Have you ever wondered how to fix the BMW active steering malfunction or Problems? Well, we got you covered.
BMW Active Steering is a system designed to improve handling and maneuverability by adapting the steering response based on the vehicle’s speed. However, when the system encounters a malfunction or becomes inactive, it can negatively impact the driving experience.
Here are a few steps you need to take to fix the BMW active steering malfunction, which includes:
Step #1. Turn off the vehicle.
Step #2. Check the power steering fluid level.
Step #3. Re-initialize the steering angle sensor.
Step #4. Start the vehicle. While the vehicle is in the park.
Step #5. Turn the steering wheel to the left.
Step #6. Turn the steering wheel to the right.
Step #7. Bring the steering wheel back to the center.
Step #8. Check battery.
Step #9. If the message remains, read fault codes using a BMW scanner.
In this article, we will discuss common reasons for BMW’s Active Steering Malfunction and provide tips for resolving the issue.
Table of Contents
What is BMW Active Steering?
BMW Active Steering is a technology that makes it easier to steer your BMW at low speeds and more stable at highway speeds.
The system adjusts the steering ratio based on the vehicle’s speed, making it easier to turn the wheel when parking or turning at low speeds.
At highway speeds, the Active Steering system decreases the response, so you don’t drift with small movements of the steering wheel.
The rack on active steering has a planetary gear between the input and the rack. Small steering wheel movements cause a significant front wheel turn when driving at lower speeds, making turning left and right or getting out of a parking spot much easier.
At highway speed, the Active Steering system adjusts the steering ratio to become less responsive. This helps to make the vehicle more stable at highway speed.
Active Front Steering (AFS) or Active Steering (AL) first appeared in the BMW 5 series in 2003 and has had many improvements since.
Common Symptoms of BMW Active Steering Malfunction
When the Active Steering system or one of its components fails, you may notice the following symptoms:
- Malfunction message on iDrive CCC/CIC screen
- Active steering inactive
- A change in steering behavior or steering wheel offset is possible
- Steering behavior altered
- The steering wheel may be at an angle
- Possible to continue the journey
- Steer with care
- Active steering fault
- No response from the AL control unit
- Steering wheel light on the dashboard
- Yellow steering wheel with an exclamation in the dash
- Extremely hard to turn the wheel
- Hard to turn the wheel
The active steering fault light may come on after wheel alignment when performed by mechanics unfamiliar with BMWs.
Read also >> BMW Auto Hold Malfunction (Here Is How To Fix)
How To Fix Active Steering Fault on a BMW?
If you are getting BMW Active Steering inactive on the dashboard, try the following:
- Turn off the vehicle.
- Check the power steering fluid level. Add the recommended power steering fluid if the level is low. Most BMWs use CHF 11S hydraulic fluid.
- Re-initialize the steering angle sensor. Start the vehicle. While the vehicle is in the park, turn the steering wheel to the left. Next, turn the steering wheel to the right. Bring the steering wheel back to the center. Learn more about BMW steering angle calibration.
- Check battery. If the Active Steering warning doesn’t disappear, check the battery. Many auto parts stores perform battery testing free of charge. If the battery needs to be replaced, follow this guide on replacing and programming a BMW battery.
- If the message remains, read fault codes using a BMW scanner to read Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC) from the active steering module.
How to Reset Active Steering Fault Codes on a BMW?
If you are experiencing problems, a good starting point is to read fault codes from the Active Steering module.
If any code shows PRESENT status, the problem needs to be fixed before the code can be cleared.
What you will need
A diagnostic scanner can read, clear, and perform bi-directional tests on BMW vehicles. You must verify that your scanner supports your BMW model and year.
List of scanners that read and clear BMW Active Steering fault codes.
BMW YOUCANIC Scanner: These are only a few examples. Many diagnostic scanners allow you to read and clear BMW Active Steering fault codes.
To learn about OBD2 scanners that work on BMWs, check the article on Choosing the best OBD2 scanner for BMW.
- Plugin the OBD-II scanner into the diagnostic port under the dashboard.
- Turn on the ignition; don’t start the engine.
- Turn on the scanner and select your BMW chassis. Next, select the Control Units menu.
- Select Chassis, then AL Active Steering Module.
- Once you enter the Active Steering module, you can do the following.
- Read Codes from the Active Steering Module Clear Codes from the
- Active Steering Module
- Perform Adaptations, Activations, Tests
You can perform this list of tests and sensor activations via the Active Steering module.
- Steering Angle Calibration (Can be performed under the DSC module as well)
Your scanner must be able to perform bi-directional tests to carry out these adaptations.
How to Tell if a BMW Has Active Steering?
Many BMW owners will ask: “Does my BMW have active steering? “. The best way to verify if your BMW has active steering is to decode the VIN.
Use a free BMW VIN decoder and see if the AL Active Steering was installed on your BMW. BMW models that came with active steering include: E60, E61, E63, E64, E70, E81, E87, E90, E91, E92, E93.
Will I Lose Steering if BMW’s Active Steering Fails?
No. If your BMW active steering fails, the active steering motor is automatically disabled in the locked position.
When this happens, you rely on a mechanical link between the steering wheel and the wheels. This causes the steering to function as a conventional system with no support from the active steering system.
The steering wheel becomes very difficult to turn.
We hope you find this comprehensive guide on the BMW Active Steering Malfunction helpful. Check these troubleshooting and repair guides for more help on your BMW.
What Causes BMW Active Steering Malfunction?
Possible problems that can trigger fault codes in the Active Steering module include:
- Active Steering Control Module: The active steering module on many BMWs is mounted on the floor (under carpet) on the passenger side. Water from clogged drain lines or damaged door weatherstrip can make it to the module. Water damage to the active steering module will damage the unit. This may be the problem if you get an error code stating there is no response from the active steering module or CAN error messages on the DSC module. Corroded pins at the active steering module indicate that water damage has occurred.
- Power Steering Fluid: If you are getting the active steering inactive on your BMW, check the power steering fluid level.
- Battery: Low battery voltage from the battery can also trigger BMW’s active steering malfunction. If your BMW battery is over seven years old, you should have the battery tested. If the battery is not holding a proper charge, replace the battery.
- Steering angle sensor (SZL): There are sensors mounted on the steering column for BMWs with active steering. The steering angle sensor can fail, causing active steering to malfunction and the DSC light to come on.
- Accident: If you get involved in an accident, it is common to get the dashboard’s active steering malfunction. Bend tie rods can throw BMW steering wheel calibration out of alignment.
- Other possibilities: Bad active steering rack, issues with the DSC module, yaw sensor, and steering angle sensor.
BMW Active Steering Problems FAQs
How do I know if my BMW steering is active?
There are a few ways to tell if your BMW steering is active. One way is to check how many turns the steering wheel requires lock-to-lock while parked. If it only requires two turns, then your car likely has active steering.
Another way is to drive the car and see if the steering feels lighter at low speeds and heavier at high speeds. This is a characteristic of active steering.
Additionally, you can check the power steering fluid bottle for a green ring near the opening. If there is no green ring, then your car likely has active steering.
Can I drive my BMW without power steering?
Yes, you can drive your BMW without power steering, but it will require more effort to turn the steering wheel. However, if the power steering pump has failed, it is recommended to flush the fluid completely to get rid of any unwanted particles that may have entered the system.
There are also a few ways to tell if your BMW’s power steering is active. First, you can check the number of turns lock-to-lock while parked. Second, you can feel lighter steering at low speeds and heavier at high speeds while driving.
Finally, you can check for a green ring on the power steering fluid bottle. If you notice any issues with your BMW’s power steering, it’s best to have it checked by a professional mechanic.
Is it expensive to fix power steering?
Yes, fixing power steering can be quite expensive. The cost of repairing or replacing a power steering pump on a BMW can range from $499 to $2,041, depending on the model and the extent of the damage.
However, it is important to have any issues with your power steering checked by a professional mechanic, as driving with a faulty power steering pump can be dangerous.
What happens if you don’t reset the steering angle sensor?
If the steering angle sensor is not reset or realigned after a service, it can lead to a false activation of many advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). This can cause a range of issues, including the traction control light coming on, a loose steering wheel, or a car driving differently after a front-end alignment.
In addition, a faulty steering angle sensor may cause the power steering to work incorrectly, as it is designed to assist in power steering corrections.
It’s best to have any issues checked by a professional mechanic, as they can diagnose and remedy the problem effectively
Will disconnecting the battery reset the steering angle sensor?
Yes, a bad battery can cause electric power steering problems in a vehicle. When the battery is weak, it cannot produce the required voltage for the electric power steering system.
Symptoms of a bad battery affecting the EPS may include difficulty turning the steering wheel, flashing steering warning lights, unresponsive steering wheel, heavy steering, strange noises from the steering column, sudden power cuts to the steering, and low power steering fluid level.
To troubleshoot electric power steering problems, one can check the fuse, power steering fluid levels, power steering pump, and battery using a digital multimeter.
Can a bad battery cause electric power steering problems?
Yes, a weak battery can cause electric power steering problems, resulting in difficulty turning the wheel or causing the EPS warning light to flash.
The EPS system requires a specific voltage to function correctly, which a weak battery cannot provide, causing strain on the EPS system.
Symptoms of a bad battery include strange noises from the steering column, heavier power steering wheel, flashing steering warning light, unresponsive steering wheel, sudden power cuts, and low power steering fluid level.
Troubleshooting the EPS system involves checking the fuse, power steering fluid levels, power steering pump, and battery using a digital multimeter.
BMW Active Steering inactive. How to fix active steering BMW >> Check out the video below: