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      08-02-2013, 02:41 PM   #1
jose325i
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Sloppy, light steering

I'm wondering if anyone else had this problem, and fixed it. My 135i has a very light and loose steering wheel feel. It only has 35k miles. Everyone raves about the heavy feel of the 135i. I drove some of my friends' e82 and e92 and it felt so heavy and on-center, and completely different from my car.

Dropped it off at the dealer today, and the tech that drove it with me said it felt "within spec" then proceeded to blame it on a bad alignment and hankook non-RFT tires. He said they would visually inspect my front suspension, and will call me back later today. I hope they find the issue, but the tech seemed to think it felt fine as is, which it is clearly not.

Any suggestions?
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      08-02-2013, 02:46 PM   #2
crex
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Did you check your tire pressure?
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      08-02-2013, 02:51 PM   #3
wheresmylsd33
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I've seen other members stating that after a lot of hard driving their front suspension components became "loose", requiring tightening of all the bolts and connection points to restore the original feel.
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      08-02-2013, 03:06 PM   #4
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what tires do you have? steering felt much lighter (and sharper) when i had runflats on.
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      08-02-2013, 03:25 PM   #5
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There are a number of things that could be causing this for you.

As mentioned above it could be your tires/tire pressure. But it also could be caused by bad allignment (hitting a big pothole can throw your car out of alignment, causing the sloppy steering). It also could be some of your suspension parts wearing down, which wouldn't be too uncommon with 35,000 miles on the car, especially if the alignment is a little off. The top three culprits woudl be control arms, ball joints, or tie rods. Hope this helps!
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      08-02-2013, 04:20 PM   #6
jose325i
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Thanks for all the helpful responses!

The car came with brand new hankook ventus v12 evo tires when I bought it. The dealer just called me back telling me to try and rule out the tires bring the culprit (basically telling me to go replace my tires with runflats) then coming in for an alignment if that doesn't resolve the issue. They said they visually inspected my front suspension and that everything looked fine. No mention of possibly worn parts, which I found strange considering the soft bushings, mileage and bad houston roads.

When I get my car back, I'll get under the car and check the suspension and steering column for play myself, checking everything for tightness as a friend moves the wheel back and forth.

I had the car aligned at NTB not too long ago, but the problem was already present before doing so, and has not improved or gotten worse since doing it. I'll take it back and see if maybe my off-center steering wheel has something to do with it. It was really bad before I took it to NTB, and is now much better, but still not quite right. I think the previous owner hit a pothole before trading it in. I'll have NTB redo the alignment, with me in the car to make sure the lack of added weight isn't the issue.

Tire pressures are ok, I just topped them up 2 weeks ago with no improvement.
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      08-02-2013, 04:43 PM   #7
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Hey do you have M-sport suspension? The 1ers I've driven felt much looser then ones with the sport suspension
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      08-02-2013, 05:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jose325i View Post

The car came with brand new hankook ventus v12 evo tires
That is the standard criticism of those tires. They are otherwise well-reviewed.
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      08-02-2013, 08:01 PM   #9
jose325i
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombie1 View Post
Hey do you have M-sport suspension? The 1ers I've driven felt much looser then ones with the sport suspension
Yes, mine has the M-sport suspension (don't all 135's have it?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryS View Post
That is the standard criticism of those tires. They are otherwise well-reviewed.
Just did some searching, and it looks like it probably is the tires. Any specific tires you would recommend that offer better steering feel?
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      08-02-2013, 08:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jose325i View Post
Yes, mine has the M-sport suspension (don't all 135's have it?)



Just did some searching, and it looks like it probably is the tires. Any specific tires you would recommend that offer better steering feel?
Do you have active steering?
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      08-02-2013, 09:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jose325i View Post


Just did some searching, and it looks like it probably is the tires. Any specific tires you would recommend that offer better steering feel?
I wouldn't rule that as a culprit, I had the same tires for 10,000 miles and not once did they make the steering feel 'loose'. Well until I hit a pothole and threw my car out of alignment/needed new bushings. I would check everything yourself first just in case, because spending tons on new tires when it could just be a bushing is no fun.
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      08-03-2013, 05:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jose325i View Post
Yes, mine has the M-sport suspension (don't all 135's have it?)



Just did some searching, and it looks like it probably is the tires. Any specific tires you would recommend that offer better steering feel?
Well the old Michelin PS2 had the reputation for most responsive feel. It's not really available anymore and has been replaced by Pilot Super Sport. That is an excellent tire in every way, but I don't know whether there's another newer tire that has better steering response.

Oh, I'll add that the runflats do have a very sharp feel due to the stiff sidewalls. But you might not like everything about them. They are also a newer model tire since the ones I had.
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      08-03-2013, 07:45 AM   #13
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Hmmm....2 brand new threads created 25 minutes apart on similar issues with the steering, it must be contagious!

All I can say is that the steering on my 135 with Yokos is impressively firm, direct & responsive. I drove a 320D the other day and felt like I was turning the helm on a ship.
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      08-03-2013, 10:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cat-like View Post
Hmmm....2 brand new threads created 25 minutes apart on similar issues with the steering, it must be contagious!

All I can say is that the steering on my 135 with Yokos is impressively firm, direct & responsive. I drove a 320D the other day and felt like I was turning the helm on a ship.
+1, i commented on the other thread, these guys must have something wrong, my steering is heavy and it feels good like my e46's did, at all speeds.

The 135i steering communicates well with the driver, great feel and feedback
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      08-03-2013, 10:01 AM   #15
jose325i
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rukuss View Post
Do you have active steering?
No. The PS fluid reservoir cap has the green circle sticker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SGM <3 View Post
I wouldn't rule that as a culprit, I had the same tires for 10,000 miles and not once did they make the steering feel 'loose'. Well until I hit a pothole and threw my car out of alignment/needed new bushings. I would check everything yourself first just in case, because spending tons on new tires when it could just be a bushing is no fun.
Yeah, I'll get under the car and see for myself tomorrow. I have some 19" wheels laying around with some very worn yokohama advan sports. They still felt great on my e46 when I took them off, so I'll try them on and see if it changes the feel or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryS View Post
Well the old Michelin PS2 had the reputation for most responsive feel. It's not really available anymore and has been replaced by Pilot Super Sport. That is an excellent tire in every way, but I don't know whether there's another newer tire that has better steering response.

Oh, I'll add that the runflats do have a very sharp feel due to the stiff sidewalls. But you might not like everything about them. They are also a newer model tire since the ones I had.
Thanks for the recommendations, I'll keep an eye out for those after I wear out my current set. I'm not throwing away new tires, I would rather live with it meanwhile if they end up being the culprit
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      08-06-2013, 12:02 PM   #16
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These are mechanical parts that can loosen up over time. I would suggest thinking about the front control arm kit, which will give you a heavier and more aggressive steering feedback. It is a great value once you feel the before & after.

-Mike
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