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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys I have owned my e46 for a bout 3 years now. Ever since I got it I realized it felt as if it had a "heavy steering wheel". Keep in mind that I owned a civic before my e46. The hondas steering wheel was soo smooth and so easy to turn. I'm not complaining but I wanted to know if my fellow fanatics felt the steering the same. Never really got around to posting this till now. So my question is: is your steering play smooth or a little stiff?
 

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Yes, its more heavy than Audi or Benz steering but at the same time it gives you more feedback. I like it much more than the one in my Audi A6....
 

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My steering is stiff the way it should be. Thats what makes me feel so connected to the road.

If you want an easy turning steering wheel, try lexus.
 

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Before I bought my BMW I had a Honda then an Acura. The BMW steering feel is definitely heavier. This is a good thing!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yea! Ok this helps alot. I don't have any buddies that own a e46 so I can't physically go and feel the way theirs steer. I like how the steerig feels as well. I feel as if the e46 feels more "solid" when your driving.

Thank you guys. I just wanted to make sure my steering wasnt messing up since day one lol.
 

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Mine is heavy too. I suppose it's ok. It's certainly very "BMW". Although for my particular use, it's a bit much.

Paolo
 

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My steering is kind of light compared to other E46's I've driven. There's probably something wrong with mine, but I prefer it over the other ones.
 

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Keep in mind that steering feel in the e46 changed in 2001? to a lighter feel. BMW got negative feedback and switched it back to a stiffer rack the next yr.
 

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my 02 bmw's vin come back as a 02/03. Is my steering so post to be stiff as it is then or lighter. Maybe i should have it checked
Youve got a problem if that is the case. Possible tag job if youre not the originalk owner.

I have a 2003MY and it was produced 10/02.

A 2002MY should not have anything later than say 08/02 or 09/02 - but I think 2003MY production began in 09/02.

I dont know how you have a 2002MY with a 02/03 production, UNLESS you mean 03/02 which of course would make sense.

If you mean 03/02 than I think its safe to assume you have the stiffer feel wheel. I will check on a BMW wiki to be sure.
 

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I was a little off on year.


http://www.bimmerfest.com/wiki/index.php?title=BMW_E46#What_was_the_steering_retrofit.3F

BMW marketing had feedback that said that their cars took too much effort to turn the wheel in slow speed situations, i.e. parking. BMW modified the steering rack and system to decrease the steering effort. Those owners who have had extensive experience with E36's (previous generation 3 series) or pre June 2000 cars have stated that there was also a resulting loss of road feel through the steering wheel. Many of these board members have dubbed the "new" steering feel equipped cars as the "Ultimate Parking Machine".

Various owners have stated that the only E46's spared this steering boost and loss in road feel are those equipped with the all wheel drive option (i.e. Xi's).

Current rumors state that the steering rack was modified again starting in Jan. 1, 2001 and that the "old" steering was phased in. Some E46s produced between Jan and April may or may not have the "old" steering. If you are unsure, check out post April 2001 cars and compare steering feel. See these posts from "Ginger" and Jon S. Post 1 & Post 2. Those with post-April 1, 2001 have stated that the steering feel was indeed not pre-June 2000 feel, but somewhere in between the "new" (June-Dec 2000) and the old (pre-June 2000). The post April 2001 steering has been dubbed as the "new-new" steering. This change was a direct result of feedback through bimmer.org members posting on the E46 board and direct contact with BMW NA. So our voice does count!



So the current terminology is:
  • "old" feel: pre-June 2000 build
  • "new" feel: June through December 2000 and some Jan-April 2001
  • "new-new" feel: post April 2001
  • "retrofit" feel: early retrofit "pilot" run participants have stated that the retrofit feels somewhere between the "new-new" and the "old" feel.
In response to consumer feedback, BMW NA initiated a program to satisfy owners of MY2001 E46s who prefer less boost in the power steering system. These owners maintain that a loss of 'feel' was associated with the newer systems which had more boost than MY2000 and earlier E46s. Intitially, BMW NA maintained a list of owners who would be interested in changing their steering racks for systems with less boost. People who have called in to have their name added to a list of persons interested in a retrofit back in Jan/Feb began to be contacted starting the week of April 16, 2001 en masse. BMW NA is going through the list and contacting those with 323/325 and 330's that were produced between June and December 2000, and is offering a one-time free-of-charge changeover to a less boosted steering system.




BMWNA has been very clear on the statements to those contacted. They typically cover the following items:
  • Steering rack and components will be replaced with pre-June 2000 components at no charge.
  • You have your choice of BMW centers to install the retrofit.
  • BMWNA will contact your chose center to give them the details and parts needed for the retrofit. BMWNA requests a couple of days before you try to schedule an appointment with your center.
  • BMWNA makes it very clear that the retrofit will make steering more difficult at lower speeds.
There has been some confusion as to whether June-Dec 2000 325's and post Jan 2001 cars with "new-new" feel were eligible for the retrofit. Latest news is that the post Jan 325/330's are eligible due to the phase in started in Jan 2001. "New-new" feel cars might be and will be evaluated on a case by case basis according to some sources.
 

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Cool info thanks, I like my "new new" feel! :thumbsup:
 

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stiff, especially with an lf-20 pump and underdrive pulleys ;)

I likes very much.
 
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