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 1 of 17)

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

problem #319

Mar 012018


  • 130,000 miles
In the spring of 2018 the power steering started to fail becoming stuck, notchy and quickly terrifying to drive. The lack of response, over correction once engaged, overall jumpiness and unpredictability caused me to stop highway driving immediately. Non highway driving ceased within days for the same reasons and it has been in the shop since waiting for a used steering column to become available for $800 instead of $3500 plus install. I bought the car in 2011 with 110,000 miles and it failed at 130,000. My understanding is the engine should be good for another 100,000 easily. This steering failure appears to be common in this car with many garage kept low mileage cars yet to be impacted.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #318

Sep 012018


  • 113,000 miles
Takata recall.....steering notches and locks....unsafe to drive....when car is is in warm weather the steering is very sticky

- Santee, CA, USA

problem #317

Sep 182018


  • 48,500 miles
My 2004 BMW Z4 with fewer than 50,000 accummulated miles has been experiencing significant "sticking/dedent" steering problems under highway driving conditions that result in unsafe steering responsiveness. This problem appears to be common to us and european BMW Z4 model years 2003 through 2005 and has been extensively reported on the internet and to BMW itself. BMW technicians have indicated that the problem can render a vehicle "unsafe to drive" and have further indicated that the problem can only be corrected by replacing the electric power steering unit at a cost of several thousand dollars. The prevalence of this identical problem in hundreds, if not thousands of BMW Z4S clearly points to an engineering design flaw. Even so, BMW refuses to take resposibility for this problem and have rejected any assistance to BMW Z4 owners who have sought such assistance. Considering the significant negative impact that this steering control problem may have on safe vehicle operation, the manufacturer should be forced to undertake a recall of all the vehicles affected by this manufacturing defect.

- Sandy Hook, CT, USA

problem #316

Jul 052018


  • 58,000 miles
The electric steering is notchy- it seems to fixate in the center and gets hard to steer from the center position. It happens mostly when we are on the open road going over 35 miles per hour. It seems to get stuck in the middle- and you get the feeling that it is stuck there. It is hard to move the steering wheel away from the center which results in over steer and over correction. I have taken it to the sewickley pa BMW dealer and they said there is nothing wrong but it seems to be getting worse. The car only has 60,000 miles on it. It is hard to keep the wheel straight when this happens and I have read online that others have also had this problem.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #315

Jul 252014


  • 65,000 miles
Electrically assisted steering is very sluggish when the air temperature is above 80 degrees. 2011 and 2012 models have got the same problem and they have a recall for that issue

- Tulare, CA, USA

problem #314

Jul 172018


  • 65,000 miles
The steering sticks at all speeds and turning radius to the point you can barely control the steering with both hands. The only repair solution is the replacement of the entire steering column at parts $3-4,000 & labor $1-2,000 it's a life threatening hazard and should be recalled vs BMW waiting for a huge class action law suit! the vehicle has only approximately 65K miles way too soon for catastrophic failure of a major mechanical system widely known and suffered by BMW enthusiasts ┐ not "the ultimate driving machine!"

- Winter Park, FL, USA

problem #313

Jun 072012


  • 20,000 miles
If the vehicle is hot, while driving, the steering will hang up in the 12:00 position and you have to use more force to get it through this position, causing to vehicle to over-steer. It's been getting worst and the BMW dealership can find the problem, even though I've sent them computer links describing the problem.

- South Bend, IN, USA

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