3-Series (E46, E90)Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.
My 2000 E46 coupe was recently in an accident that left both of the passenger’s side wheels practically falling off the car. The front wheel was reattached to the steering mechanism, and numerous suspension components were replaced in front and back, along with rotors. Lots of other stuff too… but I can’t decipher all the stuff on the repair form.
I just picked up my car from the dealership yesterday, and unfortunately there are two problems with the steering.
First, and most annoying, the steering wheel is not 100% centered relative to the wheels, i.e. to make the car go perfectly straight, the steering wheel has to be turned slightly clockwise.
Second, the steering is much lighter than before the accident. It’s like someone turbocharged the power steering or something. I want my car to have the same degree of variable assist steering it had previously.
Does anyone know how these issues may have arisen in the repair process, or what can be done to correct them? Does BMW use computers to let them know if the steering wheel is perfectly in sync with the car wheels, or is it just more of a visual “close enough” type thing? Do they use computers to gauge how firm a steering wheel feels when turned?
I of course plan to take the car back to be looked at, I’d just like to be informed before I do so.
During the 4 wheel alignment process the steering wheel should be centered and then locked in to place using a special tool before making adjustments on the vehicle. There is room there for human error. The shop will need to re-do the alignment to fix this. As far as the steering feeling lighter, that's a tough one. Is it extremely different or is it just minor? Could it just be that the tire pressures are now set to spec along with a new steering rack and suspension components so now everything is back like new again and working more efficiently than your older components? Its hard to say without driving it. Of course have the dealer recheck it and see what they can come up with.
The steering is much lighter than it has ever been. It was tightest when new, and seems to have loosened with age... but these repairs have just taken it to a whole new level. I'll adjust the tire pressures back to my liking though to eliminate that variable.
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