Originally Posted by VictorH
I agree the engineers don't add parts for the reasons you outlined, however, I'm not aware of anyone who's had the power steering fluid problem ever report any change in the performance of their power steering or wear related problems (as long as you don't run out). One can of power steering fluid runs $28 at my dealership and I'm happy to stay on top of maintaining the level. It seems hard to justify 550 Euro + 2 hrs labor for an occasional fluid spray that just happens at track events. Perhaps there's another rational and if so I'd like to hear it.
Well, I'm here to tell you that it can damage the internal parts in the pump. In 2009 I went to BMW's Advanced M-School at Virginia International Raceway. The power steering on roughly half the M3 (maybe four cars) failed. BMW quickly pulled them off the track and sent them to the garage for new pumps. We were told that this is a very common problem on some tracks, with the overheated fluid melting and deforming some of the internal, plastic pump parts.
BMW insisted on running totally stock cars for the M-Schools. The cooler is a great solution. Another fix that's not quite as expensive, but not quite as good either, is putting a heat shield between headers and pump.
It's a real issue, that many of us have wittnessed.
Oh, apparently long, full-throttle straights, followed by twistees sets up the conditions that lead to failure, like at VIR.