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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,578 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.

2004 BMW Z4 steering problems

steering problem

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2004 BMW Z4 Owner Comments (Page 10 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #113

Mar 152011


  • 39,500 miles


The contact owns a 2004 BMW Z4. The contact stated he would have difficulty steering the vehicle while driving at speeds of approximately 55 mph. The vehicle would respond slowly when the steering wheel was turned. The contact also stated the failure recurred more often when the air conditioning unit was being operated. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where they were unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 39,500 and the current mileage was 39,878. Updated 06/06/11 updated 01/24/2012

- Osburn, ID, USA

problem #112

Apr 272011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 57,300 miles
My 2004 BMW Z4 steering sticks special Y when driving at high speeds on the highway. I have to exert excessive pressure to correct it. It's no longer a pleasure driving my car that I love so much.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #111

May 012011


  • miles
My Z4 is a 2004 3.0I with 22120 miles... out of nowhere my steering became less fluid and smooth. Sometimes I think I don't have power steering. Almost couldn't avoid being cut off by a taxi in manhattan I'm afraid I may die while driving or possibly harm others. This is my only car and I can't just wait for a recall.

- Ozone Park, NY, USA

problem #110

Apr 242011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 57,000 miles


My 2004 BMW Z4 steering sticks when temperature is above 85F. so far it has not caused an accident, but it seems to be more frequent and happening at lower temperatures than last summer. The car has 58,000 miles.

- Lebanon, PA, USA

problem #109

Sep 152010


  • 65,000 miles
I have experienced the same problems described in your investigation PE10020. On numerous occasions the steering wheel of my 2004 Z4, sticks and I am required to exert excessive pressure to correct it or to turn the wheel. Speed does not seem to be a factor, it happens at both slow and faster speeds, but it is more pronouced at higher speeds because the car travels much further before I can correct the problem. This only happens in the summer when it is very hot in tallahassee, Florida. This has been occurring for the past two summers. I saw the investigation on your website and decided to wait until there was a recall before taking it to the dealer. However, summer is approaching again, so I thought I would add my complaint to the others in hopes of expediting a re-call. This can be a dangerous condition and if it recurs when the weather gets hotter, I will have to get it repaired, recall or not.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #108

Feb 272011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
The steering mechanism in my car "sticks" when driving. It happens when the car gets warmed up. When I go to work, no problem. When I leave in the afternoon and I am driving home, I have a hard time keeping the car in the lane because the steering wheel seems to "stick." I mean, I am literally having to fight with the car to keep it from going into another lane. Tires are new so that is not the problem. Plus, I see that this has been a problem with a lot of these cars. I bought the car December, 2010 with 79,442 miles on it. I now have a little over 81,000 miles. I do not drive the car much... mostly weekends, but what a major problem it is to drive and have the car not steer properly.

- Ga, GA, USA

problem #107

Apr 172011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles


After driving the car for 20 or so minutes, when it starts to warm up, the steering wheel starts to stick. It takes a little more pressure to turn the wheel causing me to over steer and swerve a little bit. It gets worse the longer distance I have to drive.

- Corbin, KY, USA

problem #106

Apr 102011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 43,750 miles
Reading BMW forums I read that other owners are experiencing the same problem as me.. I have a BMW 2004 Z4 with 43K miles and the steering notches or sticks a lot as I drive. There seems to be a steering problem that could cause a serious wreck. Are there any recalls on the problem?

- Cypress, TX, USA

problem #105

Apr 122011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 59,072 miles
My 2004 BMW Z4 experiences "stickiness" in steering. It has 59,000 miles and the problem has been gradually increasing. I have not noticed any differences in the steering response with increased ambient heat, but it does seem to be worse when at higher speeds.

- Springfield, OR, USA

problem #104

Apr 112011


  • 45,000 miles
When you turn the steering wheel right or left it sticks when you try to turn back to center and requires extra effort to move the wheel. The problem seems to get worse when temperatures get warmer (75 degrees or higher). I'm concerned that I may not be able to turn the wheel if this problem gets worse and I'm not sure if the car is safe enough to drive, especially at higher speeds.

- North Collins, NY, USA

problem #103

Apr 092011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 37,000 miles


Steering extremely sticky when car temperature is hot. Steering will not self center.

- Summerville, SC, USA

problem #102

Mar 282011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 19,000 miles
I have read reports that nhsta has received numerous reports of 2003-2004 BMW Z4's with powersteering issues. My 2004 Z4 has this issue as well. The steering seems to bind and the severity is increased as speed increases. While driving on the freeway on a recent trip I had to exert a good amount of force to stay out of the other lanes. I am 5'10 - 200 lbs. My concern is that slighter persons may not be able to handle the steering problems. I fear someone might be injured if the issue is not fixed immediately. Hopefully a recall can be generated before casualties occour.

- Kapolei, HI, USA

problem #101

Mar 192011


  • 64,000 miles
Driving the car on a relatively warm day (70 degrees) with top down, the power steering became very stiff and steering the car became difficult. A noise was also heard when trying to steer the car. 20 minutes after this the check tire pressure warning light came on. I stopped at a service station to check tire pressure but it was fine. Stopped, started the car several times without any help. Next morning, the problem disappeared completely. I manually reset the tire pressure warning light and since then the problem hasn't come back.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #100

Jan 302011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
Sticky steering when temperature is elevated. When the car is parked in the sun and warms up, the steering wheel becomes sticky leading to an increased effort to move the wheel and makes it easy to overcorrect.

- Los Gatos, CA, USA

problem #99

Feb 182011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
I own a 2004 BMW Z4. While driving the car last evening I noticed the steering wheel felt like it was sticking as I tried to turn the wheel. I T was so bad at one point that I strugled to steer the car around a curve. When it stuck, it caused me to oversteer throwing my car into oncoming traffic. Fortunately no cars were coming and a dissaster was avoided. This is not the first time this occured. It appears to be intermittent. The BMW dealer can not find any thing wrong. A source of this problem needs to be determined before people get killed.

- Holly Springs, NC, USA

problem #98

Jan 262011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 67,500 miles
I have a 2004 BMW Z4 with 67,517 miles. Ever since I have owned it, it has had a "twitchy" feel to the steering, which I have been told is due to electric steering in this vehicle. However, the problem has become more pronounced lately. Any unevenness in the surface of the road will cause the tires to jerk to one side or the other, requiring constant steering adjustments to keep the car going where you want it to. The only way it will track in a straight line is on a perfectly smooth road. I have tried jacking up the car and flexing the tires back and forth manually to see if there is any looseness in the steering, but I haven't found any. I'm afraid that one day I will find myself on a really rough road and be unable to control the car. I have noted that lots of other Z4 owners have reported steering problems, so BMW needs to issue a recall to address it.

- Alexander, AR, USA

problem #97

May 022010


  • 28,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 BMW Z4. The contact stated that while driving approximately 45 mph and trying to make a turn, it suddenly became difficult to steer. The vehicle was inspected by a dealer who could not diagnose the problem. The vehicle had not been repaired for the power steering. The failure mileage was approximately 28,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Christiansburg, VA, USA

problem #96

Jun 012008


  • 5,000 miles
2004 BMW Z4 - regardless of the conditions, the steering wheel is "notchy" or sticky while driving straight down the road. Naturally, when driving down a road, you are required to make minor rotational movements with the steering wheel to remain in a driving lane. In order to keep the vehicle in the lane with this sticky steering wheel, extra force is required to rotate the steering wheel, causing the driver to swerve slightly. This problem is a major concern as sometimes it becomes problematic and dangerous when the wheel sticks around turns and narrows lanes. Dealership states this is "normal" and has not been resolved.

- Cypress, TX, USA

problem #95

Jun 152010


  • 52,500 miles
2004 BMW Z4 'sticky steering'; follow up to earlier complaint, in response to BMW letter of 9/24. BMW describes the condition as a gradual increase in steering effort noticeable when the car is first driven off, and not a significant increase in effort. This is incorrect. Not a gradual increase in effort, but an unexpected 'catch' that occurs, for example, when changing lanes.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #94

Nov 072010


  • 24,000 miles
A year or so ago I noticed the steering on my BMW Z4 would get "notchy" and feel "sticky" at the end of the day. Eventually I was able to recognize the problem would occur when parked outside in direct sunlight. I found it odd this would be brought on by time in the sun, but after some research online discovered many people with similar complaints. Unfortunately it appeared experiences with BMW service varied, and since my car was out of warranty a "fix" would be a replacement of the steering column at the tune of 3-4 thousand dollars. When I heard this issue was under investigation I decided to wait for a decision as it seemed likely such issues with steering would be addressed. I have followed the case closely and have been reading BMW's responses to NHTSA. Several of their arguments against addressing this are especially disturbing. BMW appears to recognize the issue, but claims the effect is "minor". I am not an expert and cannot say whether it presents risk, but as a driver I can tell you any steering effects are disturbing and distracting. BMW claims the effect only occurs during specific/limited conditions - high ambient temperatures and direct sunlight. What really upsets me about this statement is that it's a convertible sports car marketed for these conditions, so while they may be "specific and limited", they are primary conditions for this car. Finally, BMW claims this is not an issue of safety, but one of quality. From my perspective, there are some subsystems where quality should not be compromised, and steering should be considered one of these. I do believe this is a safety issue, and anxiously await NHTSA findings in hopes I can have this safety issue addressed by BMW. I sincerely hope this issue is not swept under the rug and the manufacturer takes responsibility for the quality and safety of their automobiles.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

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