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Power Steering Reservoir Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Power Steering Reservoir Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$50

Talent:

**

Tools:

13mm socket, diagonal pliers, hose crimp pliers

Applicable Models:

X3 E83 (2004-06)
X3 E83 facelift (N/A-A)

Parts Required:

Power steering fluid, power steering fluid reservoir,

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine

Performance Gain:

Quiet power steering pump, remedy power steering noise

Complementary Modification:

Power steering hoses

The steering system used in BMW X3 models 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 which 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.

Inside the power steering fluid reservoir, there is a small filter that can sometimes become restricted and cause problems. The filter is not serviceable separately so 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 like an alley cat, try replacing the reservoir first. You can also use this article to replace the hose clamps on the power steering reservoir hoses, as they have a tendency to leak over time.

In this article, I'll go over the steps involved with replacing the power steering reservoir on your X3 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 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. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

To begin, place an oil drain pan under the left side of the engine. Cover the drive belts with rags to prevent fluid from getting on them, or remove the drive belts. (See our tech article on Drive Belt Replacement for more info if needed.)

Inside the power steering fluid reservoir, there is a small filter that can sometimes become restricted and cause problems.
Figure 1

Inside the power steering fluid reservoir, there is a small filter that can sometimes become restricted and cause problems. The filter is not serviceable separately so 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 like an alley cat, try replacing the reservoir first. You can also use this article to replace the hose clamps on the power steering reservoir hoses, as they have a tendency to leak over time.

Use a suction pump (red arrow) to remove the fluid from the reservoir.
Figure 2

Use a suction pump (red arrow) to remove the fluid from the reservoir.

Working at the power steering reservoir, remove the two 13mm reservoir mounting fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 3

Working at the power steering reservoir, remove the two 13mm reservoir mounting fasteners (red arrows).
 

Lift the power steering reservoir up so you can access the hoses at the bottom (green arrows).
Figure 4

Lift the power steering reservoir up so you can access the hoses at the bottom (green arrows).

Remove the hose clamps by cutting them with some diagonal pliers.
Figure 5

Remove the hose clamps by cutting them with some diagonal pliers. Remove the hoses from the reservoir and then remove the reservoir from the vehicle. Place the new hose clamps on the power steering hoses and then install the hose onto reservoir.

Crimp the hose clamps using the clamp pliers (green arrow) or a pair of diagonal pliers (yellow arrow).
Figure 6

Crimp the hose clamps using the clamp pliers (green arrow) or a pair of diagonal pliers (yellow arrow). If you are using diagonal pliers to crimp hoses, be careful not to cut or damage clamp. I have an old pair that is worn down and will not cut any longer. Using worn pliers is a good way to avoid ruining the new clamp.

Install the reservoir fasteners and tighten.
Figure 7

Install the reservoir fasteners and tighten. Be sure the hoses are routed so they are not rubbing on the front (blue arrow) or rear (red arrow) of alternator.

Bleeding the power steering pump: Before starting engine, fill the power steering reservoir with clean fluid to the MAX level on dipstick (green arrow).
Figure 8

Bleeding the power steering pump: Before starting engine, fill the power steering reservoir with clean fluid to the MAX level on dipstick (green arrow). Start the engine and turn the steering wheel fully left and right three times. Turn engine off, check the fluid level and add fluid until it reaches the MAX reading on the dipstick. When full, the fluid should be clear and foam free. Foam or bubbles is a sign of air in the system: in which case you'll need to bleed the system, so take your time the first time around.

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 03:07:26 AM