date listed is an approximation... I bought the vehicle used and during the hot weather the steering felt like it was sticking. Now that I've owned the vehicle for a couple of years I can tell that when the vehicle is left in the hot sun the steering "sticks" which causes it to move erratically. This happens no matter the speed and is very dangerous. Due to the sticking I am very wary driving the car when the weather is hot and the car sits in the sun. I read that there is an investigation into this issue and want to include that my car is experiencing the same issue as listed in the investigation. This is a dangerous defect and the NHTSA should force BMW to fix the problem on the affected vehicles. I should not have to drive a vehicle that enough evidence is available to confirm there is a manufacturer defect.

- Barrington, NH, USA

problem #183

May 092013


  • 36,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 BMW Z4. The contact stated that while driving approximately 45 mph, the steering wheel exhibited a jerking motion when attempting a turn. The contact applied force to the steering wheel in order to continue driving. The failure occurred only in hotter weather temperatures. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 36,000.

- Kennewick , WA, USA

problem #182

May 062012


  • 79,650 miles
The contact owns a 2003 BMW Z4. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the steering became sticky and impacted the drivers ability to control the vehicle. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis but the technician could not replicate the failure. The vehicle had not been repaired. The VIN was unavailable. The failure and current mileage was 79,650.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #181

Aug 072012

Z4 6-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
At ambient temperatures above 75 deg the steering gets stiff and feels sticky. After making a turn the wheels do not return to the center position on their own but require driver to turn steering wheel back to center. Driving in a straight line requires constant correction because the steering binds and causes the driver to oversteering in order to overcome the stiffness.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #180

Apr 092012

Z4 6-cyl

  • 68,250 miles
Steering wheel sticks (still does as of March 30, 2013) and vehicle becomes hard to steer and control, especially when the weather is hot.

- Winston-Salem, NC, USA

problem #179

Feb 262013

Z4 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
I have a 2003 BMW Z4 2.5I I recently purchased. I noticed the "sticky" steering for the first time the night I purchased it. After searching the internet I discovered that hundreds of Z4 owners have this serious steering issue. The steering is not so bad in cool weather, but warmer temperatures have an adverse effect on keeping the car on the road. I have had this issue numerous times in the 1 month that I have owned the car. Yesterday I almost lost control going down the highway on a curve driving at the posted speed limit. Z4 owners are afraid to drive the car due to this sticky steering issue. I didn't have to look hard on the internet to find that this issue wide-spread and has been grossly ignored. I was also surprised at the number of affected cars, with no action by BMW or our government. What are the powers at be waiting for" a death because of the steering issue. The car needs a recall for a replacement steering column or a bulletin to simply bring the car to a dealer for a replacement at no cost to the owner. BMW is aware of the faulty steering columns. Why has this not been fixed yet" please do something!

- Milton, FL, USA

problem #178

Jul 112012

Z4 6-cyl

  • 49,000 miles
The steering feels 'sticky'. driving at roadspeed, esp on interstate where you're trying to maintain straight line, when you need to make slight steering adjustments, the steering sticks and when you give it enough effort to 'unstick' it, your car moves erratically. Basically, when it 'unsticks' it causes the driver to over-correct and oversteer. It does this when the car has been sitting in the sun on warm days, I.e outside ambient temps over 80 degrees F.

- Gastonia, NC, USA

problem #177

Feb 082013

Z4 6-cyl

  • 81,000 miles
Power steering broke down. I read a lot of complaints online trying to research what kind of experiences other owners had and there are too many issues with steering with these cars to be ignored. Thank god that my power steering stopped working at a low speed, but what would happen if I was traveling at 70 mph? I had "sticky" steering in this car for years but this took it to another level. This issue should have been recalled.

- Phoenixville, PA, USA

problem #176

Apr 012012

Z4 6-cyl

  • 4,500 miles
Steering wheel goes back & forth on its own at highway speeds. Very scary ! not safe! feels like there is no control. I paid a lot of money for the ultimate driving machine that I am afraid to drive.

- Brooklyn Hts, OH, USA

problem #175

Apr 012012

Z4 6-cyl

  • 4,500 miles
Steering wheel goes back & forth on its own at highway speeds. Very scary ! not safe! feels like there is no control. I payed a lot of money for the ultimate driving machine that I am afraid to drive.

- Brooklyn Hts, OH, USA

problem #174

Dec 082012

Z4 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
Steering wheel sticks then releases causing loss of control.

- San Jose, CA, USA

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