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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
48,570 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 BMW Z4 steering problems

steering problem

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2003 BMW Z4 Owner Comments (Page 10 of 14)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #81

Aug 182006


  • miles


My 2003 BMW Z4 should have initially been recalled for defective steering. From the first day I had it, the steering would periodically act up and made the car dangerous to drive. When I brought it in to be fixed I was charged $3001.31 to align the wheels, change the steering rack, replace a tire, two wheels, and some suspension components, and then another $150 alignment. (perhaps some of these components actually needed replacement, but I have my doubts.) you know what that didn't fix the steering which I finally traced to acting up on hot days. And the car drove exactly the same as it did before the "repairs." After doing some on-line research I discovered that others had this problem and that BMW had a solution all along. But was my car recalled and fixed" no. I found the actual part number of the new steering column and I had to insist on a free repair even though it was out of warranty. That fixed it fine, but why did I have to go through all this and spend $3001.31 when BMW knew there was a problem in the 2003 model and redesigned the steering column for the subsequent model years" my initial complain was on 08/18/06 at 23023 miles and my subsequent complaint was on 04/28/08 at 28274 miles. Links to similar complaints:

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #80

Oct 102010

Z4 6-cyl

  • 18,100 miles
2003 BMW Z4 has steering issue when the temperature is warm. The steering column seems to look up and makes it very difficult to turn the wheel.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #79

May 012009

Z4 6-cyl

  • 43,000 miles
Steering problem with 2003 BMW Z4. Constant problem causing it to be difficult to turn the wheel. Being repaired today ( 10/14/2010). Elect. Motor on the power steering.

- North Port, FL, USA

problem #78

Oct 032010

Z4 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles


My BMW Z4, vinxxxxxxxxx, intermittently has a notchy feeling in the steering as if there is a restriction preventing the steering wheel to be moved to the direction I want to go. This has been going for a half a year. Now I am intermittently loosing the power assist steering without any warning. This is very unnerving when traveling in heave city traffic. The bwm dealer is not taking this as a very serious safety problem. Thus far no repairs have been suggested or performed.

- Mckinney, TX, USA

problem #77

Sep 282010


  • 55,000 miles
The steering on my BMW Z4 was sticking and hard to turn. The steering didn't want to return to center. While driving on the freeway through a curve, the steering was hard to turn, wouldn't return back to center and had to make numerous adjustment to keep the car within the lane. It was very unsettling and could easily have caused an accident. This has happened several time in the past and it seems to happen predominately on warm days.

- Tigard, OR, USA

problem #76

Jul 142010


  • 25,000 miles
Steering gets heavy and "sticky" at high speeds.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #75

Jul 152010

Z4 6-cyl

  • 21,500 miles


After car had been sitting in the sun on a 90+ degree day, my steering became very difficult and "notchy". wheel would not return to center position when I let go of wheel.

- Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #74

Jun 202010


  • 20,000 miles
The electric steering on my 2003 BMW Z4 will stick and I must jerk the wheel to get it to turn back when the car is drifting. My dealer says they do not know what is causing this to happen. It seems to happen when the temperature is above 80 degrees. I feel this is a dangerous situation because it causes oversteering when the wheel has to be jerked back.

- Granger, IA, USA

problem #73

Sep 172010


  • 66,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 BMW Z4. While traveling 20 mph and attempting a left turn, the power steering warning light illuminated as the power steering assist simultaneously failed. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer yet the dealer was unable to duplicate the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The current and failure mileage was 66,000.

- Desoto, TX, USA

problem #72

May 262010


  • 28,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 BMW Z4. While traveling 10 mph the contact noticed that the steering wheel will suddenly lock and that the power steering warning light would appear on the dashboard. The vehicle had not been diagnosed. The contact noticed prior that the failure tends to occur during warm weather. The failure mileages was 28000 and the current mileage was 30000.

- West Point, NY, USA

problem #71

Sep 192010


  • 74,000 miles


At outside temperatures above approximately 80 degrees, the steering develops a notch or dead space that requires more than average pressure to overcome, thus making the steering jerky and potentially dangerous in an emergency situation.

- Toano, VA, USA

problem #70

Sep 042010


  • 136,000 miles
2003 BMW Z4 power steering binds up during high ambient temperatures (over 90 F) especially when the car is left in the sun all day. Whenever the steering wheel is not moving it sticks in that position requiring tremendous force to get it to move from that position and turn the car. It will stick going down the road then you have to force it to break loose to correct the car's direction, then it sticks in this new location and you have to break it loose to return the wheel to straight ahead. When you break the steering loose it makes an audible thunk. This behavior causes the car to dive into the next lane or onto the shoulder of the road making it impossible to drive at highway speeds and dangerous to even drive at 35 miles an hour. The BMW service department claims the car has never exhibited this behavior for them, and it will cost $3700 to replace the power steering.

- Haw River, NC, USA

problem #69

Sep 082004


  • 24,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 BMW Z4. The steering wheel locked while driving at either a slow speed such as 35 mph or 65 mph and when he made a left or right turn. The contact stated that he had to pull the steering wheel in either position whenever it locked in order to allow it to move. The vehicle was not taken to nor was the manufacturer notified. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 24,000.

- Trion, GA, USA

problem #68

Aug 312010


  • 30,000 miles
I have been having on problems with the steering on my 2003 BMW Z4. When temperatures are high(over 80 degrees). The steering becomes sticky/notchy and basically feels as it the steering wheel is locked in position. The car feels difficult to control and unsafe. The most recent incident was August 31, 2010.

- Townsend, DE, USA

problem #67

Jul 202009


  • 35,000 miles
My 2003 BMW Z4 has sticky and/or binding electric power assisted steering control when the temperatures are 75 degrees or warmer, making the car difficult and dangerous to steer. Because of this, oversteering results, which causes the vehicle to lunge into the next lane or onto the shoulder. This becomes a serious safety issue when changing lanes or making minor steering corrections. The problem goes away overnight when cooler temperatures prevail and the power steering unit has had a chance to cool down.

- Tacoma, WA, USA

problem #66

Aug 212010


  • 48,500 miles
While driving our BMW Z4 the steering seems to get locked in to a position which requires more a lot effort than normal to steer. We have to hold the steering wheel tightly with both hands to avoid over steering. I see there are many more people who are having this problem when I googled Z4 steering. It is quite prevalent on the BMW forums.

- Andover, NH, USA

problem #65

Aug 122010


  • 26,000 miles
Vehicle is a 2003 BMW Z4. I have experienced three steering malfunctions in the past 2 years. Each occasion resulted in loss of control with the vehicle swerving across oncoming lanes and back off the shoulder.. most recent 8/12/2010. The dealer indicated they had no knowledge of the problem and without an occurrence probably would not be able to determine parts or service to correct. This happens suddenly with no warning and goes away just as it appeared with no action on my part. This is a deadly issue. I do not understand why this continues to be an issue considering the number of complaints I have since found on the internet as voiced by other owners.

- Cedar Point, NC, USA

problem #64

Jan 142010


  • 94,000 miles
Issues with the power steering intermittently shutting off and then back on. If it were to occur at the wrong time or in the wrong situation, it would have dire results.

- Corona, CA, USA

problem #63

Aug 142010


  • 90,000 miles
For several months, my 2003 BMW Z4 has felt like it was slightly stuck in the center position while driving on the freeway or highway. Recently, the steering has failed completely on engine start-up. In other words the car will barely turn. After it happened, I discovered it will work if the ignition is turned off and then re-started. However, the car still sometimes displays the stickiness in the wheel, especially on warmer days. The car will steer but seems to get stuck slightly when the wheel is centered. In searching for a solution online, I discovered that this has been a problem for many cars of this model.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #62

Jul 202010


  • 20,000 miles
While driving my 2003 BMW Z4 during hot weather the steering response is very poor. The car does not seem to want to remain on a straight path and steering is seems to be very heavy. It is almost like the car has a tire that is very low on air pressure.

- Chesterfield, VA, USA

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