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I have had many people ask me what the terrible sound is when I start my car. Apparently I'm used to it, but my steering wheel makes a hideous squeak when it is adjusted up and down.

There is a DIY on bimmerforums, bit I felt I would post my experience here with pictures.
DIY: Fix the E39 Steering Wheel Tilt Creak, Squeak, Noise Problem - Bimmerforums - The Ultimate BMW Forum

Not all of us are good at taking our cars apart, I tend to break anything plastic. So I took pictures to show the process. This is SO simple.

It all comes down to one nut that needs to be loosened and lubed. There are many more moving components in this area, so if desired take the time to lube everything up.

Tools needed:
Philips head screwdriver
Socket or wrench to loosen nut
Lube (I used liquid wrench white lithium grease)


First, you must remove the lower dash panel. There are 5 screws underneath and 3 at the top underneath the two trim panels.







Then remove the ONE plastic screw under the steering wheel





There is Styrofoam under the dash panel that may require you to remove both the leather dash piece and the black piece under the steering wheel at the same time. That's what I had to do. There are 4 clips that hold the piece under the steering wheel on. Just pull on it. The clips are two on each side, one in the back and one near the front. Very easy to do with little risk of breaking anything.




Then once those 2 panels are off. Time to find and loosen the nut. Loosen the nut a few turns and then try adjusting the wheel. It should no longer squeak. Then spray some grease behind the nut and adjust the wheel back and forth. Apply as much grease as you feel warranted to. Then tighten the nut down as much as you can without the wheel squeaking. Use loctite if desired.







Put it all back together and enjoy your squeak-free steering wheel! I have to say it sounds amazing. :biggrin:

- Drew
 

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Thanks for the info.

On a related note, does anyone have a problem with the position that the wheel returns to when turning off the ignition? The problem I'm having is that the wheel does not appear to lift up fully, then when you return to the car the wheel lowers too far. This does not happen every time, maybe 1 in 10. I'm wondering if the wheel mechanism is getting a bit stiff so the motor is cutting out too early when lifting the wheel.
 

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Hi Russap5 -

I am looking to fix squeaking steering wheel adjustments on my 03 ///M5 and read your post. Do you happen to have the pictures for the DIY? Your post no longer shows the pictures. Thanks in advance.
 
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