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Old 12-23-2011, 01:53 PM   #1
BADRAT
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Steering question

Hey guys. I bought my e46 this past summer and have been loving it. Upon purchase the fluids had been neglected, I'm almost positive power steering fluid was used as oppose to ATF. The pump failed and I had replaced it with a new one. On an odd day when idling out of my driveway the steering would get extremely heavy, the only cure would be to rev the engine. Once going the steering would be back to the way it should be. Could the steering rack be damaged and on its way out? Is this normal? Or am I overlooking something else. Thanks in advance!

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Old 12-23-2011, 02:14 PM   #2
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are you sure the fluid level is good
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Old 12-23-2011, 02:28 PM   #3
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Yessir. Flushed everything all is new and topped up. I check it periodically with the rest of the fluids.

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are you sure the fluid level is good



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Old 12-25-2011, 06:31 PM   #4
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is this normal? any leads on what to look for
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Old 12-25-2011, 07:50 PM   #5
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how heavy is ur steering wheel?

winter time it might feel a little heavier then usual.
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Old 12-25-2011, 08:43 PM   #6
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i can tell the difference, it feels heavy as if the pump failed. all is well once engine hits a certain rpm, its odd
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Old 12-27-2011, 12:49 AM   #7
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if you hear a loud MOANING SOUND then its your steering pump going... if you rear a grinding noise from the steering... then is either the coupling joint or the lower joint assembly... It may SEEM like when you rev the car up you are fixing it, but its not the case... sometimes the joint gets stuck and you are able to "work" it out, other times, the joint is broken on one side...

only way to know is to take a look inside... EXPENSIVE. if you open it, make sure you plan on REPLACING IT.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:44 PM   #8
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no moaning sound, ive dealt with that symptom before and know its not that. i dont think its a lower joint assembly either, because it seems like it only gets stuck when i leave the car overnight in the cold. (ill be checking for sure, once i get my car up on the hoist)

when i changed out my power steering fluid, i completely flushed it out by removing the resevoir. i connected a line to the resevoir return, which lead to a catch bucket. the line from the resevoir to the pump i connected a funnel. what is suppose to happen when you start your car is the fluid pours out to the catch, while you feed new fluid through the funnel. when doing this procedure, i was not able to circulate fluid until i reved the engine. which i thought was very odd. any insights on why this occured? its almost as if there is a valve somewhere that is only opening when a certain rpm is hit. is this normal? hopefully this post makes some sense
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:30 PM   #9
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Does it eventually become unstuck? Drive driving in reverse and turning at the same time. (3 point turn) and see if it fixes the problem... oddly, worked twice for me!

If you figure it out, let us know.
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:40 PM   #10
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hmm nope, i reverse it of the driveway in the morning and notice the problem

this seems to be linked to the cold weather. couple of days ago it was mild in the morning while leaving for work, no problems. i worked super late and left when it was freezing out, i had the problem. the other day it was ~-17 and the problem showed up again. today its ~2 degrees and i have no problems. i guess my car likes the cold as much as i do

maybe i should try some different atf fluid
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Old 01-05-2012, 05:17 PM   #11
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I had similar problem when I used mobil1 synthetic atf. When the car was cold, like -5 and colder, the steering was really heavy for about a minute.

I replaced the fluid using the turkey baster method all summer and it's not heavy anymore at cold temps.
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Old 01-05-2012, 05:34 PM   #12
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what at fluid are you using now?
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:21 PM   #13
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I switched to Royal Purple ATF and its been sweet ever since.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:33 PM   #14
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great, thanks! ill try reflushing and try some of royal purples stuff. ill keeo you all updated once i get around to doing this. thanks again
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:51 PM   #15
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yaknow these steering pumps are quite a common failure item on e46's? so I think it is wise to use a premium fluid to avoid breakage.
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