BMW rubbed the wrong way
Owners of various 2009 BMW models may complain of a rubbing or scraping noise which occurs when turning the steering wheel from left to right. This problem may be traced to contact between the pinion shaft dust cover and the steering gear or insufficient lubrication of the bulkhead seal for the steering shaft.
This TSB applies to models E46 (3 Series), E53 (X5), E60 (5 Series), E61 (5 Series), E63 and E64 (6 Series), E65 and E66 (7 Series), E70 (X5), E71 (X6), E82 and E88 (1 Series), E83 (X3), E85 and E86 (Z4) and E90/E91/E92 and E93 (3 Series).
Isolate the noise using a stethoscope. If the noise is coming from the steering shaft, then the pinion shaft dust cover should be checked and the steering shaft seal should be lubricated.
1. Using a pry bar, push up slightly on the pinion shaft dust cover (1) while someone turns the steering wheel. If the noise changes or is eliminated, proceed to Step 2. If the noise does not change, proceed to Step 5.
2. Loosen the securing bolt (2) on the steering coupler.
3. Push the dust cap up to eliminate contact between the cap and the steering gear.
4. Refer to the tightening torque section of the repair manual for torque values. Tighten the securing bolt.
5. Lubricate the steering shaft slip ring (1) by spraying Wurthreg Multi Lube 350 onto the steering shaft from the engine compartment side. Turn the steering wheel from left to right to distribute the lubricant. It is not necessary to remove the steering shaft.
6. Remove the trim panel above the brake and accelerator pedals. Refer to Instruction RA 51 45 185 “Removing and installing/replacing trim for pedal assembly.”
7. Lubricate the steering shaft slip ring (1) by spraying Wurthreg Multi Lube 350 onto the steering shaft from the passenger compartment side. Turn the steering wheel from left to right to distribute the lubricant.
8. Refit the trim panel.
Wurthreg Multi Lube 350 is available as P/N 08939106.