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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 04-04-2017, 10:57 PM   #21
CalVol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaliDawg View Post
No, I wouldn't recommend that. Pentosin CHF11S is absolutely the wrong fluid for USA E46 PS system. It needs to be Dexron III or equivalent.

Most of the time the cap says CHF11S because the reservoir was replaced, and most new reservoirs have the wrong cap!
No, E46 came with either DIII or CHF11S.

Mine came with CHF11S ('01/330i, orig owner)

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=32_0957

There was a big thread on this, but can't find it.
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Old 04-04-2017, 11:40 PM   #22
BaliDawg
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Originally Posted by CalVol View Post
No, E46 came with either DIII or CHF11S.

Mine came with CHF11S ('01/330i, orig owner)

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=32_0957

There was a big thread on this, but can't find it.
Holy crap! I stand corrected, never saw that before. I will now fall on my sword. Guys, it's been fun.....
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Old 04-04-2017, 11:47 PM   #23
CalVol
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Holy crap! I stand corrected, never saw that before. I will now fall on my sword. Guys, it's been fun.....
Bali, I couldn't believe it either until I saw a E46 BMW spec sheet somewhere with both DIII and CHF-11 on it. It's a highly misconceived fact about the E46, so don't fall on the sword yet!
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Old 04-05-2017, 12:31 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by CalVol View Post
Bali, I couldn't believe it either until I saw a E46 BMW spec sheet somewhere with both DIII and CHF-11 on it. It's a highly misconceived fact about the E46, so don't fall on the sword yet!
Thanks for clarifying and being gracious. Knowledge FTW!
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Old 04-05-2017, 01:51 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalVol View Post
No, E46 came with either DIII or CHF11S.

Mine came with CHF11S ('01/330i, orig owner)

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=32_0957

There was a big thread on this, but can't find it.
Weird, but I think the site is wrong -- it's certainly misleading... both my cars show as CHF 11.S (looked with VIN) yet both have factory ATF reservoirs/labels.
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Old 04-05-2017, 07:21 AM   #26
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Weird, but I think the site is wrong -- it's certainly misleading... both my cars show as CHF 11.S (looked with VIN) yet both have factory ATF reservoirs/labels.
ok...now I'm confused

How do we figure out the right fluid???

What are the hazard of running the wrong fluid to the rack??
I know that it can kill the pump....

Last edited by 325Ci_Cabrio; 04-05-2017 at 07:24 AM.
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Old 04-05-2017, 07:48 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Sicily1918 View Post
Weird, but I think the site is wrong -- it's certainly misleading... both my cars show as CHF 11.S (looked with VIN) yet both have factory ATF reservoirs/labels.
Yeah, notice that CHF11S is listed for the reservoir and cap. There is no mention of fluid at all. All the years and models of E46 I checked on realoem list that.

I've never seen an E46 with Pentosin CHF11S factory filled; always Dexron III.

I searched the owner's manual and there's no mention of power steering fluid at all.

This can't be the first thread on this. Time to search...

Edit: Alright, after lots of searching it's looking like this will be an eternal mystery. Read lots of threads, mostly on e46fanatics, and found no authoritative source that specifies exactly which power steering fluid to use.

I've always heard (and repeated) that Dexron III is the one to use. Dexron VI is its replacment. Original reservoir caps state "ATF Only". Many replacement caps state CHF11S.

I already have a lot of Dexron VI for both my E46s, which have the GM 5L40E transmission, so I'll be using that in the future.
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Last edited by BaliDawg; 04-05-2017 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:45 AM   #28
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ok...now I'm confused
How do we figure out the right fluid???
Basically, if the fluid in your PS reservoir is RED, go with Dextron... if it is GREEN, go with CHF11s.
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Old 04-05-2017, 02:31 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaliDawg View Post
Yeah, notice that CHF11S is listed for the reservoir and cap. There is no mention of fluid at all. All the years and models of E46 I checked on realoem list that.

I've never seen an E46 with Pentosin CHF11S factory filled; always Dexron III.
Yep. According to the Bentley manual, ALL E46 models are Dex III.
Quote:
I've always heard (and repeated) that Dexron III is the one to use. Dexron VI is its replacment. Original reservoir caps state "ATF Only". Many replacement caps state CHF11S.
Right -- you can also get a sticker to place on top of the cap (71 24 6 798 132) that reads "ATF ONLY". My replacement Vaico still reads ATF, interestingly enough.
Quote:
I already have a lot of Dexron VI for both my E46s, which have the GM 5L40E transmission, so I'll be using that in the future.
Ha! I have a few bottles of RedLine D4 that I like to use.
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Old 04-05-2017, 03:30 PM   #30
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It's been a few years since I last researched this, but I believe this confusion stemmed from a series of incorrectly-labeled reservoirs. Keep in mind, these reservoirs are generic items and many other cars use CHF11S so an overlap isn't farfetched.

I used leftover Redline D4 for the last PS system flush on the 330. Will use whatever Dexron VI I have lying around for the next one.

The 325 received a new PS system and has been running on Valvoline Import ATF since.
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Old 04-05-2017, 08:57 PM   #31
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I use a turkey baster to draw out as much ATF as I can and replace it with new every time I change my oil. This keeps the ATF fresh.
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