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

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2003 BMW Z4 Owner Comments (Page 8 of 14)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #124

May 012008

Z4 6-cyl

  • 22,000 miles


During warmer weather the steering is jerky and the car does not track straight causing the car to wander back and forth on the road. If the road has a crown it causes the car to pull to one side or the other sending it toward the oncomming traffic occasionally. The steering also feels 'center locked' so that an amount of force greater than normal is required to change course of the vehicle, then once it starts turning (should be gradual as for course corrections), the car lunges in the direction that you are trying to gradually take. As mentioned earlier, this occurs in warmer weather and is not as noticible in cooler weather.

- Prattville, AL, USA

problem #123

Jul 172011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
The steering on my 2003 BMW Z4 2.5L is very sticky. It feels as if there is pine-tar in the linkage. I have to be very careful to not over correct or else risk running off a bridge or into the car in the next lane. This is very serious. I only drive this convertible on sunny days, so I couldn't say if weather has any affect.

- Gig Harbor, WA, USA

problem #122

Jun 062011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 33,900 miles
BMW Z4 roadster, steering wheel play and sticking.

- Robbinsville, NC, USA

problem #121

Jul 042008


  • 25,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 BMW Z4. The contact stated while driving 65 mph the steering failed and the contact was unable to completely make a turn which caused her to swerve into the next lane. The failure occurred intermittently and the hot weather was a factor. The vehicle was taken to a BMW specialist who located the failure within the steering column. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 25,000 and the current mileage was 35,000.

- Avon , OH, USA

problem #120

Jul 122011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
BMW X4 2003 60,1000 miles- electronic power stering is sticky- eratic - safety concen= had problem to control he car- environmental condictions are very hot.

- Annsiton, AL, USA

problem #119

Jan 012009

Z4 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The steering in the 2003 BMW Z4 is extremely notchy, or sticky. The issue is considerably worse on warmer days, however, it is not limited to only happening in warm weather. Recently, the steering has become much worse, almost locking in place while turning. Even while attempting to make minor corrections in steering due to curves in the road, the wheel will lock up and then jerk the car violently when it does allow the correction to be made. It is only a matter of time before this issue causes a fatality. BMW has denied any issue or recall and has refused to comment regarding others' complaints of the same problem.

- Covington, LA, USA

problem #118

Jul 082011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 42,600 miles


Power steering seems to be sticking at higher speeds, 45 and above on my 2003 Z4. Car only has 42000 miles, its new to me.

- Westbrook, ME, USA

problem #117

Jul 052003


  • miles
I am having a problem with the steering on my 2003 BMW Z4. I constantly must keep the steering wheel centered as it sticks to one side then the other as I drive. It wants to go right or left and I need to try to keep it going straight.

- Watertown, NY, USA

problem #116

Jul 062003

Z4 6-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
Sometimes when I go over a depression or rough area in the road the car will veer into the other lane. (cross the center line) I also feel the steering wheel sticking. You can turn the wheel to left or right and the car will continue in that direction even when there is no pressure on the wheel?

- Antlers, OK, USA

problem #115

Aug 012004

Z4 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 BMW Z4. The contact stated that when driving at speeds above 60 mph or when driving in high temperatures above 80 degrees the power steering would fail, making it difficult to steer. The dealer did not offer any assistance. The manufacturer was aware of the failure. No repairs were performed. The approximate failure mileage was 10,000. The current mileage was 43,000. Updated 8/29/11 the consumer also stated the traction control light would illuminate. Updated 09/26/11

- Wallace, ID, USA

problem #114

Apr 032010

Z4 6-cyl

  • 20,000 miles


Sticky steering wheel on 2003 BMW Z4. Feels as if its hard to change directions when the car is warmed up or when it has been sitting in the sun. Its almost like a magnetic resistance. The force required to turn the wheel is 3-4X normal and is intermittent so it is a major safety problem imo. If you are in a corner and don't expect it, it can be quite hard to change directions on the wheel, and possibly can overcorrect.

- Niskayuna, NY, USA

problem #113

Jun 142011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 19,000 miles
My 2003 BMW Z4 automobile has the same problem as numerous other owners of this vehicle have. The steering mechanism "sticks or partially locks when driving. On occasion it tends to pull to the left at most speeds causing concern regarding highway driving. There are numerous examples of the exact same problem from other 2003 Z4 owners. In some case there were close calls in averting head on crashes when driving on two lane highways due to the steering pull to the left side. This seems to be a problem unique to the 2003 Z4 series which has electronic steering. It apparently gets worse with time. My Z4 has less than 21,000 miles.

- Pewaukee, WI, USA

problem #112

May 182011


  • 58,300 miles
My son and I purchased a used 2003 BMW Z4 with only 57,000 miles on it. It had a slight pull to the right so we decided to have an alignment done. The BMW dealership that we took it to said that the alignment was ok and that the electric steering motor was probably going bad. They wanted $ $3,500 to repair it. Since the pulling to the right was very slight I asked if the car was safe to drive since it my son that will driving the car. They said that the car was safe to drive. After arriving home we did some research and found that this was a common problem with these cars. I called the dealership and spoke with our service adviser and he acted like he was totally unaware of it being a problem and again assured us that the car was safe. On the way home form work my son was driving at highway speeds and had a loss of power steering. The steering had a dead spot at the center position. I then did more research and found that there is an investigation on these cars for the same problem my son is having with his car. I talked to other independent repair shops and they won't even get involved in repairing this because the cars still have problems after being repaired. I then called the BMW dealership and asked him if the problem has been solved or are they just installing a new part that is the same as the old part and will fail again. He said he would get back to me. And surprise he has not. We would not mind so much as to spend $3500 to have a potentially deadly problem fixed, but to just have the same problem again it truly unfair. Something needs to be done about this. I have found out that they no longer use this type of steering system. I assume that they just want this problem to go away as the cars get older and sold to people like us with no warranty. Original owners probably know of the problem and won't mention the problem so not to hurt resale value.

- York Haven , PA, USA

problem #111

May 182011


  • 70,000 miles
2003 BMW 2.5L Z4 steering locks and requires excessive force to move wheel while driving. Problem appears to be worse on hot days. No corrective action to date.

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #110

Jun 192009


  • 60,000 miles
2003 BMW Z4 sticky steering. When I drive my 2003 BMW Z4 during warm weather, the steering wheel sticks. It is hard to turn the steering wheel. This leads to very dangerous driving conditions. It is sometimes hard to turn the steering wheel, as it feels like it is sticky/stuck.

- York, PA, USA

problem #109

Aug 202010


  • miles
The steering begins to feel sticky. It is hard to make steering corrections during normal driving without jerking the wheel either left of right. This appears to happen most often during warm weather. I noticed it last night during the cool of the evening, however. It was under 60 degrees at the time.

- Rochester, WA, USA

problem #108

Jun 012011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 16 miles
I own a 2003 BMW Z4 that is in excellent condition with has 27,000 miles on it and that I"ve have had since it was new. The car has never driven in winter and kept in a heated garage. I just got the car back from BMW service and repair. When the car was new, every once and a while the steering would get sticky or notchy, and extra force would have to be used to break the steering wheel loose and turn the wheel. It was very intermittent and happened very infrequently when new; however, the last year or so it has gotten much worse and happens whenever the car is driven. I recently took it to a dealer for repair and got it back yesterday. The dealer replaced part of the steering column at a cost of over $3,000. It seems to have corrected the problem. I called BMW customer service to see if they would do something and assist with the repair cost and they basically gave me the finger because the car is out of warranty. From reading on-line there is definitely a problem with the steering on these cars, otherwise so many people would not be complaining about the same thing. I don?T understand why BMW won?T admit there is a problem with the steering on these cars and step up to plate when it comes to the repair" these are not inexpensive Kia!!! BMW is really hurting their customer relations with the individuals who own these cars. I know that this incident has damaged their reputation with me. My wife owns a Ford edge and we were thinking of replacing it with a new X3 next spring. Well guess what!!!!

- Oswego, NY, USA

problem #107

Jun 152004


  • 10 miles
The contact owns a 2003 BMW Z4. While the contact was driving approximately 65 mph, the steering wheel locked temporarily without any prior warning. The intermittent failure would occur at various speeds whenever the vehicle was in operation. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnosis and repair. The manufacturer was made aware of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 10. The VIN was unavailable.

- Oswego , NY, USA

problem #106

Jun 022011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
The steering wheel on my car sticks and does not return when I turn a corner. This also happens when I am going straight and try to correct a little bit. If I were to turn the wheel a couple of degrees and let go of the wheel the car would go right into oncoming traffic or go off the road. Warmer temperatures seem to make the problem worse.

- East Northport, NY, USA

problem #105

May 262011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 48,211 miles
2003 BMW Z4 erratic steering when driving. The steering control fluctuates between easy and more difficult in required effort to move wheel.

- Columbia, MO, USA

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