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      05-17-2012, 12:31 PM   #1
pistonbroke
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X3 Steering Rack

Took delivery of new X3 in December and within a few weeks noticed a knocking sound coming from the drivers side front end when driving on or off the drive.

I took it to the dealership where it was diagnosed has having a faulty steering rack. A new steering rack was fitted and everything was fine. A few weeks later the same knocking sound was back.

As before I took it to the dealership and the same problem was diagnosed. It needed a new steering rack. A new steering rack was fitted. Four days ago the knocking sound returned and after diagnosis it turns out to be a faulty steering rack.

This vehicle has less than 3700 miles on the clock.

When I first heard the knocking noise I was putting it down to the vehicle being new, creaky plastic or not enough water in the windscreen washer bottle.

The dealership has been great. The service I have received has been second to none. Customer Services at BMW UK do not want take responsibility and have got slopey shoulders.

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      05-17-2012, 02:39 PM   #2
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Bummer!
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      05-17-2012, 03:47 PM   #3
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Isn't there a recall on the steering racks?
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      05-17-2012, 03:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pistonbroke View Post
Took delivery of new X3 in December and within a few weeks noticed a knocking sound coming from the drivers side front end when driving on or off the drive.

I took it to the dealership where it was diagnosed has having a faulty steering rack. A new steering rack was fitted and everything was fine. A few weeks later the same knocking sound was back.

As before I took it to the dealership and the same problem was diagnosed. It needed a new steering rack. A new steering rack was fitted. Four days ago the knocking sound returned and after diagnosis it turns out to be a faulty steering rack.

This vehicle has less than 3700 miles on the clock.

When I first heard the knocking noise I was putting it down to the vehicle being new, creaky plastic or not enough water in the windscreen washer bottle.

The dealership has been great. The service I have received has been second to none. Customer Services at BMW UK do not want take responsibility and have got slopey shoulders.

You should push to get the car repalced. I had some dodgy paintwork on the inside edge of the driver's door and the pillar that it met against. It was repainted under warranty. When the DAB radio packed up and wasn't fixed until the 4th visit to the dealer, I demanded a replacement car. BMW agreed and my new 35D is due to be built in June.
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      05-17-2012, 04:40 PM   #5
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What are BMW telling you - it's a characteristic of the vehicle? That's what they say about my wind and traffic noise.

Other warranty items have been:
- saggy seat squab leather - replaced
- transfer case oil leak - replaced seal
- headlight vertical aim error on screen but not stored in the computer - new parts and/or car to be reprogrammed (next week)

I hope my steering doesn't go but I've already heard clunks when it's in a tight (not full) lock.
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      01-02-2013, 05:18 PM   #6
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Mine too!

My X3, built May 2011, is driving me nuts. It's been back to the dealer 3 times for the steering knock described above. I finally got shown a service note which said that changing the steering rack won't solve this problem. The strategy is to show you that even new X3s do this .. so everything is fine. But it isn't. This is a design fault which should be resolved. Wooden steering that clunks is not what I'd expected. I will not be buying BMW again.
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      01-17-2013, 01:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pistonbroke View Post
Took delivery of new X3 in December and within a few weeks noticed a knocking sound coming from the drivers side front end when driving on or off the drive.

I took it to the dealership where it was diagnosed has having a faulty steering rack. A new steering rack was fitted and everything was fine. A few weeks later the same knocking sound was back.

As before I took it to the dealership and the same problem was diagnosed. It needed a new steering rack. A new steering rack was fitted. Four days ago the knocking sound returned and after diagnosis it turns out to be a faulty steering rack.

This vehicle has less than 3700 miles on the clock.

When I first heard the knocking noise I was putting it down to the vehicle being new, creaky plastic or not enough water in the windscreen washer bottle.

The dealership has been great. The service I have received has been second to none. Customer Services at BMW UK do not want take responsibility and have got slopey shoulders.

I've had the same problem with the steering rack on my X3 since I took delivery of the car way back in May 2012. I noticed the knocking sound almost immediately but I had to visit the dealership several times until they brought over a technician from overseas (to Malta) who finally said it was from the steering rack. They ordered the parts and eventually replaced the steering rack. It was fine for a few weeks but the same knocking noise is back so I suspect that it is the steering rack again. I will be contacting the dealership in the coming days.

Besides the above, I had a problem with the driver's seat lumber support which they sorted out and on two occasions the car gave me a "Transmission Fault" error which they could not explain. When this fault happened, the car would barely move irrespective of how much the accelerator is pressed and would not even go into reverse gear. After shutting down the car completely and restarting the error cleared itself out, but obviously I am still concerned.

All these issues have really ruined my first experience with BMW and have dampened my enjoyment of the car which I was really looking forward too.
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      01-17-2013, 01:06 PM   #8
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I've had the same. There's no fix. All they'll do is replace the car.
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      01-17-2013, 03:29 PM   #9
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Mines at dealer tomorrow to investigate new steering knock/clunk (amongst other things - condensation in headlights and engine coolant loss warning but no coolant loss)
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      01-18-2013, 02:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIMMER UK 76
Mines at dealer tomorrow to investigate new steering knock/clunk (amongst other things - condensation in headlights and engine coolant loss warning but no coolant loss)
Looks like a new rack for me
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      01-18-2013, 02:12 PM   #11
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had this same problem early on. went away. came back. told the dealer. they claimed they couldn't reproduce on a test drive. said fine whatever, if it breaks i've got 3.5 years of warranty left. now taking the car in for brake pads and it is 100% back and very noticeable. will get it replaced for the second time. is bmw going to ever address this through an engineering solution rather just replacing with the same part that in mind is destined to break again at some point in the future?
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      01-18-2013, 02:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 69clementinast View Post
had this same problem early on. went away. came back. told the dealer. they claimed they couldn't reproduce on a test drive. said fine whatever, if it breaks i've got 3.5 years of warranty left. now taking the car in for brake pads and it is 100% back and very noticeable. will get it replaced for the second time. is bmw going to ever address this through an engineering solution rather just replacing with the same part that in mind is destined to break again at some point in the future?
Unless they seriously monitor parts usage and have a decent quality system to support that, and also have some efficient way to get feedback/complaints from dealers and customers, it may go unnoticed and never get fixed. Make noise. Call Spartanburg and ask to speak to someone's manager, climbing all the way up as far as it can go. They'll probably shut you down anyway, having some lower-level employee say that you must work through your dealer though.
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      01-18-2013, 05:53 PM   #13
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The X3 has been pretty good about not having significant pervasive issues. Among the most common complaints are wind noise, throttle response (only partially addressed by the software update), and the clunk. My 2011 has all three, and while I'd like them completely resolved I can live with them. I can also tell you the mechanics at my dealership are aware that all, including the clunk, are 'relatively' common, and if they're aware so is BMW. I'd bet BMW has done a cost analysis and has decided it's not in their best interest to fix the clunking problem at this time, even at the cost of losing some repeat customers. Perhaps at the mid-term refresh.
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      01-21-2013, 03:32 PM   #14
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The clunks with steering have annoyed me since I got this..
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      01-22-2013, 04:33 AM   #15
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For some reason, I do not have the clunk with my winter tyres.

They are non RFT, so they are much lighter and softer. The sidewall is higher (235/55-17).

Maybe I should throw the original RFT summer tyres away and drive non-RFT summer tyres with soft sidewall...?
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      01-22-2013, 07:33 PM   #16
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Honestly it's not worth it. If your car was built with a clunk, you cannot fix it. There's something fundamentally wrong with it. I'm just so surprised so few people have noticed it. I've had my car replaced once and they threw in a couple more options for free so I can't really complain. I wish it didn't make those noises, but what am I supposed to do. It's a lease.
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      01-23-2013, 03:53 AM   #17
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I will use my summer tyres to 4mm and then switch them to non RFT.

If I can minimze the clonk with tyre choice, I will use that straw to make life bearable.
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      01-23-2013, 06:56 AM   #18
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Is the clunk only observed when turning the wheel to the extreme right/left stops or does it occur anytime, even during normal driving (e.g. mild movement, making turns, etc)?
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      01-23-2013, 07:36 AM   #19
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I'll often get the clunk when there is a drop of the left front wheel followed by a rapid rebound, even with the wheels pointed straight ahead.
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      01-23-2013, 08:33 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Is the clunk only observed when turning the wheel to the extreme right/left stops or does it occur anytime, even during normal driving (e.g. mild movement, making turns, etc)?
My clunk happens only with summer tyres and only when wheels are turned to right. And if the bump/curb which tyre is hitting is sharp.

And the clunk can be heard only from the left front wheel (about).
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      01-23-2013, 09:03 AM   #21
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I'd be interested to see a video of that actually happening. I'm getting a bit worried now :/
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      01-23-2013, 11:26 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mspringer
I'll often get the clunk when there is a drop of the left front wheel followed by a rapid rebound, even with the wheels pointed straight ahead.
This is it.
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