: Is it me or is it the steering? BMW drivers invited.



flycaster
05-01-13, 04:49 PM
Although the ATS is my wife's new drive, I do get to drive it few times a week. And, it will take a while to get used to how to drive the car. As you may recall from other posts, I've been driving a BMW 325i (2002) and a BMW Z4 (2005) for the last 11 years. I'm really getting to like the ATS, but I'm having one driving experience that it either due to the car's electronic steering, or due to me. Mostly,when going highway speeds (65-80 mph), and occasionally with doing regular traffic speed (35-50 mph), I note that the car will drift. The drift is probably due to my taking a little attention off the drive. However, I honestly and objectively must say, and this is why I'd like BMW drivers to chime in, while driving the BMWs I just don't recall drifting under similar conditions. The steering on these BMWs tracked straight arrow, even if I fell asleep (LOL).

As just about all ATS reviews question the lack of taught steering, I'm thinking that this is the main reason for drifting...especially when one like myself, is habituated to tight steering which can compensate for a slight loss of driving concentration. Also, let me make this perfectly clear, in no way am I knocking the ATS as I truly feel it is the BMW 328's main competition; I just want to see what others (particularly BMW3 - E46 - drivers who have driven these cars prior to the E90 and F1) have to say about this issue. That is, are they noticing the same steering difference as I am?

For Cadillac: Is there any way to tighten the present steering?

hood101010
05-01-13, 11:34 PM
My last 2 cars were an IS350 and an IS-F and compared to those my first reaction was exactly the same as yours. I had to do a lot of work keeping the car straight. Im waiting to lower the car as my Lexus' both were. I believe that will help. It feels to me its a combination of soft suspension and steering. My friend has an M37 and he feels the ATS is much tighter than his car. Its all frame of reference. I do wish the steering and ride were tighter though.

gfxbt
05-02-13, 12:59 AM
I've never owned an e90 bimmer, so I can't really compare, but I would like heavier steering. Also, I wouldn't mind if the clutch were stiffer. And going with previous sentiment, I do love my ATS, just little things that I would change if it were up to me.

render1
05-02-13, 01:14 AM
I've noticed the drifting too. Not sure if it's a side effect of the electric assist or an alignment problem. I'll center the car and not (as far as i can tell) move the wheel. without making constant corrections, the car will drift to one side. make a very minor correction and it drifts to the other side. Almost seems like there's not enough caster set. I am considering having the dealer check the alignment and see if there is anything they can do.

SLA
05-02-13, 01:14 AM
You would have to reprogram the eps. Email some of the tuners to see if they've come across how the steering is controlled yet. Lessening the assist of the electric motor would theoretically increase steering effort.

YoshiFD3S
05-02-13, 03:35 AM
It's definitely not just you guys. My 2011 Sonata also has electronic steering and from day 1 I noticed that it drifts at highway speeds. After lowering it and putting on different wheels I did notice a huge improvement, but it's still noticeable.

Right away I can feel the same kind of "numbness" with the ATS, though I have to say I'm pleased with how tight the steering wheel itself becomes at higher speeds. It's tight and responsive, but just going straight...yeah, not so much. :P

I'm starting to think the electronic power-steering concept and applications across the board need some work. This is one of those times where I would prefer "older" hydraulic p/s systems over all this newer fancy all-electronic stuff.

flycaster
05-02-13, 07:35 AM
I've noticed the drifting too. Not sure if it's a side effect of the electric assist or an alignment problem. I'll center the car and not (as far as i can tell) move the wheel. without making constant corrections, the car will drift to one side. make a very minor correction and it drifts to the other side. Almost seems like there's not enough caster set. I am considering having the dealer check the alignment and see if there is anything they can do.

You know, I haven't paid much attention to the drift's direction. I was so impressed with the car moving off a straight track when not paying enough attention to the road. I think it is the play in the steering that I am not used after coming off 11 years of BMW tracking straight arrow. Less playing the steering certainly would be a big benefit.

bravnik
05-02-13, 01:33 PM
I like the drifting as I get a nice butt massage all the time :)

jph
05-02-13, 01:41 PM
my ats tracks straight.

check your tire pressures, and have your dealership check the alignment.


J.

Hoosier Daddy
05-02-13, 02:04 PM
Sorry for a late response. My script that automatically answers "It's you" to any "Is it me or ...?" posts isn't working in this forum.

adiaz2331
05-02-13, 02:20 PM
I'll have to double check, I had an Optima before this, which had very well noted drifting issues due to camber settings, so I'm very sensitive to this issue. I have not noticed any drifting to this point, or maybe it's just ever so slight on my car that it's not really noticeable.

Golddogs
05-02-13, 04:32 PM
I am taking my ATS in next week to have the alignment checked. I have to keep the wheel at 11 to keep the car straight. When the wheel is centered, it drift noticeably to the right. This, combined with the loose drivers seat and clicking HVAC issue will also be looked at. Ah the joys of a first year model.

flycaster
05-02-13, 04:39 PM
Sorry for a late response. My script that automatically answers "It's you" to any "Is it me or ...?" posts isn't working in this forum.

Glad to see that your "automatic script" is now properly working.
I still don't think it is the alignment as I never feel any pulling at any time. It's just a slight drift that appears to coincide with a little loss of road attention. However, as tomorrow I am going to the dealer to have my seat module reprogrammed (wasn't reprogrammed after the CUE update to fix the lack of having two automatic seat settings), I'll have them check out the drifting (alignment or an explanation).

thebigjimsho
05-06-13, 03:08 PM
Glad to see that your "automatic script" is now properly working.
I still don't think it is the alignment as I never feel any pulling at any time. It's just a slight drift that appears to coincide with a little loss of road attention. However, as tomorrow I am going to the dealer to have my seat module reprogrammed (wasn't reprogrammed after the CUE update to fix the lack of having two automatic seat settings), I'll have them check out the drifting (alignment or an explanation).Alignment issues isn't just for a car's tendency to pull one way or the other. You may have toe in or out too much. Or maybe too much/too little camber. Or maybe it's just a quirk of electric steering.

flycaster
05-06-13, 04:04 PM
Alignment issues isn't just for a car's tendency to pull one way or the other. You may have toe in or out too much. Or maybe too much/too little camber. Or maybe it's just a quirk of electric steering.

Thanks for the added info. Personally, I think the problem is me. I'm just very much used to tight steering (even though my 2005 Z4 has electric steering, it's a lot tighter than the ATS'.) And although I know everyone really likes the ATS's steering, it is going to take me a while to get used it. I think we can close this issue.

cdp
05-07-13, 12:54 AM
Not sure what you mean by tight. While I find the steering very light (compared to my previous e90), i don't notice any slop or drift. I find the steering very accurate, and with better feel than the F30s I test drove. The weight is actually similar to my e89 Z4, which is also electric rather than hydraulic. The steering on my e90 was certainly better, and I'm sure earlier generation 3s were even better, but compared to current competition, i thinks it's great.

flycaster
05-07-13, 08:20 AM
Not sure what you mean by tight. While I find the steering very light (compared to my previous e90), i don't notice any slop or drift. I find the steering very accurate, and with better feel than the F30s I test drove. The weight is actually similar to my e89 Z4, which is also electric rather than hydraulic. The steering on my e90 was certainly better, and I'm sure earlier generation 3s were even better, but compared to current competition, i thinks it's great.

I agree with your description of the progressive deterioration of steering control with each of the newer BMW-3s. I also agree that the present ATS's steering is the best among the present bunch of competitors. My take on why we may feeling this way about the steering is that BMW, since the E46, has gone after a bigger segment of the market by softening the drive. I believe that far more folks like the softer type drives and many were previously shying away from BMW because they felt it was a harsh ride. I now see quite a few older folks with BMWs and I'm quite sure that they were not looking for the "ride" (as they would find the real ride to stiff and uncomfortable) but rather the "mystic" associated with BMW.

M5eater
05-07-13, 09:23 AM
Having driven the excellent ZF HPS in the V(with a bad alignment) to the EPS in the 2.0T Luxury I tested a few weeks ago, I could not tell any decerniable difference in on center twitchyness. Aside from being devoid of nearly all feeling I found it to be incredibly precise and linear in response up to full lock.

I would suggest that this problem, along with your previous thread is further indication that there is some kind of alignment issue going on with your car.

My suggestion would be to find a good shop that specializes in alignments (or an indy shop, tuner shop, what-have you, so long as they don't use that computerized alignment crap, or can prove they mantian it properly) and have them check it out for you.

morphius909
05-16-13, 03:24 PM
I'm coming from an E90 335I 2011.

Compared to the E90...I don't like the ATS steering. TOO Loose and light feeling and not "one" with the road. With that said, it's still taught enough I suppose.

I have heard from others the F30 steering is loosey goosey in the new 3 series.

thebigjimsho
05-16-13, 09:16 PM
I'm coming from an E90 335I 2011.

Compared to the E90...I don't like the ATS steering. TOO Loose and light feeling and not "one" with the road. With that said, it's still taught enough I suppose.

I have heard from others the F30 steering is loosey goosey in the new 3 series.

The ATS steering is far better than in the F30...

flycaster
05-16-13, 09:55 PM
Was into the dealer the other day and talked about the "loose" steering (ie, compared to earlier BMWs). He said there was a steering program update, but I don't know what it was supposed to do. Well, had the update and there was no difference in the steering.

MyfirstCad
05-16-13, 10:04 PM
Only time I notice the car drifting is at highway speeds as it's grabbing onto very prevalent seams in the highway.

SLA
05-17-13, 01:13 AM
Was into the dealer the other day and talked about the "loose" steering (ie, compared to earlier BMWs). He said there was a steering program update, but I don't know what it was supposed to do. Well, had the update and there was no difference in the steering.

That was most likely for an issue where the car can lose power steering. I had that issue with mine. It has not happened again since we got the update.

tonka9
05-17-13, 01:49 AM
I've exclusively driven BMWs for the past 19 years; most recently a 335Xi.
My ATS-4 Premium is my re-enrty to GM. I love tight steering and consider myself sensitive to play in the wheel or drifting. For all my ATS' faults I must say I have never felt anything less than a tight and fully controllable car. No better than the Bimmers but certainly no worse.
Maybe I'm lucky?

Yplus
05-17-13, 02:49 PM
As a driver of many BMWs, the ATS steering is lighter at slow speeds. I've always thought the BMWs were too heavy at around town speeds. But with sport mode on and with a little spirited driving, I think the ATSs steering is better than most BMWs, and ESPECIALLY the electric steering box versions.