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-   -   Power Steering Problem (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=895856)

DK125 01-08-2012 03:01 AM

Power Steering Problem
Greetings to all Members!

This is my first post, I have bought a 2004 325i auto in the last couple of days. Black on black with 105000 kms.
Nice car, has a couple of light scratches but overall fairly well maintained. Bought it at auction so had no chance to test it beforehand. Drove it home OK, but yesterday I noticed that the power steering was not working with the car idling and my foot on the brake, but it would kick in once I drove off and the revs rose. This morning from a cold start the power steering worked fine, but after a while once the car got hot I noticed the power steering doing the same thing and not assisting while car is idling.

Anyone else had this problem or have an idea of what it could be. Fluid level seems to be fine.

Ballistic325 01-08-2012 03:18 AM

Welcome :hi:

interesting problem.... hope you get it fixed soon!

figjam911 01-08-2012 03:20 AM

You need to check the oil levels whilst hot...you might fine the levels are low when hot. Just an idea for you!

DK125 01-08-2012 08:11 PM

Cheers for that I will check it when hot. The car is going in for an Inspection 2 service next week.

Ballistic325 01-08-2012 09:09 PM

Just a thought.... you might like to check for any leaks along the PS reservoir and connecting hoses. If there are leaks, you may not be able to see them looking from above, would be best to check from underneath after removing the shield below the engine. Colour and texture of the ATF is markedly different to engine oil so you should be able to indentify it easily.

wilawok 01-09-2012 03:18 AM

Check / change your ps fluid ..... also check your reservior for cracks.....
Mine had a similar issue to yours but after flushing the system and new oil it went away after a few 100 kays..

DK125 01-09-2012 06:14 AM

Thanks for your suggestions guys. I just need to get something to suck the old fluid out of the reservoir.

Ballistic325 01-09-2012 07:59 AM

Turkey baster. The type with the rubber squeezey suction ball atop it.

Sent from my V9 using Bimmer

DK125 01-10-2012 11:42 PM

OK so I emptied my reservoir using a 10mL syringe (couldn't find a baster), and refilled for a total of 5 times. Car was driven and wheel turned lock to lock while stationary a number of times in between flushes to ensure proper mixing of old and new fluid. Fluid was pretty black and milky to start with, then after 3 flushes it was reddy black, and then pretty clean looking after 5 flushes. Went through about 1.5L of Dexron 3 ATF.

Car still has the same problem. Secretly hoping that after some more driving the problem will sort itself out!

esamc2 10-11-2012 02:37 PM

Did you ever find a solution to this. My car was doing the same thing. I changed the pump and now the problem has inverted :banghead: . Now the car wont have power steering in the morning on the first start. I rev it once.. and bang.. it goes normal..:hmm:.. I mean WTH.. is there something that freezes up during night.. its not even that cold its 30K here. I dont think its the temp though.. I have already changed the pump, the reservoir, two reservoir hoses.. anyone have any idea?

DK125 10-12-2012 06:21 AM

My problem was the plastic pump impeller had sheared off. I got a new aftermarket pump with a steel impeller and new hoses etc. Car has been good since.

Sorry but I am stumped as to the cause behind your issue. Your problem sounds bizarre - might need a specialist to have a look.

esamc2 10-12-2012 11:41 AM

Thanks for the response.. its getting bizarre.. After prolonged debugging I have realized that if the car sits for about 6-7 hours the steering goes stiff. I put the leg on the pedal and rev its once and its gets perfect. I have wrapped some paper towels on the hoses which I suspect may have a slow leak but it has been 4 days now and the paper towels are fresh as new...I guess I will have to give in and loose a lot of change :(.. Will update you guys when I find something...Thanks

trive2 10-14-2012 09:15 PM

I have brand new hoses and completely fresh fluid in mine. The power steering is much heavier than it should be at slow speeds and a little hesitant until the engine revs climb. I suspect the sheared pump. Every now and then it drives perfectly for a short while, which is odd.

Brissyjohn 01-12-2013 07:56 PM

Raising an old thread here rather than start over. My car has had a brain snap for some reason or other.

Recent history:

1. Yesterday, while driving along the motorway, the DSC light and the amber park brake light came on with a beep. According to the book this means DSC failure. I've had this before and the codes showed there was a problem with one of the brake pressure sensors. Jiggling of the big electrical plug at the DSC unit and the wires to the pressure sensors fixed it the last time - at least 12 months ago. So this morning, I gave the plugs and leads a good jiggle about and took the car for a 16 km test drive. No repeat of the warning lights - excellent.

2. I exit the motorway from this test drive in a rather spirited fashion and bugga me :yikes: the power steering goes rigid i.e. no assist as I enter the exit and start turning.
So I struggle home with my now BMW truck. I've had a search on the forum and will do some more but I need some more ideas.

So far I have checked the following:

1. Taken off the splash shield and had a good look around under the engine bay - no leaks of anything anywhere and nothing on the inside of the splash shield.
2. Thorough check of the PS pump area and no leaks or busted pipes/hoses or anything. It is a LUK LF20 pump.
3. Took off the serpentine belt and P.S. pump shaft is not broken. Belt is not slipping.
4. Checked the fluid level -all OK and clean red. Cannot ascertain whether fluid is returning to the reservoir when the PS pump is running though.
5. No whines or odd noises coming from the PS pump.
6. Jacked up front end and worked wheels from left to right and back a few times by hand - no problems detected

I can't see how the DSC failure warning and this PS problem could be related but it is a BMW...

Has anyone out there got any ideas or experience with this sort of issue?

sfcjetjr 01-12-2013 09:01 PM

I could suggest the seals in the rack are bad allowing pressure loss in system. Just like in vanos, seals go bad fluid passes right through. My 2. I think the only way to verify rack seals bad would be to loosen boots on rack. If anything there besides grease, ie ATF fluid, there's your problem. Worth the investigation. Cheap to replace boots, if that's not the problem.

Brissyjohn 01-12-2013 09:12 PM

Yeah, I'm starting to suspect a steering rack problem in the power assist section. No evidence of leaks at all at the pump or the rack.:banghead:

trive2 01-12-2013 09:35 PM

Btw, I had a loose connection at the bottom of my pump which was slowly leaking fluid, but it was also making the steering much harder to turn.

EDIT: John! Please change your rack :P If it fixes it I'll do that too hahaha. And Justin from BMWreckers has a rack pretty cheap if you need one, definitely not the $1100 that the OEM supplier wants for a rebuilt rack :S

Brissyjohn 01-12-2013 11:03 PM


Originally Posted by trive2 (Post 15055738)
...And Justin from BMWreckers has a rack pretty cheap if you need one, definitely not the $1100 that the OEM supplier wants for a rebuilt rack :S

:bawling: $1100 :yikes: jeeeebus! Thanks for the heads up on the wreckers Tom.

I'm sort of hoping it's some sort of internal pump failure like a stuck relief valve or something but I'm probably clutching at straws. If only I could test the pump output pressure....

I could do the pump replacement myself but the rack looks a bit too hard for an "under the carport" job.

I'll get onto RX Automotive in the morning and see what they think.

....and we didn't win Lotto last night so we can't afford that M135i either.

dan_1337 01-13-2013 01:19 AM

I remember reading about the power steering pump impeller going bad on our cars.

Once it starts to come apart, you get intermittent power steering till it completely shears and you get nothing.

Brissyjohn 01-13-2013 02:37 AM

The impeller shaft on mine is not sheared and, up until failure this morning, was working normally.

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