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      08-13-2012, 01:18 AM   #1
Drifty//
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Is my power steering pump on its way out?

After a couple minutes of flogging the car, a bit (not red-lining, though), I noticed a distinctly different tone on top of the engine noise. It was like an extra hum and it rose and fell with the engine revs (even when in neutral, so had nothing to do with the drivetrain or wheels).

After a while, the noise seemed to subside. But it sounded like maybe some auxiliary pump, as if power steering or brake assist might be on its way out. Are there any known issues with the alternators on these cars?

The oil was mostly up to temperature, before I started, but not quite. Maybe reaching full operating temperature is what caused the noise to subside.

The car is at about 36k miles. It has about 1.5 track days on it, though I was taking it easy. I normally drive it pretty gently, often short shifting, especially when the oil isn't up to temp.
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      08-24-2012, 01:22 PM   #2
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Im having a similar issue mine seems more prevalent during down reving but it may be because my exhaust is drowning out the noise on the upside. Also its been getting louder progressively over the last 3-6 months (I cant remember exactly when it started). Also it definitely seems to be more prevalent when its done when car is not a full operating temps. Though nowadays there is slight noise all the time which leads me to believe its the alternator but not sure. Never considered the steering pump but that could be the issue as well.

My car is in the body shop for vandalism repairs but its going straight to the dealer when I get it back to look into this.

I'll come back to this thread once I let them take a look at it.
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      10-10-2012, 08:39 PM   #3
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yup power steering fluid was low... once I filled it went away. Gonna monitor it to see if it did damage to the pump when it was low but so far so good.. gl..
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      10-16-2012, 08:06 AM   #4
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Just had this issue. There is no sensor in the PS fluid reservoir I just found out (this was a surprise, I swear I get a code from the AC unit just when I fart!), so I let my reservoir run really low. I got an intermittment high pitched whine between 1000-2000 rpm. With the full reservoir, the noise has gone away (so far). I also have a drip from my reservoir supply pump pipe which needs fixing too!
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      10-16-2012, 02:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiM3y View Post
Just had this issue. There is no sensor in the PS fluid reservoir I just found out (this was a surprise, I swear I get a code from the AC unit just when I fart!), so I let my reservoir run really low. I got an intermittment high pitched whine between 1000-2000 rpm. With the full reservoir, the noise has gone away (so far). I also have a drip from my reservoir supply pump pipe which needs fixing too!
I had this problem also. I don't track (yet) and I don't have any leaks (dealership pressure tested everything). I don't understand where the fluid goes. I've NEVER added PS fluid to a car before.
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      11-07-2012, 07:46 PM   #6
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having the same issue.. heard a noise a few weeks ago and didnt think anything of it until today. checked the res. and its low. ill add some CHF 11S and monitor...

no leaks. not sure where its going.
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      11-07-2012, 08:23 PM   #7
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Had this and was caused from a leak. Was not aware of the leak until going to the dealer. Fluid was being caught by a "drain pan" so no fluid on the ground. Had the power steering pump replaced.
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      11-08-2012, 08:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sensi09 View Post
Had this and was caused from a leak. Was not aware of the leak until going to the dealer. Fluid was being caught by a "drain pan" so no fluid on the ground. Had the power steering pump replaced.
im going to flip a shit if i have to replace my ps pump at 27k miles. and i am out of warranty by a few months.
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      11-08-2012, 03:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sensi09 View Post
Had this and was caused from a leak. Was not aware of the leak until going to the dealer. Fluid was being caught by a "drain pan" so no fluid on the ground. Had the power steering pump replaced.
Where is this drain pan located? I would like to check mine just to be safe.
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      11-08-2012, 04:27 PM   #10
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Where is this drain pan located? I would like to check mine just to be safe.
just get underneath the car and remove the undertray. it will catch any falling fluid from the rack and or lines.
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      11-09-2012, 10:02 PM   #11
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^oh, you meant the re-enforcement plate when you said "drain pan", hahaha. stupid me. Thanks.
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      11-09-2012, 11:00 PM   #12
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Me too! It Just was the fluid being low.....
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      12-03-2012, 03:09 PM   #13
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Yep, just had this happen. Just out of warranty of course. I thought there would be a warning if low fluid was an issue before there was damage to the car; I need to replace the pump.

For future reference, how can you check if the levels are low?
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      12-03-2012, 04:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiamiE93Vert View Post
Yep, just had this happen. Just out of warranty of course. I thought there would be a warning if low fluid was an issue before there was damage to the car; I need to replace the pump.

For future reference, how can you check if the levels are low?
open the cap and check the level?
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      12-03-2012, 04:23 PM   #15
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my z06 was doing that and it turned out to be the alternator was fried , sparking and fluctuating the battery greatly..

warranty replacement !
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      12-05-2012, 02:24 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by passing View Post
open the cap and check the level?
At the risk of sounding like a noob, is it that easy? I have not had a chance to check yet since the car is in the shop but when I get it back I will check for future reference. It will be a PITA to remember to check regularly, but I will do it to save another power steering pump replacement. I thought there would be a warning light or something like with the oil levels.
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      12-05-2012, 02:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiamiE93Vert View Post
At the risk of sounding like a noob, is it that easy? I have not had a chance to check yet since the car is in the shop but when I get it back I will check for future reference. It will be a PITA to remember to check regularly, but I will do it to save another power steering pump replacement. I thought there would be a warning light or something like with the oil levels.
you would think with the sophistication this car has it would provide a PS level indicator.

lower left, green ring around cap. CHF 11S ONLY.

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      12-06-2012, 09:59 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiamiE93Vert View Post
Yep, just had this happen. Just out of warranty of course. I thought there would be a warning if low fluid was an issue before there was damage to the car; I need to replace the pump.

For future reference, how can you check if the levels are low?
I also had to recently top off my PS fluid. It was quite low and I was hearing some noise from the pump. Had it checked for leaks and all is well....not sure where it goes. You can easily check the level by removing the cap. It has a little dipstick attached to it with two lines. You're good to go if you're somewhere between the two lines. I topped off until I reached the top line and I've heard no more whine from the pump.
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      12-08-2012, 11:12 PM   #19
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Mine does the same thing and I only have 3k on the odometer.
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      12-10-2012, 04:28 PM   #20
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if you are low and have to refill, be sure to bleed the system by turning the wheel from lock to lock 4 or 5 times. recheck level once completed.
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      05-03-2014, 04:54 AM   #21
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Quote:
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I also had to recently top off my PS fluid. It was quite low and I was hearing some noise from the pump. Had it checked for leaks and all is well....not sure where it goes. You can easily check the level by removing the cap. It has a little dipstick attached to it with two lines. You're good to go if you're somewhere between the two lines. I topped off until I reached the top line and I've heard no more whine from the pump.
experienced and executed the issue the same exact way.. so far so good! noise went away within 5-10mn of light driving. :
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      05-03-2014, 04:15 PM   #22
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The fluid can disappear if you are tracking the car. It can boil over a bit or slosh around during hard cornering. There were some aftermarket caps for the reservoir that attempted to remedy this, but most people just put an old sock or headband around it.

I don't know if there is a PS fluid sensor, but you should be checking it periodically as part of regular maintenance. Top it off with CHF11S or CHF202 (superseded 11S) as needed.

BMW doesn't spec a change interval but I did mine at 50k. It's not a totally sealed system, so the fluid does get dirty over time.
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