really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
44,882 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.

2005 BMW Z4 steering problems

steering problem

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2005 BMW Z4 Owner Comments (Page 3 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #91

Dec 232013

Z4 6-cyl

  • 57,328 miles


While driving on the straight highway at a normal speed I noticed the car began to pull to the right. In order to correct, you would have to pull the steering wheel to the left causing the car to sometimes over correct with a jerking sensation and pulling to far to the left. Car was taken in for repair. After diagnostics I was told that it was a problem with the steering column electric motor and you could not just replace the motor, but would have to have the entire steering column replaced. I did have the steering column replaced with good results. The new column was ordered by my repairman from BMW. My worry is if the last column was defective, will this one be also.

- Bowie, TX, USA

problem #90

Apr 232014

Z4 6-cyl

  • 94,201 miles
The car had been sitting outside in approx. 85 degree weather for about 2-3 hours. My wife and mother in law were driving done the highway. She initially noted that the steering felt "sticky" or "different". a few moments later while traveling at approx. 55mph the steering failed to respond or more accurately felt stuck. She was unable to turn the steering wheel and the car started to move to the right side of the road toward the guard rail. After slowing the vehicle and continuously trying to turn the wheel it finally responded. She pulled off the road and sat for a few moments to regain composure and check vehicle. There was nothing outwardly apparent, no flats, nothing under car, nothing wedged in engine compartment or underneath car. She exited the highway and drove slowly back to the house. The car did exhibit signs of "sticking" again, but did not lock up. A quick search on the internet has revealed this is a very common complaint on the Z4. This is a very serious safety concern and now my wife is afraid to drive the car.

- Helotes, TX, USA

problem #89

Jun 142013


  • 48,000 miles
After car sat outside all day at work in 75 degree temp steering was notchy and sticky during the entire 20 min drive home. After the car cooled down in the garage steering was normal during drive later that night. This happens every time the car gets warm from sitting in the sun. There is no excuse for this and is extremely unsafe as the steering does not function properly. Besides who wants a convertible you can only drive in cold weather??

- Weaverville, NC, USA

problem #88

Apr 012014

Z4 6-cyl

  • 94,215 miles


Steering "sticks" in hot weather. For example, when going around a slight curve, you turn the steering wheel and when you loosen your grip on the wheel to allow the steering to go back towards center, the steering wheel stays in the same position and you have to use force to get it back towards center. This problem became noticeable last summer and has occurred again recently as spring temperatures are getting higher. Most noticeable after driving the car home from work in late afternoon after it has been sitting in uncovered parking lot. Problem seems to be more pronounced now than it was last summer. In looking at various BMW forums on the web, this particular problem is very widespread, known to be a problem by BMW, and very dangerous. Amazing there have been no recalls.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #87

Jun 012011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 53,000 miles
I drove this 2005 BMW Z4 without incident while in Illinois for the first 53,000 miles. After 53,000 miles I let my son drive the car exclusively while in scottsdale Arizona and he continuously experiences unexpected drastic steering pulls to both the left and right sides. Correction of the steering requires both hands on the wheel and is very difficult to correct the sudden and extreme pulling. The steering pulling is not easy to replicate but occurs a few times a week during daily driving. When the steering pulls it is very dangerous and almost causes crashes. I have researched the problem on the internet and it appears this is a design problem very common with 2003-2005 BMW Z4S which BMW is aware of but has failed to take any corrective measures. I presently have 63,000 on the car and is driven in the warmer climate of Arizona. The steering continues to pull sporadically even though I have replaced all 4 tires with 4 new matching tires.

- Park Ridge, IL, USA

problem #86

Apr 122011


  • 45,000 miles
Car's steering sticks on center position making normal steering corrections noticeably difficult. An extraordinary amount of force needs to be applied to the steering wheel in order to make the necessary steering correction which can cause an over-correction. Once off center, it is then difficult to return the wheel to the neutral position this can be very dangerous at highway speeds. This always happens in warmer weather or if the car has been outside in the sun for a couple of hours.

- Trenton, GA, USA

problem #85

Oct 062013

Z4 6-cyl

  • miles


Car is very dangerous to drive when car is warm and driven at highway speed. The car acts as if the steering is sticking or locking up> you have to pull on the steering wheel hard to left or right to get the wheels to turn. You must be very care and keep your mind on what you are doing at all times or you could be in crash.

- Anderson, AL, USA

problem #84

Jul 012013

Z4 6-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 BMW Z4. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, the power steering failed and the steering wheel tightened. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 38,000. Updated 10/31/13 the consumer stated the steering wheel was sticky and it extreme effort to drive the vehicle. The dealer informed him, the entire steering component needed to be replaced. The consumer stated the steering incident happened after the vehicle was parked for 4 hours in 85 degree weather. Updated 11/12/13

- Bedford, NH, USA

problem #83

Jan 022007

Z4 6-cyl

  • 4,500 miles
Car's steering stick on center position making normal steering corrections noticeably difficult. An extraordinary amount of force needs to be applied to the steering wheel in order to make the necessary steering correction which can cause an over-correction. Once off center, it is then difficult to return the wheel to the neutral position. This has happened repetitively, most often in hot weather. Dealer where we bought the car and who does regular maintenance has been unable to replicate the problem, or so they say. BMW usa has been contacted about the problem; and, their response was "take it to the dealer." By what I have read on the internet, I am not the only one experiencing this problem. I am ready to seek advice from my attorney.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #82

Jul 032012

Z4 6-cyl

  • 101,000 miles
Driving my 2005 BMW Z4 has become a non option when the ambient temperature exceeds 85. the steering wheel becomes resistant to turning left, or right from center. And then you have to fight it back to center as it will stay in the turned position. This is a real shame, I don't know if their engineers realize this, but convertibles are for warm weather. I would expect this from a GM or Ford product, but not from BMW who touts as being "the ultimate driving machine". this is a very common problem and can not believe it hasn't been issued a recall.

- York, SC, USA

problem #81

Aug 012013


  • 50,495 miles


Driving straight at 55 mph and could not turn steering wheel left or right without a great deal of effort. Very dangerous. Same concerns as others with this model. Will not let my wife drive. Something needs to be done as these cars will crash and hurt someone. Please E-mail with some sort of a plan in place please.

- Weeki Wachee, FL, USA

problem #80

Jul 252013

Z4 6-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
First a description of the problem: My steering column turns similar to the fan control switch on the Z4 ? from detent to detent and not smoothly like a volume control on a radio. If you reach forward to the fan control console and turn it you will note that it does not turn smoothly it goes from stop to stop to stop about every 5 degrees. Each stop is called a detent. So as you turn the knob it starts in a detent then as you turn it clicks into the next detent and stops then you have to twist a bit harder till it clicks into the next detent. That is how my steering column acts when it is hot outside. It clicks into one detent and that position may not keep you driving straight down the road. You try to correct it and it will not turn unless you push extra hard then it goes past the point that would keep you going straight down the road into the next detent and you are progressively headed off the other side of the road. As you try to correct it by turning back, it will not smoothly turn back, it resists till you push extra hard then it goes past the point that would keep you going straight and stops in the next detent and now you are headed off the road in the other direction.

- Wildomar, CA, USA

problem #79

Jul 132013

Z4 6-cyl

  • 68,248 miles
After the car runs for a little, the steering gets very sticky. It's very challenging to steer properly and when trying to negotiate turns, I must jolt the wheel to move passed the stickiness, resulting in an over correction. There is no way to safely drive, maneuver or control the steering. Very dangerous.

- Coatesville , PA, USA

problem #78

Mar 022013

Z4 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
Steering became sticky when trying to do minor corrections. It is very difficult to keep car straight without exerting considerable force in both left and right directions. Problem is worse when outside temperature is above 80F and steering is "normal "when car is cold. Subsequently, steering wheel does not easily return to center, occasionally car will pull in either direction, not sure when it will go left and when right. Dealer wants to replace steering column for $3500. Replacement is oem part so no dealer guarantee that replacement will not perform the same way.

- Greenville, SC, USA

problem #77

Jul 012013

Z4 6-cyl

  • 13,532 miles
The steering gets very sticky on warm days, above 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It restricts the steering to the point that it is hard to turn the wheel. This problem is definitively a safety issue.

- Somerset, WI, USA

problem #76

Oct 162010

Z4 6-cyl

  • 11,000 miles
The steering sticks in place and you need to jerk the steering wheel to get the car to slightly turn. After jerking the steering wheel, you have now over corrected and must jerk it the opposite direction. The problem is worse when the temperature is higher. In tight confinements or traffic, there is many times not adequate room for the vehicle to dart in various directions because of the sticking steering.

- Utica, NY, USA

problem #75

Aug 012012


  • 62,500 miles
Steering wheel sticks, mostly when making left turns. BMW is aware of the issue with these vehicles but states "not a safety issue, simply a nuisance" this is not true. When turning to the left, the wheel sticks causing driver to exert more pressure, when the wheel frees, the vehicle veers to the left, occasionally causing the vehicle to cross the center line into oncoming traffic. This is a significant safety issue and ongoing!!

- Northwood, NH, USA

problem #74

May 012012

Z4 6-cyl

  • 99,662 miles
Bought the 2005 Z-4 BMW used from a dealer in high point nc. Drove it and enjoy driving until the warm weather. The steering sticks to a point of being dangerous. To compensate, I steer to the left and car pulls to the left then I bring the steering back towards the center and feel it sticking so I compensate by steering to the right. The whole time down the highway I fear for my life driving this car. I really had to concentrate to keep the car from steering off the road and I'm sure it appears I'm driving erratically to others on the road. The warm weather will soon be here in North Carolina and I'm just scared to drive it. The car otherwise is beautiful. But if I'm going to be a repeat customer to the BMW line I need to get this fixed or they should recall it and I don't feel that I should have to pay for this problem and sounds like many many others have had the exact same problem from what my research shows me. Please help before someone is killed. Seriously I'm scared ! I contacted BMW in Ohio and they need me to validate the problem through a dealer which I will do but I have to wait til the weather is warm again. Luckily I am employed and will be able to pay the $125 diagnostic fee. The consumer also stated every time she rode over a bump in the road, the radio would shut off and then come back on at random times. The dealer was unable to find any loose wires. Also, the oil filter housing was leaking and an oil leak separator was sauing air to dispel into the engine. Updated IVOQ 04/16/13

- High Point, NC, USA

problem #73

Dec 142012

Z4 6-cyl

  • 16,000 miles
Steering jerks to the point of being unsafe. At highway speeds the car will drift. When you correct, it jerks either right or left. A few times almost veering into the next lane of traffic. Brought into BMW of ft. Myers. They said I needed a new steering column. $3,487.60 plus $153.44 to calibrate, plus tax. Very, very disapointed in BMW not having a recall on this. It is a serious safety issue aside from speding a lot of money to purchase a "quality"??"" car.

- Hibbing, MN, USA

problem #72

Jul 252012

Z4 6-cyl

  • 74,580 miles
Vehicle would run fine in the morning before the day heated up. At noon, the steering wheel would stick and more force than usual had to be applied with both hands to operate the steering wheel. Also, there are times the car will jerk left or right upon breaking. If the road is slightly uneven, you have to be prepared in case the car jerks in any direction. I have tried upgrading the vehicles suspension system to no avail. Makes the car feel unsafe to drive. I love the car, but I would like these issues to be addressed before somebody gets seriously injured or even killed if it hasn't happened already.

- Roswell, GA, USA

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