1997 318i Steering Problem - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

 
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#1 (permalink) Old 07-22-2004, 12:13 PM
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Hey fellas, this is a huge shot in the dark but i'm basically looking for any ideas.

About 2 months ago, i let my girlfriend drive my bmw. She drove it into a curb at 70 mph, because she couldn't find the brakes. Anyway, this is over, 1400$ later i get 2 new hubcaps + tires and a new radiator, control arms on the left side where the impact was, and the car is working fine.

Cue 3,000 miles later - i'm taking a turn pretty sharp, because the steering in this car is pretty tight, and i go to straighten out the steering wheel and it feels like it went limp in my hand. I pull over to see if i have a flat tire- nothing. From that point on, there has been a large amount of play in my steering wheel. The steering does NOT feel tight like it used to, i have to turn the wheel a lot more than i should to take small turns. Basically, loose steering.

I took it to the BMW certified pre-owned dealership to have them fix it. They take a look and call me with a quote of 1750$ saying my steering rack and a left tire rod needs to be replaced. I cringe, but say fine because the car is worth keeping with 60,000 miles on it.

Yesterday i went to pick it up, elated, and i jump in, turn to pull out, and the problem is still there. It feels exactly the same.

Clearly they did the wrong kind of work and didn't asses the right problem. I know my car very well and it feels like i'm driving a boat. I dropped it off again today and they're doing what they can to figure out what is wrong, but i'm scared that they have no idea what they're doing and will never identify the problem. They say mechanically everything looks tight, suspension is fine etc.

What else do you guys think could be causing this? 1750$ hurts, especially when they replace something or do work on something that quite possibly didnt need anything done to it. I *hope* they find the problem because i love this car, but i dont know what to do if they dont, and i dont even know what my rights are towards the 1750$ i spent. Thanks for your advice or ideas.
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#2 (permalink) Old 07-22-2004, 06:30 PM
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Man that freaking sucks, some mechanics are assholes they just want money. I went to this one mechanic who, i think, ulbolted some shit on my power steering pump and made it leak. Anyways you think the power steering, control arms or pinnion is messed up?
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#3 (permalink) Old 07-22-2004, 06:50 PM
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Maybe there was a leak in the power steering or something?

Good luck getting it fixed.

Kevin

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#4 (permalink) Old 07-23-2004, 10:17 AM
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Yup, when you said steering went limp, I thought power steering pump. This is also something you couldn't physically see, so the moron mechanic you took it to, may not have thought to check it. I dont' see how drilling a curb at 70 would kill your power steering pump, but that is what it sounds like...

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#5 (permalink) Old 07-23-2004, 10:26 AM
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Power steering was the first thing that popped into my head. Hitting the curb maybe could have killed some of the lines or the pump possibly? Its worth checking out since it is steering related. Goodluck dude...

1996 318i
5 Speed Manual

Alpine CDA-7895 Head Unit
12" Alpine Type-R, sealed box
Pioneer 400w amp for $20 at a yard sale (to replace my fried MRV-1507)
Infinity Kappa 4" 2-way speakers(rear)
Infinity Kappa 5.25" component speakers(front)
Debaffled airbox, K&N filter
Tracked Mud on carpets
Shampooed and cleaned carpets
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