really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
48,495 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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 BMW Z4:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 BMW Z4 Owner Comments (Page 6 of 14)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #164

Jul 022012


  • miles


The steering seems to lock up making it hard to steer. Seems rather dangerous since you have to move the wheel hard either to the left or right. Wondering why there isn't a recall on this.

- Kettle Falls, WA, USA

problem #163

Jul 022011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
The vehicle was parked in the sun with temperatures over 88 degrees. At 2 pm, I drove the vehicle on the highway at 60mph while rounding a slight bend to the left. The steering wheel would not turn under a slight effort so I made an additional effort. Suddenly, the resistance is completely absent resulting in a sharp veer to the left changing lanes. Fortunately, there was not another car in the left lane. I immediately corrected and returned to my original lane. Within 15 to 20 seconds, the situation repeats. I tried turning on the sport feature which is suppose to provide more resistance but the same event occurs. It only happens in hot weather when the vehicle is sitting in the sun for 4 or more hours and it is above 88 degrees. In order to compensate, I drive in one gear lower, say 4th, and constantly shimmy the wheel to avoid loss of control. It's similar to snow skiing with the vehicle catching an edge or groove it does not want to get out of. It continues to drive in the same previous direction as you apply additional effort. Suddenly, the wheel gives and it's as if the power steering assist is suddenly amplified, what you would normally need at 5mph, not 60mph. As you finish the bend, it continues to stay locked in the turning position. So, additional effort must be made to straighten out the vehicle and again the steering wheel fights your efforts only to suddenly give when you least expect it. You struggle to keep the car in your lane the entire time and from the rear, the vehicle appears erratic and swerving from side to side. That was my first summer with the car and it is currently at the dealer where hopefully my extended warranty will apply.

- Saint Charles, MO, USA

problem #162

Jun 202012

Z4 6-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
While driving the steering gets very hard to steer.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #161

Jun 152011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 39,000 miles


Over the course of the last year, the steering in my BMW Z-4 has felt like I have to fight to stay on the road. It is jerking & pulling the car off center making it very difficult to drive and feel safe. The steering wheel also "sticks" rather than rotating smoothly when I turn to the left or right. This condition is progressively getting worse, I was driving on the interstate last week at approx. 55 miles/hour and several times the car swerved hard pulling me into the next lane of traffic coming very close to causing an accident.

- Gig Harbor, WA, USA

problem #160

Apr 022007

Z4 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
The steering sticks and is hard to control. The steering seems to have lobes/sticking points in the steering and sticks at certain points and then lets go making it hard to control. The vehicle is very hard to steer and has jerky catching points as you move the wheel while going down the road.

- Atlantic, IA, USA

problem #159

May 022011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
I have noticed that when the outside temperature is over 90 degrees my steering sticks and you have to jerk the wheel to get it to unstick. It especially noticeable when you are taking a gradual curve and you try to straighten out the car. I have been told it is likely the electronic power steering but have not had it checked. It is so dangerous that I will not drive in hot weather until I get it fixed... I just can't afford several thousand in repair bills. Btw, there are only 23,000 miles on the car and I have had it since it was new.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #158

Apr 152011


  • 33,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 BMW Z4. While driving approximately 55 mph, the contact noticed that the steering wheel began to stick and jerk to the sides on its own. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for a diagnostic test. There was an investigation under NHTSA action number: PE10020 (steering:column steering:electric power assist system) that may be related to the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 33,000.

- Shallotte, NC, USA

problem #157

Jun 102011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 74,100 miles
On this particular occasion, the electric steering binds or gets stuck while in center position and makes it difficult or impairs the ability to change lanes on the highway. On this occasion, I was travling at a relatively low speed and was changing lanes and because of the steering problem I jerked the vehicle and hit a car in the other lane causing minor damage to my vehicle. This problem comes and goes and gets worst in the warm to hot weather. I have contacted BMW in both Massachusetts and Florida with no help from dealers. My vehicle has 79,000 on it now which isnt a lot of miles for a 2003.

- Ludlow, MA, USA

problem #156

Feb 292012

Z4 6-cyl

  • 71,132 miles
The steering wheel will stick to the right and left in warm weather. It causes the handling of the vehicle to be very difficult.

- Diamond Bar, CA, USA

problem #155

Jul 012011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
Bought this car in June 2011 with approximately 86000, so it is very possible the problem had shown up prior to this date/mileage. During very hot days, the steering "sticks" and is difficult to start movement, resulting in jerkiness and swerving on the road. Once motion on the steering wheel is initiated, it is possible to continue movement smoothly. But when you stop movement, it will stick again. This makes it very tedious and annoying and possibly even unsafe to make even just the normal constant minor adjustments while driving straight. Often times, jumping from one side of my lane to the other, and back.

- Orange Park, FL, USA

problem #154

Apr 162009


  • 74,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 BMW Z4. The contact stated that when driving at various speeds, the steering wheel would seize abnormally. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The current and failure mileages were 74,000.

- Blusf City, TN, USA

problem #153

Apr 022012


  • 52,000 miles
Dps failure. Light stays on and steering is impossible. Dealer said $3,000 to replace steering column.

- Commerce, MI, USA

problem #152

Mar 142012

Z4 6-cyl

  • 80,885 miles
When driving at speeds above 40 mph steering has definite sticking spots creating hazardous control. This problem is not predictable sometimes drives fine other times with no warning problem occurs, making the safety issue even more grave. Fear of lane swerve and possible collision. BMW service could not replicate problem and says they have no knowledge of a problem existing. Upon investigation it seems I am in a large group of BMW Z4 owners experiencing this steering problem. I urge you to investigate this issue before someone is hurt, maimed or even killed.

- Evening Shade, AR, USA

problem #151

Jun 042010

Z4 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
I have been having difficulty with the steering system on my Z4. This began several years ago and has been intermittent at first but the degree of difficulty in the steering has been increasing from month to month and where it now is beginning to feel unsafe. The steering sticks while navigating through curves and does not always return to neutral position. Othertimes, it sticks and one needs to pull it back to correct the steering. It is quite unsafe and my wife and I are very concerned, not only for our safety, but also others who may be victimized by head on collisions. After checking out my compliant with my BMW certified mechanic, he tells me there is a real problem with the steering mechanism on this car and checking through the mechanic's web site, there appears to be no one that knows how to repair the system, short of taking out the entire steering column and replacing with a new one. The cost of this would amount to $3,000 or more. The mechanics feel this is a poor steering design and should be fixed by BMW. He told me to be very careful when driving this car for it is possible the entire system could break down at any moment.

- Bradenton, FL, USA

problem #150

Jul 052008

Z4 6-cyl

  • miles
Steering is sticking badly. Inspected by independent mechanic and told is defective and unsafe. With the vehicle under 20,000 miles the mechanic said is clearly a defect with the electronic steering.

- Safety Harbour, FL, USA

problem #149

Oct 152011

Z4 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 BMW Z4. The contact stated that while driving 55 mph, the steering would drift from side to side. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that the steering column needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 80,000 and the current mileage was 81,000. Updated 03/21/12 updated 05/11/12

- Greenville , SC, USA

problem #148

Jul 182006

Z4 6-cyl

  • 12,441 miles
I purchased the vehicle new and 3 years after purchasing the vehicle, the steering became extremely tight with a lot of resistance in the steering wheel while driving. This "sticking" steering wheels makes the vehicle difficult to drive and hard to keep from wandering. I took it to the dealer, it was still under warranty, and the steering mechanism was found to be defective and was replaced. Several years later and now out of warranty, I noticed this same problem started back up. It should be noted that I would rarely drive the vehicle and have only put 4000 miles since 7/06) the past several years. At this point, I do not drive the vehicle due to this problem the problem seems to be worse as the outside temperature increases. This defect makes the vehicle dangerous to drive since the vehicle tends to wander back and force due to the steering wheel sticking. The repair is in the thousands of dollars and I have been hoping for a recall since I have read of many other owners experiencing this same dangerous problem.

- Moorpark, CA, USA

problem #147

Jul 012011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
When the car stay outdoor for a long time on hot sunny day, the steering wheel become very hard to turn. It is noticeable at any speed. Highway speed is dangerous because the car is hard to keep on a straight line. The problem does not appear when the weather is cold. I bought the car from usa but I live in Canada. The addressee that I wrote is where the car was bought new. Sorry for my poor english.

- Farmington Hills, MI, USA

problem #146

Jan 142012

Z4 6-cyl

  • 79,216 miles
The steering on my 2003 BMW Z4 is very erratic. The car feels like it wants to turn itself left or right, and often feels like it is fighting itself to turn. When driving over the slightest uneven road, the steering will pull and swerve on it's own. At slow speeds, it requires constant attention to keep the vehicle driving in a straight line. At highway speeds it has become a white knuckled scary experience. Under breaking, the car will swerve immediately to the left or right.

- Puyallup, WA, USA

problem #145

Jul 012006


  • 12,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 BMW Z4. The contact stated that the steering wheel was difficult to maneuver in a straight position when driving at highway speeds of 60 mph and above. The failure recurred most often when driving in warmer weather. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer on numerous occasions and various repairs were performed. The steering box was replaced, but the failure continued. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 12,000.

- Canton, CT, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?