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      09-05-2010, 09:19 AM   #67
VictorH
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I wonder if there is something to do with which way the vent hole points. This may or may not be true since I haven't noticed every picture, but I know from two-three cars I've seen two M3 and one M5 that both had the vent hole pointing predominately toward the front of the car.

The vent hole on my car and on many other M3s I've seen point to the rear, i.e. toward the strut tower. I've run my car at Road Atlanta in 95+ humid weather, and STALKER was running his M3 there too and neither of us had trouble with power steering fluid leaking. The other factor perhaps helping is that my fluid level is just above half. When I checked the level at the track it seemed to me that by the end of the day the level had increased slightly.

I don't know if it's a blow-by issue (i.e. the vent needs to be open), an increase in level with temp or high load use, or the effect of cornering forces (do the autocross people have this trouble?) but for certain, some cars seem to be plagued with this and many other cars don't seem to have any trouble at all. I make a point of looking at M3s and M5s when their hoods are open to see if there is evidence of leaking and based on my experience (probably 20 cars or so), it's the minority of cars that leak (some BMW performance center cars leak and others don't).
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      09-05-2010, 11:01 AM   #68
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I wonder if there is something to do with which way the vent hole points. This may or may not be true since I haven't noticed every picture, but I know from two-three cars I've seen two M3 and one M5 that both had the vent hole pointing predominately toward the front of the car.

The vent hole on my car and on many other M3s I've seen point to the rear, i.e. toward the strut tower. I've run my car at Road Atlanta in 95+ humid weather, and STALKER was running his M3 there too and neither of us had trouble with power steering fluid leaking. The other factor perhaps helping is that my fluid level is just above half. When I checked the level at the track it seemed to me that by the end of the day the level had increased slightly.

I don't know if it's a blow-by issue (i.e. the vent needs to be open), an increase in level with temp or high load use, or the effect of cornering forces (do the autocross people have this trouble?) but for certain, some cars seem to be plagued with this and many other cars don't seem to have any trouble at all. I make a point of looking at M3s and M5s when their hoods are open to see if there is evidence of leaking and based on my experience (probably 20 cars or so), it's the minority of cars that leak (some BMW performance center cars leak and others don't).
Yup, no leaking for me either.
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      09-06-2010, 11:00 PM   #69
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Probably should still let it vent. The point of the line is to contain the fluid inside the tubes, instead of spilling it all over. It the intention is to plug the hole, why not plug it on the cap?

What size tube is that? Did you have to drill the cap to make a bigger hole?
The tube has an OD of 3/16". Fits right in the vent hole.

I tested this setup at my last track day with no issue. I will let it vent for the next track day and will report.

BTW, there a few of us tracking our E9X M3 on a regular basis around Seattle and they all leak power steering fluid.
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      09-07-2010, 11:16 PM   #70
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really?? all of you? have done 3 track days, didnt notice anything (but would i without opening the hood?) have 2 more next month and will definitely be looking for this... thx for the heads up
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      09-08-2010, 11:58 AM   #71
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really?? all of you? have done 3 track days, didnt notice anything (but would i without opening the hood?) have 2 more next month and will definitely be looking for this... thx for the heads up
You would indeed have to open the hood to see some fluid has escaped the power steering reservoir. You may see droplets on other components around the lid or on the underside of the hood.

Luckily, it seems to have zero impact on the driving and steering. There's just fluid all over the engine bay...
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      09-12-2010, 01:10 AM   #72
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going to report that i was leaking steering fluid for the first few track events that i did with my m3 last year (2009). but i leaked almost no fluid this year. i have a feeling that my steering fluid container is probably not as full anymore, hence the fact that i am no longer leaking any fluid...

so the question is --- should i be topping up the steering fluid? if i do top it off, i feel like the excess would just leak out again like what it did before so is there even a point to topping it off?
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      09-12-2010, 05:50 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by montreal red View Post
going to report that i was leaking steering fluid for the first few track events that i did with my m3 last year (2009). but i leaked almost no fluid this year. i have a feeling that my steering fluid container is probably not as full anymore, hence the fact that i am no longer leaking any fluid...

so the question is --- should i be topping up the steering fluid? if i do top it off, i feel like the excess would just leak out again like what it did before so is there even a point to topping it off?
Be careful, there is no sensor in the 3-series for PS fluid level. Mine was bone dry last year and trashed the PS pump. Special fluid needed (not ATF).
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      09-12-2010, 07:26 PM   #74
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Quote:
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Be careful, there is no sensor in the 3-series for PS fluid level. Mine was bone dry last year and trashed the PS pump. Special fluid needed (not ATF).
good to know. guess i will be picking up a bottle of steering fluid from the dealer and topping it off a little.
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      09-12-2010, 07:50 PM   #75
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Be careful, there is no sensor in the 3-series for PS fluid level. Mine was bone dry last year and trashed the PS pump. Special fluid needed (not ATF).
Good tip, I did not know that.
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      09-15-2010, 01:40 PM   #76
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so i opened my steering fluid container for the first time in 1 year today and sure enough, it was below the minimum level.

i sucked out whatever fluid was in there and proceeded to pour in new fluid. i plan to do this 2 or 3 times over the next day or two. i know its not a "complete flush" but at least most of the fluid will be new by the time i am done with the process.

got the Pentosin 11S fluid from the local dealer. they charged me CDN$33 + tax...

for those of you that track often, i suggest you check your steering fluid to see if its at the acceptable level. i wouldnt have checked it if not for jml's advice.
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      02-08-2011, 01:17 AM   #77
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Anything new to report here? The one and only time i tracked my car back in october it happened to me. PS fluid all over the engine bay and even down in my fender wells. I haven't checked my level, but after reading this thread i will asap. I also just put pulleys on too, so now i'm a bit worried
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      02-08-2011, 01:38 AM   #78
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I should have taken a picture long time ago, but I bought a wristband and placed it around the cap with a cable tie. No more mess to clean up!

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      02-08-2011, 01:49 AM   #79
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Quote:
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Anything new to report here? The one and only time i tracked my car back in october it happened to me. PS fluid all over the engine bay and even down in my fender wells. I haven't checked my level, but after reading this thread i will asap. I also just put pulleys on too, so now i'm a bit worried
check your levels, you might need to top up depending on how much was lost... i typically have to top up every 2 or 3 track days. i dont need to top up that much though, just a little bit. i am still on my first bottle of power steering fluid after 2 seasons of track use.
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      02-09-2011, 12:27 AM   #80
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I should have taken a picture long time ago, but I bought a wristband and placed it around the cap with a cable tie. No more mess to clean up!

Funny you mentioned this.......after it happened to me i was telling my SA about it and he said he had some friends that raced motorcycles and they would use sweatbands too and he suggested i try that.
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      02-09-2011, 08:58 PM   #81
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I tie wrap a piece of towell around the cap to prevent fluid from reaching the engine. Works well, but all are reminded to keep an eye on the level.
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      02-12-2011, 02:21 PM   #82
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Picture, finally...
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      02-12-2011, 05:42 PM   #83
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^^ great picture. i do the same thing with zip ties on mine... except i use old socks instead of sweatbands (i know i am cheap )
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      04-12-2011, 02:11 AM   #84
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I installed the BMW M3 GT4 power steering cooler last week and the overheating of the fluid is gone. Doesn't take that long to install.

Previously I only had the little tube running out of the hole. It got all soft from the heated fluid.

Now the tube stayed "nice and hard" even during six fast laps on the Nordschleife. Big difference! Better for the whole system as well.

This is one of the most important "mods" for the M3 if you drive it on the track (besides proper brakes with cooling, 18" Cup tires and a different alignment).
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      04-12-2011, 05:05 PM   #85
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Quote:
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Picture, finally...
Where does the fluid come out of? I thought it was out the top since someone had a tube connected to the nipple on top to drain the fluid?

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I installed the BMW M3 GT4 power steering cooler last week and the overheating of the fluid is gone. Doesn't take that long to install.

Previously I only had the little tube running out of the hole. It got all soft from the heated fluid.

Now the tube stayed "nice and hard" even during six fast laps on the Nordschleife. Big difference! Better for the whole system as well.

This is one of the most important "mods" for the M3 if you drive it on the track (besides proper brakes with cooling, 18" Cup tires and a different alignment).
Scared to ask. How much was that?
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      04-12-2011, 05:12 PM   #86
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I installed the BMW M3 GT4 power steering cooler last week and the overheating of the fluid is gone. Doesn't take that long to install.

Previously I only had the little tube running out of the hole. It got all soft from the heated fluid.

Now the tube stayed "nice and hard" even during six fast laps on the Nordschleife. Big difference! Better for the whole system as well.

This is one of the most important "mods" for the M3 if you drive it on the track (besides proper brakes with cooling, 18" Cup tires and a different alignment).
Good to know there's solution for it. Can you post up some pics of the GT3 power steering cooler? Or any link to the product?
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      04-13-2011, 02:09 AM   #87
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try here: cache.bmwusa.com/Pdf_2f462d7a-ad59-487d-b3c5-c99e8d942b49.arox

It will download the GT4 catalog, then check under steering. Not cheap.
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      04-13-2011, 10:10 AM   #88
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try here: cache.bmwusa.com/Pdf_2f462d7a-ad59-487d-b3c5-c99e8d942b49.arox

It will download the GT4 catalog, then check under steering. Not cheap.
How much did it end up costing??
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