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Z4 Steering Wheel Icon

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Malcb View Drop Down
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Joined: 17 Jan 2017
Location: Cheshire
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Malcb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Z4 Steering Wheel Icon
    Posted: 03 Jul 2021 at 10:37am
2010 23i.   The steering wheel and exclamation mark icon shows randomly for a few seconds and a diagnostic check by a BMW specialist shows no faults. The icon appears for only a few seconds and the time interval can extend from 30 seconds to about 30 minutes but when it lights the steering becomes heavier abut steadily lightens up after the icon has disappeared. Any ideas
mb
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Mike Fishwick View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike Fishwick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jul 2021 at 1:04pm
You have obviously not read the Owners Handbook, which describes the meaning behind the warning lamps.

If you think about it, this seems like the car is trying to tell you that there is an intermittent  problem with the power steering system, similar to that which many years ago resulted in a class action in the USA, where BMW  replaced all Z4 steering racks - but not in the UK!

The problem was caused by ageing of components in the power steering electronics at the base of the steering rack.  This made them more sensitive to heat, and became worse until the power assistance could cut in and out without warning, which could be exciting in corners!

I remember reading of people in the UK who had this problem, and were fobbed off by dealers who claimed that they could not find any problem.  Eventually a specialist from Germany diagnosed the problem straight away.  BMW of course, claimed that UK temperatures were too low to cause any problems.  I guess they thought their customers would never travel to the southern regions of Italy,Spain, or France during the summer.

As your car is over ten years old it is doubtful that BMW would be interested, but it may be possible that a specialist electronics repairer may be able to effect a cure.  It makes me thankful for my simple hydraulic system . . .

'Vital' systems such as power steering and ABS/DSC systems are often confused by low battery voltage, giving a warning light after a period of standing until the battery is fully charged.  As a preliminary measure it would be worth measuring the bettery voltage while the engine is stopped, while the warning lamp is on, and then when it has gone out.

If the difference is much over 1 volt or so, and your battery is the original, it may be worth replacing it as a preventative measure anyway, as modern batteries tend to die  without warning.


Edited by Mike Fishwick - 04 Jul 2021 at 2:13pm
A Z3 is not just for Christmas - it's for life!
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Malcb View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Malcb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jul 2021 at 10:03am
Hi Mike  Thanks very much for your prompt reply and your comments are very welcome. Just to make it clear I was well aware the problem related to the power steering and when it first occurred in my ignorance I opened the bonnet with a bottle of power steering fluid in my hand not realising until I could not find the reservoir that it was electronic. I will act on your comments and keep you advised on progress. Malc
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