really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
49,222 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 1 of 17)

problem #339

May 012020


  • 95,000 miles


Steering locks while driving

- Lawton, OK, USA

problem #338

Sep 042019


  • 85,000 miles
When the car is warmed up the steering is sticky and prevents you from steering correctly and/or over-correct your steering. Multiple mechanics have looked at this and the factory lube used to grease the steering column components is inadequate. However, the only way to fix it is to replace the entire steering column ($4-5K for parts and labor). The steering column could fail at any time and cause the car to lose steering capabilities, very dangerous, especially at highway speeds. Apparently BMW is aware of the issue and has recalled 2006-2008 model years but not 2003-2005.

- Lowell, MA, USA

problem #337

Mar 012018

Z4 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Steering feels like it locks up temporarily or sticks when driving. When the wheels is in a position, like normal driving in a straight line, any movement of the wheel is met with resistance, requiring a lot of force to initiate any movement. Because of this I can┐T even let my wife drive the car anymore. It is very unsettling when driving and I truly feel like this is a significant safety issue. Because of the excessive for needed to initiate steering wheel rotation, the result is unwanted lane movement and potentially unwanted lane departure. My research indicates this is a known problem. My car has less than 85K miles and is in excellent condition otherwise. BMW needs to stand behind this increasingly hazardous design flaw and fix this car. I own three bmws and very pleased with their acknowledgement of other known issues. This steering issue is a safety issue and corrective action is needed. This is a design flaw. Please make your best effort to have BMW initiate corrective action. Thank you and please know your work is appreciated.

- Nine Mile Falls, WA, USA

problem #336

Feb 252020


  • 106,500 miles


The steering is hard to control while driving. Almost locking up or very sticky sensation to it. Happens very regularly.

- Lake Ozark, MO, USA

problem #335

Apr 222013


  • 40,395 miles
I previously filed a report about the electronic steering wheel column, poor steering, sticking prior to having it fixed on this date. I had not found the paperwork for it until after I submitted the report. The tracking # 11300634.

- Webster, NY, USA

problem #334

Sep 302012


  • miles
I had this car built and am the only owner. Initially, still under warranty, the car needed a new convertible top. After that, for years, I had a 'sticking┐ when I would steer the car making the car very difficult to control or turn. This deterred me from driving the car as much as I wanted, and certainly from taking it on any distance trips....basically enjoying the car. Initially I thought the car may need new tires or an alignment, but it was diagnosed as the electronic steering column. From reading BMW chats and forums, I found this was a very common problem. I tried to contact BMW directly, but to no avail. I finally had to pay for the repairs myself, costing over $3000. The other problem that has continued is the ABS brake light will illuminate for no apparent reason. I have had my mechanic look at it, but can┐T seem to find a definitive cause. Often when the car is turned off, and then restarted, the light goes off...but will sometimes, not all the time, come back on again, both at higher speeds and also during city, low speed driving. I baby this car so much, only drive it seasonally, and it seems to spend more time in the shop being repaired or maintained. I think it was a ┐lemon┐ from the onset. BMW was negligent in helping cover some expenses that many others have reported!

- Webster, NY, USA

problem #333

Jul 142019


  • 130,000 miles


Power steering is intermittent. Almost never works when first started but after driving for 20-30 minutes, if I turn the car off and back on again, it works and the dash light goes out. I can even do it while driving, shifting to neutral, turn car off and then back on and the power steering comes back on. Very frustrating to drive like this... and dangerous too!

- Harpers Ferry, WV, USA

problem #332

Jul 292019


  • 50,000 miles
1)it keeps pulling to the left, or to the right. It requires constant adjustments so that I could keep the car aligned, or centered. 2)I experience sudden jerks to the left, or to the right when the road surface is slightingly uneven. I can never predict which way the car pulls me. I struggle a lot to keep the steering centered when stopping at any red lights. 3) sometimes, the steering feels like it is stuck. After review online, this seems to be a very common problem.

- Titusville, PA, USA

problem #331

Sep 042019


  • 100,200 miles
This is a reoccurring problem which I have attempted to address through both local mechanics and BMW with no results. Essentially, while moving at slow speeds or stop and go traffic, the electrical system "shudders", all instrument lights illuminate, the transmission shifts to neutral, and the engine shuts down then restarts. The failure occurs on an irregular basis, affecting primarily the eps light, but may also affect all lights in the instrument cluster. Likewise, it may or may not move my transmission to neutral and if that happens, may or may not allow my to place it back in drive without shutting the vehicle down for several minutes. To date, both the alternator and the ignition switch have been replaced, no results. A brief search of popular BMW forums finds similar descriptions from other owners.

- Riverview, FL, USA

problem #330

Sep 042019


  • 140,000 miles
After starting car, eps light comes on and steering is very tight, near impossible to turn or maneuver in parking lots, etc.

- Harpers Ferry, WV, USA

problem #329

Aug 232019


  • 54,000 miles


When driving at highway speeds and more so when the temp is warm or steering column has warmed up the steering becomes "sticky", in that it takes an effort to overcome the spot it is in as opposed to smoothly moving/steering left or right. It is uncomfortable to steer with one hand (6 spd manual transmission) as it feels like you are going to over correct the steering when trying to make minor adjustments to maintain driving down the center of your lane. Especially when driving in heavy freeway traffic! I35W minneapolis,

- Solon Springs, WI, USA

problem #328

Jun 232019


  • 39,100 miles
Sticking steering when warm while driving

- Carnegie, PA, USA

problem #327

Jun 082019


  • 40,000 miles
The vehicle has intermittent loss of power steering which makes it very difficult to drive, steer and control when in motion. I was able to avoid serious accidents by literally crawling along the side of the road with flashers on so other drivers would stay clear. This has happened on more than one occasion.

- Novi, MI, USA

problem #326

Jun 172019


  • 67,800 miles
When going straight particularly at highway speeds, but other times as well, the steering is "sticky". the wheel wants to remain in the same position and it requires some extra effort to move left or right.

- Haverhill, MA, USA

problem #325

May 302019


  • 64,000 miles
I have 2004 BMW Z4 and have been experiencing "sticky" steering. It is especially unnerving when driving on highways. It appears to be a very common problem with this model. It is difficult to drive. I am deathly afraid the stickiness of the steering will cause to to over correct and cause an accident.

- Chippewa Falls, WI, USA

problem #324

May 102019


  • 20,900 miles
I have a BMW 2004 Z4 with only 21000 miles. I started to developer a steering problem, . while driving the steering becomes difficult and choppy.hard to remain centered on the road and the wheel is unresponsive. I looked online and found many other owners with the same problem. I called corporate BMW. They do not acknowledge a problem exists. On line and on your site it shows hundreds with the same problem. Someone is going to get hurt or die. BMW should own up to the problem and fix it.

- Wexford, PA, USA

problem #323

Mar 182019


  • 62,000 miles
Bought this car in May 2016 with 58000 miles. Almost 2 yrs later and less then 5000 more miles, steering is sticky! we bought an extra warranty, so we took it to an authorized BMW mechanic. He told us that the steering column is bad. And since it seems to be a common problem the warranty won┐T cover it. They want $4000 to repair it. Hundreds of complaints on this problem and BMW won┐T issue a recall!

- Monroe, WA, USA

problem #322

Mar 212019


  • 38,000 miles
Steering sticks while driving. Happens at different speeds. Takes effort to "free up the steering wheel" very annoying and dangerous.

- Masontown, PA, USA

problem #321

Jul 032012


  • 35,000 miles
When driving with air temperature above 80 degrees the steering becomes sticky/notchy making it difficult/dangerous to keep the vehicle in the travel lane at any speed.

- Florence, MA, USA

problem #320

Jun 222018


  • 36,000 miles
Sticking manly when hot out side but also with the heater on, at hi way speeds it takes more effort to make small corrections needed to keep the car in the lane.

- Pasadena, MD, USA

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