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Old 03-15-2010, 06:28 PM   #1
gldtn
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Power Steering ATF Fluid

Ok, I'm confused on which fluid to use. I had to replace my power steering hose line, from reservoir to pump and drained out all the fluid. I have a manual 328i and on the reservoir cap it says ATF. I did a bit o searching here on the forum and on google and I was convinced that I needed Dexron III ATF power steering fluid. To make sure I went ahead and called the dealer for more information and the service department told me to use regular ATF and NOT Dexron III, he told me they are not the same!

Now which one should I use?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:35 PM   #2
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I use Castrol Import Multi- vehicle ATF in my 99 328i P/S...
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:45 PM   #3
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Dexron III is a pretty old version of ATF. It is also very commonly used as a hydraulic fluid, especially in hydrostatic drive and cold weather applications. That's why is P/S fluid in BMWs.

That said, it hasn't been used in anything new for the last 5 years or so. I doubt you were looking at it at the auto store(the bottle probably said Dex III compatible). Anything that says ATF will be just fine. No advantage to use synthetic here because you should be changing it pretty often anyway.
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:45 PM   #4
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:51 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Stanc3 View Post
I use Castrol Import Multi- vehicle ATF in my 99 328i P/S...
+1

Same here!
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Old 03-15-2010, 08:59 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by gldtn View Post
Ok, I'm confused on which fluid to use. I had to replace my power steering hose line, from reservoir to pump and drained out all the fluid. I have a manual 328i and on the reservoir cap it says ATF. I did a bit o searching here on the forum and on google and I was convinced that I needed Dexron III ATF power steering fluid. To make sure I went ahead and called the dealer for more information and the service department told me to use regular ATF and NOT Dexron III, he told me they are not the same!

Now which one should I use?

Thanks in advance!
You should use Dex 3, it's even in your owner's manual. As a matter of fact, Dexron classification has been discontinued for some time now, but ATF manufacturers still indicate on the containers if the fluid confirms to what used to be known as Dexron. My perception is that with P/S system it's not a crucial question though which ATF to use, as long as it's ATF.

My P/S system maintenance DIY is here if interested:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=414455
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:02 PM   #7
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RedLine D4 ATF Full Synthetic. Per the RedLine website, D4 is the new classification for Dextron III.

Last edited by 330I6SPD; 03-15-2010 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:04 PM   #8
gldtn
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Thanks for clarifying this for me guys! Seems like my local auto parts store carries some of the Catrol Import MV ATF, going down there tomorrow.

I went down there earlier today, but they seem to be a little clueless about import cars! Plus there system never points to anything for BMWs.

Thanks!
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:08 PM   #9
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I was looking for what my manual says to do my turkey baster flushing...ended up with a bottle that said Dex/Merc (compatible with cars needing Dex III).

I like staying with specs from when they built car as much as possible...that's just me...and my steering is fine!

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Old 03-15-2010, 09:22 PM   #10
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Starless,

I don't have an owners manual and the one I downloaded online doesn't say anything about that :/. From what I read online, that's what most articles said, "Dex 3". What confused the hell out of me was the guy from the dealer telling me, it's not "Dex 3"..

Great write up btw! I wish I ran into it before messing with my P/S. Although I may have to go back to it! My P/S been leaking and from what I seen and my father(the mechanic) seen it seemed to be leaking from one of the hose line that comes from the reservoir. After cleaning everything with brake parts cleaner, I changed the reservoir to pump line which seemed to be the main problem and replaced the original clamps from both "reservoir-to-pump" and "reservoir-to-cooling-coil-line" with better ones(just like the one you have on your write up).

I hope this stops the leak, if not I'll have to do the complete P/S system!
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:28 PM   #11
gldtn
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Originally Posted by Starless View Post
My P/S system maintenance DIY is here if interested:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=414455

Looks like you spent just about 125$ in parts alone.. I remember taking my car to the dealer and asking the guy how much would be to fix this problem back a few months ago when my car was on the road and he asked me 275$ just for parts.. DIY is definitely the way to go
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:16 AM   #12
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I use cheap old walmart $2.67 ATF DIII. Of course, it will be in there for less than 10k miles before it's flushed again. From all the research I have gathered, as long as it's pink, it's good.
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Old 05-03-2016, 01:37 PM   #13
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I was always using this one, but agree, as long as it is ATF and it is pink it is all fine for the power hydraulics.
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Old 05-03-2016, 01:46 PM   #14
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I was always using this one, but agree, as long as it is ATF and it is pink it is all fine for the power hydraulics.
I almost replied to that 6 year bump!
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