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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, 13mm, flathead screwdriver, hose clamp pliers

Applicable Models:

BMW E46 M3 Coupe/Conv (2006)
BMW Z4 Coupe/Conv (2006-08)

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 Z4 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.

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 hose goes to the cooler. The other hose goes 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.

Remove the intake air housing and ducts. See our tech article on intake air housing and ducts replacing.

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.
Figure 1

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 (red arrow). 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 hose goes to the cooler. The other hose goes to the pump.

Be sure to use the correct fluid for your vehicle.
Figure 2

Be sure to use the correct fluid for your vehicle. The wrong fluid can cause power steering noise or premature wear. Our Z4 subject vehicle takes ATF (red arrow).

Bleeding power steering pump: Before starting the engine, fill the power steering reservoir with clean fluid to the MAX level (red arrows) on the dipstick.
Figure 3

Bleeding power steering pump: Before starting the engine, fill the power steering reservoir with clean fluid to the MAX level (red arrows) on the dipstick. Start the engine and turn the steering wheel fully left and right three times. Turn the engine off. Check the fluid level. Add fluid until it reaches MAX (red arrows) on the dipstick. When full, the fluid should be clear and foam free. Foam or bubbles is a sign of air in the system. If you are checking your fluid with a cold engine, it may be near the LOW mark (green arrows). If you find this, warm the vehicle and recheck the level before topping up.

Use a suction pump (red arrow) to suck the power steering fluid out of the reservoir.
Figure 4

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

This photo shows the filter that becomes clogged (green arrow).
Figure 5

This photo shows the filter that becomes clogged (green arrow).

Start by loosening the 10mm reservoir bracket-clamping bolt (green arrow).
Figure 6

Start by loosening the 10mm reservoir bracket-clamping bolt (green arrow).

In order to remove the lower hoses, the reservoir has to be pulled up to access the hose clamps (red arrows).
Figure 7

In order to remove the lower hoses, the reservoir has to be pulled up to access the hose clamps (red arrows).

Remove the two 13mm mounting fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 8

Remove the two 13mm mounting fasteners (red arrows).

Remove the 10mm reservoir bracket-clamping bolt (green arrow).
Figure 9

Remove the 10mm reservoir bracket-clamping bolt (green arrow).

Rotate the mounting bracket 180° (red arrow) toward the radiator.
Figure 10

Rotate the mounting bracket 180 degrees (red arrow) toward the radiator.

Now it's time to remove the hoses from the power steering reservoir.
Figure 11

Now it's time to remove the hoses from the power steering reservoir. The clamps have a crimp (green arrow) and the hook (red arrow). The clamps are removed via the hook end.

Use a small flathead screwdriver and lever open the hose clamp (red arrow).
Figure 12

Use a small flathead screwdriver and lever open the hose clamp (red arrow). Once you get the hose clamps open, push the clamps away from the reservoir. Repeat this process for both hoses.

Remove the hoses straight off the reservoir (red arrow).
Figure 13

Remove the hoses straight off the reservoir (red arrow). Be ready for any excess fluid to leak out with a rag.

Lift and remove the reservoir (green arrow).
Figure 14

Lift and remove the reservoir (green arrow). Reverse the steps to install the new reservoir. Use new hose clamps, and tighten the clamps using hose clamp pliers. Follow the bleeding steps mentioned earlier. If you need to replace the hoses (red arrow), see the following steps.

If you need to replace the hose that runs to the power steering pump (green arrow), remove the hose clamp for the low-pressure power steering hose (red arrow).
Figure 15

If you need to replace the hose that runs to the power steering pump (green arrow), 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. Wait until both sides of the hose are properly orientated.

If you need to replace the hose that runs to the power steering cooler (red arrow), press the gray collar toward the hose (green arrow) and hold it while pulling the hose straight off the cooler line.
Figure 16

If you need to replace the hose that runs to the power steering cooler (red arrow), press the gray collar toward the hose (green arrow) and hold it while pulling the hose straight off the cooler line. Remove the hose from the mounting brackets, and install the new hose.

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Page last updated: Mon 12/5/2016 02:56:58 AM