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Old 10-15-2016, 01:56 PM   #1
e46 eats my wallet
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Topping off power steering fine? And whine noise

I've searched online for an answer but nothing yet.

So anyways I have a 2003 e46 that I bought 2 years ago and haven't done anything with the power steering since. I popped the hood and decided to check it and it wasn't even up to the dipstick... I haven't had steering issues but I've heard on and off whining noises coming from the hood area, and louder when accelerate. Could it be my power steering fluid being low? And could I just top off to the stick? Or have to do a fresh flush? The fluid that's in seems to be a tan color. Have driven the car about 20k miles since I got it and haven't done anything to the power steering fluid.
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Old 10-15-2016, 02:16 PM   #2
Birdmedic1701
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Yes top it off with multi vehicle castrol fluid or BMW fluid if you so wish and see if the whining stops. # 1 how long was it low for because that could of caused permanent damage. # 2 just As a warning the BMW power steering resivuor has a filter in it which is not serviceable. And many will leak from the weep hole in the cap or the bottom were the hoses hook to the tank. So you will need to replace the reservoir if you want the filter to do it's job. Have you topped it off and did the noise stop. That replacement of the resivuor is definitely a Diy. Many how to's on you tube and this site.

Last edited by Birdmedic1701; 10-15-2016 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 10-15-2016, 02:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdmedic1701 View Post
Yes top it off with multi vehicle castrol fluid or BMW fluid if you so wish and see if the whining stops. # 1 how long was it low for because that could of caused permanent damage. # 2 just As a warning the BMW power steering resivuor has a filter in it which is not serviceable. And many will leak from the weep hole in the cap or the bottom were the hoses hook to the tank. So you will need to replace the reservoir if you want the filter to do it's job. Have you topped it off and did the noise stop. That replacement of the resivuor is definitely a Diy. Many how to's on you tube and this site.
Can I top off with Castrol Transmax dexron VI? I think it might of been low for about a year..... it's right below the dip stick but does not touch. I don't think I have a leak coming from my resivor. And I will top off asap and update you on the whine. Hopefully it stops. Thanks
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Old 10-15-2016, 02:48 PM   #4
Birdmedic1701
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No. Use Castrol import multi vehicle fluid. About 6 ish dollars at autozne. It doesn't need to be synthetic unless you want to spend the extra money on it. Synthetic just lasts a little longer. I was having no problems with my steering either but I wanted to change mine because it looked rather dark and I used Castrol import multivehicle fluid. So mine was really a flush.

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Old 10-15-2016, 02:50 PM   #5
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Okay thanks man
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Old 10-15-2016, 04:28 PM   #6
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Power Steering is a closed system so any loss in fluid indicates a leak as far as I understand. If there isn't anything obvious as a cheap starter you can replace the o ring on the reservoir. Not sure about your car but the part number for mine is 32416851332. It's number 3 at http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=32_0957 .

The o ring can get quite squished and you'd be forgiven for thinking yours isn't even there. Replacing this fixed my loss of fluid through the reservoir lid which I noticed as traces of fluid around the area of the reservoir. I'd clean it, but it'd come back. Once I replaced the o ring it's stayed clean.
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