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      05-11-2012, 11:10 PM   #1
rondocap
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E90 heavy steering, what do you think?

My 2008 335i has very heavy steering. I hurt my hand the other day and was really struggling with k turns and parking lot maneuvers. Very heavy steering.

Now, on the highway it's great - very precise and you get good feedback from the road.

Is that normal? I'm assuming my car does to have active steering, which a lot of people seem to dislike and find "non-enthusiast".

A 2011 335i xdrive I drove had much softer steering, at lower speeds. It probably had it.
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      05-12-2012, 12:41 AM   #2
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      05-12-2012, 12:47 AM   #3
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      05-12-2012, 01:07 AM   #4
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I also find the steering a little too heavy and despite how much people rave about how well it communicates to the driver... I'm not completely sold... Heavy/stiff steering does not necessarily mean you receive better feedback...

Also I ran a tight auto x course and could not stand it, on the track it was great, but there is still a lot to be desired in my opinion...

Last edited by E90 87ss; 05-12-2012 at 01:12 AM.
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      05-12-2012, 01:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90 87ss View Post
I also find the steering a little too heavy and despite how much people rave about how well it communicates to the driver... I'm not completely sold... Heavy/stiff steering does not necessarily mean you receive better feedback...

Also I ran a tight auto x course and could not stand it, on the track it was great, but there is still a lot to be desired in my opinion...
Weight doesn't always equal feedback, but my understanding is that it is easier to design a steering with road feel if the assist level is lower.

If you want a high assist steering that still communicates well, I suspect your hydraulic system will have to be very high quality, in terms of linearity, response time, etc. The steering does not care which end the input is coming from (whether it is the driver's input going down, or the change in grip level/road surface going up). So a steering system that does more work for you when you steer will also do more "translations" when the road talks. If you want a truly communicative steering, it's probably easier to make a more "honest" system by keeping the assist level low.

In addition, heavy steering certainly adds a sense of stability, especially at high speed. It's obviously not the best for autocross, but I'm pretty sure that is not the primary environment that BMW has in mind for the 3er.

P.S. I am a small guy with no upper body strength. My wife is even smaller. Neither of us really have a "problem" with the steering, even in parking lots. So I honestly can't imagine this being "too much" for anyone but the grannies. You could be annoyed, sure, but let's not forget that people used to drive before there was power steering.

Last edited by Propagator; 05-12-2012 at 01:32 AM.
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      05-12-2012, 01:26 AM   #6
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The normal driving feel is suppose to be heavy (at least compared to most other cars).

But if you've noticed it being heavier than before, it could an issue with your power steering pump. A good way to check: while parked, pop your hood, windows down, and while engine is idling, turn the steering wheel all the way right and then left. Listen attentively to any unusually loud whining sounds coming from the engine bay while you're turning the steering wheel.

Last edited by dryicerx; 05-12-2012 at 01:33 AM.
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      05-12-2012, 03:51 AM   #7
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If it is a pump, easy fix or costly?
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      05-12-2012, 06:40 AM   #8
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I find BMW steering heavier than most, but I've also never had any issues with it when parking etc.... Compared to an overboosted cargo van it almost feels like non-power steering at first at least until you realize that you can still park it.
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      05-12-2012, 07:50 AM   #9
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I *love* it that way.
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      05-12-2012, 08:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
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If it is a pump, easy fix or costly?
Not an easy fix and costly! Your first clue...BMW!
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      05-12-2012, 08:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dryicerx View Post
The normal driving feel is suppose to be heavy (at least compared to most other cars).

But if you've noticed it being heavier than before, it could an issue with your power steering pump. A good way to check: while parked, pop your hood, windows down, and while engine is idling, turn the steering wheel all the way right and then left. Listen attentively to any unusually loud whining sounds coming from the engine bay while you're turning the steering wheel.
I have noticed this sound. I don't believe I have any issues though, should I mention it to the dealer? I thought it was normal
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      05-12-2012, 09:16 AM   #12
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Don't turn the steering wheel unless the car is moving. It will feel softer and will increase the life of all the parts involved...
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      05-12-2012, 09:46 AM   #13
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This is my first BMW with A/S. How I miss the heavy steering of my former non-A/S BMWs, especially the 330i. Best of them all.
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      05-12-2012, 01:13 PM   #14
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It's heavy relative to most other cars, but not enough to be bothersome, in my view. A little more boost at maneuvering speed would make it easier to palm the wheel, but go drive a car with manual steering and you might not complain about yours anymore. Make sure your front tires are properly inflated and, as suggested above, crank the wheel while the car's rolling.
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      05-12-2012, 01:16 PM   #15
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The reports on the f30

Say it feel pretty wimpy with the electrical steering.
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      05-12-2012, 01:49 PM   #16
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assuming their are no mechanical issues, i guess vocal complaints like this to BMW is why the F30 is the way it is
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      05-12-2012, 05:16 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwforme View Post
assuming their are no mechanical issues, i guess vocal complaints like this to BMW is why the F30 is the way it is
i agree...everyone complains about heavy steering so now they went with electronic steering
feels like crap...no feedback whatsoever
thats whats stopping me from getting one....
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      05-12-2012, 05:26 PM   #18
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Driving different cars from modern to old sports cars...
IMHO
The 3's are a little heavy but handle in a fantastic manner even when trying to park.
Try parking a 30+ year old sports car.
My wife tells me the BMW feels "Heavy" to her.
I think it was intended, (Not like an E90 is a lightweight car by ANY means).
My Alfa 164 was similar in size and weight but the 328 does handle, corner and parallel park easier. (It is in fact easier to parallel park than the FIAT that is 1/3 its weight).
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      05-12-2012, 06:44 PM   #19
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There is actually a very common problem on E90/E92 vehicles that will cause heavy steering. The joint on the steering shaft seizes up causing heavy steering with parking lot maneuvers and slow driving. The steering shaft needs to be replaced if this is what is happening to you.
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      05-12-2012, 07:17 PM   #20
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You could always compare your car to a service loaner just in case...
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      05-12-2012, 07:30 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90 87ss View Post
I also find the steering a little too heavy and despite how much people rave about how well it communicates to the driver... I'm not completely sold... Heavy/stiff steering does not necessarily mean you receive better feedback...

Also I ran a tight auto x course and could not stand it, on the track it was great, but there is still a lot to be desired in my opinion...
agreed.

take porsche for example.



anyway to the op: put more air in your front tires
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      05-12-2012, 07:49 PM   #22
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It's too heavy at low speeds for most people. Most of the gorillas on this forum like it that way, including myself.. ooh ooh.
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