BMW 3-Series

F30 BMW 3 Series Steering Wheel Vibration

Not the most fortunate moments for some of the buyers of the F30 BMW 3 Series. Community forums seem to be crowding up with people complaining.

Only one issue seems to crop up across the platforms at bimmerpost, f30post, e90post and bimmerfest as well, which is an unpleasant vibration.

F30 BMW 3 Series

F30 BMW 3 Series

According to most reports, the F30 3 Series owners say this occurs at any speed above 35 mph (~57 km/h) and upon immediate search, solutions don’t exist.

Having delved a bit deeper into the problem however, the problem is quite widely discussed and plenty of people seem to blame various bits of the F30 that are new.

Some blame the steering rack, others think the fault is in the suspension whereas some even consider it to be the lack of active steering or plain randomness.

F30 BMW 3 Series

F30 BMW 3 Series

It should be worth mentioning that the situation isn’t dangerous or even highly unpleasant. Even so, the beautifully designed engineering package is a bit spoiled when it comes to driving by this vibration.

Owners are typically annoyed by the situation, some of which have already gotten their cars replaced by dealers because of this exact problem.

With people complaining about both the 335i and 328i, it seemed very hard to pinpoint the problem until BMW stepped in and identified the wheels as the cause for concern.

F30 BMW 3 Series

F30 BMW 3 Series

In most cases, a simple balancing would sort everything out but in quite a few, there could have been a problem with the rim not matching hub diameter.

This calls for a lot more inspection on the dealer side and quite a bit of work to sort out, very likely ending in a replacement of the affected components.

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7 Comments

  1. I have a 2013 328 that has this issue and BMWNA has approved a Trade Assist. My 2013 528 started production today and hope to get it by mid-December. The dealer has informed me that BMW has found a fix and will be shipping new “racks” for the vehicles affected. They tried to balance and then road balance my tires and the steering wheel still shakes but not as bad. I was just mad that they knew this was a potential issue and didn’t test my new vehicle prior to selling it to me – hence, I would have kept my 09 328 convertible and waited until this wasn’t an issue. In this case, I’m getting a 2013 528 at almost the cost I bought my 2013 328.

  2. Good news from you, Richard. So many people have this uncomfortable issue with the F30′s steering wheel vibration and BMW should take swift action.

  3. I have the same issue and would like the share BMWs opinion on my case. I find it absurd their opinion as the demo car had no vibration at all:

    ….we believe that the responsive, direct and sensitive behaviour of a BMW’s steering is one of the unique selling points for our rear-wheel drive products, and this fact may certainly astonish customers who switch from a front- or all-wheel-drive vehicle to a BMW.


    It is safe to say that your BMW 320i complies to BMW specifications and the described movement in the steering wheel is within our given tolerances. It is correct that this movement – resulting from the natural play between all components of the steering – can vary in the characteristics depending on the options chosen for a vehicle, i.e. tire brand, tire size, rims size, or the type of steering support, which is why certain modifications or adjustments can be carried out. It also varies in perception, as it is not noticeable when you hold the steering wheel firmly as recommended in the owner’s manual.

  4. Thank you for sharing your issue regarding the F30′s problems with the steering wheel vibration.

    All owners of F30 BMW 3 Series will share their issues here, so please stay connected.

  5. my 320d has a different kind of vibration depending on the road surface.On courser road it feels like road feedback but on smoother road surface,i can feel the steering oscillate very slightly when holding with both hands at around 70mph.

  6. I also have this vibration on my f30 but at about 68mph,feels like the wheels are out of balance.Had roadforce balancing done but still there.Uk dealers are denying there is a problem with the f30 steering.Typical.There is actually a bulletin on bmw intranet about the issue i think it was on Sept 2012.Apparently there is an issue with the steering rack.

  7. TDS: so BMW are actually telling us that steering vibration/knocking in a brand new car is normal and within their ‘given tolerances’, and that we should simply need to hold our steering wheels more tightly? Are they serious?

    How on earth, in the face of so many complaints, can they even dream of being so patronising towards their own customers by suggesting that drivers of front- or all-wheel drive vehicles are ‘astonished’ by the ‘responsive, direct and sensitive behaviour’ of a BMW’s steering? The truth right now is that everyone is ‘astonished’ by how poorly these things drive and how many problems with the steering are now coming to light. Both the latest 3er and 5er have received heavy criticism by owners and the motoring press for their vague steering and ‘un-BMW-like’ driving characteristics. And now all these problems. If the BMW officials can’t read, have they not driven any of their own cars for goodness sake?

    What’s also astonishing here is the derogatory approach taken by BMW to seemingly belittle the comments made by increasing numbers of new owners who are having to endure these problems after handing over considerable sums of money for a product that is perceived as being above all this. The company’s attempt to trivialise something that any driver would find totally unacceptable on any vehicle is completely ludicrous.

    And I’d also question why, if the majority of these complaints relate to steering that BMW considers to be ‘within tolerance’, is the company quietly replacing so many steering racks on owners’ problematic cars?

    Clearly BMW wants to play down this issue whilst at the same time quietly attempting to address these problems for those owners that are prepared shout loud enough.

    Well I’m done shouting. I’ve had steering issues on all my BMWs over the past 15 years, yet no similar problems whatsoever with any other brands of vehicles in our family. Why? So with all this going on with the new models I certainly won’t be buying another from here forward. Prices are up, quality is down across the board, and the company’s attitude is simply appalling.

    I sympathise with everybody suffering from these issues, but I have to question the determination of those folk who blindly insist on continuing to invest in these new BMWs, knowing what they’re buying into, all for personal appearances sake.

    If BMW came clean, admitted the problems, isolated the cause swiftly, and bit the bullet with a recall and paid-for solution out of courtesy to their paying customers, I might think differently. But to be told it’s all our fault for not holding the steering wheel tightly enough in accordance with the manual has now gone too far. BMW really are taking the michael out of their customers and sadly, I do think this one will come back to bite them.

    Sorry for the long post but as a long-standong BMW enthusiast who feels dreadfully let down, this one really has made my blood boil.

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