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Tech Help to Center Steering Wheel

Discussion in 'Warranty questions' started by Just Some Guy, Mar 27, 2010.

    Just Some Guy guest

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    I installed my Mason brace this past weekend. It was necessary for me to move the left strut in order for the Vorshlag camber plate bolts to line up with the holes in the brace. Since I moved the strut I thought it prudent to have the alignment checked. On my drive to BMW to have the alignment peformed the car tracked straight, steering wheel was dead on. I have the BMW Performance steering wheel so the little display window really makes it apparent if the steering wheel is centered. Well, after they put the car on the rack to check if it was in spec, and according to the print-out it was, I began my drive home. This is when I noticed that the steering wheel was no longer dead on. It was slightly turned to the right when going straight. If I lined up the display window to what I thought was centered the car tracked to the left. I brought the car right back to BMW, they put it back on the rack, did an alignment, asked me to test drive, and the steering wheel is still off center. They swear to me they did nothing put hook up the sensors when they initially checked the alignment, but I know the steering wheel was dead on before that.

    Any thoughts on what I should do to get the steering wheel back on center. It really drives me crazy not to have a centered steering wheel.

    '09 135i
    • Member


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    With the OLDER cars, the easiest way to make MINOR adjustments is this way

    1) Purchase a replacement self locking steering nut
    2) Aim the front wheels to their ideal alignment perfectly straight (you can jack the car's front up by placing jack under the crossmember, jacking the car up, aligning the front wheels, then carefully lowering the car so that the car's weight will keep the car's front wheels lined up)
    3) Disconnect the battery and wait ten minutes.
    4) Remove the airbag by removing the screws from behind the steering wheel.
    5) Disconnect the yellow connector from the airbag and remove the connector.
    6) remove the airbag module and CAREFULLY set it someplace where it won't be disturbed.
    7) Remove the center self-locking nut from the steering wheel.
    8) Adjust steering wheel position until it is dead center.
    9) While steering wheel is in position, hand tighten the self locking nut.
    10) You may need a helper to hold wheel while tightening the steering wheel nut to factory specification
    11) Reconnect factory airbag and retighten screws.
    12) Reconnect the battery, start the car, then cross your fingers for luck that the SRS light doesn't remain on.

    The above list applies to older cars only (pre-2002 7-series, pre-2004 5-series, pre-2006 3-series. Your '09 1-series has an additional complication - battery registration. Disconnecting the battery will also erase all I-Drive presets, radio presets, and other settings. Your car is likely going to require a trip to the dealer for steering wheel adjustment, which may be covered under warranty. A few independent mechanics may also have the GT1 computer necessary to do this.

    Good luck!

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