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Old 02-03-2010, 12:43 AM   #1
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Power steering pump kaput - DIY ?


At 88K miles, the power steering pump on my '01 325i decided to kick the bucket. Coming out of a slow parking lot turn, steering resistance went up exponentially. Enough for me to stop and wonder if something might have broken. Alas everything was in place: the belts (no warning lights), power steering reservoir full of fluid, tie rods, strut assembly, the works.

Steering still works like a charm, it's just a PITA to maneuver below 15mph and there is some slack at dead center.
My power steering hoses were seeping forever, and doing something about that had been on my 'someday' list, I just did not plan to deal with this project in the middle of the winter.

Local dealers & independents alike want ~1200 for parts & labor, closer to ~1850 when I ask them to do the water pump and hoses 'while you are in there'. My friendly parts supplier can get all the bits in for ~650, including 2 pumps (power steering + water), the hoses (4 for power steering, 2 for coolant), belts, etc. I just don't buy it that it takes $1200 in labor (8-10 hrs) to do this job for a pro.

Has anyone done a DIY power steering pump refresh?
Any advise on what to watch out for?

I had swamped water pumps, suspensions and ACs on 4 prior bimmers, just never had to touch the PS pump; have a garage and tools, so I think I'm up to the task.
Just wish someone one this board had BTDT and would offer words of wisdom / warnings.

Thanks in advance,
alex f
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Old 02-20-2010, 01:43 PM   #2
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Since no-one has responded, I will reply to my own post now that I had finished the DIY.

New parts cost ~600 bucks (water pump + 2 radiator hoses + thermostat; 2 belts; PS pump + 4 power steering hoses + reservoir). The most expensive part was the LUK-20 PS pump ($315). I could have saved another $50 on one of the 4 PS hoses that appeared intact (steering rack to cooling coil), but did not know that ahead of time, and the feel better having done all 4 anyway.

The job took about 6-7 hours.
The hardest part was taking off the old cooling system hoses, as they were baked onto the radiator and thermostat after 9 years and 88K miles. I also had to remove the coolant expansion tank to unfasten the 2 PS hoses from the cooling coil, which took way more time than I would have expected. After re-installing the coolant temperature and level sensors into the new hoses, both leaked until I replaced the O-rings on the sensors (luckily had a pack of spare O-rings in the garage).

If not for the cooling system complications and subsequent air bleeding out of cooling system routine, the job would have run 4 hours max, including jack the car up on 2 stands.
Bentley manual instructions were mostly correct, but as usual, not too detailed.

Overall, a VERY straight forward DIY with very few special tools required (a few Torx bits here and there, that's about it).

Alex f
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Old 02-20-2010, 03:12 PM   #3
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Hey thks for the info.....and as preventive maintenance on BMW power steering pumps CHANGE your PS fluid on a regular basis ($1 chicken baster works great) and about every 4 yrs or so change out the PS reservoir since the internal filter screen gets clogged as well, especially if you do not change out your PS fluid. This will make your PS pump and your steering rack last MUCH longer.
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:30 PM   #4
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what make/model water pump did you go with? and what would you recommend if you've found better?
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Old 03-20-2011, 12:27 PM   #5
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I used a cheap $110 PS pump (I'm guessing chinese knok-off) I got from one of the on-line discount parts stores. Works great, steering is smooth and quiet like a BMW should be. If your car is older with a lot of miles on it, I dont see the reason to spend more money just to have the "OEM" title on the part
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power, pump, replacement, steering

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