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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 08-09-2011, 09:52 AM   #1
EDness
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boot leaking

I posted this in the general forum as well.

Is this power steering? I saw a puddle on my driveway and when i wiggle the boot more oil would come out.


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Old 08-09-2011, 10:04 AM   #2
xtascox
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Check your power steering fluid levels and that should tell you. Power steering fluid is one of my most hated car fluid odors. I've practically bathed in it replacing a badly leaking rack on my friend's Ford and while parting out my first car. You're bringing back horrible memories...
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:06 AM   #3
EDness
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Originally Posted by xtascox View Post
Check your power steering fluid levels and that should tell you. Power steering fluid is one of my most hated car fluid odors. I've practically bathed in it replacing a badly leaking rack on my friend's Ford and while parting out my first car. You're bringing back horrible memories...
funny i did check...the level is good. The oil coming out of the boot is brownish...smells like motor oil, but coming out of that boot? That's what confuses me.

Last edited by EDness; 08-09-2011 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:51 PM   #4
LarsS
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If it's coming out of the boot, then your boot most have a hole or tear in it. From the picture, that looks like the boot over one of your steering knuckles (or ball joints or whatever you want to call it). They're filled with grease (not motor oil, but if it's been contaminated, it could easily come out looking more like gunky oil than grease, I guess).

If it is a torn boot, you really need to replace the boot before the knuckle gets rusted out or worn out. The boot is cheap, but the knuckle is not.

It's not terribly difficult to do; First, count the number of threads showing from the start of the threads on the steering arm to where the adjustment bolt is, and either remember that number, or write it down. Then you have to unscrew the adjuster bolt on the steering arm until the steering arm comes loose. Cut off the old boot and clamps, clean up the knuckle, re-grease it, and install the new boot. Then, bolt it back together, adjusting the nut until you have the same number of threads showing. You probably should also get the steering aligned afterwards, but by counting the threads, you should at least get the alignment back to as good as it was before you started.
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:55 PM   #5
EDness
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Originally Posted by LarsS View Post
If it's coming out of the boot, then your boot most have a hole or tear in it. From the picture, that looks like the boot over one of your steering knuckles (or ball joints or whatever you want to call it). They're filled with grease (not motor oil, but if it's been contaminated, it could easily come out looking more like gunky oil than grease, I guess).

If it is a torn boot, you really need to replace the boot before the knuckle gets rusted out or worn out. The boot is cheap, but the knuckle is not.

It's not terribly difficult to do; First, count the number of threads showing from the start of the threads on the steering arm to where the adjustment bolt is, and either remember that number, or write it down. Then you have to unscrew the adjuster bolt on the steering arm until the steering arm comes loose. Cut off the old boot and clamps, clean up the knuckle, re-grease it, and install the new boot. Then, bolt it back together, adjusting the nut until you have the same number of threads showing. You probably should also get the steering aligned afterwards, but by counting the threads, you should at least get the alignment back to as good as it was before you started.

what confuses me is that it comes out like motor oil consistency...not thick grease like CV joints. I wiggle it...it spills out. PS reservoir level looks good...motor oil level's good.
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:26 PM   #6
Kubica
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That's the tie-rod boot, not the axle boot.

It should not be filled with grease, like the cv boots.

Probably an OFHG leak. Or maybe someone packed the wrong boot with grease.
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:30 PM   #7
xtascox
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As Kubica pointed it's definitely not the CV boot which is looming in the background (and you can see the shape of the tie-rod in the foreground).

I've seen bad racks leak into the boot and then onto the ground. But from your description it doesn't sound like power steering fluid. Then again guessing a fluid over the internet is not exactly something that should be done. Keep an eye on all of your fluid levels over the next few days and be wary of any unfamiliar sounds. I would also suggest wiping everything clean and then checking for the exact source of the leak.

Last edited by xtascox; 08-09-2011 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 08-09-2011, 04:18 PM   #8
TiAgXi
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Need to do a better inspection and try to locate the source of the leak. It' too tough to tell from that photo.
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Old 08-10-2013, 04:15 PM   #9
yannis4ny
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Originally Posted by TiAgXi View Post
Need to do a better inspection and try to locate the source of the leak. It' too tough to tell from that photo.
did you figure this out? i have the same problem and i feel that it is steering fluid going into the boot and then on the ground. it is kind of dark because ythe fluid is old.
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