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Power Steering Flush DIY E90
the optimum way
Published by allmotorh22
12-31-2010
Power Steering Flush DIY E90

Did alot of searching on how to flush the power steering for the e90,
the best I could find is this:
http://www.dvatp.com/bmw/diy/power_steering_flush/

Doug was specific on e36/46, and explains what the pros/cons with regard to each style.

My way:
-I chose to do this with the engine off (because I don't want a messy garage floor)

-The drain bolt is on the rack not the PS pump. I believe I found the true drain bolt (on the rack vs on the pump, see pics below).
I noticed that all the other bolts had really shallow heads (more chance of stripping/rounding them off.)

-There is no need to cover the pump or serpentine belt!

Tools needed:
8mm socet
19mm socket
torque wrench
Brake cleaner
Jack stands (not ramps)
Jack

Fluid:
1Lt of Pentosin CHF-11S (no substitution)

Steps:
1. raise car,
2. secure jack stands underneath the car so that the front wheels are free to turn
2. remove under carriage cover.
3. identify steering rack drain bolt.
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(The one on the top, 19mm, black with the thicker head)

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4. loosen the drain bolt (don't forget to place a pan under there)
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5. uncover the reservoir

6. Turn the steering wheel lock to lock, repeatedly untill all the fluid drains out. (you could probably add fluid to the reservoir as it drains, so you can minimize air introduced into the system but I'm uncertain if you would just be draining new fluid out in the process, CHF-11s is not cheap!). according to Doug, the ps system is self bleeding.

7. close the drain bolt and torque it to 22 ft lbs. (not sure if this is right for this bolt, I'm just taking this spec from my experience with Honda's).
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8. fill reservoir with new fluid, turning steering wheel lock to lock, to get as much as possible back into the rack (I drained 800 ml out) so try to get as much back in before you turn the car on to have the pump do the rest.

9. Lower the car after you put everything back. Turn on the car for 3 seconds and turn off, check the level and repeat till the level is good.

-allmotorh22
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  #1  
By bmwpk on 01-02-2011, 06:54 PM
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Nice write up and excellent pictures. Do you think it is a good idea to bleed by turning the car on with the cap open? That is, top it off once done bleeding and have someone turn the car on and turn the wheel while you fill it up as it eats up more fluid. It should also bubble out air? I don't have a bentley manual but wondering what it recommends.

I did this in my e36 but now am thinking about changing my 330i's fluid. It makes a light noise when I turn my wheel at morning start. Thanks for giving me something to start with.
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  #2  
By allmotorh22 on 01-03-2011, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwpk View Post
Nice write up and excellent pictures. Do you think it is a good idea to bleed by turning the car on with the cap open? That is, top it off once done bleeding and have someone turn the car on and turn the wheel while you fill it up as it eats up more fluid. It should also bubble out air? I don't have a bentley manual but wondering what it recommends.

I did this in my e36 but now am thinking about changing my 330i's fluid. It makes a light noise when I turn my wheel at morning start. Thanks for giving me something to start with.
Thanks! I'm not sure if having the reservoir cap open while the engine running is a good idea because if it's anything like a honda ps system, the fluid in reservoir spins around like a tornado. (Think opening a blender while its making a smoothie).

But hey, I'd try anything to reduce the amount of air that's introduced in to the system. (might not matter thought as any air gets pushed out with force,)

btw, my steering feels much better (softer) after the change, with absolutely no noise.
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  #3  
By bmwpk on 02-13-2011, 10:58 PM
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So the bentley manual mentions that to get rid of air, you start the car and turn the wheel two times to lock to left and then to lock once to the right. That is supposed to bleed the air out. I tried it but didn't hear much activity, so its not a loud process. Wonder if there is more info on this step.
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  #4  
By txusa03 on 02-13-2011, 11:21 PM
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Great diy! So did you flush the ps b/c you were hearing noise while turning? How many miles on you car when you performed the ps flush?
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  #5  
By Bavarian Tech on 02-14-2011, 09:04 AM
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Left- New
Right- 60k
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  #6  
By txusa03 on 02-14-2011, 10:26 AM
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^ do you mind giving us a bit more descriptive detail on what you see? It is hard to tell just from the photo alone. Thanks.
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  #7  
By Chriztofor on 02-19-2011, 10:42 AM
Maybe I am missing something, but why the 8mm socket? I didn't read or see you using it.
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  #8  
By noire07 on 02-23-2011, 02:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txusa03 View Post
^ do you mind giving us a bit more descriptive detail on what you see? It is hard to tell just from the photo alone. Thanks.
I just replaced mine last week and had the same thing. The cup on the right (old) is dark almost like motor oil. Pentosin CHF-11S when new is green.
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  #9  
By noire07 on 02-23-2011, 02:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriztofor View Post
Maybe I am missing something, but why the 8mm socket? I didn't read or see you using it.
8mm socket is for the plastic undercarriage cover.
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  #10  
By AlanAZ on 03-17-2011, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
close the drain bolt and torque it to 22 ft lbs
Bentley manual says 26 ft-lbs for the hydraulic line on the pump itself, I'd assume the same for the rack, and to replace the sealing rings. Check the label on the res. cap for the fluid type, can be CHF 11S or AFT Dexron III, do not mix, and do not assume it's CHF 11S.

Like with the brake res. cap, to avoid introducing dirt into the system, clean the PS cap and top of housing thoroughly, paper towels etc., before opening. The cap has a vent hole, best not to blast it with high-pressure water.
Last edited by AlanAZ; 03-17-2011 at 11:19 PM.
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  #11  
By AlanAZ on 03-24-2011, 11:23 PM
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I did this fluid change last weekend - my level was getting close to the min mark - just a couple of things to add:

It's messy, be prepared. I suggest putting a sheet of cardboard down to catch the fluid that misses the pan. Best to do when the fluid is warm, go for the 10 min drive before.

When draining, I turned it to lock, wait for the fluid to stop, turn to other lock, and repeat about 8 times.

When filling, bleed the air from pump and lines first. Fill to about max (highest ridge) mark on cap, it took about 500 ml (and 800 ml when finished), turn engine on for a few seconds, turn off, fill and repeat. Once it stops taking fluid, then turn engine on, and turn wheel lock to lock a couple of times, turn engine off and fill res. (I did this with the front wheels off the ground to take any load off pump and rack.) Do it once more about 5 times lock to lock. Once it's on the ground and level, adjust fluid level to the max mark exactly.

After the first proper drive, the next day when the fluid is cold, check the level again - mine did not need any more. Do not do it when the fluid is hot, as it will read high.
Last edited by AlanAZ; 06-06-2011 at 04:40 PM.
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  #12  
By keona on 04-20-2011, 10:03 PM
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Just changed CHF 11S, but few hours later almost all the fluid dripped out.
  • My power steering is almost empty now.
  • Pump is making really loud noises.
  • My steering wheel is barely moving.

What did I do wrong?

(I followed every step that you posted)

What can be done to fix this?

(Maybe a had to put more strength when I was closing draining bolt)

Please help.


*** Added pictures, as you can see liquid dripping from other bolt, is it self bleeding system that you talked about??? or there is is something wrong?
Attached Images
  
Last edited by keona; 04-21-2011 at 10:22 AM.
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  #13  
By keona on 04-21-2011, 09:58 AM
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close the drain bolt and torque it to 22 ft lbs

How hard do I have tighten?

From scale 1-10^
  • 1-Loose

  • 10- Can't go any further
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  #14  
By ENINTY on 04-21-2011, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keona View Post
Just changed CHF 11S, but few hours later almost all the fluid dripped out.
  • My power steering is almost empty now.
  • Pump is making really loud noises.
  • My steering wheel is barely moving.

What did I do wrong?

(I followed every step that you posted)

What can be done to fix this?

(Maybe a had to put more strength when I was closing draining bolt)

Please help.


*** Added pictures, as you can see liquid dripping from other bolt, is it self bleeding system that you talked about??? or there is is something wrong?
What you did wrong is the black bolt (which everyone is incorrectly calling a drain bolt - it is actually called a banjo bolt), is installed with the both sealing washers on the head side of the bolt. You did not install the sealing washers correctly. One should be inbetween the head of the bolt and the banjo fitting (head-side of the bolt) and the other washer should be between the banjo fitting and the steering rack body (thread-side of the bolt). You put both sealing washers together under the head when you re-installed the bolt. You think the fluid is leaking from the lower bolt but it is just the fluid dripping down onto the lower bolt.

To everyone, there is no drain on the steering rack. The OP just removed either the supply or return line to/from the steering rack. However this is just as effective as if there were an actual drain bolt. Also, you should always use new crush-washers (sealing washers) when removing banjo fittings just to make sure they seal properly.
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  #15  
By keona on 04-21-2011, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ENINTY View Post
What you did wrong is the black bolt (which everyone is incorrectly calling a drain bolt - it is actually called a banjo bolt), is installed with the both sealing washers on the head side of the bolt. You did not install the sealing washers correctly. One should be inbetween the head of the bolt and the banjo fitting (head-side of the bolt) and the other washer should be between the banjo fitting and the steering rack body (thread-side of the bolt). You put both sealing washers together under the head when you re-installed the bolt. You think the fluid is leaking from the lower bolt but it is just the fluid dripping down onto the lower bolt.

To everyone, there is no drain on the steering rack. The OP just removed either the supply or return line to/from the steering rack. However this is just as effective as if there were an actual drain bolt. Also, you should always use new crush-washers (sealing washers) when removing banjo fittings just to make sure they seal properly.
THANK YOU!!!

I'll try getting new sealing washers.
Do i need to get them from BMW or from some store like Home Depo?
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  #16  
By ENINTY on 04-22-2011, 05:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keona View Post
THANK YOU!!!

I'll try getting new sealing washers.
Do i need to get them from BMW or from some store like Home Depo?
Home Depot will not have them. The sealing washers are aluminum and have specific applications. Go on to realoem.com and get the part numbers. realoem.com also lists the dimensions of the sealing washers which you could then take to an auto parts store and get the correct sized washers, or just take the old washers to the auto parts store an match them up to new washers.
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  #17  
By allmotorh22 on 05-04-2011, 01:53 PM
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Oh wow, you put both crush washers on one side of the black banjo bolt (pic 2). you apparently didn't pay attention to the way things came apart.



I hope you fixed it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by keona View Post
Just changed CHF 11S, but few hours later almost all the fluid dripped out.
  • My power steering is almost empty now.
  • Pump is making really loud noises.
  • My steering wheel is barely moving.

What did I do wrong?

(I followed every step that you posted)

What can be done to fix this?

(Maybe a had to put more strength when I was closing draining bolt)

Please help.


*** Added pictures, as you can see liquid dripping from other bolt, is it self bleeding system that you talked about??? or there is is something wrong?
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  #18  
By Sexyjen on 05-26-2011, 12:01 PM
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Power Steering Fluid

My car needs power steering fluid. 2007 335i. I've heard 2 separate brands to try but not sure which one. Anyone know which i am supposed to use?
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  #19  
By AlanAZ on 06-06-2011, 04:43 PM
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From an entry above:

Quote:
Check the label on the res. cap for the fluid type, can be CHF 11S or AFT Dexron III, do not mix, and do not assume it's CHF 11S.
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  #20  
By Glim on 06-14-2011, 06:28 PM
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On the power steering reservoir cap you will see CHF 11S, pick it up from the dealer or parts store, cheapest for me is the VW dealership $23.95.

Instead of the banjo bolt I use the motive bleeder bottle, put the rubber tube into the reservoir, squeeze the bottle, plug the bottle's vent hole with your finger (small air tube on top of the bleeder bottle cap) stop squeezing the bottle and let the bottle fill up with fluid, no mess, splash or spraying hydraulic fluid.


Fill reservoir to max line, put cap on, start car, turn wheels lock to lock (while rolling to reduce pressure on system) and repeat using bleeder bottle.

Used the same bleeder bottle trick on the brake fluid reservoir when flushing the brake lines.

Last edited by Glim; 06-15-2011 at 12:43 AM.
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  #21  
By Rotorocious on 06-14-2011, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glim View Post
On the power steering reservoir cap you will see CHF 11S, pick it up from the dealer or parts store, cheapest for me is the VW dealership $23.95.

Instead of the banjo bolt I use the motive bleeder bottle, put the rubber tube into the reservoir, squeeze the bottle, plug the bottle's vent hole and let the bottle fill up, no mess, splash or spraying hydraulic fluid.

Fill reservoir to max line, put cap on, start car, turn wheels lock to lock (while rolling to reduce pressure on system) and repeat using bleeder bottle.

Used the same bleeder bottle trick on the brake fluid reservoir when flushing the brake lines.
I'm a bit confused but think I know what you mean.
Could you elaborate a bit?
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