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 2 of 17)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #312

Jun 012018


  • miles


While driving, the steering wheel sticks in position. It will break loose with very little force. But very irritating. I feel it is a safety concern.

- Hyde Park, UT, USA

problem #311

Jun 292018


  • 57,000 miles
When temperatures are about 75-80 degrees, the steering will "stick" when making minor corrections while driving. Apparently this is a common issue with this BMW make and model. There are 57000 miles on vehicle. It is not noticeable in cooler ambient temperatures.

- Amherst, NY, USA

problem #310

Jun 012011


  • miles
Steering issue: While driving at various speeds and various outside temperatures, the steering will stick, and is not smooth and responsive regardless of the curve degree. The sensation is that the turning of the steering wheel is jerky and requires both hands on the wheel. This safety issue has been ongoing for several years. The car is not driven often as evidenced by mileage, 16,000.

- Clemmons, NC, USA

problem #309

May 192018


  • 52,000 miles


Steering jerky just purchased a used BMW 2004 Z4 only 50,000 miles and drove fine for a few days then it got real hot outside and now the steering is jerking me around. Feels like when I try to keep the car in the lines I am having to fight the steering wheel. Upon researching the problem seems this is a very common dangerous problem and this needs to be recalled. This is going to cause an accident. Very dangerous to have to fight to keep the car in the lines of the road. BMW wants to charge to replace the whole column at $3800. Appears they recalled 2006-2007 BMW other models for this same thing. The 2003-2004 Z4 should also be recalled.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #308

Apr 052017


  • 26,442 miles
Steering is "sticky" and can cause me to swerve out of my lane while driving.

- Madison, AL, USA

problem #307

May 042018


  • 82,000 miles
Driving on interstate 70 in md went to go around a bend in road steering wheel didn't want to turn. I had to jerk the wheel to make the bend thus making me almost hit car beside me. From what I have read this is a known problem by BMW but in 14 years no recall is insane. I am now scared to drive this thing out on a highway again.how many people have to die for this to get fixed

- Brunswick, MD, USA

problem #306

Apr 242018


  • 118,000 miles


While driving the steering 'sticks┐ and requires considerable force to overcome to stay on the road. Several near incidents when it finally un sticks and goes to far in the other direction.. accident waiting to happen. This problem has been going on for quite some time and just keep getting worse.

- Crawfordville, FL, USA

problem #305

Jan 202016


  • 82,000 miles
My car has the commonly reported problem with the electronic power steering unit. I bought the car used in April 2015 from stevens creek BMW. The power steering worked fine. I began to encounter problems in early 2016. The steering began to tighten up and would not allow the wheels to self straighten upon acceleration. I first learned of the problem when entering a freeway from an on ramp. The steering, instead of allowing me to ease gently into a traffic lane, wanted to continue to pull me left into the center divider. I was able to yank the wheel and avoid an accident. I then researched and learned about the common power steering issue and learned that a grease fitting into the steering column could help. I then learned that my vehicle had already been fitted with such a grease fitting. Additional grease then alleviated the problem temporarily. Eventually additional grease became less effective and I learned to drive with steering that was stiff and prone to stickiness. Recently (December 2017), the power steering began to entirely shut off intermittently. It shuts off and then turns on again after restarting the car. The car is therefore no longer drivable for safety reasons. I've learned that the power steering unit needs to be replaced entirely with a part cost of $3,400. Given the broad based occurrence of this issue on 2003-2005 (and even some 2006) cars, this must be seen as a serious product safety defect worthy of a recall by BMW.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #304

Oct 312017


  • 12,200 miles
Steering feels detented, won't return to center and is difficult to manage on a curving road. Very "sticky". many testimonials on the internet relating to this issue. Must be a known problem.

- Ferndale, WA, USA

problem #303

Aug 082017


  • 92,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 BMW Z4. While driving 70 mph, the steering wheel failed and became stuck. The vehicle was taken to a local dealer (BMW of san diego, ar 5090 kearny mesa rd, san diego, ca 92111) where it was diagnosed that the steering column needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified and did not assist. The failure mileage was 92,000.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #302

Sep 082017


  • 34,500 miles


Steering vehicle is not easy to stay straight and in lane. Does not feel like in control of car. Tires are ok and had alignment. Very noticeable on highway.

- Stratford, CT, USA

problem #301

May 282017


  • 43,000 miles
Sticky steering at higher straight-line speeds unsafe to drive!

- Hubertus, WI, USA

problem #300

Apr 282017


  • 62,000 miles
The vehicle has 62,000 miles. The steering is very sticky. It seems to "notch" making it harder to move the wheel. This problem is worse in warmer temperatures.

- Norman, OK, USA

problem #299

Apr 112017


  • 45,042 miles
Anytime ambient temperature is over 80 degrees. Excessive force is required to maintain steering control of vehicle. Vehicle is unsafe to drive.

- Fairfax Station, VA, USA

problem #298

Jun 012014


  • 19,000 miles
Steering becomes very "sticky" during warmer weather. This makes the car hard to drive and even harder to sell. This seems to be a very common problem by searching the internet. We don't drive the car because of this.

- Hickory, NC, USA

problem #297

Feb 152016


  • 37,500 miles
Steering is sticky and notchy at hidhway speeds. Unnoticeable at low speeds, but at highway speeds, it hard to keep the car in your lane. Sticks, then over turns bait, causing an over correction to return. Turning feel no hay as if it was clicking from one notch to another. I don't feel safe driving this car on the highway. The dealer has diagnosed this to be the steering column, which needs to be replace at the cost of $4600. I feel this is a very dangerous situation which needs to be addressed.

- Bradenton, FL, USA

problem #296

May 012016

Z4 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
In warmer weather, the steering becomes "sticky". it seems to be more prevalent while driving on the highway. Very difficult to correct the steering while driving. It's not smooth as it should be. Very dangerous and not fun to drive! I've read a lot of complaints regarding this same issue. Just google it! sounds like a very common problem.

- Gloucester, MA, USA

problem #295

Aug 152016


  • 104,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 BMW Z4. While driving approximately 70 mph, the steering wheel became stuck in the middle. The contact overpowered the steering wheel to the right lane. The contact stated that the failure only occurred when the weather was really hot in the summer months. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the steering column failed and needed replacement. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 104,000.

- Germansville, PA, USA

problem #294

Oct 302016


  • 56,000 miles
Steering is unstable. Car keeps pulling to the left or to the right. It requires constant adjustments so that I could keep the car aligned, or centered on the road, especially on the highway.

- West Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #293

Jun 192016


  • 30,000 miles
The steering gets jerky in warmer weather making the car extremely difficult to handle. The steering almost appears to have gotten stuck in a notch on the column and forces the driver to put extra force into turning the wheel to correct it. The problem seems to occur when driving at highway speeds and when the temps are above 80. When driving at slower speeds this doesn't appear to happen. In doing some research online this issue appears to happen with most 2003-2005 Z4S without any resolution. The cars should be recalled and fixed.

- North Mankato, MN, USA

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