really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
48,643 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 11 of 17)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #132

Jul 082008

Z4 6-cyl

  • 12,000 miles


Steering sticks in straight position. Brought to dealer a few years ago and told nothing is wrong. Started driving again after a few years due to surgery, problem persists brought to repair shop, bad steering system. Acts up more in warm weather more so then in cool morning. Almost hit another car on highway, problem staying in lane. Told this is normal and has been approved by NHTSA. Dealer wants almost $5,000 to fix, I will have to sell car.

- Carmel, IN, USA

problem #131

Jul 012011

Z4 6-cyl

  • miles
Steering problems when the outside temp. Is hot (85+) the steering sticks and requires considerable force to keep from running into on coming traffic or off the road I first noticed it after I bought it two weeks ago around 7-1 the car has about 50,500 miles on

- Owens Crossroads , AL, USA

problem #130

Jun 132008


  • 53,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 BMW Z4. The contact stated that when the vehicle was sitting idle for long periods, the steering wheel would become tight and would not operate properly. When the contact was finally able to maneuver the steering wheel it would only move in one direction. Once the vehicle was turned on and warm, the steering wheel would operate normally. The vehicle was taken to a personal mechanic who confirmed that the failure was within the steering column, but was non-repairable. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was 25,000 and the current mileage was 53,000.

- Old Tappan , NJ, USA

problem #129

Jun 012011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles


Vehicle has a steering issue where it becomes 'sticky'; it holds very tightly to the center position and is difficult to turn. Once it 'breaks free', it turns suddenly and is very difficult to control. The behavior is intermittent and tends to exhibit itself on hot days.

- Savage, MN, USA

problem #128

Jun 152011


  • 62,500 miles
While operating vehicle on the highway, I encountered that the electrical power steering became stuck several times when turning the vehicle. This only seems to occur when the ambient temperature is high (<80 degrees Fahrenheit), especially during the summer season. This reoccurring problem has caused several situations that could have lead to potential crashes.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #127

Jun 222011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 22,000 miles
What does it take to fix a 2004 BMW Z4 that has notchy/sticky steering the car has 23000 miles on it appears to happen when the car is driven for 15-20 miles (is temp a problem) and why isn't there a recall on this problem this problem is very common and costly in the $3500-4000 range the steering column has to be replaced the car was purchased at BMW of chattanooga tenn in April of 2010 now I believe the car was sold to me with the steering problem it could easy cause a head on crash or you asked this BMW question on 6/24/2011 for $18.

- Chattanooga, TN, USA

problem #126

Jun 112011


  • 72,001 miles


The power steering becomes "sticky" in warm weather. There is no problem with the steering in cool weather. I keep the car in covered parking at most times making the steering only slightly sticky although enough to make freeway driving a constant state of over-correction to keep the car in a lane. On one occasion I left the car parked in full sunshine on a 100 degree day and the power steering did not work at all at highway speed making the car unsafe to drive.

- Euless, TX, USA

problem #125

Jun 112011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 65,128 miles
My 2004 BMW Z4 experiences steering problems when the weather is hot. The steering becomes sticky and difficult to manage. It returns to normal after it sits int he shade. It is extremely unsafe to drive when the weather is hot. Although I am reporting this today it has been occurring off and on for over a year. I purchased the car in 2009 and do not drive it very much-5,000 miles since purchasing it. Would drive more if steering was not an issue.

- Pawley's Island, SC, USA

problem #124

Jun 072011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 91,000 miles
1. steering sticks when the temp. Is around 80 degrees. 2. the steering becomes very sticking or slightly locked and requires extra force to correct, which sends the car off course. It seems to happen in warmer temps and higher speeds. 3. nothing has yet to be done. I took it to the dealer but they told me they couldn't replicate it. This seems like it should be a no brainer to have a recall. It is very dangerous to have your wheel lock on you when you're traveling 55mph.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #123

Jan 172006


  • miles
On my 2004 BMW Z4 3.0I, on hot days my steering wants to stick and I have to use much more force than I usually have to make the steering move. In the winter I tend to not have this problem as much, but in the summer (I live in Texas) it gets very hot and the steering wants to stick more. This is a problem that needs to be fixed!! there are hundreds of other Z4 drivers that have the same exact problem as me.

- Cibolo, TX, USA

problem #122

May 012011


  • 45,000 miles


Steering becomes unsafe in hot weather, steering will not center, and car is very hard to control, when you turn right or left steering will stick and cause you to over steer, and causes a very dangerous situation.

- Lexington, TN, USA

problem #121

Mar 012010

Z4 6-cyl

  • 51,000 miles
2004 BMW Z4. Electric power steering on warm days will become chunky or notchy in feeling and requires excessive effort to steer the car. This can cause more steering input than is required and when the steering catches up the car can react more than intended. Very dangerous and needs to be recalled even for multiple owner cars.

- West Chester, PA, USA

problem #120

May 302011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
2004 BMW Z4. Electric power steering on warm days will become chunky or notchy in feeling and requires excessive effort to steer the car. This can cause more steering input than is required and when the steering catches up the car can react more than intended. Very dangerous and needs to be recalled even for multiple owner cars.

- South Charleston, WV, USA

problem #119

Jul 012008

Z4 6-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
Several years ago, I noticed that my 2004 BMW Z4 lost its otherwise smooth steering after being parked in the sun on hot days. The steering would become sticky and required extra and inconsistent effort to make low-speed as well higher-speed turns. This occurred most frequently during the initial part of the turn rather than well into it. These events were infrequent as I rarely park out in the sun, but very disconcerting. When I had the car in for regular service to the dealer I complained about the phenomenon but always got the "can?T reproduce the problem? and ?it?S normal? response. This spring, however, I have had the ?sticky? problem on several of the hotter days even though I park in a garage which has me very concerned that the problem has gotten worse. Internet research has revealed that NHTSA has an active investigation into this issue and various forums report similar or more severe experiences. I read that BMW has responded to NHTSA that this is primarily a ?comfort? issue, but I strongly disagree. Driving is highly instinctual, developed through experience " having your steering wheel suddenly hit a sticky point in mid-turn can easily trigger an adverse reaction such as forcing over-steering resulting in leaving the roadbed. Although I have been fortunate to not experience that, I must be much more diligent, alert and on-edge.

- Oakton, VA, USA

problem #118

Apr 282011


  • 67,000 miles
Sticky steering problem making it difficult to drive.

- Texarkana, TX, USA

problem #117

May 172011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 81,896 miles
I have an '04 BMW Z4 and am having problems with the steering. I've been reading online that many other Z4 owners are experiencing the same problems that I am which include; difficulty keeping the wheel straight, having to use a lot of force to make steering adjustments, and constant pulling to the right/left while driving. These problems occur every time I drive my vehicle. I recently took it to a local mechanic, who said the problem was pretty bad. I am waiting to hear his exact diagnosis and should hear from him on Monday 5/23/11 as I dropped it off fri 5/20/11. I have not wrecked the vehicle due to these problems however I have had some close calls. Fortunately I am a very attentive driver otherwise there may very well been an accident.

- Corpus Christi , TX, USA

problem #116

May 042011


  • 28,200 miles
Pushed brakes hard for a near emergency stop and the vehicle careened to the right and almost ran off the road. This vehicle has had many instances of attempting to drive itself off the road, the terminology for groups with this type of car is "tramlining". I thought it odd that so many people could have the same problem that a term would be applied to the problem. I feel that this defect has the potential to cause a serious and possibly fatal accident.

- Euclid, OH, USA

problem #115

May 052011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
BMW Z4 2004 vehicle exhibits sticky and notchy steering at high (85 or 90deg F +) outside temperature. Steering becomes extremely difficult and dangerous. The issue only effects owners in locations with high temperatures and during the summer months and therefore the occurrence of the issue is intermittent and difficult to diagnose. This issue needs to become a recall as it is a very dangerous situation even if it is only happening to a minority of Z4 owners.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #114

May 152010


  • 40,000 miles
Beginning early in 2010, we began to notice that the steering, particularly at speed, was 'sticky'; eg, it would take more force to turn the wheel and then it would break free of the sticky and turn. It behaves as though it sticks when the wheel isn't being turned, but then moves freely once it turns. The result is erratic steering, particularly in a highway situation where small corrections are needed. In traffic, on a multilane highway, this behavior causes the car to be hard to keep smoothly in lane; there were several times that the rumble strip was encountered due to overcorrecting the steering. Warmer temperatures tend to make the problem worse. I have read on numerous BMW forums of others having very similar problems with this with this vintage of Z4; apparently the only solution is to replace a $2500 steering unit if the dealer can be convinced there actually is a problem. I have jacked the vehicle up and 'felt' the steering with the car 'off', but the switch on to release the wheel lock, and that stiction (my physics background is showing) was somewhat evident (to a much smaller level than experienced in normal driving on a warm day) even with no load on the steering and at a normal room temperature. This is a very serious safety issue and I hesitate to drive the vehicle in this condition.

- Underhill, VT, USA

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

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