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Power Steering Reservoir Replacing
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Power Steering Reservoir Replacing

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$50

Talent:

**

Tools:

Socket 10mm, flathead screwdriver, hose clamp pliers

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 528i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 530i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 530xi Wagon (2006-07)
BMW 535i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 535xi Wagon (2008)
BMW 545i Sedan (2004-05)
BMW 550i Sedan (2006-10)

Parts Required:

Power steering reservoir, power steering hoses, hose clamps, power steering fluid

Hot Tip:

Suction fluid out of power steering reservoir before removing it

Performance Gain:

Remedy power steering leaks and noise

Complementary Modification:

Replace power steering hoses

The steering system used in BMW E60 is known as power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering. Rotating the steering wheel spins a small pinion gear, thus sliding a toothed rack left or right. The ends of the rack attach to tie-rods that steer the front wheels. A hydraulic pump, powered by the engine accessory belt, forces steering fluid into hoses leading to pistons in the steering rack. A hydraulic valve in the steering rack varies the hydraulic fluid pressure in the two cylinders, dependent on how fast or forcefully the pinion gear is rotated. This multiplies the driver's force in steering the wheels.

An optional active steering system varies the force multiplication of power steering depending on vehicle speed. At low speeds steering assist (force multiplication) is at a maximum to aid in low speed driving and parking. At high speed steering assist is reduced. In addition, at high speeds (above 75 mph or 120 kph) the active steering microprocessor reduces driver input into the steering system in order to prevent the transmission of unintended rapid steering movement to the front wheels.

When a power steering pump begins to fail, it will emit a groan when steering from side to side or you will notice increased steering effort. Of course the pump could leak also, but a noisy and weak pump is most common. Inside the power steering fluid reservoir there is a small filter that can become restricted. The filter is not serviceable separately; if you believe it to be a problem, replace the power steering fluid reservoir. I have seen noisy pumps remedied by replacing the power steering reservoir. If yours is groaning, try replacing the reservoir first. You can also use this article if you need to replace the hose clamps on the power steering reservoir hoses, as they have a tendency to leak over time. There are two hoses off the reservoir that I usually replace. One goes to the cooler, the other to the pump.

In this article, I'll go over the steps involved with replacing the power steering reservoir and bleeding the power steering pump.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Vehicle models change and evolve, as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Place an oil drain pan under the left side of the engine.

The power steering reservoir is mounted on the left side of the engine compartment, on the strut tower (red arrow).
Figure 1

The power steering reservoir is mounted on the left side of the engine compartment, on the strut tower (red arrow).

Use a suction pump (red arrow) to suck the power steering fluid out of the reservoir.
Figure 2

Use a suction pump (red arrow) to suck the power steering fluid out of the reservoir.

First, you will have to remove the power steering reservoir from its mounting bracket.
Figure 3

First, you will have to remove the power steering reservoir from its mounting bracket. You do not have to disconnect the hoses yet. Start by loosening the 10mm reservoir bracket-clamping bolt (red arrow).

Remove the two 10mm mounting fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 4

Remove the two 10mm mounting fasteners (red arrows). Then remove the two silver washers from the power steering reservoir grommets. Be careful not to lose the washers.

Lift the power steering reservoir up and slide the mounting bracket (red arrow) down.
Figure 5

Lift the power steering reservoir up and slide the mounting bracket (red arrow) down.

Now it's time to remove the hoses from the power steering reservoir.
Figure 6

Now it's time to remove the hoses from the power steering reservoir. Use a flathead screwdriver and lever open the hose clamp. Or use a pair of diagonal cutters (red arrow) to cut the clamps. Once you get the hose clamps open, pull the hoses straight off the reservoir. Catch any excess fluid to leak out with a shop rag.

If you need to replace the hose that runs to the power steering pump, remove the engine splash shields.
Figure 7

If you need to replace the hose that runs to the power steering pump, remove the engine splash shields. Then remove the hose clamp for the low-pressure power steering hose (red arrow). Remove the hose clamp at the power steering pump hose, just like you did at the reservoir. Then remove the hose and install the new one. Do not crimp the new hose clamp yet.

Install the reservoir and tighten the two 10mm fasteners.
Figure 8

Install the reservoir and tighten the two 10mm fasteners. Then align the hoses and install them in the same position as the old hoses. This will ensure a proper fit. Double check the hoses are not close enough to rub on anything. Then crimp the hose clamps using a hose clamp tool.

Bleeding power steering pump: Before starting the engine, fill the power steering reservoir with clean fluid to the MAX level on the dipstick.
Figure 9

Bleeding power steering pump: Before starting the engine, fill the power steering reservoir with clean fluid to the MAX level on the dipstick. Start the engine and turn the steering wheel fully left and right 3 times. Turn the engine off. Check the fluid level and add fluid until it reaches MAX on the dipstick. When full, the fluid should be clear and foam free. Foam or bubbles is a sign of air in the system.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Xiant Comments: I have active steering and im going to replace the reservoir.
1: Should i flush the system untill i drain clean with the OLD or the NEW reservoir?
2: im guessing it shouldn't be any problem turning the wheels when i have the car on jackstands? thinking of the suspension not being in a "normal" positon.
THX! :
December 2, 2016
pgreenx Comments: What size hose clamps do I need for the connection to the reservoir?
Thanks!
November 12, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Hose Clamp - 25-40 mm Range / 9 mm Width (Screw Type)- Nick at Pelican Parts  
pgreenx Comments: Some people suggest draining the system from below the car. Why dont you guys think this is necessary?
November 1, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I prefer to remove the fluid from the reservoir using a pump. Then catch whatever leaks when removed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
BillyBob Comments: I have a BMW 2008 535i and the reservoir in the picture looks very short compared to the one in my car. Is there another part I should be ordering?
October 29, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Turbocharged models may be slightly different. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
alt Comments: How much fluid should be required to refill? Thanks.
September 27, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: A quart. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
@garik_e60 Comments: Which hose is the output because I want to leave it off and start my engine so that I may fully go through the fluid in the pump. I want to keep my in hose connected to the reservoir and bleed it that way and top off the fluid has it keeps draining for a few seconds. What would you recommend?
November 22, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would not recommend that, as the pump creates a high pressure. You can fill the system and let it sit, the air will partially remove itself. Then run engine to bleed system. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ash Comments: hi, when starting the engine in order to bleed and turning the wheels left / right, should the reservoir cap be on or off?
August 14, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: On is best to avoid spilling. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:42:56 AM