325xi steering wheel slip on right turn - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 07-17-2008, 08:23 AM
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325xi steering wheel slip on right turn

I have a 2001 325xi wagon - all wheel drive. When the car has been driven 30 minutes, the steering wheel shifts approx. 20 degrees clockwise when making a slow speed right turn. The slip in the steering wheel does not transfer to the front wheels. It is accompanied by a clunking noise similar to tapping you foot on plastic. This occurs most of the time, but not 100% of the time, only on right turns, and only when warm/hot. The problem started last fall, and disappeared when winter came. The dealer wanted to replace the steering knuckle then - which made sense, especially when the winter cold came. It seemed like a lubrication issue that happens when hot. I saw a local non-BMW guy lately - we were able to recreate the sound to a smaller degree in the parking lot. He could hear the clunk by putting his ear to a long screwdriver resting on the rack portion of the rack/pinion. I called the dealer who thinks it may be the differential. They said it makes sense because the car is all wheel drive and the right front axle is longer than the left. I have an appointment with the dealer tomrrow...
HELP!
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#2 (permalink) Old 07-17-2008, 09:59 AM
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Lightbulb

let's see what they say, but don't commit to anything just yet... a noise that has to do with a Plastic-like" sound is not a differential problem for sure.

You might try to inspect your wheel wells for scuffing or rubbing marks caused by your tires; the rubber boots of both drive axles and rack & pinion. and the tie rod ends.

*if steering knuckle is the prob... some greasing should lessen the sound somewhat, if not eliminate it; unless it is obvious that your tire moves untowardly when u manually shake the tire from side-to-side by hand.
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#3 (permalink) Old 07-21-2008, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkhorse737 View Post
let's see what they say, but don't commit to anything just yet... a noise that has to do with a Plastic-like" sound is not a differential problem for sure.

You might try to inspect your wheel wells for scuffing or rubbing marks caused by your tires; the rubber boots of both drive axles and rack & pinion. and the tie rod ends.

*if steering knuckle is the prob... some greasing should lessen the sound somewhat, if not eliminate it; unless it is obvious that your tire moves untowardly when u manually shake the tire from side-to-side by hand.
Darkhorse - thanks for the quick reply. The dealer wants to replace the knuckle, but what it sounds like is more than just a mechanical linkage - it's part of the power steering as well. They said it's a safety issue and I should not drive the car. I'm wondering how big a deal this issue is. The car is tight as new when cold, but when warm 30 minutes, the problem happens. The dealer wants $2,100 to fix + $300 in case other parts they take off need replacement. I already put in $500 for lower control arma and ball joint. I looked at the joints - there are two "universal type" joints that I can see. Neither one looks like it's binding up. With 118,000 miles, it's hard to justify the expense. May be time for a new car...?
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#4 (permalink) Old 07-21-2008, 09:05 PM
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i don't know how savvy you might be with mechanics.... but if u are not, the best way will be to go a reputable alignment shop.

Have them check your alignment(not that it is the problem)... but a reputable alignment shop(not the dealer) will usually tell you what could be wrong in ur suspension and steering system. PLUS, they will not go ahead with alignment if there is something blatantly wrong.

From there, you can better assess what it is you are up against. an alignment job is around $40... tht is well worth the expense for a 2nd opinion.
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#5 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 04:22 PM
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Its the hydro steering unit. If it fails, the steering is non-existant. Looks like I need to fix it. I'm thinking of rebuilt/re-furbished and a local mechanic (not BMW) doing the repair. Any thoughts about rebuilt/refurbished units? They're half the price.
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#6 (permalink) Old 08-08-2008, 10:10 AM
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they're just as good

am glad u found your prob - Good Luck to you
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#7 (permalink) Old 09-01-2009, 08:33 AM
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I'm having the exact same issue on my 2002 325xi sedan. It's very annoying and actually completely disappeared during the winter months (because the car didn't warm up enough I guess).

Anyway, is it all fixed now?? What was the final thing that fixed it, how much did it cost, etc???

THanks,

-BL
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#8 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 12:23 PM
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Anyone?
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