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      05-02-2009, 10:43 PM   #1
M3V8Driver
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Power Steering Overheating

Has anybody had their PS fluid overheat while tracking their E9x M3? Mine is an E92 and the last time I had it at the track, the PS fluid boiled and leaked all over that side of the engine bay and may have been causing the tires to feel sliprier than normal. What can one do about it? The ambient temp was only 75F and I will be at VIR in another month where it will likely be 85F!
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      05-02-2009, 11:26 PM   #2
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Has anybody had their PS fluid overheat while tracking their E9x M3? Mine is an E92 and the last time I had it at the track, the PS fluid boiled and leaked all over that side of the engine bay and may have been causing the tires to feel sliprier than normal. What can one do about it? The ambient temp was only 75F and I will be at VIR in another month where it will likely be 85F!
No I have not had the problem.How tight of a track were you at?
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      05-02-2009, 11:37 PM   #3
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It's a pretty tight track, but not as bad as some. It's also short, so I sort of doubt the PS was being overworked. Go to www.beaverun.com and check it out and let me know what you think. Thanks.
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      05-03-2009, 12:12 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by M3V8Driver View Post
Has anybody had their PS fluid overheat while tracking their E9x M3? Mine is an E92 and the last time I had it at the track, the PS fluid boiled and leaked all over that side of the engine bay and may have been causing the tires to feel sliprier than normal. What can one do about it? The ambient temp was only 75F and I will be at VIR in another month where it will likely be 85F!
I have had that problem too. My other friend who regularly tracks the car also have this problem with the PS leaking. It seems like a design problem since its a 2 piece unit. Only best thing to do is to wrap the PS line joints with socks. It doesnt leak as much as you think.

Hope this helps!

Cheers.
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      05-03-2009, 06:42 AM   #5
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It's a pretty tight track, but not as bad as some. It's also short, so I sort of doubt the PS was being overworked. Go to www.beaverun.com and check it out and let me know what you think. Thanks.
It only looks real bad if you were running the go-cart track!I have done one day at a track tighter than Beaverun with no PS issues.The diff was another matter!
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      05-03-2009, 07:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3V8Driver View Post
Has anybody had their PS fluid overheat while tracking their E9x M3? Mine is an E92 and the last time I had it at the track, the PS fluid boiled and leaked all over that side of the engine bay and may have been causing the tires to feel sliprier than normal. What can one do about it? The ambient temp was only 75F and I will be at VIR in another month where it will likely be 85F!
Yes, this happens. If I remember correctly, there is actually a relief opening in the middle of the cap, and that's where it comes out.
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      05-03-2009, 08:26 AM   #7
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Good to hear I'm not alone, but not so good to hear that it happens. Just another item to add to the list of things that are beginnng to make me believe this is not the track-worthy car it is billed to be by BMW and the automotive press. Either they don't drive as hard or as long on a track, or they're just willing to accept these little things as nuances and not real problems. And they don't have to exist to make the car streetable either... they're more just design flaws.
Brakes (calipers, pads, lines and/or fluid simply not up to the task of repetitive lapping)
DCT Tuning (downshift and lag issues)
Tires (overheat early)
Alignment (can't get enough negative camber)
Engine (overheats and goes into limp mode)
Speed limited to 155mph (why?)
PS Fluid resevoir (overheats)
What else?
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      05-03-2009, 11:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3V8Driver View Post
Good to hear I'm not alone, but not so good to hear that it happens. Just another item to add to the list of things that are beginnng to make me believe this is not the track-worthy car it is billed to be by BMW and the automotive press. Either they don't drive as hard or as long on a track, or they're just willing to accept these little things as nuances and not real problems. And they don't have to exist to make the car streetable either... they're more just design flaws.
Brakes (calipers, pads, lines and/or fluid simply not up to the task of repetitive lapping)
DCT Tuning (downshift and lag issues)
Tires (overheat early)
Alignment (can't get enough negative camber)
Engine (overheats and goes into limp mode)
Speed limited to 155mph (why?)
PS Fluid resevoir (overheats)
What else?
Maybe we should start a thread about "common track maladies".

1. Brakes. I agree with you, stock they won't work on the track. This is the same with most M cars. Fortunately, easily and inexpensively fixed with pads, lines & fluid.
2. DCT. I wouldn't know. 6SPD FTW.
3. Tires. This isn't really the cars fault. The PS2s are very good, just not a racing tire.
4. Alignment. True, but then again, same as other M cars.
5. Engine. I had the engine warn me about overheating once last Saturday but that was because I stupidly left the A/C on on that session. Other than that, oil temp get to 125 C and stays there even on a very hot day.
6. PS Fluid. Sorry to hear about that. I haven't seen it but I have only run the car at a power track, not that many tight turns.

Overall, I think the M3 is reasonably track worthy, as much as the E46.
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      05-03-2009, 11:51 AM   #9
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Yes, I've actually been drafting a track FAQ. I'll post it soon and we can refine it then.
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      05-03-2009, 12:24 PM   #10
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Is this what you are refering too when you talk about Power Steering issues ?
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      05-03-2009, 12:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3V8Driver View Post
Has anybody had their PS fluid overheat while tracking their E9x M3? Mine is an E92 and the last time I had it at the track, the PS fluid boiled and leaked all over that side of the engine bay and may have been causing the tires to feel sliprier than normal. What can one do about it? The ambient temp was only 75F and I will be at VIR in another month where it will likely be 85F!
Take some fluid out of the fluid reservoir.

E39 M5's had the same problem and the cure was to use a turkey baster to lower the level by about 1/2" in the reservoir. As PS fluid heats it expands and it has to find a way out. Lowering the level made more room for expansion and the problem went away.

Before anyone starts advocating for synthetic fluid, the M3 comes with synthetic fluid already.
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      05-03-2009, 01:24 PM   #12
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I'm surprise to see that it can overheat like that. After all this is just power steering fluid!

I will lower the level, but is there any risk that I may be missing fluid and cause some misfunctionning of the steering?

Thanks,
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      05-03-2009, 02:32 PM   #13
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Got back from Mschool a month ago and the instructors told me that the power steering has overheating issues but they said most people don't drive the car hard enough to have the issue. They have had the issue happen on many M3s.
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      05-03-2009, 04:16 PM   #14
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This has occurred in every M3 I have owned. (E36, E46 and now E90) Nothing to worry about.
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      05-03-2009, 05:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3V8Driver View Post
Good to hear I'm not alone, but not so good to hear that it happens. Just another item to add to the list of things that are beginnng to make me believe this is not the track-worthy car it is billed to be by BMW and the automotive press. Either they don't drive as hard or as long on a track, or they're just willing to accept these little things as nuances and not real problems. And they don't have to exist to make the car streetable either... they're more just design flaws.
Brakes (calipers, pads, lines and/or fluid simply not up to the task of repetitive lapping)
DCT Tuning (downshift and lag issues)
Tires (overheat early)
Alignment (can't get enough negative camber)
Engine (overheats and goes into limp mode)
Speed limited to 155mph (why?)
PS Fluid resevoir (overheats)
What else?
You ask too much for a sporty street car, it's not a racecar. Once you start to beat on it regularly at the track any car will have issues.
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      05-03-2009, 05:04 PM   #16
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Caymans have this same issue, overheated PS fluid and then power steering line fitting failure, very typical track issue. The fix is a PS cooler and/or an underdrive pulley to slow down the PS pump.
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      05-03-2009, 07:20 PM   #17
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This has occurred in every M3 I have owned. (E36, E46 and now E90) Nothing to worry about.
Same here, it was really bad on the E46, but the reservoir was down the belly of the motor so you didn't see it leaking. Putting Redline in the E46 helped a lot.

I beat the snot out of it this weekend with Rcomps in 85 degree heat and high humidity. No overheating issues. REALLY needs camber plates. I nearly chewed through a set of NT01s. Gas gauge is a little freaky, I think it must be buffered.
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      05-03-2009, 07:28 PM   #18
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Is this what you are refering too when you talk about Power Steering issues ?
Yes, that's it. If you look at the cap carefully, you'll see that one of those spokes has a relief hole in it. That's where the fluid comes out.
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      05-03-2009, 08:26 PM   #19
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1) In all fairness to the DCT, most of the issues and complaints have been addressed with reprogramming. It is now a viable and trackable transmission... a world of improvement over the SMGIII.

2) In response to "Got back from Mschool a month ago and the instructors told me that the power steering has overheating issues but they said most people don't drive the car hard enough to have the issue. They have had the issue happen on many M3s."

This is diturbing on many levels. The target audiance is track junkies like us. The owners manual even mentions it. The perofrmance center that holds the M-School is owned and operated by BMW. Is it not the ultimate beta test to have new M3 owners beat the snot out of their cars, many of whom have tons of experience?!? Sounds like a perfect scenario for product improvement.

3) In response to "You ask too much for a sporty street car, it's not a racecar. Once you start to beat on it regularly at the track any car will have issues."

Uh, no. All these maladies simply don't have to be present. They are avoidable. If a manufacturer is going to market a car as being track-worthy, then they should engineer it with the expectation that their customers are going to drive them on the track. So there is no excuse for all these little things to get in the way. Fixing any or all of them wouldn't affect their streetability. If you can get a $30K Nissan or Hyumdai with Brembo's, then there's no reason why a $60K+ car can't have them. And so on.

4) As for the tires, I understand they are not track tires. But they aren't even a suitable compromise. The Continentals that BMW fits on the M-School cars perform more consistently without overheating, and on heavier cars (M5 and M6)!

I'm not really a chronic complainer... it's jsut that this one more thing to worry about with my M3 at the track put me over the edge. And getting beat by a less experienced driver in a GTR didn't help! I still love the car... just a bit perturbed. Sorry for the rant.
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      05-03-2009, 09:07 PM   #20
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1)
3) In response to "You ask too much for a sporty street car, it's not a racecar. Once you start to beat on it regularly at the track any car will have issues."

Uh, no. All these maladies simply don't have to be present. They are avoidable. If a manufacturer is going to market a car as being track-worthy, then they should engineer it with the expectation that their customers are going to drive them on the track. So there is no excuse for all these little things to get in the way. Fixing any or all of them wouldn't affect their streetability. If you can get a $30K Nissan or Hyumdai with Brembo's, then there's no reason why a $60K+ car can't have them. And so on.

4) As for the tires, I understand they are not track tires. But they aren't even a suitable compromise. The Continentals that BMW fits on the M-School cars perform more consistently without overheating, and on heavier cars (M5 and M6)!

I'm not really a chronic complainer... it's jsut that this one more thing to worry about with my M3 at the track put me over the edge. And getting beat by a less experienced driver in a GTR didn't help! I still love the car... just a bit perturbed. Sorry for the rant.
OEM Brembos do not mean performance by default.

Continental ContiSportContacts are not superior to Michelin PS2s. Continental has the tire contract and is a sponsor to the M School, why do you think their posters and tires were everywhere? When I talked to an instructor he said they are hoping for Michelins next time.

GT-R is blazing fast track car made to make intermediate drivers look like pros. You'll either need a GTR, which has Brembos that require a $8K service, or more driving skill.
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      05-03-2009, 10:33 PM   #21
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OEM Brembos do not mean performance by default.

Continental ContiSportContacts are not superior to Michelin PS2s. Continental has the tire contract and is a sponsor to the M School, why do you think their posters and tires were everywhere? When I talked to an instructor he said they are hoping for Michelins next time.

GT-R is blazing fast track car made to make intermediate drivers look like pros. You'll either need a GTR, which has Brembos that require a $8K service, or more driving skill.
No, but OEM Brembos are a step in the right direction. Brembo doesn't make junk components.

I drove the Continentals and the Michelins on tracks, and felt the Conti's performed more consistently lap after lap, whereas the PS2s got greasy after 15 minutes. I'd rather have slightly less grip for a longer duration than slightly more grip for a shorter duration.

GTR driver beat me by one second, so it's not a skill issue. If I were driving the GTR, I could have beat my time by much more The kicker is that is what I was going to get if it weren't for dealer gouging (M3 was second on my list, so I took the deposit back from the Nissan dealer and went to my BMW dealer ).
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      05-03-2009, 11:17 PM   #22
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I have never tracked this car and I have noticed a small amount of fluid around the PS cap as well.
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