really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,948 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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2004 BMW Z4:

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

2004 BMW Z4 Owner Comments (Page 9 of 16)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #160

Mar 212012

Z4 6-cyl

  • 66,000 miles


Brought my car out of storage for the year. While driving it would pull both to the right and to the left depending on lane choice. Steering wheel feels like it is clicking from one position to another. Constant steering input required to keep it in a straight line. Alignment is fine, tires are properly inflated and balanced. It's like the steering wheel is slipping from one position to another without moving it.

- West Bend, WI, USA

problem #159

Mar 202012

Z4 6-cyl

  • 32,000 miles
On first hot day of the year (85 degrees F), the car was very difficult to steer at highway speeds. It felt like the steering wheel was "sticking". it took extra effort to move the steering wheel, causing the car to turn more than desired. I feel this is very dangerous.

- Wilder, KY, USA

problem #158

Feb 022012


  • 34,500 miles
After purchasing the vehicle (a 2004 BMW Z4 with only 34500 miles) on the way home I noticed a "sticking" in the steering wheel at highway speeds (approximately 1st week of February 2012). Which of course was very disappointing being that I had only owned the car for about 30 minutes. But considering the mileage and age of the car I hoped it was because the car had been sitting for sometime. I was wrong it is becoming more and more of a problem. After very little research I've found that this is apparently a very common problem with these cars. Apparently it is due to expansion of a gear in the steering column due to heat. I am very disappointed. I felt I had found a good car considering the very low mileage. I've found that many people have had to have their steering columns replaced at a cost of over 3000 dollars! this is unbelievable on a car with only 35,000 miles on it! this is definitely dangerous! for the steering wheel to "stick" and require significantly increased effort to turn is a serious danger! the danger of over correction is undeniable. After a recent short trip down the highway my forearms were very fatigued after trying to keep this car on course for just a few miles.I just wonder how many wrecks have been caused by this defect. I find it very hard to believe that a company of BMW's stature would not be doing everything within its power to correct this dangerous defect immediately. I guess someone will have to get hurt first. Instead of being proactive and preventing such a disaster. Or maybe they're just making too much money selling new steering columns to people who are unaware of the defect. Something has to be done!

- Kernersville, NC, USA

problem #157

Mar 142012

Z4 6-cyl

  • 21,700 miles


I have the "Z4 sticky steering" problem which is widely documented on the internet. Steering is ok when cold or at low speeds and occurs only when temperature is over 75 degrees F and at speeds over 45 mph. The steering wheel firmly resists turning (sticks) and, when enough force is applied, finally releases and turns until another sticky zone creates resistance. This makes slight steering corrections impossible and results in a zig zag rather that straight line path down the road. This is a serious safety issue since the effort level is much too high for driving at highway speed and compromises the ability to predictably control the vehicle. The effort level to overcome the stickiness in the steering wheel rotation is comparable to that required for parallel parking of an old non power steering vehicle. My wife is afraid to drive the car on the highway. I have had other cars recalled for much less significant issues than this.

- Sylvania, OH, USA

problem #156

Mar 072012


  • 84,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 BMW Z4. While traveling 65 mph, the contact noticed that the vehicle would sway from right to left which made it difficult to remain driving in the same lane or in a straight line. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The current and failure mileages were 84,000.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #155

Sep 012006


  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 BMW Z4. The contact was driving 55 mph when the steering wheel became difficult to steer. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but the manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 15,000 and the current mileage was 62,000.

- Bradenton, FL, USA

problem #154

Feb 262012


  • 38,700 miles


Excessive force is needed to turn wheel safely at high rate of speed. With poor road conditions, this effect is severely exaggerated!!! steering binds up when attempting to make small corrections resulting in overcorrections in either direction causing a safety hazard to both me and other vehicles if I were to cross lanes due to overcorrection situation.

- Palm Bay, FL, USA

problem #153

Sep 012011


  • 51,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 BMW Z4. The contact stated that while driving, the steering wheel become stiff. The steering wheel would pull to the right and the vehicle would veer toward the right as well. The dealer was notified of the failure but provided no assistance. The manufactured was contacted via postal mail but the contact had not received a confirmation notice. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 51,000 and the current mileage was 53,000.

- Saint Charles, MO, USA

problem #152

Dec 162011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
Vehicle bought July 2011 with 40000 miles. In December, 2011 on the return trip (200 miles each way), after a 5 hr layover, the steering on the car started to stick in the straight ahead position. When the car drifted to the left and steering needed to be corrected to the right, the steering wheel would not move until a lot of force was applied and then the car would over correct to the right, some times going on the shoulder of the road. It did not seem to be as prevalent when corrections to the left were needed. Since then it has occurred on at least two other occasions, always on expressways and at speeds in excess of 50 mph. And when the temperature is above 70 degrees F.

- Augusta, GA, USA

problem #151

Jan 062012

Z4 6-cyl

  • 32,000 miles
The steering binds at almost any speed. I noticed it when driving straight forward. When a correction in direction is made the wheel binds until greater pressure is applied. It seems the problem is requiring even more pressure for the correction. I called bmwna and they told me they have heard nothing about this problem. I am in fear for my safety as well as others around BMW's Z-4 2004.

- Staugustine, FL, USA

problem #150

Jan 052012


  • 32,750 miles


The steering becomes stuck. Under highway driving conditions may cause erratic control and ultimately an accident. The steering seems to bind and needs greater pressure to free the steering itself.

- St Augustine , FL, USA

problem #149

Nov 182010

Z4 6-cyl

  • 55,300 miles
I just recently purchased a 2004 BMW Z4. I noticed that while driving on the highway that the steering is malfunctioning. While traveling in a straight path, the steering gets "stuck" and you need to jerk the steering wheel to make a turn to the right or left, or even to change lanes. This is a very dangerous action and could cause a serious accident. I have notified BMW North America and indy wholesale direct, the dealer that I purchased this car from. Neither one seems to want to help in this situation and both have ignored my complaints. This is the second complaint I have filed with the NHTSA. I did not get a response from my original complaint a couple of weeks ago.

- Camdenton, MO, USA

problem #148

Nov 182011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 55,300 miles
Driving on a 70 degree fall day on interstate 70, near St. Louis, the steering became locked in a center position. I was traveling around 65 to 70 mph when this occurred. I had to jerk the steering wheel to get it off center to make a turn. This happened a few times before I got to my destination. Jerking a steering wheel at a high rate of speed on a crowded highway is a harrowing experience and, to say the least, very unsafe and dangerous. I just purchased this car and I am truly nervous about driving this vehicle or letting my wife drive this vehicle. I have contacted the dealer and am waiting to hear back.

- Camdenton, MO, USA

problem #147

Jul 042010

Z4 6-cyl

  • 19,400 miles
Power steering sticks on hot days typically above 80 degrees. Problem usually occurs on the highway at speeds above 50 mph but has happened at lower speeds as well. It takes excessive force to release the sticking which results in overcorrection. This has created a dangerous situation on several occasions. After much research it appears that this is a significant issue in 2004 Z4's. I don't understand why BMW hasn't voluntarily had a recall or why NHTSA hasn't demanded one. This is a dangerous situation identified by many Z4 owners.

- North Andover, MA, USA

problem #146

Sep 192011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 91,500 miles
When I was driving home from work today my car experienced a power steering issue where the steering wheel would "freeze" or "stick" in one place. I had to exert a lot of force on the wheel to get the steering wheel to move but when it "broke free" it turned a lot with the help of the power steering pump because I was putting so much force on the wheel to get it to move. I had a hard time keeping the car in my lane. The power steering was doing this the entire drive home of 20 miles. The car was very unsafe to drive and this issue needs to be fixed since it is a hazard. If the power steering was just not working at all, it would be okay because then at least the steering wheel would be hard to move all of the time so I could control how much I turned the steering wheel accurately. Since the power steering works "intermittently" but only after I apply a lot of force on the wheel to get the wheel to break free, the car veers violently when the power steering actually does work. This problem is very common per the website and should be recalled. This failure is reported to the NHTSA on cars ranging from 15,000 miles up to over 100,000 miles. The problem from what I was reading, is more evident in cold or hot temperatures. It was 102F outside today in phoenix on my drive home. The passenger air bag seat sensor was flashing on and off when there was a passenger. The air bag malfunction light turned on after this. I do not know if the airbag will inflate if there is a passenger in the car or not. BMW states my car is not covered under the recall according to the VIN but the car fits the model, make, and year of the present recall. How can my car have the same problems as the recall describes, be the same make/model/year, but not be covered under the recall? thanks for your time! [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #145

Aug 272010

Z4 6-cyl

  • miles
On hot days the steering will catch and require unusually higher force to steer right or left. Later at night when the car is cooler the steering will be normal.

- The Villages, FL, USA

problem #144

Aug 232011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 46,000 miles
Upon starting up the BMW Z4 there was noticeable play in the steering. The play in the steering is enough to so that when turning the steering wheel it is at least 4 inches from engagement right to engagement left. In addition, once there is engagement it engages with what may be described as a sticky spot after which it is necessary to keep turning the steering wheel or the steering again disengages and there is the 4 inches of play before it re-engages. While traveling down the highway it is very dangerous because when steering straight ahead the steering has the 4 inches of play making the car weave to the right or to the left and when correcting this weave the steering jerks through the sticky spot at the beginning of steering engagement and by the time the wheel is turned just enough to stay on the road in the right direction the play makes the car veer in the opposite direction. In order to drive this car on a nice highway it is necessary to constantly rapidly mover the steering wheel back and forth through the four inches of play or the car would go into on coming traffic or off the road. I would feel safer if I knew it would go off the road but the problem is play in the middle and it could go either into on coming traffic or off the road. It is quite dangerous to drive. We asked the dealership about it and were told this was a $3000 plus repair. I do not think that this manufactures defect should be a chargeable repair. I guess we will just need to wait for a crash or a recall.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #143

Jun 012010


  • 29,000 miles
The steering sticks while driving. Very scary so I don't drive the car for more than 4 or 5 mile trips. Won't take it on a highway anymore, since I have no confidence in the steering. I was told that the tires had broken bands and that might have been what I was feeling, so I replaced all four tires but the problem continued. I wouldn't be able to afford to replace the steering column and whatever else might be necessary. The tires were a huge expense. I can't very well sell the car, since I don't feel it is safe. Please help. Too many people have the same complaint, for this to be expected and acceptable.

- Zelienople, PA, USA

problem #142

Aug 232011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 6,000 miles
2004 BMW Z4 3.0. steering gets very loose and one can not steer the car accurately at times. Very scary when this happens and one loses all confidence N the car.

- Webster Groves, MO, USA

problem #141

Aug 142011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 27,000 miles
My 2004 BMW Z4 3.0I has difficulty with steering when the temperatures exceed 95 degrees. The car steering is "sticky" for lack of a better description. It is scary to drive home from work after it has been sitting in the sun. From what I have read, this is a failure of the steering column.

- Austin, TX, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?