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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 11-14-2010, 11:20 PM   #1
shata
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DIY: E46 Power Steering Flush With Pictures

I saw no DIY on e46fanatics for this so I figured I would chip in, Just keep in mind things might be slightly different from year to year but anyone with some common sense can adapt this easily. If you break it, its ur own fault! Also I wont go into detail on socket sizes for each step im sure its self explanatory...

DIY Time: 1-2 Hrs
  • Difficulty: 5/10
  • Requirements: 2 People

Tool/Supplies List:
  • Socket - 10mm-14mm
  • Extension Around 2inch or more
  • Vise Grips
  • Small Flat head screw driver
  • 2 Drain Pans
  • 1 Set of Ear Foamys
  • 24" Rubber or Vinyl Hose (3/4" or 19mm inside diameter)
  • 1 Rubber Hose Clamp 1" (one with scew sometimes used on Radiator hoses)
  • 4 Qts Castrol Import ATF Fluid

Q/A:

Q: Why ensure the reservoir is full during cranking when all we want to do is drain the system? A: You dont want to drain it, keep adding fluid while cranking.
Q: And when the fluid is coming out, do we have to be simultaneously adding p/s fluid so that the reservoir is never empty? A: Yes
Q: And any advice in case one can't get a helper? A:I don't recommend doing it on your own.

DIY:

    1. I used two floor jacks to lift the front of car, Make sure its in neutral and E-brake is on tight. Never get under the car when using jacks! If you have kids around make sure you use jack stands also.




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    2. --------------------------------------------------------



    3. --------------------------------------------------------



    4. --------------------------------------------------------



    5. --------------------------------------------------------

    6. Make sure to remove the top part of filter box, which is already removed in this picture.


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    7. Now since all bolts are gone for the filter box, remove it from the car and set it aside.


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    8. --------------------------------------------------------



    9. --------------------------------------------------------

    10. If you think you will be bad at getting that foamy in fast make sure to cover the Belts and pulleys also. BUT DON'T FORGET TO REMOVE THEM BEFORE YOU CRANK THE ENGINE LATER!



      --------------------------------------------------------



    11. --------------------------------------------------------



    12. --------------------------------------------------------




    13. --------------------------------------------------------

    14. This fuse cuts off the fuel pump.



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    15. Q: And when the fluid is coming out, do we have to be simultaneously adding p/s fluid so that the reservoir is never empty? A: Yes

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Last edited by shata; 11-15-2010 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:47 PM   #2
Many330i
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Quick question: why ensure the reservoir is full during cranking when all we want to do is drain the system? And when the fluid is coming out, do we have to be simultaneously adding p/s fluid so that the reservoir is never empty? And any advice in case one can't get a helper?
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Old 11-15-2010, 12:21 AM   #3
shata
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Many330i View Post
Quick question: why ensure the reservoir is full during cranking when all we want to do is drain the system? And when the fluid is coming out, do we have to be simultaneously adding p/s fluid so that the reservoir is never empty? And any advice in case one can't get a helper?
Its very important that you don't let the reservoir wont go empty cause you don't want the system to run dry it will ruin the pump for the power steering it will also introduce air into the system and then you gotta use even more ATF fluid to get air out of the system.

Yes you have to add fluid to reservoir while cranking it so its never empty.

Also I would recommend not doing this on your own cause you cant watch the level while cranking and turning the wheels left to right(completely to left then all the way to right, do it fast).

I would get a buddy like I did and buy him 12 pack of beer to help you out like I did this weekend.

Note: If the engine starts like I said make sure its DOESN'T on first crank, the ATF fluid will be out of that reservoir in matter of 1-2 sec, Its VERY fast.

Lemme know if you need to know anything else.
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Last edited by shata; 11-15-2010 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 11-15-2010, 07:04 AM   #4
genuity
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What fuse did you pull at step #14? The fuel pump?
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Old 11-15-2010, 10:41 AM   #5
shata
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Originally Posted by genuity View Post
What fuse did you pull at step #14? The fuel pump?
Yes, Its the fuel pump.
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Old 11-15-2010, 10:50 AM   #6
shata
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Its first time ive written a DIY so thanks for being patient, Im modifying it as questions are coming up.
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:36 PM   #7
Many330i
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shata View Post
Its very important that you don't let the reservoir wont go empty cause you don't want the system to run dry it will ruin the pump for the power steering it will also introduce air into the system and then you gotta use even more ATF fluid to get air out of the system.

Yes you have to add fluid to reservoir while cranking it so its never empty.

Also I would recommend not doing this on your own cause you cant watch the level while cranking and turning the wheels left to right(completely to left then all the way to right, do it fast).

I would get a buddy like I did and buy him 12 pack of beer to help you out like I did this weekend.

Note: If the engine starts like I said make sure its DOESN'T on first crank, the ATF fluid will be out of that reservoir in matter of 1-2 sec, Its VERY fast.

Lemme know if you need to know anything else.
Thanks for the clarification(s)! Until I can secure a helper, I'm just gonna do the sucking (turkey baster) way ...
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:03 PM   #8
shata
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Not problem, just better way of doing it cause I think whole system holds about 2 qts and Turkey way u take out like 1/4 qt then fill it again. This diy gives you new atf fluid in whole system.

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Old 11-17-2010, 10:10 PM   #9
TX_Bullet
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This diy couldn't come at a better time. My new pump comes in tomorrow and the system needs a flush bad
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Originally Posted by jbeurotech View Post
Sometimes the Cheapest quote is the most expensive in the end
Number of Destroyed Newb Destroyers- 1
The Mods

Power Flex FCAB
Much more coming.....
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:47 PM   #10
shata
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Glad someone gets to put it to use, Print it out lemme know if I can make anything better on the DIY. =)
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Old 11-19-2010, 08:45 PM   #11
TX_Bullet
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pretty dam easy. the whole cranking part took a bit of time but the process got it done.

System flushed and new power steering pump installed!!! and my ps fluid is actually red again
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbeurotech View Post
Sometimes the Cheapest quote is the most expensive in the end
Number of Destroyed Newb Destroyers- 1
The Mods

Power Flex FCAB
Much more coming.....
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Old 12-22-2010, 01:33 PM   #12
shata
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Sweet glad it helped you out.

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Old 01-20-2011, 09:45 PM   #13
juanmurillo
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Hey Shata just wanted to take the time to thank you for this DIY. I did my oil today and it helped alot! Thank you
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OH...and you didn't knock on wood.....you're in for a world of sh*t. Better be prepared to bust out the mastercard and bend over in front of a mechanic.
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Old 01-21-2011, 03:37 PM   #14
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Not problem dude, nice car btw.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:53 PM   #15
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it sounds like it might be better to remove fuel pump fuse first, then try to start car before ever removing ATF hose. Then start the DIY. That way, you never have the chance of the car starting with the hose off. Just my opinion.
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:04 AM   #16
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I have a question.. Why nobody flushes the ATF from the rack itself? I find it a lot easier to put the front on jack stands, remove the drain plug from the rack, turn wheels by hand and allow all fluid to come out. Then plug the rack, fill ATF reservoir, turn wheels by hand, you will see bubbles in the reservoir, which is the system bleeding itself. Top up fluid until no bubbles appear and at correct level.
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:16 AM   #17
shata
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hogsrul View Post
it sounds like it might be better to remove fuel pump fuse first, then try to start car before ever removing ATF hose. Then start the DIY. That way, you never have the chance of the car starting with the hose off. Just my opinion.
Thanks man for input I might make those changes, You are actually right it would be better doing it that way.

About draining the rack... Im not sure it seems most bmw owners dont replace it at all and honestly I did not know it can be done that way. I only Knew of my way because with my old 2000 Mitsubishi eclipse that I used to have everyone did it like this on forum just on that DIY people used the removal of crank position sensor fuse instead - But its all same really just as long as it doesn't start u know.
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:38 PM   #18
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awsome diy. thanks! def be doing this one!
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:57 PM   #19
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Just want to say this is awsome and the kind of help I can only find here. Thanks !!!!
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Old 10-31-2011, 07:16 PM   #20
shata
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Not problem glad its helping everyone!
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