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General E46 Forum
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Old 03-24-2010, 10:48 PM   #1
shock29
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Toronto - Ontario
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My Ride: '01 325i
Did my power steering pump just go? Or whole steering rack!!??

Had problems with my power steering over the summer. I would start the car, and it would make these horrible screeching noises, and lose power steering. This happened for about 30 seconds untill i turned the car off for a sec and let it sit. it happened twice, about a week apart. I did a power steering fluid flush, and got another another 6 months out of it, until tonight.

Turning a corner, and giving the car gas - I lost power steering fully. didn't hear any distinct noises. Popped the hood, a fair amount of smoke coming from under the engine. Power steering fluid reservoir was below the low mark. All of the belts (serpentine belt anyways) looked fine, wasn't sure exactly where the power steering belt is located to check it?

Smoke smelled like a mix of rubber kind of, and fluid of some sort.

Did my power steering pump just go? or is my whole steering rack $%#ed??

thanks guys!
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Old 03-24-2010, 10:55 PM   #2
CBell330
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I just replaced my PS pump today actually. when mine went i did not have any smoke of any kind. but if you have no assistance is steering....its shot.
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:48 AM   #3
thdl23
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Sounds like the PS pump to me. If your PS fluid is a gray color then probably the pump. I just replaced the rack on mine. A test is to poke a couple holes in the boot and if any fluid comes out then its the rack. I hope its the just the pump, a rack is a $$ fix...
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:37 AM   #4
donwhee
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It could be the rack. I had this problem just occur last week Thursday. Got my rack remade and it cost about $650.00. if it's the pump, then it'll set you back $460.00. Best case scenerio...hose needing to be replaced.

Anyhow, hope your car gets fixed up.
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:39 AM   #5
thefrog1394
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donwhee View Post
It could be the rack. I had this problem just occur last week Thursday. Got my rack remade and it cost about $650.00. if it's the pump, then it'll set you back $460.00. Best case scenerio...hose needing to be replaced.

Anyhow, hope your car gets fixed up.
If you are DIY capable the rack isn't too hard of a job and you can buy a used one fairly cheaply. If you just want to get back on the road I'll sell you my slightly worn one for $50, but if you want great condition you can find low mileage racks for under $150 on these forums.
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Old 03-25-2010, 04:16 PM   #6
shock29
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thanks for the replys guys. The car is going in on Monday for a new pump. Got a nice price on parts and labour from a real good indy shop, not worth the savings to DIY this time. I just hope that it is only the pump. the mech seems to be 99.999% sure it is.
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Old 03-29-2010, 02:05 PM   #7
shock29
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It was the power steering pump. replaced it. The pump was "technically" fine - it was the actual p/s shaft that broke right off!
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Old 03-31-2010, 01:25 PM   #8
luckybro108
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Post Power Steering Pump or Rack?

My power steering has failed, but I don't hear any kind of whining noise. I removed all fluid(very dirty) and drained at pump. Before adding ATF back, I started to see if pump would whine, but no noise. It is still unassisted steering. Im thinking the impellors are shot, but not sure how to test the pump without replacing. Any ideas?
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Old 03-31-2010, 01:36 PM   #9
wankel08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckybro108 View Post
My power steering has failed, but I don't hear any kind of whining noise. I removed all fluid(very dirty) and drained at pump. Before adding ATF back, I started to see if pump would whine, but no noise. It is still unassisted steering. Im thinking the impellors are shot, but not sure how to test the pump without replacing. Any ideas?
The shaft may have snapped. You can check by removing the belt and seeing if you can pull the pulley out of the pump while its still connected. That means the shaft has snapped.
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:17 AM   #10
luckybro108
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Thanks!! It was definitely loose as you suspected. I'm going to try to replace with a reman soon before my shoulder needs replaced!LOL
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