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gomi_otaku
gomi_otaku, Technician
Category: BMW
Satisfied Customers: 3378
Experience:  VW Technician, VW FastTrack, VW Academy, VW Certified
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I bought my 2007 335i about 6 months ago. The steering has

Customer Question

I bought my 2007 335i about 6 months ago. The steering has always felt vague with no feedback. What could be causing this?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: BMW
Expert:  Steve replied 11 months ago.
Hello and welcome,
My name is ***** ***** it will be my pleasure to assist you today.
Have you driven a comparable model to check the steering vs your car?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I've driven a 2016 BMW X3 (crisp steering) and also a 3 series of the same vintage as my car (can't remember the model, but the steering was OK). MY steering is worse than experienced in any car, including my old Buicks.
Expert:  Steve replied 11 months ago.
I will provide an honest answer. I trust this will be appreciated. Please remember that a low rating PUNISHES me for being honest and that I receive nothing for my time until a positive rating is clicked.
if the steering is that bad then you must have a faulty steering rack or significant wear and play in the front end suspension. It will need to be put on a hoist for proper inspection of the front end components to identify the wear.
Please let me know if you have further questions. Please do not forget to click a positive rating as this is the only way I receive credit for my answer, thank you. Best wishes with your vehicle
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi Steve, there is no freeplay. In other words, if Im driving at highway speeds and move the steering slowly back and forth, even a little, the car will respond (ie, there is no dead zone). But, if I make a fast lane change, the car feels like a large Buick that gradually makes its way to the other lane. It won't snap onto the next lane like the X3 rental I had recently, whereas I think it should be at least as responsive, considering it is a much sportier model.
Expert:  Steve replied 11 months ago.
I will provide an honest answer. I trust this will be appreciated. Please remember that a low rating PUNISHES me for being honest and that I receive nothing for my time until a positive rating is clicked.
the items which I listed are the only ones which will cause a steering issue like you are describing.
if the vehicle has active steering, then this would be expected behavior, although you made no mention of active steering being installed.
Please let me know if you have further questions. Please do not forget to click a positive rating as this is the only way I receive credit for my answer, thank you. Best wishes with your vehicle
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
No, I don't have active steering, and what you're describing would produce play or a dead zone. I don't have that.
Expert:  gomi_otaku replied 11 months ago.

Have you had the alignment checked? Any sign of tire tread wear that is not even, ie more wear on the inside edges of the front tires?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
No, in fact that is something I will be doing after I replace my leaky stock shocks n struts with a Koni FSD kit later this month. Could misalignment of the rear wheels affect the steering response at all, or is it just the front alignment that will affect the steering response? What kind of misalignment could cause my problem - caster, camber or toe?
Expert:  gomi_otaku replied 11 months ago.

The rear wheels being misaligned can cause issues, but I don't think like you are describing.

If the front wheels are toed OUT too far, it will react normally when turning back and forth- as the car will want to follow the wheel that is already directed in the direction of travel; but when trying to snap turn like you described, it would weight the vehicle toward the outside of the turn, that wheel would be less turned toward the turn, more straight, doing exactly like you described.

Caster tends to affect how the steering returns to straight after a turn. Think of a bicycle- you can ride with no hands because the wheel wants to stay straight ahead because of the slight backwards tilt of the steering angle. Having it too straight up and down makes it "twitchy" steering. Camber can affect how it corners, but less than toe.

Everything is adjusted in a specific order on an alignment rack- certain adjustments (caster, camber) are done first, toe last.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
You may be right. I also think the shocks may be part of the problem: when I make a quick lane change, the wheels go first and then the body rolls and eventually follows. I'm an aggresive driver but this makes the car fell unsafe and scary.Hopefully new shocks and an alignment will do it. I'm hoping to get it done on Monday.PS: Toe out will cause quicker corner turn-in but less straight line stability, toe in will make a car track better in a straight line.
Expert:  gomi_otaku replied 11 months ago.

It depends on how quick your maneuvers are- being toed out will make it quick to react to light movements, but a quick snap will roll it to the outside of the corner, where the outside wheel will take the lead- and it is toed out in the direction opposite of your turn, or at least in the case of the wheel being turned, LESS than the angle of the inner wheel. So it will not steer as sharp as at lower speeds.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I've read that the rear wheels should never be toed-out. What is the effect of the rear wheels being toed out and toed in?

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