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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > Steering Tune?



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      04-09-2018, 03:56 PM   #1
R&E
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Steering Tune?

I have a 2011 328xi w/ MSport. Looking to see if the steering can be tuned to make easier.
I have driven other 328s w/o the sport package and the steering seems easier, not sure if it was just me imagining but it did not feel as tight.
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      04-09-2018, 03:58 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R&E View Post
I have a 2011 328xi w/ MSport. Looking to see if the steering can be tuned to make easier.
I have driven other 328s w/o the sport package and the steering seems easier, not sure if it was just me imagining but it did not feel as tight.
Try replacing your power steering fluid and see if that helps first.
We have hydraulic steering so nothing can really be "tuned" without changing out the steering rack, steering pump, etc.
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      04-09-2018, 04:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toome View Post
We have hydraulic steering so nothing can really be "tuned" without changing out the steering rack, steering pump, etc.
Thanks, though it was another tunable/programmable part of the car. Tuned tighter for sport and easy/loose for luxury.
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      04-09-2018, 04:42 PM   #4
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Buy yourself an F30, problem solved. No but seriously The tight steering is the fun in these cars
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      04-09-2018, 05:12 PM   #5
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Just go drive the F30 for and day and you will forget this idea
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      04-09-2018, 05:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R&E View Post
I have a 2011 328xi w/ MSport. Looking to see if the steering can be tuned to make easier.
I have driven other 328s w/o the sport package and the steering seems easier, not sure if it was just me imagining but it did not feel as tight.
Wait, you want LESS steering feel?
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      04-09-2018, 05:39 PM   #7
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Yeah honestly our cars have one of the best steering feel that can be in a car. The new BMWs with electric steering cannot compare to my 335i and everytime I drive newer cars I just feel disconnected from the road.
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      04-09-2018, 06:04 PM   #8
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You should get rid of that E90 ASAP, sounds like you don't appreciate the tactility and feedback that makes that car so good to drive.

Seriously, buy an F30 immediately. Sounds like it's more suitable for your pedestrian wants out of a car.
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      04-09-2018, 06:54 PM   #9
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^^^^^ this

You are like the people I hate that complains it's too hot or humid in the summer. Well look at it now, it's spring and only +2c!!!

E90 has the most sublime steering feel unless you are a weak lazy guy.

But yes change the fluid. I didn't know sport had a different feel??
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      04-09-2018, 07:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asiflicious View Post
Wait, you want LESS steering feel?
Weight is not feel.

IMHO, the e9x steering is heavier than it has any need of being. But there isn't really anything you can do about it. The level of feel is nothing special, because it gets masked by the excessive weight.

The problem with the initial F30s was that the steering was both very light AND lacking in feel, but the two are not the same thing.
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      04-09-2018, 08:00 PM   #11
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When I bought my 335, the steering didn't feel very heavy. When I had work done to it, I got it back and it was like I was driving a different car... Very heavy. Not sure what in the hell they did to it, they said it was because they had to take to steering rack out to work on the motor and it would go away after driving it for a little. 4 months go by, and it's exactly the same. Kind of prefer it like this, tho. Feels like I have better control, it's not as numb as a lot of cars. Also, whenever I turn the wheel, there's a little creeking I can hear coming from behind the gauges.

Don't these cars have active steering? It's supposed to be easier to steer when going slow, then it gets heavier when going faster?
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      04-09-2018, 08:08 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by vb7200 View Post
When I bought my 335, the steering didn't feel very heavy. When I had work done to it, I got it back and it was like I was driving a different car... Not sure what in the hell they did to it, they said it was because they had to take to steering rack out to work on the motor and it would go away after driving it for a little. 4 months go by, and it's exactly the same. Kind of prefer it like this, tho. Feels like I have better control, it's not as numb as a lot of cars. Also, whenever I turn the wheel, there's a little creeking I can hear coming from behind the gauges.

Don't these cars have active steering? It's supposed to be easier to steer when going slow, then it gets heavier when going faster?
Because it is hydraulically assisted, it will be harder to turn at lower speeds and steering will get lighter with increased speeds.
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      04-09-2018, 08:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krhodes1 View Post
Weight is not feel.

IMHO, the e9x steering is heavier than it has any need of being. But there isn't really anything you can do about it. The level of feel is nothing special, because it gets masked by the excessive weight.

The problem with the initial F30s was that the steering was both very light AND lacking in feel, but the two are not the same thing.
It is a difficult subject to talk about. I know what you and OP mean, it's much harder to turn the wheel in these cars than many others. But is it that 'weight' that actually leads to excellent feedback, or something else, like the bushings and geometry, etc?

For instance, I have a C-Max hybrid with electric steering that's both light and numb, like most electric systems I've read about. Feedback sucks, but the rest of the car is set up well. Would it have better feedback if it had more steering weight, or just as numb? No idea, but I know the GT350 also has electric steering and it's supposed to have excellent feedback.
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      04-09-2018, 11:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krhodes1 View Post
Weight is not feel.

IMHO, the e9x steering is heavier than it has any need of being. But there isn't really anything you can do about it. The level of feel is nothing special, because it gets masked by the excessive weight.

The problem with the initial F30s was that the steering was both very light AND lacking in feel, but the two are not the same thing.
Yes. Finally someone gets it. As a comparison, the m3 e90 has quicker steering but remains heavy. Steering ratio on the non m3s is too high imo.
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      04-10-2018, 02:18 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R&E View Post
Thanks, though it was another tunable/programmable part of the car. Tuned tighter for sport and easy/loose for luxury.
Is "tunable" but not via software. Suspension components like springs, dampers and swaybars, together with tire make and model, tire specification, tire size, wheel offse, wheel size and alignment are all factors that would manipulate your experience with the vehicle steering.
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      04-10-2018, 07:31 AM   #16
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Pump your tyres up over the specified PSI, it’ll get light lol.
Seriously though, check your tyre pressure to see if they are low, change out the power steering fluid, get a 4 wheel alignment and check that the steering ball joints and top mounts on the front shocks are running smooth. If all the above is good then enjoy your car. My steering was a bit too heavy when I got my car, my power steering fluid was milky due to someone steam cleaning around the reservoir when the cap was loose and my top strut mount bearings were shot. After I sorted them and had a 4 wheel alignment the steering was much nicer.
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      04-10-2018, 08:17 AM   #17
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I have the same feeling as OP in my E91 xDrive. At low speeds, it's just too heavy for my taste with only 225 tires and yes my tire pressures are correctly set and it's been the same switching winter/summer tire sets and even with my new winter tires set from another brand/model. I was also wondering if/how I could "correct" this.

For all those guys "recommending" OP to switch car because his perception of the heavy steering feel....you realize there are quite a lot of variants of different steering systems in the E9x?

Anyways, I looked at the option sheet for the 2010 LCI E91 and here, all xDrive cars have the Servotronic as standard equipment, which should be an engine-belt-operated hydraulic power steering?
I was wondering if there was a way to "re-map" the controller actuating the power steering valves (whatever ECU that might be).. otherwise I guess we could only change out the steering rack/box.

Good point on the fluid anyways.. Will check that first I guess. I don't have any other suspension problems or noise as far as I can tell. Alignment-wise, I wonder if going to the RWD spec for the frontend would also change the steering feel in low speed scenarios much. I've always wanted to try that out with my x anyways, for better turn-in.
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      04-10-2018, 04:39 PM   #18
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he probably shares a car with his gf or wife with a electric or lighter steering ratio or electric steering.

same thing happens me, when i only drive my gf's audi for awhile and i go back to my e92. The steering feels broken.

When i drive my e92 for long periods of time, and i got back to driving her audi, the steering feels so wobbly, i think the steering wheel will fall off.

i think it'll be cool, once people start coming out with tunes for the steering on the electric steering cars like they have tunes for ecus.

it would be cool to program lighter steering a low speeds and gradually get heavier as you move to faster speeds. i know they have this already with variable steering, but it would be nice to be able to tune to change at your preference rate of change.

to answer the OP's question. there's no cheap way to change it.
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      04-11-2018, 07:41 AM   #19
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Since the "Servotronic" as in the (at least for 2010 LCI) xDrive models is just hydraulic power steering with electronic control of the magnetic valves for the amount of hydraulic assist over certain parameters, mainly vehicle speed, I think it would be possible to tweak that but ofc someone would need to hack into the software and see if we could change/flash the calibration to do the "re-map".
In my opinion it compares as heavy steering (at lower speeds) to a lot of cars btw.. RWD, FWD, SUV, pass cars, new, old..
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      04-11-2018, 08:51 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TemjinX2 View Post
it would be cool to program lighter steering a low speeds and gradually get heavier as you move to faster speeds. i know they have this already with variable steering, but it would be nice to be able to tune to change at your preference rate of change.

to answer the OP's question. there's no cheap way to change it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by renizer View Post
Since the "Servotronic" as in the (at least for 2010 LCI) xDrive models is just hydraulic power steering with electronic control of the magnetic valves for the amount of hydraulic assist over certain parameters, mainly vehicle speed, I think it would be possible to tweak that but ofc someone would need to hack into the software and see if we could change/flash the calibration to do the "re-map".
In my opinion it compares as heavy steering (at lower speeds) to a lot of cars btw.. RWD, FWD, SUV, pass cars, new, old..
Read on M3 steering rack retrofits. All of this has been discovered and already available. Different steering rack is required, different steering pump, two wires from ECU to steering rack and some coding.
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      04-11-2018, 11:18 AM   #21
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Thanks to all who had helpful comments. The others..some funny some are just idiots, there is no prerequisite to who is on this forum.

Will check the fluids and double-check the tire pressure.
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      04-11-2018, 01:42 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feuer View Post
Read on M3 steering rack retrofits. All of this has been discovered and already available. Different steering rack is required, different steering pump, two wires from ECU to steering rack and some coding.
i meant more in the realm of in the newer electric steering cars, you have the options in the ui to change the steering weight.

It would be nice to be able to setup custom steering setups for lets say high speed driving, with a faster custom steering ratio with heavier steering.

another with a happy medium in terms of ratio and weight for the canyons

and a traffic or parking lot tune with lighter steering but little slower ratio and be able to change them on the fly.

everyone is different it would be nice to have that additional customization ability that digital offers.
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