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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 > Sudden decrease in power steering at low speeds



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      03-14-2013, 08:55 PM   #1
BMWWW
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Sudden decrease in power steering at low speeds

Hi folks,

Car: '09 328xi
Hoping to pick the more informed brains here on the boards. I swapped over to an msport wheel two weeks ago from a non-sport wheel, and while the steering feel was a touch heavier, that was to be expected.

Fast forward 2 weeks of problem-free driving. I pulled off the highway after about an hour of cruising, and right as I continue onto the sidestreets, the steering feels like it's lacking power steering at slow speeds.

It gets better as the car gets going, but parking lot maneuvering is super stiff at times, but it's not consistently heavy. Stopped at a light, it is still possible to turn with one hand/1-finger, but making lefts/rights at lights, u-turns/3-point turns is a lot harder than before..again, happens MOST of the time, but not 100% every time.

Any chance it's something to do with installing the new steering wheel?--I can only think of the single 16mm nut affecting the steering feel, and while I didn't tighten with a torque wrench, I didn't exactly CRANK on it either.

No error codes other than one for my rear lights being out. (Though the BC-stalk "Check" menu has no codes when I scroll through)..

I took a look at the power-steering reservoir, and it may be a bit low? (I see 2 lines, it's at or below the lower one--and the fluid level is much less than the reservoir-capacity under the hood. Also seems to have been leaking through the cap of all places...

Any tips for other things to look out for or advice would be greatly appreciated. Did a few searches, and it seems like there may also be a steering angle sensor/active steering components to check.



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      03-14-2013, 09:49 PM   #2
07lilredwagon
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How did you check your power steering fluid?...was the car running?..it should be.

Read the label on the reservoir carefully and use the appropriate fluid...If the fluid is black and you cannot see through it (wipe some on a rag from the dipstick) then it needs to be changed.

The leaky reservoir cap is common...clean it up as best you can for now...new reservoirs (with internal non serviceable filter inside) are not expensive. Check out Bavarian auto dot com.....they have a great DIY on the site.

There is an o-ring under the cap that flattens out over time and begins to leak..also, those clamps that BMW uses are not adjustable and leak...I replaced mine with adjustable clamps when I replaced my reservoir. (whole thing took about an hour to change the reservoir, clamps and fluid.....but I had to add spacers to the bushings that hold the reservoir in place as they had gotten loose over time)

I believe my car, an 07 took Pentosin fluid...but again, check your reservoir cap for the right stuff.

as long as fluid is moving in the reservoir when the car is running, the powersteering pump is probably okay....fill it up, let the air purge out by running it normally and see if that does not improve things quite a bit....

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      03-14-2013, 09:58 PM   #3
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Possibly a steering shaft..replaced several for binding
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      03-18-2013, 02:31 PM   #4
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Topped off the power steering fluid and the problem is solved for the time being.

Thanks!
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      03-18-2013, 02:34 PM   #5
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I hear this happens when you hold the steering wheel all the way while turning.
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