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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > UK > UK Technical Forum > Please! Can anything be done to tighten up this steering?



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      06-01-2011, 02:26 AM   #1
FieldingMellish
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Please! Can anything be done to tighten up this steering?

See older threads. Steering on my 58 plate 330i saloon is way too light. On the motorway, it's dangerous. Can *anything* be done to make the steering heavier??????
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      06-01-2011, 03:15 AM   #2
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If you think it dangerous, there must be a problem. Have you had your tracking / alignment checked? That can seriously affect the 'weight'.

I'd say get a pukka 4 wheel check done, then get back to your seller with proof of alignment if its still a problem. (alignment is afterall just good periodic maintenance anyway)

Best place for you would be http://www.sapphiregarage.co.uk

Highly rated by many (including Darren Wood BMW), the latest 3D kit, while you wait service.

Last edited by doughboy; 06-01-2011 at 03:21 AM.
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      06-01-2011, 03:38 AM   #3
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I'd look into worn out bushes...
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      06-01-2011, 03:45 AM   #4
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It's too light on the F10 too - there's a huge thread on the 5 forum about it. I'm hoping a software update may reduce the assistance. I wouldn't say dangerous, but it's a PITA.
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      06-01-2011, 04:11 AM   #5
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It's bad enough on the motorway that it's actually tiring to use, because I have to continually make tiny adjustments to stay in lane. I don't mean the usual adjustments for camber etc.
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      06-01-2011, 04:45 AM   #6
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Just in case.
Check your tyre pressures and make sure you are not over inflating them. Too high pressure will make the car feel light on the motorway.
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      06-01-2011, 05:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FieldingMellish View Post
It's bad enough on the motorway that it's actually tiring to use, because I have to continually make tiny adjustments to stay in lane. I don't mean the usual adjustments for camber etc.
That doesn't sound like an assistance issue.

With or without any PAS the steering should be steady and self centre at speed.

I'd still say alignment sounds most likely.
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      06-01-2011, 05:23 AM   #8
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What you say DB is of course correct, but I know exactly what FM means. My F10 is only a couple of weeks old and has not yet turned 500 miles but I get the same feeling and it's also widly reported on the 5-series board. The electric power steering is ridiculously over-assited.
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      06-01-2011, 05:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doughboy View Post
That doesn't sound like an assistance issue.

With or without any PAS the steering should be steady and self centre at speed.

I'd still say alignment sounds most likely.
Well I think it does 'centre'. And if I take my hands off the wheel, the car always goes the way I'd expect it to, i.e. it follows the prevailing camber. But the steering feels *so* light, at high speeds, that it feels hard to stay in lane.

Obviously it's hugely subjective, but I can't remember my old 57 plate 320d doing this.

I check my tyre pressures frequently BTW. I follow the recommendations on the door and put 37 front, 41 rears.
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      06-01-2011, 05:39 AM   #10
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EPAS is OFF when straight ahead (thats the whole point to save fuel), and the few tiny mm of turn you need at speed will likely be totally unassisted.

I still think you should have your alignment checked.

If you have insufficient or no front toe-in, for example, then the car will be difficult to maintain straight ahead and be very sensitive to even tiny inputs which may give the impression of over assistance.

Equally insufficient rear toe-in will make the car less stable at speed too.

For the £50 or so I'd get it checked first.

In the opposite way to you, it transformed my E91 when I had it done last year as the rears had way too much toe in which dulled the steering speed terribly.

Correct settings made all the difference.
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      06-01-2011, 05:43 AM   #11
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So all the F10s off the production line have incorrect alignment?
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      06-01-2011, 05:47 AM   #12
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Check tyre pressures, tread depth etc alsocheck for inconsistant wear on the tyres which will indicate an alignment issue.
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      06-01-2011, 05:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doughboy View Post
EPAS is OFF when straight ahead (thats the whole point to save fuel), and the few tiny mm of turn you need at speed will likely be totally unassisted.

I still think you should have your alignment checked.

If you have insufficient or no front toe-in, for example, then the car will be difficult to maintain straight ahead and be very sensitive to even tiny inputs which may give the impression of over assistance.

Equally insufficient rear toe-in will make the car less stable at speed too.

For the £50 or so I'd get it checked first.

In the opposite way to you, it transformed my E91 when I had it done last year as the rears had way too much toe in which dulled the steering speed terribly.

Correct settings made all the difference.

I assume getting BMW to check it won't be as reliable?

Is that £50 to check and, if necessary, adjust?
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      06-01-2011, 06:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FieldingMellish View Post
I assume getting BMW to check it won't be as reliable?

Is that £50 to check and, if necessary, adjust?
BMW will do a great job - for £280 or so. Alignment is a wear and tear issue so i'll doubt you get it for free.

You may as well go somewhere with the same type of accurate 4 wheel kit and get it set.

£50 will be check only, probably another £50 or so to set it.
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      06-01-2011, 06:41 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doughboy View Post
BMW will do a great job - for £280 or so. Alignment is a wear and tear issue so i'll doubt you get it for free.

You may as well go somewhere with the same type of accurate 4 wheel kit and get it set.

£50 will be check only, probably another £50 or so to set it.
Well, since I only bought the car a month ago, and reported steering/alignment problems within a week, surely they'll sort it for me? At least check teh alignment?
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      06-01-2011, 06:51 AM   #16
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I can imagine it will go something like:

'well sir it was fine when we sold it, you must have hit a curb or similar - £280 + vat please'

But, yes its worth a try for sure. I was forgetting you'd bought it so recently.
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      06-01-2011, 07:36 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doughboy View Post
I still think you should have your alignment checked.

If you have insufficient or no front toe-in, for example, then the car will be difficult to maintain straight ahead and be very sensitive to even tiny inputs which may give the impression of over assistance.

Equally insufficient rear toe-in will make the car less stable at speed too.

For the £50 or so I'd get it checked first.

In the opposite way to you, it transformed my E91 when I had it done last year as the rears had way too much toe in which dulled the steering speed terribly.

Correct settings made all the difference.
Fully Agree

I had my alignment done on the M3 after it was lowered. The factory had done a pretty poor job at setting it up and the car had lots of toe in causing dull steering feel BUT highly stable at motorway speeds.

They dialled out a lot of the toe-in which made the care turn in fantastically, it really felt very alive around the twisties, but at the detriment if straight line stability on the motorway. Steering felt very light and needed continual adjustments of the wheel to keep the car straight.

I went back and settled on a compromise between the two settings and the car was then spot on.

I would almost certainly say that the issue the OP has is to do with alignment, and prob due to very little or no toe in (it may even be toeing out!)

The OP doesn't own an F10 so cant see how this problem can be compared? BMW is sending all F10's out like this, no other E90's are generally suffering so not a 'design' or 'factory' fault so to speak.
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      06-01-2011, 09:10 AM   #18
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If the tyres are in reasonable condition, (no odd or strange wear) then alignment has to be involved, as even our traditional hydraulic assisted steering can have similar feelings, even if the weighting is heavier.

If there is odd tyre wear, then even more reason to suspect alignment.

BTW, the F10/11 steering issues are a very big subject and not at all well explained, as to where the faults originate. I sense a lot of head scratching, even at BMW engineering.

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      06-01-2011, 01:16 PM   #19
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Given how recently you bought the car, I would take it back and tell them to check the alignment. Make a fuss and hopefully they will roll over and do it for free.
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      06-01-2011, 03:29 PM   #20
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I have seen forst hand how many Honda S2000 came off the line with geo outside of the manufacturers own tolerances.

It is not outside the realms of possibility.
Often the subframe assembly is set up before bolting to the chassis.

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      06-01-2011, 03:57 PM   #21
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Can any place with a laser alignment machine do this, or do BMW have secret geometry values?
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      06-02-2011, 08:09 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FieldingMellish View Post
See older threads. Steering on my 58 plate 330i saloon is way too light. On the motorway, it's dangerous. Can *anything* be done to make the steering heavier??????
Once you have eliminated any worn component and tyre type/wear/pressure issues, and have had the alignment set correctly, (by correctly I mean using correct data for “M-Sport” model , also amended the input data for any “non-standard” wheel rim widths & diameters.

If you are still unhappy with the “weight” of your steering, one way of increasing the “weight” of your steering, would be to increase the front CASTOR angle, (by 1 to 1.5 degrees) this will “weight-up” the steering and also increase the self-centering action.

I have done this on E36 & E46 models (not needed to on my E92), and this method produced the desired effect.

There is always a pay-off for any geometry changes, nothing too drastic (in my experience), all depends on how much the “lightness” bothers you.

Hope you get it sorted.
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