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      11-05-2009, 06:50 AM   #1
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Arrow FIX: for the infamous clicking/steering wheel noise

If you have a clicking or ticking when slightly turning your car at idle or any minor play in the wheel but the alignment is perfect AND your steering column has been replaced but it is still there or has come back READ the following:


Part number= 32-30-6-784-845 Lower joint assm.

Tech stated that he inspected all steering and suspension components and found excessive play when turning the wheel and also heard a clicking/ticking sound from under dash area. Submitted a Puma case, and they advised him to replace the lower steering spindle and then recalibrate the steering angle sensor via ISTA. Excessive play is GONE and no more ticking or clicking when driving or at low speeds.

So if you have an E-90 like me and have this issue and they say its within spec, it is NOT. Press them or ask nicely about this part in particular cause I guess tech said on papar work that it is becoming a more common issue, that both the steering column and lower shaft have to be swapped in most cases.

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Last edited by MrDummy; 11-05-2009 at 10:05 AM.
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      11-06-2009, 09:51 AM   #2
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Awesome find. Thanks for the heads up.
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      11-06-2009, 10:16 AM   #3
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No problem, I know I was upset at them by saying it was in spec and normal, NO it is NOT.

So go to the link below print out the diagram and tell them to swap it or at least inspect that part and dont take NO for an answer.

http://bmwfans.info/parts/catalog/E9...oint_assembly/
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      11-06-2009, 10:29 AM   #4
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When you say excessive play do you mean that turning the wheel slightly has no affect on the steering or that there appears to be very little resistance when turning the wheel?
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      11-09-2009, 10:17 AM   #5
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^^ kind of. Here is a perfect example:

With the vehicle running and you are either stopped or driving at a low speed, you can very slightly move the steering wheel left and right and feel a little play and also hear either a ticking/clicking sound. But the wheels themselves do not move when at a stop.

You need to do it slowly back and forth to catch it, since it is such a slight bit of play.

Maybe 20mm to the left or right of play if I had to guess?

I know a lot of this was supposed to be fixed by swapping the columns out and yes it did help a lot, but the noise and play were still present. And so far (knock on wood) after the lower steering shaft replacement I still have NO play, noise or nothing in the steering wheel and it is as very tight and responsive now as it should be.


P.S. Does anyone have a link or know what they have to take off the car to swap this out? I want to know if they had to take my interior dash apart or was it done below the vehicle on a hoist without doing anything to the interior?

Thanks
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      11-09-2009, 12:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDummy View Post
^^ kind of. Here is a perfect example:

With the vehicle running and you are either stopped or driving at a low speed, you can very slightly move the steering wheel left and right and feel a little play and also hear either a ticking/clicking sound. But the wheels themselves do not move when at a stop.

You need to do it slowly back and forth to catch it, since it is such a slight bit of play.

Maybe 20mm to the left or right of play if I had to guess?

I know a lot of this was supposed to be fixed by swapping the columns out and yes it did help a lot, but the noise and play were still present. And so far (knock on wood) after the lower steering shaft replacement I still have NO play, noise or nothing in the steering wheel and it is as very tight and responsive now as it should be.


P.S. Does anyone have a link or know what they have to take off the car to swap this out? I want to know if they had to take my interior dash apart or was it done below the vehicle on a hoist without doing anything to the interior?

Thanks
Thanks for the response - with the car stationary and with the remote in the slot but with no engine running i can hear a clicking noise when turning the wheel left to right -is this what you mean? (cant hear anything with the engine running)
The only reason im asking is that my steering is causing me some concern. Most of the time it is tight , heavy and feels fine but sometimes i can park the car after a drive return to it 30mins later and the there seems to be play in the steering wheel and it feels much lighter and less tight. This is on the same road in the same conditions and sometimes on the same day.
The next time i drive the car it may be OK again and stay like that for days.

Is this the same as you or was your steering bad all of the time??
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      11-09-2009, 01:03 PM   #7
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This is not the same, the small clicking you are hearing with engine off is the steering wheel Lock in action.

Mine was ALL the time and sounds like your situation is something along the lines on the column or somewhere in the steering system.

Can you take it in for free? Under warranty I mean.
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      11-09-2009, 03:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDummy View Post
This is not the same, the small clicking you are hearing with engine off is the steering wheel Lock in action.

Mine was ALL the time and sounds like your situation is something along the lines on the column or somewhere in the steering system.

Can you take it in for free? Under warranty I mean.
Yes i can take it in-the car is only 6 months old but it will be difficult to prove a problem as the car can go days driving perfectly and then suddenly the steering becomes much looser and lighter.
I also have to consider that if they take the dash to pieces to get to the steering rack after the refit i will probably be left with squeeks and rattles etc.
I go through fazes of thinking the car is OK and then i get the light steering and i decide to take it in........then the next day its fine!!
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      11-11-2009, 04:49 PM   #9
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I brought my new to me CPO 335i with 28kmiles in for this exact problem 3 days ago (only had the car for 3 weeks). My SA just called me and said the noise and thud in the steering was normal. I said I found it very hard to believe that the POS loaner car you guys gave me has smoother steering than a $50k BMW. They said many people have complained and that in the past they "would replace entire rack and pinion steering systems." but that BMW engineers say thats how the car was designed.

Maybe if this pans out I can go back with it.
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      11-12-2009, 06:29 AM   #10
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If you mean MY situation, tell them BS and give them the part number and ask if they have checked it out.

It is not normal, they told me that too and I bought it, but 2nd time I went in they actually called Puma # to ask and thats when they found out.

You have to be assertive with them or ask for Service manager and NOT the standard SA.
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      11-17-2009, 02:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDummy View Post
If you mean MY situation, tell them BS and give them the part number and ask if they have checked it out.

It is not normal, they told me that too and I bought it, but 2nd time I went in they actually called Puma # to ask and thats when they found out.

You have to be assertive with them or ask for Service manager and NOT the standard SA.
If you don't mind me asking what is the PUMA# mean? So far I have had the car back for a week and the steering is only getting worse so it is driving me crazy. I think I might bring the car back into my old dealership where I bought my previous 330xi from as its closer to my house then the one I bought my now 335i from and have been going to. If I do bring it in I want to be able to point them specifically to this part. Thanks
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      12-23-2009, 10:11 AM   #12
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^^ sorry I did not see this for such a long time, but the Puma is just what their tech assistance Number and work approval they call when they get stumped at the dealership.
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      12-30-2009, 04:02 PM   #13
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Ditto steering clicking.

I just picked up my '08 335xi coupe today from the shop.
I complained about the same issue (without reading any posts), and they too told me that it's "normal". I demanded to test another car like mine for comparison, and the tech finally conceeded and agreed that there is an issue.
They ended up replacing the lower steering column and the car drives much nicer now. Tracks straight and no steering play.
Don't take any bull from the dealer.
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      12-30-2009, 04:39 PM   #14
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^^ YEP mine is still tight and straight as an arrow
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      12-30-2009, 04:59 PM   #15
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I posted in this thread earlier about the same problem but forgot to post an update of what happened. I actually brought my car to a different dealer - one where I knew the service advisor very well from my last BMW. The dealership where I bought my current car, 335i (due to them having the car I wanted) treated my like shit saying that the problem was normal, etc. etc. so thats when I brought it to the old dealership explaining how the other one treated me. He told me to bring the car right in - three days later I had it back and they had replaced the lower steering column - that was 1 month ago and car feels great!

The other funny thing is the crappy dealer where I bought the car from supposedly fixed a clutch noise for me by replacing some spring - yet the sound was amplified three fold! So I also let my old service advisor know when I brought the car in for the steering and they also fixed that and said the other idiots replaced the spring but were also supposed to replace a bracket but never did which is what caused the noise...so long story short if your dealership is giving you trouble and saying that your problem is "normal" then go to another dealership.

I can say that I will never be going back or even purchasing a key chain from the dealership I described where I got my 335i from.
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      12-30-2009, 06:55 PM   #16
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Was there a TSB put out on this?
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      12-31-2009, 10:33 AM   #17
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^^ I dont think so, not for the actual steering shaft replacement their is one about the steering column but the tech who did mine had to do the puma thing if you read above to get the correct part approval and fixed.

BUT if your dealership is LAZY and does not want to go that extra mile than your screwed.

I am in a bad way cause ALL 3 bmw dealers that are within 150 miles of my house all suck in one way or another, but so far my dealership where I bought the car has been the best to me.

But I still have to fight for everything I get them to do, they always try to charge me or want to say its within specs, etc..

Until I get stern with them or ask for the regional managers number, then they will change their attitudes.
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      02-28-2011, 04:28 PM   #18
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Post

UPDATE guys

I took my car in for a front end clunking noise and complained that the steering wheel play came back, and now after they swapped bushings I got a call that the Sr. Tech can feel the play, as described in the main thread description, and BMW/NA advised him to look into the steering wheel linkage and rack n pinion, I will update when I know more.

But they are keeping my car another day to further inspect it. PS my car is under CPO but its fishy cause they said I wont be charged a dime for any needed repairs. Maybe thats cause they swapped out the column and lower shaft under my regular warranty b4 it expired.

But I know a LOT of us have this issue, so maybe we can get a REAL fix??

I will update with ALL info ASAP...

Carry on.
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      02-28-2011, 05:52 PM   #19
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OK guys AS PROMISED

Just got a call from Manager of Service, and BMWUSA Had to authorize the repair, but good news is it is COVERED under CPO.

They are replacing the WHOLE rack n pinion for that infamous steering wheel play/tick we have when stopped, engine running, moving steering wheel right to left slowly.

AND I am getting a 4 wheel alignment for free as well once thats replaced.

Man I dont know what this would of cost out of pocket but damn its nice to have CPO.

Well I figured out quickly what it would of costed out of pocket, now these are NOT dead set prices just quick estimates from autozone and Tischer bmw.

These are my Prices I found for OEM replacement parts:
Just for the Steering Linkage Part = $1,138.60
Labor Manager said at least 4 hours @ $125 hour for Rack n Pinion swap = $500
Free Wipers = $30
SES Code to be reprogrammed from TSB = $125
Both Front Bushings = $58 times 2 = $116 + 1 Hour Labor @ $125
Front Inspection to look for any other damage = $0

TOTAL COST TO ME AFTER COUPON & COPAY, GET READY FOR IT >> $260.00
If I had to pay for ALL of the above = $2044.60
Now tell me BMW sucks, would a domestic car company do all of this, including the loaner?

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Last edited by MrDummy; 02-28-2011 at 06:43 PM.
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      03-03-2011, 01:12 PM   #20
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Here is UPDATE Back from Dealers with PAPERWORK...

The Culprit is 32-10-6-777-473 Hydro Steering Gear, tech had to get Puma case # to get it authorized.

Here is comments:
excessive play in input shaft is causing steering wheel play and noise, removed lower steering spindle-no play or binding is detected in steering column or steering spindle. Disconnected tie rod ends and checked steering gear. No play is detected while turning input shaft in or out but found play when moving it up and down. Puma stated to replace hydro steering gear. Replaced added one liter of fluid, performed a 4 wheel alignment and test drove and steering noise/play is now Gone. Note* Drives better than 2011 loaner used for comparison vehicle.

So there ya go guys, I hope this helps out some...
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      03-06-2011, 01:12 PM   #21
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Ok guys, after 3 days i can say the steering is tight as super responsive, i drove home last night in a blizzard with bad roads and i could feel the quicker response when getting pulled into the other cars snowy paths on the expressway. Also, no more clunking and i hit a bunch of bumps too.

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      03-17-2011, 04:26 PM   #22
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Used this thread as reference and no problem. Dealership had to order the joint assembly and it will be here by tomorrow to fix the clicking problem in the steering. Hope this fixes the problem...
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