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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 12 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #73

Aug 092010


  • 44,200 miles


The contact owns a 2004 BMW Z4. The contact stated that the steering wheel would become extremely stiff when driving in very hot temperatures. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer or a mechanic for a diagnosis of the failure. The manufacturer advised having a diagnostic test performed on the vehicle at the contact's expense. No further assistance was offered. The failure was approximately 44,200 and the current mileage was approximately 44,300.

- Harvest, AL, USA

problem #72

Aug 072010


  • 17,000 miles
Steering becomes sticky in hot weather. The steering wheel feels notchy and does not respond immediately when turned - feels like it is stuck in center position. Aggressive movement restores response but condition remains present. Situation noticed at highway speeds in 90 deg. Weather.

- Escondido, CA, USA

problem #71

Jul 282010


  • 39,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 BMW Z4. While the contact was driving approximately 55 mph, the steering wheel became extremely difficult to turn. The failure occurred when traveling the speed rate of 45 mph and higher. The contact would not drive on the highway due to the steering failure. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnosis. The failure was contributed to the power steering and steering column. The parts estimated cost was $3,000. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The failure mileage was 39,000.

- Venus, FL, USA

problem #70

Jan 152010


  • 24,000 miles


When the steering wheel is centered while driving, it takes some effort to make a steering adjustment such as keeping the car centered in the driving lane. The steering wheel seems to be stuck and to over come this one must over-steer the car and then bring it back to center. Some times this results in an abrupt over turn and causes the car to almost lurch out of the driving lane.

- Nenice, FL, USA

problem #69

Aug 102004


  • 5,000 miles
2004 BMW Z4 3.0. the steering is sticky when ambient temp over 90 degrees outside. Dealer states no problem. Read the news and saw the NHTSA is investigating. You guys are welcome to drive mine to see the problem in action. When it is hot outside (as it often is in jacksonville, fl) the car is difficult to drive in a straight line because of the "sticky steering."

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #68

Jul 042010


  • 33,000 miles
My 2004 BMW Z4 has 33,000 miles on it. Within the last 1,000 miles it has developed a problem with sticky or ratchet-like steering which has caused me to oversteer at times. It is worse when the weather is hot. I am becoming afraid to drive it. Apparently this is a common flaw. BMW needs to act. Thank you!

- Carlisle, PA, USA

problem #67

Aug 012010


  • 51,000 miles


2004 BMW Z4-sticky steering-power steering sticks, seams to be worse in hotter weather, causes you to overcorrect when driving and this happens, I can see where this can be very dangerous if you are not really paying attention. Or could cause total loss of control given the right circumstances.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #66

Jul 052010


  • 75,000 miles
If my car vehicle has been sitting in the sun for an extended period of time, increased force is required to turn the steering wheel. There doesn't appear to be any problems at lower temperatures or after the car has been parked in the garage overnight. The steering wheel sticks/binds or locks up, and requires a lot of effort to move which results in overcorrecting which produces severe over or under-steer. The problem is most noticeable at speeds over 50mph.

- Langley, 00, USA

problem #65

Jul 192010


  • 81,000 miles
Steering sticks on hot days or cool days after sitting in traffic. Requires extra effort to move the wheel which then breaks "free" and tends to over react causing lane retention issues at highway speeds.

- Seabrook, TX, USA

problem #64

Jul 292010


  • 21,000 miles
When temperature is hot outside the electric steering in my BMW Z becomes extremely tight. Any attempts tp correct the steering results in a jerky movement the car is very difficult to maneuver at any speed.

- Norridge, IL, USA

problem #63

Jul 182009


  • 25,200 miles


In warm weather, at highway speeds the power steering sticks and the wheel does not return to the neutral position on it's own. At times the wheel seems to turn on it's own and you must constantly have a firm grip on the steering wheel ready to correct any unwanted movement.

- Saint John, 00, USA

problem #62

Jul 152010


  • 18,000 miles
1. the vehicle was parked all day outdoors on a hot sunny July day in temecula, ca. While driving it home on I15 at approximately 70 mph, the steering wheel became much more difficult to turn and would not stay on center, making it challenging to simply stay within my lane. This lasted for 10-15 minutes, then the steering returned to normal. Fortunately, this section of freeway is relatively straight and the traffic happened to be moderate. 2. this failure has occurred only once in the 6 weeks I have owned the vehicle. 3. I have not yet taken steps to correct the failure. However, I have searched online for steering issues with this year, make and model and learned that many other owners have experienced exactly the same issue. Those who have attempted to have the issue corrected by their local dealership say the repair reportedly involves replacing the entire steering column at a cost of nearly $4000. My vehicle has under 20,000 miles but is beyond the 48 month warranty period. Having read recently in the newspaper that NHTSA is investigating power steering issues in 2003-2005 BMW Z4's, I am trying to find out if there is a known solution to this problem that is less costly or that is covered by the manufacturer before committing to a $4000 repair on a low-mileage used vehicle that I only recently purchased.

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

problem #61

Jul 262010


  • 9,870 miles
In hot weather, steering gets sticky and car becomes more difficult to control. Had repaired once but problem continues. Vehicle has less than 10,000 miles.

- Boonton, NJ, USA

problem #60

Jul 222010


  • 30,000 miles
My complaint is that the steering wheel feels like it binds when turning and also feels notchy and will not return to center when turn is completed. Mostly when outdoor temp is warmer than 80 degrees.

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #59

Jun 202010


  • 55,000 miles
When my Z4 has been sitting in direct sun for a while the steering becomes sticky. Making it very difficult to drive. Causing the car to swerve into other lanes. BMW have quoted 3500 to replace the steering column, I'm currently negotiating with them to reduce this cost.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #58

Jul 112010


  • 54,100 miles
Steering is sometimes "sticky" -- when the steering wheel is turned from its current static position, higher than normal resistance to turning is felt. Once the initial resistance is overcome, the resistance lessens, resulting in a tendency to turn the wheel further than was intended. This makes it difficult to smoothly steer the car on its intended path and results in the car wandering from side to side. The problem is intermittent and seems to happen only in hot weather. No repairs have been implemented yet to the vehicle (I have only recently acquired it).

- New Market, AL, USA

problem #57

Jul 072010


  • 58,000 miles
2004 BMW Z4 sticky steering when it's hot out. Something with the power steering or some other steering component makes it so that the steering wheel takes extra force to initiate a change in the position of the wheel. The effect is most noticeable at speeds 35mph or higher, it's most pronounced at highway speeds where minor corrections are important and should not take much force. This could easily result in too much steering force being used in the wrong situation.

- Bremerton, WA, USA

problem #56

Jul 012010


  • 54,250 miles
2004 BMW Z4. My power steering is "sticking" as per the PE 10-020 investigation. Very disconcerting when effort is needed to "break it loose" to turn the wheels. Results in a "jerk" of the car in the direction of the turn.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #55

Jul 092010


  • 41,100 miles
I own a 2004 BMW Z4. I have noticed in the past that the steering "sticks" sometimes on the highway....typical light-touch attempts at straightening out my path don't do anything, the wheel doesn't turn. If I put more pressure than usual into the turn, the car "snaps back" and turns, but turns too far due to all the pressure I'd put on it. It's a real road hazard. I just read in the newspaper about how this is a common problem with them and is being looked into, so I would like to register my official "me too".

- Portsmouth, NH, USA

problem #54

Jul 062010


  • 13,000 miles
Steering wheel "sticks/catches" both to left and right of top center. Problem is only evident when temperatures are above 80F and at speeds above 40 mph. Have experienced this problem since buying the car over two years ago but it is sporadic. Have taken it to the dealer several times but they were not able to duplicate the issue until this week. Dealer was finally able to experience the problem and will replace the entire steering column (scheduled for week of 7/12/2010). BMW will pick up cost of parts but I must pay for labor.

- Wadsworth, OH, USA

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