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      02-19-2013, 09:32 PM   #1
Bubbles
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Public Service Announcement: Change your damn power steering fluid

Did a full flush and a noticeable difference in steering feel. Fluid had dropped to a very low level over time (boiling over and spilling out of the reservoir due to overheating).

Make sure you use CHF 11S fluid, available online and your local dealer. The fluid had separated over time and needed a change.

DIY is available on this website.
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      02-19-2013, 09:38 PM   #2
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Can i just use a turkey baster method? (I'm serious), apparantly it's an old E46 M3 method

or do I have to do this? I just hate taking that undertray off:

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthr...steering+fluid
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      02-19-2013, 09:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdosu View Post
Can i just use a turkey baster method? (I'm serious), apparantly it's an old E46 M3 method

or do I have to do this? I just hate taking that undertray off:

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthr...steering+fluid

I emptied the reservoir (actually it was nearly empty as is) The fluid had clearly deteriorated over time.

I took the under tray off, took me about an hour (moving slow) to do the flush. No time at all, given the results.

Get two liters of fluid to do a full flush.
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      02-19-2013, 10:01 PM   #4
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use this one?
http://www.amazon.com/Pentosin-CHF-1.../dp/B0006Q16YM
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      02-19-2013, 10:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdosu View Post

That's it. A bit more than I paid at the dealer with BMWCAA membership.
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      02-19-2013, 10:31 PM   #6
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Replacement of the reservoir is also a good idea. The reservoir contains a filter and replacing that will further improve the life of your power steering system.
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      02-19-2013, 10:38 PM   #7
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Funny how PS fluid seems to get neglected..people change oil, brake fluid, flush antifreeze..but PS?
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      02-19-2013, 10:48 PM   #8
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how often do you change it?
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      02-20-2013, 05:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmw135er View Post
Replacement of the reservoir is also a good idea. The reservoir contains a filter and replacing that will further improve the life of your power steering system.
Good point, just ordered a new reservoir Part# 32416851218 ~$27-$35. I didn't know there is a build in filter. Thanks.
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Funny how PS fluid seems to get neglected..people change oil, brake fluid, flush antifreeze..but PS?
No sensor to tell you it's low either. Sensors for everything but BMW failed to include one here.

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Originally Posted by w00tw00t View Post
how often do you change it?
At 30k for me, but should have changed it much earlier.
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      02-20-2013, 10:33 AM   #10
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Mike Miller's Old School BMW Maintenance Schedule recommends power steering fluid changes every 30K, I believe. My indy mechanic whom I trust says it should probably be done after 15K, so I'll probably have it done whenever my car is in for something else between those two milestones. Agreed on losing power steering fluid from spewing out the top, hence the "shop rag and rubber band mod" that's popular on the track.

Good to know about changing the reservoir since it includes a filter, glad the reservoir is pretty cheap. And yeah, I agree it's very odd that BMW has neither a sensor nor a recommended service interval on this. Of course they no longer recommend changing coolant either.
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      02-20-2013, 11:01 AM   #11
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helpful topic,thanks for posting. i've been working up my own maintenance schedule,and wasn't sure about ps fluid.my understanding is that it doesn't deteriorate as fast as some other fluids,but changing it at 30 k seems like a reasonable precaution.i'm at almost 40k and will do it next time the car's in for service.
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      02-20-2013, 06:31 PM   #12
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On a side note- only older BMWs with hydraulic self leveling systems and the current models with ARS have P/S level sensors.
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      02-20-2013, 06:34 PM   #13
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Due to some issues with the power steering pump, I had the fluid changed out at just about 50K miles.....can't say I noticed a difference. But yes good maintenance nonetheless.
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      02-20-2013, 11:06 PM   #14
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Thanks! Sounds a good advise!
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      02-21-2013, 09:54 AM   #15
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My E90 M3 with (32k miles) was in last week for Scheduled Maintenance.
I asked them to do the PS fluid as a good pro-active maintenance measure.

When I picked the car up, the job was done... and I had a chance to chat with the service manager who shared his experience:

He agreed that it is a good idea. In his experience (even in cars that were not neglected) almost all PS fluid he saw was "pretty ugly" or smelled "burnt". For someone who really cares about their car, it is a good peace-of-mind choice.

As it is winter in PA, I've been driving windows UP, but to me turning the steering wheel feels slightly smoother and the pump is quieter in parking maneuvers where you can actually hear it.
I may have been just slightly below capacity on fluid level anyway.

I'm happy I did it. YMMV.
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Last edited by davem3fan; 02-25-2013 at 02:41 PM. Reason: Updated info
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      02-21-2013, 02:12 PM   #16
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120k Miles Original Fluid topped off once. BMW says don't change the fluid the risk of contamination is greater then the benefit of changing it, just keep it topped off with the right fluid. (This is for Non-M although we share the same fluid.)

And its not exactly boiling, the PS cap vents, 9/10 cars Ive seen have fluid venting out of the cap.

You also don't have to buy it at the dealer, a few local auto stores carry it here in Socal.
http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/de...4184&ppt=C0031
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Last edited by index1489; 02-21-2013 at 02:20 PM.
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      02-21-2013, 02:14 PM   #17
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I went to the local autoparts store to buy CHF 11S. It is much cheaper than on Amazon.

I checked the PS fluid and it is completely full. I'll change it anyway but the fluid seems fine as is. I have 45k miles.
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      02-21-2013, 05:23 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by index1489 View Post
120k Miles Original Fluid topped off once. BMW says don't change the fluid the risk of contamination is greater then the benefit of changing it, just keep it topped off with the right fluid. (This is for Non-M although we share the same fluid.)
Can anyone corroborate this?
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      02-23-2013, 01:38 PM   #19
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Couldn't find the DIY for power steering flush. Not sure if its needed either. My fluid looks to be clear and okay? Have 30K and am getting oil and srf done and already did rear diff and plugs.
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      02-24-2013, 09:19 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uplusd View Post
Can anyone corroborate this?
That makes no sense to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1MOREMOD View Post
Couldn't find the DIY for power steering flush. Not sure if its needed either. My fluid looks to be clear and okay? Have 30K and am getting oil and srf done and already did rear diff and plugs.
It's linked in this thread, not sure how you missed it haha. IMHO, it is needed as there's no such thing as a life time fluid. I don't plan on doing the full flush though. I'm just going to do the turkey baster method. So get as much out of reservoir as I can, fill it in, turn the steering to full lock a couple of times, repeat until I go through the entire bottle or 2.

Not as good as draining system completely but it'll work.
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      02-24-2013, 11:06 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W/// View Post



It's linked in this thread, not sure how you missed it haha. IMHO, it is needed as there's no such thing as a life time fluid. I don't plan on doing the full flush though. I'm just going to do the turkey baster method. So get as much out of reservoir as I can, fill it in, turn the steering to full lock a couple of times, repeat until I go through the entire bottle or 2.

Not as good as draining system completely but it'll work.
oh that explains it. i dont read posts by mdosu! i may just do that as well taking off that undertray section for me is a PIA because of my brake ducting system i would have to take apart and reassemble.
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      02-25-2013, 02:35 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W/// View Post

It's linked in this thread, not sure how you missed it haha. IMHO, it is needed as there's no such thing as a life time fluid. I don't plan on doing the full flush though. I'm just going to do the turkey baster method. So get as much out of reservoir as I can, fill it in, turn the steering to full lock a couple of times, repeat until I go through the entire bottle or 2.

Not as good as draining system completely but it'll work.
I changed the PS fluid using the baster method this weekend.

The fluid is so thin it is hard to suck out with the baster. It will keep dripping after it gets sucked out. I used paper towels while moving the old fluid so it doesn't drop all over the place. Suck old fluid out of resevoir, replace the fluid, start the car, turn the wheel a few times and repeat.

The old fluid looked fine and the level is fine too. I replaced it with the new fluid. I don't notice any difference... at least you know it's fresh for piece of mind.
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