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      02-24-2018, 05:57 PM   #1
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2012 328i electric steering failure

While pulling out of the garage yesterday evening, "Chasis stabilization: Drive Moderately" message appeared on the dash and had no power steering and was making whirring noise when the steering wheel was turned.

Stopped the car and walked back into the garage and found a sheared off bolt on the floor. Upon further inspection, found all the three bolts on the electric steering motor sheared off & missing and the steering motor was about to fall off.

Not sure if there are other threads on the same topic but wanted to share my experience with some pictures of the failure.
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      02-24-2018, 06:04 PM   #2
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Wow. That is interesting. Could you still control the car?
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      02-24-2018, 06:14 PM   #3
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I didn't try to steer it after I got the message on the dash. since it was on the driveway I stopped right away.
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      02-24-2018, 06:25 PM   #4
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I've not seen another issue like yours here on the forum. It must have been a 1 off issue most likely involving an supplier issue. Perhaps the guy who runs the screws down failed to tighter the screws/bolts after hand tightening them.
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      02-24-2018, 06:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsc888 View Post
I've not seen another issue like yours here on the forum. It must have been a 1 off issue most likely involving an supplier issue. Perhaps the guy who runs the screws down failed to tighter the screws/bolts after hand tightening them.
No the bolts are sheared off - all three of them. This is not a case of not tightening to the specs, this is failure of the bolts. Take a look at the first picture again.
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      02-24-2018, 06:45 PM   #6
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Did you happen to hit any pot holes lately?
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      02-24-2018, 06:55 PM   #7
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That's my thought also, that a serious shock to the steering system caused it.
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      02-24-2018, 07:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vjsarthy View Post
No the bolts are sheared off - all three of them. This is not a case of not tightening to the specs, this is failure of the bolts. Take a look at the first picture again.
I stand corrected. Wow! That's is downright frightening. Luckily it failed when it did. Were there any signs and symptoms right up until the time you parked it?
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      02-24-2018, 07:44 PM   #9
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make sure you keep the bolt. bmw might want to take a look at it.
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      02-24-2018, 08:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vooonoo View Post
Did you happen to hit any pot holes lately?
nothing that I can think of recently.
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      02-24-2018, 08:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfitz View Post
That's my thought also, that a serious shock to the steering system caused it.
Based on what I see, not all of them broke at the same time; recent one is shiny in the picture. The other two, I may have lost them long time ago.
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      02-24-2018, 08:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsc888 View Post
I stand corrected. Wow! That's is downright frightening. Luckily it failed when it did. Were there any signs and symptoms right up until the time you parked it?
No signs whatsoever in my last drive.

When it cooled down in the garage after my last drive, it contracted and fell out of place is my theory.
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      02-24-2018, 08:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jrboulder View Post
Please post a pic of the broken end of the fasteners. I'm curious to see if this was growing for a while or happened all at once.
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      02-24-2018, 09:03 PM   #14
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Feel like there had to be a sudden strain/shock on the whole system for them to just fail like that, something along the lines of hitting a pothole/speed bump too fast, especially with it being multiple bolts. Unless It was hooked up wrong in the first place and the strain over time did this to the bolts. I guess we'll never know let us know how much it is to get this fixed
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      02-24-2018, 09:12 PM   #15
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Can you still see the remainder of broken bolts inside the power steering housing? I'm curious if it wasn't torque tightly enough allowing the 2 parts of the steering motor to shift slightly with every steering input. That would cause metal fatigue, fissuring and corrosion over time further weakened it further. That's just my guess.
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      02-25-2018, 07:03 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jrboulder View Post
In the upper picture it looks like the crack was developing for a long time and in the lower picture it looks pretty sudden.
Both pictures are of the same bolt but different lighting. I should have mentioned that when posting.
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      02-25-2018, 07:04 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jrboulder View Post
Just to confirm, this is an aluminum fastener right?

If so creep probably got to it and put less pressure on the bolted joint until friction wasn't enough to keep the motor stationary. At that point the fasteners had a doweling function they were never designed for and failed in that manner.

If this is the case it makes sense we'd see it on an older example first and the Chicago corrosion certainly helped in exacerbating the problem.
Yes aluminum fastener.
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      02-25-2018, 07:12 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsc888 View Post
Can you still see the remainder of broken bolts inside the power steering housing? I'm curious if it wasn't torque tightly enough allowing the 2 parts of the steering motor to shift slightly with every steering input. That would cause metal fatigue, fissuring and corrosion over time further weakened it further. That's just my guess.
Yes, I see the broken bolts inside the housing.

Ford made a recall on ~500k vehicles related to the same problem.

In the affected vehicles, snow or water containing road salt or other contaminants may corrode the electric power steering gear motor attachment bolts. If the bolts corrode, the steering gear motor may detach from the gear housing, resulting in a loss of power steering assist.

Ford will notify owners, and dealers will apply sealer and replace the steering gear motor bolts as required. If one or more of the steering gear motor attachment bolts are broken or missing, a new steering gear will be installed in the vehicle. These repairs will be performed free of charge to the consumer. The recall is expected to begin June 22, 2015. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 15S14; owners may also refer to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) campaign number 15V250000.

http://www.jdpower.com/cars/articles...last-week-most
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      02-25-2018, 09:16 AM   #19
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It does look like the part was being held in by that one bolt which eventually snapped under the strain. The real question is what happened to the other 2 volts, have you ever had any work done on the power steering?
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      02-25-2018, 09:41 AM   #20
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I’m more wondering how BMW is going to treat this...a complimentary fix or $$$ from you.

If they choose to charge you, I would escalate the problem to BMW NA first, followed by NHTSA.
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      02-25-2018, 01:33 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IAmATeaf View Post
It does look like the part was being held in by that one bolt which eventually snapped under the strain. The real question is what happened to the other 2 volts, have you ever had any work done on the power steering?
No work ever done to the steering.
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      02-25-2018, 01:44 PM   #22
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How old is the car? Id be onto a dealer to see what they say. If it is a newish car then they should be very interested as it looks like the bolts either have a fault or have been over torqued.
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