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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > Power Steering Fluid



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      12-30-2014, 03:54 AM   #1
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Power Steering Fluid

Hi all,

Am a bit confused about which power steering fluid my 08 E92 325i needs?

Checked the steering fluid level over the weekend while hot and found it needed a small top up. Looked at the cap which clearly says 'ATF OIL ONLY'. So I go and buy some Dextron III ATF which confirms it is suitable for power steering systems. All good so far.

Then prior to actually doing the top up I went off to the forums to search for related posts on power steering and found mention of a different steering fluid, CHF 11S?

Can anyone set me straight on which power steering fluid I need to use?



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      12-30-2014, 04:41 AM   #2
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if your car requires CHF 11S it will state so on the cap. Your manual is your best source.
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      12-30-2014, 04:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lookalikehuuh View Post
if your car requires CHF 11S it will state so on the cap. Your manual is your best source.
Hmm, went through my manuals last night, not a single mention of fluid type?
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      12-30-2014, 06:11 AM   #4
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CHF 11S only, don't wast your time
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      12-30-2014, 06:36 AM   #5
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Wrong answer! Go with what the cap says. If it says "ATF Only", put ATF in. If it says "CHF 11S Only", put that in. Cars with active suspensions require CHF 11S and chances are, your 325i doesn't have that feature. You can't mix 11S hydraulic fluid with automatic transmission fluid so if you add 11S into a system designed for ATF, you'll need to flush the entire system and refill it otherwise you risk pump failure.
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      12-30-2014, 09:57 AM   #6
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Follow the cap.
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      12-30-2014, 10:33 AM   #7
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Follow the cap!
ATF II / III will work
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      12-31-2014, 12:29 AM   #8
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OK, am leaning towards the majority suggestion to 'follow the cap' and go with the ATF.

As DJtoad suggested, I don't have the active suspension option on my car.

But I did find this old post that further confuses the issue..

Can't believe BMW would just place a sticker over an old part to save a few cents by not having to produce a new cap displaying the correct fluid type in the moulding!

Whilst my power steering cap looks very clean with no visible sign that a sticker may have once been in place, my car was purchased used, so there is the chance there may have been a sticker there once and it peeled and was removed?

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=711272

(Pic from old post)
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      12-31-2014, 04:35 AM   #9
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Check color of fluid. If it's red it's ATF.
If it's green it's Pentosin CHF.

If you can't decide wether it's red or green because the fluid is old-dirty-brownish be careful.
I've just read that with active steering the original fill might be CHF
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      12-31-2014, 08:26 AM   #10
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^ thats correct.
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      01-01-2015, 09:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteblue View Post
Check color of fluid. If it's red it's ATF.
If it's green it's Pentosin CHF.

If you can't decide wether it's red or green because the fluid is old-dirty-brownish be careful.
I've just read that with active steering the original fill might be CHF
Checked the steering fluid color, it's old and brownish, damn! Not able to confidently say it's red or green :-(

Would maybe a VIN number check give me the answer I'm looking for?
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      01-01-2015, 12:01 PM   #12
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An online VIN check wont give an answer.

Take your VIN to the BMW dealer. Let them do the top up. Topping up at the dealer wont cost very much but gives you 100% safety and another 100% warranty.
Ask what fluid they used or ask for a detailed bill then on your way home buy the appropriate fluid and make a DIY flush
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      01-01-2015, 11:26 PM   #13
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My hunch is cap is right. Chf IIS is $21/liter discount, so count your blessings if it's Dexron 6.

Nice, price has come down since I bought it


http://www.amazon.com/Pentosin-CHF-S.../dp/B002WTHW26
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      01-02-2015, 12:51 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John 070
My hunch is cap is right. Chf IIS is $21/liter discount, so count your blessings if it's Dexron 6.

Nice, price has come down since I bought it


http://www.amazon.com/Pentosin-CHF-S.../dp/B002WTHW26
Napa sells chf 11s. Anyhow, my understanding is cold weather package will call for chf. If it's brown, my guess is atf. Atf will lose color overtime. When I changed my fluid at 60k it had a green tint to it.
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      01-02-2015, 05:48 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talisman311 View Post
Napa sells chf 11s. Anyhow, my understanding is cold weather package will call for chf. If it's brown, my guess is atf. Atf will lose color overtime. When I changed my fluid at 60k it had a green tint to it.
We're leaning more and more towards ATF based on everyone's responses.

Definately no cold weather package on my car being an Australian delivery!
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      01-02-2015, 12:21 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emilebos View Post
We're leaning more and more towards ATF based on everyone's responses.

Definately no cold weather package on my car being an Australian delivery!
Just to make things a little more confusing, my 07 328 came with Hot Climate Version option, it 100% has the green chf11s sticker over the "ATF Only" cap, and my fluid looks brownish with it being much closer to red than it is green if I had to pick. The color has me thinking about it to the point that I seriously think its either been improperly topped with ATF a few times or replaced with it, albeit incorrectly, altogether. My power steering is loud too.

I would see if you can confirm which pump and steering rack you have, then either work backwards from there to another car w/ the same and see what fluid they have, or call the dealer with those part numbers and see if they can shed some more light.
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      01-02-2015, 12:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emilebos View Post
We're leaning more and more towards ATF based on everyone's responses.

Definately no cold weather package on my car being an Australian delivery!
Ah, just noticed you're in Australia. Just wanted to say, love the country, but damn.. Cars are waaaaay too expensive there.

Cheers
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      01-02-2015, 01:55 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteblue View Post
An online VIN check wont give an answer.

Take your VIN to the BMW dealer. Let them do the top up. Topping up at the dealer wont cost very much but gives you 100% safety and another 100% warranty.
Ask what fluid they used or ask for a detailed bill then on your way home buy the appropriate fluid and make a DIY flush
If you don't want the Dealer to do it for you...

Just call them and have them tell you which fluid goes in your model by VIN, I'm sure the dealer can tell you that simple answer. And just to be in the safe side, call the dealer a second time and have a diff. person check by VIN again... Problem Solved

BTW... My 2008 328i with (only) premium package has the CHF 11S sticker
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      01-02-2015, 02:35 PM   #19
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I would call a dealer with the last 7 of your VIN to confirm, but I am fairly certain that you use CHF-11S.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=711272
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      01-02-2015, 03:53 PM   #20
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Call the dealer, it's the only way to know. I do not have active steering yet I use CHF11.
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      01-06-2015, 08:29 PM   #21
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Have emailed back and forth with my local dealer. Their first reply simply said the correct steering fluid to use for my car is CHF-11S. Was not happy with that answer without any detail so requested further clarification.

Their second response came back as follows. Note the second last line which I have bolded. This is news to me, can anyone confirm this to be correct?

"This particular model uses both fluids, so is a little tricky to identify.

All the reservoir caps have ATF imprinted/engraved in them and the CHF 11s sticker goes over the top.

Easy way to identify which one, is ATF is red, and CHF 11s is green in colour. You can open the cap and check the colour of the fluid to confirm.

Also the actual reservoir has what oil used imprinted on the top edge.

Sometimes a pressure wash can remove the top sticker."

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      01-10-2015, 12:14 AM   #22
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Well, so much for my dealer's suggestion to check for an imprint of the correct fluid type on the top edge of the reservoir. There's no imprinted text there at all.

Lower down on the bottom half of the reservoir there's the part number 32416768094.
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