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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 07-07-2011, 12:54 PM   #1
TekNoire7
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Handling

How exactly is a 3 series supposed to handle. And I don't mean grip on the road and what not. I'm talking about the difficulty in turning the steering wheel. My power steering is all in check as well as the fluid, but for some reason the steering seems very heavy for such a small car. I've never driven someone else's 3 series so what could be wrong? Bushings? maybe I need new control arms. I got my wheels aligned a bunch of times too, just can't figure out what is wrong. Its sport package but I don't think that has much to do with anything.
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:56 PM   #2
Solidjake
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Depends, some models have overboosted steering, but generally the wheel is harder to turn.
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:56 PM   #3
The Thomas J
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Which model do you have? Verts will have a heavier feel because they are heavier overall. Everything about my Vert feels heavier compared to the 3 series sedans that I have driven.
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:57 PM   #4
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Which model do you have? Verts will have a heavier feel because they are heavier overall. Everything about my Vert feels heavier compared to the 3 series sedans that I have driven.
2000 328i sedan
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:10 PM   #5
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My brother has a '99 328i and his steering definitely feels heavier than my 323. Some feel heavier and some a bit less so. I know exactly what you're talking about.
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Old 07-07-2011, 02:25 PM   #6
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my 330i feels heavier, but quicker than my 323 and i like that.
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Old 07-07-2011, 02:38 PM   #7
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Mines heavy and I love it that way. Post 2001 E46 cars are heavy.
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Old 07-07-2011, 02:46 PM   #8
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i love my cars handling but i just spent 3gs on all new parts.
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:35 AM   #9
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Wish mine was heavier, I got a 2001 and it's way o'boosted.
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Old 07-08-2011, 05:11 AM   #10
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328i steering is heavy and makes the car feel bigger and heavier than it is. it's normal. some like it and some don't. nothing you can really do about it short of swapping out steering rack and pump.
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:06 AM   #11
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OP,

If yours is a manual, and you're from a good neighborhood with nice cloths and no piercings in odd places...and anywhere near Berkeley Heights...PM me; if you're game, we can swap cars and you can compare against mine; that is, after I see how you drive your car! LOL

But, the offer is serious.

Also, check your tire pressure and belt condition...and inspect pulleys.

I don't know if this is something that has always been like this or not for you, but I don't really think of my steering as heavy at all. Not as nimble as the e36, but it's also not a Buick! I've been driving a 3 series for 18 years now, so sort of forget what other cars feel like!
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:44 AM   #12
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Mine is heavier than other cars(toyota,etc) and I think it is normal because it was designed this way.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:39 AM   #13
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I have your car, but in a coupe. 2000 328Ci. The wheel is very heavy and thats how they make em.

I know what youre feeling, once or twice I've found myself in an awkward hand position and have trouble turning the wheel and making tight corners without going hitting oncoming traffic (exagerated, but whatever).
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Old 07-08-2011, 11:53 AM   #14
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If you think the steering is too heavy the maybe hit the gym a little?

I love the heavier steering of my BMW. I feel more in control and precise with my movements.
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:02 PM   #15
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2004 330Ci here and it's perfectly weighted in my opinion. Heavier than most other cars but perfect. Try driving another similar E46 for comparison.
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Old 07-08-2011, 01:13 PM   #16
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my ci is alright, not to heavy not to light. Need to replace my steering pump though, it leaked overnight and drove it the next day, didn't notice the puddle of fluid when i was pulling out and ended up burning up the pump so now its squeaking like crazy. Still got a warranty on it though will be replacing that soon
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Old 07-08-2011, 01:21 PM   #17
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If anyone wants to trade PS units let me know. I hate my overboosted steering.
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:11 PM   #18
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for what it is worth, the steering on my 325i wagon was fairly heavy until i changed the control arms and bushings. After the fix the steering became much much lighter. Might be something to look into.
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:49 PM   #19
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Interesting. You should have the overboosted steering since your car states year 2000. Not sure if that's production or just year though.

Ya, as someone mentioned they did overboost the steering after few complained. Shortly after, they dubbed it " the ultimate parking machine" and the majority of BMW buyers were enraged. They issue a free (recall or whatere term you wanna call it) to bring your car and get it back to how your car is now, heavy!

I sure hope yours is not overboosted cause if it is ... boy you have no idea how the regular one feels.

Mine had overboosted steering and just find that out .. as I've just purchased an 02 ... I'm loving the steering!! Nice and heavy!
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Old 07-11-2011, 09:08 PM   #20
jdstrickland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TekNoire7 View Post
How exactly is a 3 series supposed to handle. And I don't mean grip on the road and what not. I'm talking about the difficulty in turning the steering wheel. My power steering is all in check as well as the fluid, but for some reason the steering seems very heavy for such a small car. I've never driven someone else's 3 series so what could be wrong? Bushings? maybe I need new control arms. I got my wheels aligned a bunch of times too, just can't figure out what is wrong. Its sport package but I don't think that has much to do with anything.
Steering is heavy on this car. And you have the Sports Package (ZSP?) that in all likelihood has even heavier steering than the mere mortals.

If the steering is smooth and evenly heavy in both directions for the full travel, then I'd suggest you have no problems.
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