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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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Old 12-14-2003, 08:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I have only noticed this problem while the car is cold, but im not saying its limited to when the car is cold.

Yesterday i started my car to move it and turned the wheel, the wheel jittered back and forth real strong only when i tried to turn it. I gave it a few seconds, tried again, and got the same response. After waiting another 30 sec. or so, the car moved, turned and felt like normal.

Today i start my car after leaving a restaraunt; I back out and begin to turn the wheel and it feels as if it is slipping, It felt like the wheel was turning, but the wheels on thec ar were not.

I may not be describing this as accurate as it can / should be but this is the best i can do according to what i feel. Does anybody have any suggestions or ideas of things to check?

btw - my fluids are all ok.

Thanks!
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Old 12-15-2003, 12:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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what year and how many miles?? There was a steering rack upgrade/recall for some models. If the car is under warranty, then check with the dealer. My first suspect would be the rack, probably a loose seal inside. There is a chance it could be a pump but usually you will hear the pump making alot of noise. And you've checked the fluid levels and conditions? Was the fluid dark or smell like it's burned?
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Old 12-15-2003, 12:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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whoops, sorry but I just noticed in your signature what model you have. So scratch the last post of mine. Do you have self leveling on your car? Have you noticed and leaks or noises or difficulty while driving at speed?
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Old 12-15-2003, 02:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Im not sure if it is self leveling or not, how do i find out?

I have not noticed anything else unusual - and this problem doesnt even happen often, but it just happened two days in a row so i think something is finally going.
I do however, notice that if i take a fast corner, it feels liket he wheels slip or somethingbut it is always controllable. Thanks very much for your help.
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Old 12-17-2003, 03:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Forgot to add, the fluid looked like new and was bright red, but i didnt smell it - i will go out in a bit and check that too
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Old 12-17-2003, 03:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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ANy chance of a blockage in the lines? then when the fluid heats up it is able to get around the blockage? Just throwing out a guess.
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Old 12-17-2003, 03:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ok, i just took my little beast for a drive - it was great, didnt even replicate the problem when it was cold. I drove all around, came home, made a u-turn and i felt the wheel slip again. Now, what are the chances that this is my steering box? It really feels like when i turn it just kinda clicks or jitters or slips. Im not sure exactly how to explain it.

So i have a few simpler questions:
1) What are the symptoms of a bad steering box
2) How would it feel it it was the pump AND / OR could the pump cause this kind of problem?
3) Is there anything that i can check after explaining this?

Thanks guys.
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Old 12-17-2003, 04:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Sporky,
did you ever find that noise under your car?
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Old 12-17-2003, 04:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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did you ever find that noise under your car?
I wish! i can grab everything and shake it violently, its all tight and nothing makes a peep. It's a little frustrating and not somethign i want to spend a lot of money on to fix as it doesnt seem to be affecting anything. Im starting to think shocks or shock mounts however, because when someone in the backseat gets out, the car squeaks as it returns to its height.
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Old 12-19-2003, 03:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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wait, what was this "noise"
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Old 12-19-2003, 05:25 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The noise was some type of rattling at low speeds under the car in the rear. even on smooth roads, theres a metal to metal sound. The only suggestion that i've had that i dont know how to figure out was the drive shaft used
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Old 12-20-2003, 02:12 AM   #12 (permalink)
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ohhh yeah, I remember. I posted a reply to check your cat. The BMW cats are notorious for coming apart inside and then while driving at slow speeds, the pieces rattle inside. As far as the steering, there is either a pump or a gearbox issue. To be honest, I would lean more towards the gearbox.
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Old 12-20-2003, 05:04 AM   #13 (permalink)
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hmmm. that leaves me with a couple of questions.

The gearbox is $1300 for my car so is that repairable or would i need to replace it?

Other question is - It hasn't been acting up since then so how would i go about diagnosing that - I am afraid tot take it to a repair shop becuase im pretty sure that it wont do it when i drop it off

Thanks again
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Old 12-20-2003, 05:22 AM   #14 (permalink)
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it could be repairable but you won't know until it's apart. I can't even tell you for sure that this is your problem, but it's suspect. For $1300, most times it comes down to dollar justification versus the vehicle.
WAIT a minute, have you checked your power steering belt?
Check it good. Check the tension and condition. You might actually just have a loose or deteriorated belt that may be slipping under load and therefore the pump looses pressure for a minute and then catches back up.
As far as the rattle goes, get a rubber mallet and whack the center of the cat several times listening for a rattle. If you hear something loose, then that's your problem. There is a chance that the reason you haven't heard it lately is because the pieces have wedged themselve within the case and aren't "loose".
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Old 12-20-2003, 05:18 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Okay, well i went under the hood to check the belts and they were perfect, looked brand new and tight, checked all my service records and they were changed about 12k mi. ago. Im guessing they have some life left on them.

I finally got around to checking the smell of the fluid and it does smell pretty burned. Could this be the issue? I read somewhere that if i change the fluid myself i can only change it about 60%, if this is true - would that be okay?

Also, since i bought my car it sounds like a diesel engine. The sound that i hear, i always thought was a belt - but after looking at the belts they appear to be fine. I was told that the noise could be the power steering pump. If this is true, it makes sense, however the noise doesnt get stronger or go away when the wheel is turned.

Theres the update for today.

Thanks again!
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