CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Steering "Sticking"

Bill, you have a steering problem and you should still be in the warranty period . So quit wasting time on the web and have this fixed before you crash and injure yourself or someone else.

The dealer has already changed out the steering column, no questions asked as a safety fix even though they couldn’t feel it. However, the problem is coming back. It’s just a distraction. Easily missed but once you feel it, you’ll always feel it (like an annoying rattle you can’t find). I think it’s related to u-joint lubrication or a function of the electric steering. I’d like to touch base with 2017 Azera owners who have experienced the same thing to see where their “quest” ended. Thanks for responding. - Bill

BMW Z4 has the same problem (2002-2008 E85/E86). Like some others saying, this has electric steering. (So this issue isn’t present with M models which uses hydraulic steering.) Also apparently, it tends to fail when it reaches to the high temperature because of weather or the long time of operation.

After much digging online, this one had complete explanation on how it’s happening and how it could be solved at least temporarily: https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=565986
There were many other assumptions such as electronics failing, etc, but as far as I can see, this was both the most understandable and successful solution.

To put in short, in this case, heat drying up the steering joint is causing the power steering motor to fight with friction and behave in this way. I see many that are applying extra lubricants to the specific joints to fix this, and apply again when it fails again.

What’s the worst is that, for these models at least, BMW didn’t release recall for this one. It appears to me as though the official dealers will just ask customers to pay for replacing the whole column (because the joint alone cannot be replaced). Seems like it costs around $3,000 + labor to replace, but I can’t find anyone experiencing the failing after the replacement. So I suppose they are sealing the joint’s lubricants if the former assumption was correct.

If I were experiencing this, I’ll just try lubing the steering columns’ universal joints (like those in BMW forum).

I just got informed about this issue from the current owner of the vehicle, who doesn’t encourage me to buy one. I think I’ll stay away from these models just because there’s no official tested way to solve this problem.

Hi Paul,
What finally fixed the sticking problem with your Azera? I have a 2017 doing exactly the same thing.
Thanks - Bill
bill@bbradley.com

It’s fixed, at least for the time being. Here is what the dealer wrote. “Test drove vehicle. Found dead spot in steering. Checked and found no further codes since last visit. Checked bulletin and per bulletin replaced just column assembly.Installed 56390-3V460 :column & housing assy. Found internal failure of just the column assembly. Reset SAS sensor and torgue FEL to zero. Test drove vehicle. Operating as designed. No further issues.”