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Old 04-16-2014, 04:29 PM   #1
krjcook
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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Help me diagnose my Steering Problem.

I have an 04 325i with 113k miles. I've been going thru this problem for about 8 months now. Basically I've having funky if not heavier than usual Steering. The car drives in a straight line and my tire is normal. If I turn the wheel center and let off it will continue to go straight, but if I turn it left or right and let off it continue to follow the same path. Mostly noticeable during lower speed roads. I But it takes a bit more effor to turn the wheel then wheni bought it 2 years ago. Definitely heavier than my mom's acura and Crown Victoria and my grandma's 300c. And no I'm not confusing it with no power steering. It's def gotten heavier. When driving at highway speeds I have to constantly move the wheel with very small corrections. It's not as bad when at residual speeds.

I planned on building this into a DD track car so I started with my bushing first. Front is done and so is the Steering coupling. You should've saw how bad it was before I did this and got an alignment. Steering was really loose. Stiffer bushings tightened everything up but I still have problems keeping wheel straight with my hands on it. It's weird. I have a video to help you understand what's going on.

E46 Steering Problem (High Speed Cruise):

Steering Problem (Low Speed Cruise):

Basically it feels like my auto return to center is gone, and the the Steering has gotten heavier. (Not sure if because of polyurethane bushings). Been to different shops one said power steering, one said Steering rack, one said control arms, one said fluid flush. Too many opinions to just start writing checks. Any help?
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Old 04-16-2014, 04:52 PM   #2
Mango
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Hard to say without driving the car but it appears as if your car is seriously neglected. It likely needs heaps of inspection and personal attention to the finest details. Start by checking for damaged/worn components. Typically bad alignment especially caster will cause your wheel to act the way you describe. Honestly I'd just do it all. These cars aren't for pimpin' and posin. It's time for full professional maintenance. The fluid is something that should be done anyway
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Old 04-16-2014, 04:56 PM   #3
Dave1027
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Might want to check the strut mounts. Maybe a power steering fluid flush.
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Old 04-16-2014, 05:54 PM   #4
jcns
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how many miles on the suspension? Should refresh every 60k miles.
what kind of wheels and tires do you have on?
did you check the PS fluid level?
Is the PS pump making any noises?

Last edited by jcns; 04-16-2014 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 04-16-2014, 11:11 PM   #5
krjcook
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Originally Posted by jcns View Post
how many miles on the suspension? Should refresh every 60k miles.
what kind of wheels and tires do you have on?
did you check the PS fluid level?
Is the PS pump making any noises?
A set of bridgestones and 18in artec wheels. I've put about 30k on the current suspension. Bought the car with 88k. I did it was at the first level warm, so I filled it to the last one. No effect. At one time I use to get this vibrating/ grinding sound coming from the front. It would only happen under 2000rpms and usually when I turned the wheel and you. As soon as you hit 2000rpm it would stop. Took it in to a really good European Indy and they couldn't figure it out.

Recently got my clutch replaced and the sound completely disappeared. Not sure if that's just coincidence or what

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Old 04-16-2014, 11:16 PM   #6
krjcook
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mango View Post
Hard to say without driving the car but it appears as if your car is seriously neglected. It likely needs heaps of inspection and personal attention to the finest details. Start by checking for damaged/worn components. Typically bad alignment especially caster will cause your wheel to act the way you describe. Honestly I'd just do it all. These cars aren't for pimpin' and posin. It's time for full professional maintenance. The fluid is something that should be done anyway
Got my alignment done at a franchise shop. Not because I'm cheap but because distance difference is over 30miles. Maybe they didn't do the caster. The guy there swore that it was my rack. The two dealers thought it was rack and the indy power steering, and family friend thought it just needed a flush. Honestly thought it was 'lifetime' fluid.

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