Less messy technique
I modified the original approach as I could not envision how to do it without making a complete mess of the vehicle and garage floor. I think this is actually the e46 method referenced by the OP in his posting.
Less messy technique:
Lift front of vehicle. Please do this safely.
Remove plastic underbody, air box, and air intake duct from in front of engine to aid access.
Release the tension on the serpentine belt, and move it out of the way to improve access and prevent getting any oil on to it. This is a great time to do maintenance in this area as well.
Completely drain the reservoir with your suction device of choice. Get down behind the filter to minimize mess in the next step. I got about 250 ml out, it was a little bit low to start.
Remove the banjo bolt at the bottom of the PS pump. I removed by reaching in from above. This allowed me to place some aluminum foil, prior to opening the bolt, below and channel the fluid forward and into a container with a funnel on top, with minimal mess. It is also an easy bolt to access, and retighten.
Turning the steering wheel repeatedly from stop to stop for about five or ten minutes will pump fluid up to the reservoir, which will then drain down to the pump and out the bottom. I also used a small syringe to again fully empty the reservoir. I was able to get another 450 ml of fluid out.
Replace the banjo bolt and line, use new crush washers.
Degrease any pulleys that might have been contaminated, then replaced serpentine belt.
I refilled with 700 ml of fluid. This takes a little while, turn the steering wheel, start and stop the engine, etc. Ignored the horrible noises, got the air out and ran the engine for a while, then emptied the reservoir again and refilled with the remaining 300 ml in the can.
Assuming a 1 liter capacity (complete guess), this means the first flush left 30% old fluid, and the second, reservoir only, flush got it down to about 22% old fluid. Looks much better, but I wish there was a way to get all the fluid out. Using the easier drain reservoir and refill method, five cycles should get you to the same place, but would require 1.25 liters of fluid.Hope this helps someone. Sorry no pics, there are plenty of them above. The PS pump is right above the rack and to the front. Just trace the lines.
Last edited by mthomas; 02-20-2012 at 12:44 PM.