E85/E86 BMW Z4 Steering Issues [ How to Fix! ]

Breaking down BMW Z4 steering issues are a standard prevalence. From 2003 to 2009, BMW put in an electrical energy steering column that’s liable to failure in its Z4s.

Breaking down how you can diagnose and substitute a defective energy steering column

However how have you learnt your BMW Z4’s steering subject is a defective electrical energy steering column and never one other downside like a faulty torque sensor? And as soon as you identify, the electrical energy steering column is the issue how do you repair it?
Don’t stress out; we’ll stroll you thru all the things step-by-step. Moreover, we’ll let you know the way a lot it ought to value to interchange it. Whether or not you’re attempting to do the work your self to resolve your BMW Z4 column points, or merely attempting to keep away from having the store rip you off, we’ve you coated!

Electrical Energy Steering Column Failure

With regards to diagnosing an electrical energy steering column failure, the method is straight ahead. The very first thing you’re going to note is that you just don’t have any energy steering. What’s that imply? Whenever you go to show the steering wheel, it’s going to be quite a bit tougher than typical.

You’ll nonetheless have the ability to flip the car, but it surely’s going to take much more work! It’s one thing you’re going to note, regardless of how sturdy you might be. Furthermore, it’s not one thing you can postpone repairing. That’s as a result of because it’s a lot tougher to show the car, you gained’t have the ability to navigate site visitors safely. On prime of the plain energy steering failure, whenever you look down on the dashboard, you’re going to note that you’ve got an influence steering mild on. Nonetheless, you’re not going to know for certain that you have to substitute your total electrical energy steering column till you hook up a scan device and try to talk with the steering system.

When you have a defective energy steering column, you gained’t get any communication from the steering system. Which means your steering angle sensor and steering torque sensors will give off a studying of “-“ or don’t have anything there in any respect relying on the scan device that you’re utilizing.

When you have all these signs, you seemingly have a defective energy steering column. Nevertheless, there’s an unlikely likelihood that each your torque sensor and steering angle sensor failed on the identical time. However that is the place Occam’s razor comes into play. Or as my previous foreman preferred to say, KISS it. Preserve it easy silly. Methods to keep away from this
The quick reply is don’t purchase a BMW Z4 that was constructed between 2003 and 2009. We might let you know that routine upkeep is one of the simplest ways to keep away from this, however the fact is whereas routine upkeep prevents a ton of points, a defective energy steering column isn’t one in every of them.

One of the best you are able to do will not be drive your automobile prefer it’s out on the monitor daily of the week. However after all, in the event you’re driving like that, you could count on some points to pop up right here and there, proper? Apart from that, maintain your fingers crossed and hope you get fortunate!

How costly is it to restore?

BMW Z4 Expensive Repair Power Steering Column Failure

The dangerous information is that it’s a few 300-dollar restore in the event you do all of the work your self. And that’s to get your electrical energy steering column rebuilt. You gained’t have the ability to discover a new one in the marketplace, and also you gained’t have the ability to rebuild it your self (until you may have a totally useful machine store, wherein case you shouldn’t want this text!).

And in the event you’re taking it to a store for another person to do the work, it’s going to be considerably costlier than that. That’s as a result of to get to the electrical energy steering column, you have to take off the rack and pinion, which implies you have to disassemble your entire steering meeting. Then your defective electrical energy steering column must be despatched out to be rebuilt—all that leads as much as about 8 hours of labor.

With dealership charges various between $75 and $200 per hour relying in your space, you possibly can count on your entire restore to value between $900 and $1,900. Not an affordable restore by any means. However when the selection is an costly restore or a Z4 with none energy steering, what possibility do you may have?

Lastly, don’t count on the restore to occur in a single day both. That’s as a result of even your BMW dealership will seemingly have to ship out your electrical energy steering column to be rebuilt. So even underneath the best-case eventualities, you possibly can count on your automobile to be within the store for every week.

Methods to full the restore

We’ll stroll you thru the restore, however we have to emphasize upfront that that is NOT a small job. Moreover, in the event you set up the half unsuitable, you’re going to break your newly rebuilt electrical energy steering column AND your rack and pinion. However in the event you’re nonetheless assured in your talents after studying that warning, maintain scrolling, and we’ll let you know how you can do it!

As beforehand talked about, the very first thing you have to do is take away your rack and pinion. Sure, it’s technically doable to finish the restore if the rack and pinion remains to be on the car, however accessibility goes to be a big subject, and also you’ll wind up taking much more components off.

To get the rack and pinion off, you’ll have to disconnect it from the steering column, ensure your steering wheel is centered and doesn’t get moved round as soon as it’s disconnected. If not, you’ll find yourself tearing all of it aside once more to get your steering wheel centered.

From there, you possibly can jack up the frontend of the car and take off the wheels so you possibly can simply entry the outer tie rod ends and pull out the rack and pinion whenever you get all the things disconnected. As soon as the wheels are off, you have to take away the outer tie rod ends from the steering knuckles. Lastly, you’ll have to take away the rack and pinion mounting bolts and disconnect {the electrical} connecter to the electrical energy steering column.

After getting the rack and pinion disconnected from the chassis, you possibly can pull it out by way of one of many uncovered wheel wells. It’s going to wish a little bit finessing to work it out, however you are able to do it! After getting your rack and pinion out, the enjoyable a part of the job can start!

The following step is to take away the digital energy steering column. You begin by eradicating the 5 T-45 bolts on the aspect of the digital energy steering column. When you take away all 5 T-45 bolts, you possibly can gently pry off the protecting and expose the innards of the electrical energy steering motor.

With the duvet off, you may have the proper likelihood to take a look at the belt and gears and ensure all the things is in working order. Please be aware that until you take away your entire interior tie rod finish (and also you don’t have to!), you gained’t have the ability to take away the protecting fully. Nevertheless, it is possible for you to to maneuver it far sufficient again to finish the job.

From there, you have to take away the three T-40 bolts to disconnect the motor from the remainder of the meeting. Earlier than you pry it off, you NEED to rotate the interior retaining ring, so the groove behind the belt is aligned with the splines.

Use a small screwdriver to softly pry within the grooves of the interior retaining ring to rotate to the correct place. Be certain that to mark the interior retaining ring groove location with a paint marker, so you set it again on the correct method throughout reassembly. For those who fail to take action, you WILL injury your rack and pinion and electrical energy steering column.

Lastly, earlier than prying off the electrical energy steering column with a screwdriver, disconnect {the electrical} connectors. Now that you just acquired it off, you possibly can ship it out to be examined and rebuilt! To reinstall all the things, observe these instructions within the reverse order.

Are there any remembers about this downside?

The very last thing that you really want when you’re driving down the highway is on your electrical energy steering column to provide out. It’s a security function that you just count on to work whenever you want it. Alas, whereas there most likely ought to be a recall on the electrical energy steering column, the unhappy truth is that one doesn’t exist.

And for a car sequence that has already run by way of its paces and is on the older finish of issues, we will count on that one isn’t coming any time quickly. What’s that imply for you? Despite the fact that the steering column going out is a persistent subject, the restore prices fall again on you.


BMW Z4 column points can look like the bane of your existence. And whereas they definitely might be an costly headache, with the correct know-how and a while, you possibly can restore your BMW Z4 steering issues and get again out on the highway!

Write us your complaints

For those who encounter this steering subject, please write a remark beneath explaining the issue and the way it began. We need to file a grievance in opposition to BMW to start out recalling this BMW Z4 era (E85-E86). The issue is one in every of a foul manufacturing and BMW ought to repair it totally free! Trying ahead to studying your complaints. Drive protected!

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