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///M3 Forum
The BMW E46 ///M3 is the M version E46 and puts out an amazing 333 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque at stock specs! There are an amazing amount of modifications for both the coupe and convertible models so read up and get started modifying your cars today!

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Old 08-08-2009, 06:24 PM   #1
MysticBlueM3
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Power Steering Flush DIY - For M3 (S54, E46)

Power Steering Fluid Flush on E46 - S54 Engines (M3)
DIY By Matt

Disclaimer: I am not a BMW trained technician, just another DIYer like you. Use of the information in this
article is entirely at your own risk. I hope it's helpful for reference if nothing else.

Items needed:

2* Dextron III Approved ATF fluid, Quart - Castrol, $5.00/each
2 Gasket Ring - A16X22-CUSN, part # 32411093597, $0.25/each
1 MAF sensor cleaner, ~ $6.00

* I used one, but had two just in case I needed extra fluid

Tools Needed:

Brain
Car ramps
Jack (2+ ton)
2 jack stands
T25 torx screwdriver and/or socket (I used both)
Ratchet (Have extensions handy, I needed mine in places)
8mm socket
10mm socket
22mm socket
Torque wrench
Regular (flat head) screwdriver
Large Syringe or turkey baster like tool (to remove PS fluid from reservoir)
Bucket
Funnel

Procedure:

Explanations are followed by pictures, the help visualize what I'm talking about.

1.) Drive front of car on ramps. Turn off car

2.) Use the middle jack point (shown below, at the back of the splash shield) to jack up the car using
a floor jack and place the front on jack stands. You only need to lift the front. Place stoppers (wood wedges)
around rear wheels so they don't move.



3.) Remove splash shield under the engine compartment, which on the M3 is held on by seven (7)
8mm bolts (marked below). Set aside.



4.) The power steering reservoir is located a little behind and below the intake manifold. See red arrow.



5.) Start by removing the MAF sensor plug (by squeezing both sides by hand and pulling) and loosen
the hose clamp on the air duct (circled in red) with a regular screwdriver.



Sensor wire removed

6.) Use pliers to remove all four (4) plastic expanding rivets on the suction hood (plastic cover above radiator).
Remove suction hood from intake tube and set aside. (You can actually get away with just removing the upper right expanding rivet, in the following pic, for this procedure since you just need enough play in the suction hood to be able to remove the intake tube)




7.) Remove intake tube. It's just sitting there, so lift up and place it aside.



8.) Now to give yourself some more room, unclip the two metal spring clips holding down the top
of the intake muffler. I just used a flat screwdriver. There are hooks along the passenger side of the
muffler, so undo the spring clips, wiggle apart the air duct, and then pivot upward and the top will come
right off. Set it aside.



Clips on passenger side of intake muffler

9.) Take this time to clean the MAF sensor with MAF sensor cleaner! It's a good idea the clean the sensor
every time you replace the air filter; it's so easy you don't have a reason not to. Just make sure not to touch
the sensor with the spray straw!



Sensor inside intake muffler & cleaner (~$6)

10.) Now you need to remove the cover for the xenon controller to the right of the intake muffler.
Grab the black box and gently lift, there are several plastic clips (4 or 5) that unclip and the cover comes off.
Leave the wires where they are, you just have to remove the cover the get to a bolt holding in the bottom of
the intake muffler. I included a picture of what the clips look like, don't worry, you won't break them when
you pull up on the box.



Showing where the other 2 hidden bolts are under the cover; clip shown

11.) Using a 10mm socket and extension remove the single nut holding down the control box and the two
bolts holding in the intake muffler. They are all 10mm.


Location of all 3 bolts, with cover removed

12.) Now you can wiggle out the bottom half of the intake muffler. It is sitting between the intake channel
(near driver's side fog light location, you will see the channel) and is sitting on the rubber boot. Make sure to
place it correctly back with those two things upon reinstallation! I found it easier to reinstall the intake muffler
(top and bottom) as one piece instead of two, which ensures you have a good seal around the air filter.



Channel (top) and rubber boot (bottom)

Last edited by MysticBlueM3; 08-16-2009 at 01:18 AM. Reason: minor changes
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:48 AM   #2
MysticBlueM3
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DIY continued

13.) Now you should be able to easily reach (and see) the PS reservoir. Unscrew the cap and set aside.



Notice, your cap should say "ATF Oil/Fluid ONLY"

14.) Now use a syringe or turkey baster-like thing to remove most of the fluid from the PS reservoir.
Deposit fluid into oil disposal container. You should be able to see the bottom white disc when you are close enough.




15.) Now go under the car and locate the 22mm (M16x28) bolt under the car, slightly above the left tie rod covering.
It has a 90-degree metal end of one of the PS lines coming from it too. See pictures below. In the schematic the bolt
you are looking for is #4.



#4 in this schematic

16.) Place oil collection pan/bucket under the area to catch most of the fluid once the bolt is removed. Place a towel
or plastic covering the serpentine belt around the power steering pump and that area to make sure no fluid will get
on the belts or pulleys and cause problems. The fluid should not shoot out and hit the belt, but it's always better to
be safe than sorry.


Towel covering PS pump pulley and serpentine belt

17.) Now use the 22mm socket and a ratchet to loosen the bolt. Pay attention to how the bolt, banjo fitting, and
washers are placed. I will explain this later. Where the washers/'gaskets' go makes a BIG difference later
when you seal everything back up!



18.) Remove the bolt and BOTH washers that are with it. Keep the bolt, but replace the washers/gaskets! ATF fluid
will begin the empty from the fitting. Just move the banjo fitting out the way to let everything empty easily. The fluid
drips awkwardly between things to the collection pan.



Fluid emptying; 22mm bolt removed (1 washer still stuck to fitting in this pic)


Bolt with both washers, removed.
(Keep the bolt and throw the old washers... provided you have the correct new ones!)

19.) Now with the bolt off, insert your key in the ignition and turn it to position 2 (DO NOT TURN ON CAR) to unlock
the steering wheel. Slowly turn the steering wheel lock-to-lock several times. Do this SLOWLY (about 10 seconds per rotation)
and do NOT hold the steering wheel against the locks. Once you reach the lock (cannot turn anymore) in one direction,
immediately change direction. When finished, leave the steering somewhere in the middle position; just not against the locks.
This helps to empty more of the fluid from the PS lines. Remove key.


Key in "Position 2," so ignition (NOT CAR) is on

20.) Now reinstall the bolt with two (2) NEW gasket rings (part # 32-41-1-093-597). For reference the bolt is
part # 32-41-1-094-909 if you really need to replace it, but you should not have to. This is the step I had to do 3 times,
since I didn't get the order or bolt/gaskets/banjo fitting/hole in the right order, so PAY ATTENTION!

Place a washer ("gasket ring") on the bolt, then thread the banjo bolt through the banjo fitting, place another washer on
the bolt, then thread the bolt into the thread of the hole. This order is VERY important; otherwise when you turn the car
one, ATF fluid will shoot everywhere!! ... it happened to me, so I'm trying to help you here so you can do it correctly
the 1st time! Once again: bolt ---> washer ---> banjo fitting ---> washer ---> hole. Put simply,
there must be a washer ("gasket") between each component of the connection (bolt, banjo fitting, & hole). I hope this is
clear. See the following labeled pic of the combination of components in the order they should be installed!


Labeled pics of order of components. Where the gasket rings go is VERY IMPORTANT!

Pay attention to the labels in the above pic, not where I'm holding the items in the pic. I moved them into view so I could
take a pic to add for y'all to visualize the sequence of items you MUST get right when reinstalling the banjo bolt with the two
gasket rings and banjo fitting back into the hole.

21.) Torque the bolt to 30 ft-lbs (40 Nm) using a torque wrench. I had no problem fitting the wrench in there to torch
down the bolt, but if you do try adding an extension or something and the spacing may work out for you. I torqued down
the bolt from below the car (not above). Remove the plastic or towel from the belt/pulley used to protect it during the
emptying process.

For those of you who don't yet have a torque wrench, get one!! You'll use it a lot if you plan to do things properly from
now on. You can get one from Harbor Freight for $20

Link: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...Itemnumber=239

22.) Refill the PS reservoir using Dexron III approved ATF using a funnel so you don't spill. Make sure NOT TO OVERFILL
the reservoir. I used about a quart of Castrol ATF fluid in total. To check the level, fill the reservoir between the min and
max lines on the dipstick attached to the cap (see pics). Screw on cap and remove to check level.


ATF I used; Filling reservoir


Min & Max markers on PS dip stick

23.) With the cap removed, once again turn the key in the ignition to Position 2 (so ignition & NOT car is on) and rotate
the steering wheel a few full turns in each directions making sure not to stay at the lock positions long. Turn off ignition.

24.) Return to reservoir. There should be some bubbles that the previous step helped remove from the system (which
is self bleeding). Check the level of the fluid once again and add fluid if necessary. Do NOT overfill reservoir.


Bubbles escaping from system while refilling it & turning wheel

25.) Screw the cap back on the reservoir. Start car and let it run for a minute or two. Check for leaks and immediately
turn off the car if you hear anything weird or see fluid dripping (or shooting) from the fitting!!

I honestly had to do this twice since I didn't get the order of the bolt, washers... etc correct the first time and fluid
came shooting out of the fitting... So please pay close attention to the order of the components of the fitting I
stated in Step 20!!!

26.) Turn off the car, replace splash shield, intake muffler, and other components removed earlier. Don't forget to reinstall
the MAF sensor and tighten the clamp on the air duct! Remove from jack stands etc... Let the car run for a few
minutes to let the system pump the new fluid through the lines and get out any air that entered while flushing the fluid.

27.) Take the car on some short errands to break in the fluid and help eliminate any additional air in the lines. NOTE: at
first when I drove my car after doing this the "Service Engine Soon" light came on the dash, but went away after a few miles.
If you sense anything weird drive back home and check things, unless you can't in which case pull over and check things on site!

I hope this DIY helps some people! I'll be writing a few other simple services as I get the time to.

- Matt

Last edited by MysticBlueM3; 08-16-2009 at 01:11 AM. Reason: fixed spelling and formatting
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:55 AM   #3
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Great DIY!!!
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03 Steel Gray M3 - Imola Red Interior - SMGII - Premium - HK Sound
Mods: VFE SC Stage 2, SS Ceramic Coated Stepped Headers, S-Pipe, X-Pipe, TMS Subframe Reinforcement, KWV2 Coilovers, TMS Camber Plates, Powerflex RTAB's, Rogue RSM's, ZCP F/R brakes

Coming Soon: Open to suggestions

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Old 08-10-2009, 10:00 AM   #4
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^ +1 should be in the DIY forum though.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:01 AM   #5
MysticBlueM3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grkm3 View Post
Great DIY!!!
Thanks, but it could be a lot better. Once I figure out how to put the pics between the text for the steps (where I intended them to go) it will be easier to follow! It's my first DIY, so I'm not familiar enough with the way this forum works with pics unless it's on a website somewhere.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:03 AM   #6
MysticBlueM3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanC View Post
^ +1 should be in the DIY forum though.
I'll make a link to this in that forum. I wanted it in the ///M forum since the process is specifically for the M3, but can be used in general for the other E46s.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticBlueM3 View Post
Thanks, but it could be a lot better. Once I figure out how to put the pics between the text for the steps (where I intended them to go) it will be easier to follow! It's my first DIY, so I'm not familiar enough with the way this forum works with pics unless it's on a website somewhere.
In order to put pics in between text, upload all your pics to photobucket or somewhere similar, and you'll have a html "link" for each picture.

Then, edit your post and click on icon for each picture after the appropriate text, and paste that link in the box that appears. That's it
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:14 AM   #8
MysticBlueM3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanC View Post
In order to put pics in between text, upload all your pics to photobucket or somewhere similar, and you'll have a html "link" for each picture.

Then, edit your post and click on icon for each picture after the appropriate text, and paste that link in the box that appears. That's it
THANKS! I'll be working on that and hope to make it all work properly soon.
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:58 AM   #9
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PMed you with a question.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oh2fly View Post
PMed you with a question.
Great discussion!
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:18 PM   #11
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So where are the pictures?
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:21 PM   #12
MysticBlueM3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanC View Post
So where are the pictures?
Are they not visible for you too? For me they appear everytime. They should be between text for each step. If you want me to send you the file for the DIY I can do that. sorry for the trouble, I'll try to link the pics another way.

I just changed the album the pics are linked to from "private" to "public" does that make the pics appear for you? Sorry, this is my first DIY so I'm trying my best to figure out how to make everything work like I intended it.

Last edited by MysticBlueM3; 08-11-2009 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:25 PM   #13
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If you didn't do anything since my last post, they magically appeared now

edit: I see what you did there
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanC View Post
If you didn't do anything since my last post, they magically appeared now

edit: I see what you did there
then maybe the change of the album access designation (from "private" to "public") worked! hope this DIY helps if you're interested in doing it!
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:22 AM   #15
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Outstanding DIY. Thank you for doing this.
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:59 AM   #16
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Thank you!!! Great DIY and pics.
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Old 08-16-2009, 01:13 AM   #17
MysticBlueM3
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I added a labeled pic for Step #20 after reinstalling the bolt recently (with new gasket rings). I hope this helps a little more, since I didn't have that pic in here before.
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Old 08-16-2009, 01:45 AM   #18
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How important is it really to flush this fluid?
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Look at that subtle jet-black coloring. The tasteful thickness of it. Oh my God, it even has a 6mt.
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Old 08-16-2009, 07:50 AM   #19
MysticBlueM3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuksul08 View Post
How important is it really to flush this fluid?
I'm not an expert, but it's oil and oil breaks down and gets dirty over time. I replaced it since it was dirty and I don't think it had every been changed in the 83K miles that the car has on it. I think it also helps make your PS pump last longer... from what I've read this forum. It's a cheap flush too - you can easily do it for under $10. Prev. maintenance can't be bad! Hopefully others will chime in with better responses.
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Old 08-16-2009, 09:35 AM   #20
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How much fluid do you estimate the reservoir holds? Where I am going with this is I was thinking on siphoning out the fluid in the reservoir and not draining. Any benefit to that?
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