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GSXRYDER 11-02-2008 06:47 PM

DIY 540i power steering pump repair
I was asked to do a DIY for this repair so I did the best I could...

Here goes...first, let me start this by saying my fan belt was making an unusual noise, that almost sounded like rod knock... So I raised my hood and my fan belt was chewed in a few places...Whew!!! good thing it wasn't rod knock :-).

So after I cut the belt strands from around the center pulley, I bought a new that I didn't have much experience with BMW belts I put it on and noticed the steering pump was at a weird angle but thought it was spring loaded, so I put the new belt on and when I started the instantly flew off... NOT GOOD!!! But there was no damage, to the belt.

Now I had to dig to find what happened...

I start looking and the pump isn't spring loaded...the bracket is I call my stealer $514 for a new pump...HUH? $514...JUST FOR THE PUMP... now I dig into it...

In order to do any repair like this or any under the car you first must raise and secure the make sure the car cannot move even an inch...and put it up on good jack stands or lift...I have only jack stands, but I also chock the wheels ...I call it step 2 but really make sure this is taken care of...NEVER NEVER NEVER mess with safety...NEVER!!!!

Let me add that choosing a color for the text was kind of difficult...


Here is a picture of the Break, you can only see the bottom mount from this pic, but the top was also broke, that means the rear mount was the only one holding the belt on...

Here the pump is out and on the board,

At this point I had to clean it up, so I did the entire pump and BLOCK....this took some time! but it looks like it should go in a BMW at least it is clean enough...Here I am showing one of the breaks ... the other is similar...

Since it is aluminum and I don't have a TIG welder I took it to my handy dandy neighbor welder...who used to weld rocket engines...Good guy!
Here is what he did for me...$25

I noticed that the holes for the bracket were slightly off...and since it mounts to a square cannot be off even a little or it will apply 'torsion' to the pump and likely break it

I inked the mating surface on the pump, and took a shop file to it, the file must be kept level and DO NOT REMOVE TO MUCH MATERIAL...MAKE SURE THE WELDER KNOWS to TRY TO GET THESE SURFACES AS CLOSE TO LEVEL AS POSSIBLE!!! By inking and keeping the file FLAT you will know when the surfaces are level because all the ink will be gone...

Once the ink is gone and you rechecked it for is a pic of the mating surface

Go ahead and mount the pump securing a little at a time...don't break it :-)

Here is how I did the mounting...I secured the first 2 front supports, then for the back support I ran the round nut back to the support and installed and tightened the back side it couldn't vibrate off... Once the pump is secure...go ahead and
Secure the lines...

When the lines are secure follow them up and make sure they don't hit anything rigid, if they do bend em just a 'tad' to keep them from rubbing...


At this point you are ready for the belt go ahead and install and secure the belt,


Once the belt is on and tight...go ahead and re-fill the power steering reservoir.. start the engine and take the steering lock to lock (turn the wheel all the way one way then all the way the other) a couple times...

Double check all fasteners...

Reinstall splash apron.. SAFELY lower the car... and test drive, when you get back ...check the power steering fluid again...

I know none of you guys need help with a test drive...:thumbup:


Salselina 12-15-2008 05:27 AM

Thank you for that valuable information on the 540i. I have a question regarding the power steering fluid? where do you pour it under the hood? Another question is,does it take ATF only or power steering fluid or both ????

Thanks for your time.


GSXRYDER 01-04-2009 12:39 PM

Sorry I did not see you replied to thsi
Yes I just used ATF, also there is a round cap that the hoses go to with a reservoir under the hood on the Drivers will see it...

acerocks415 01-31-2009 05:14 PM

My power steering pump just broke the same way, I replaced the whole unit, but is this common??

ga540pilot 04-14-2010 06:16 PM

Yes, it is very common. Mine broke on a road tip from ATL to NJ while I was in Virginia on the way up there, lucky for me the belt come off 1 block from a shop and they were able to replacea screw and say a prayer for me to get to my friends wedding and back to Atlanta. Replacing my pump tomorrow.

jkanedrew 08-14-2010 09:49 AM

Power Steering Pump Mounting Bracket Failure
Same problem with my 2002 540i cost 2500 to repair. Mine happened suddenly, no warning. Fortunately I was not at speed. I reported the problem here

I suggest other do the same- this appears to be a manufacture defect. I would like to see BMW fix the problem so there are no injuries in the future.

540 M-Sport 08-25-2010 01:23 PM


Originally Posted by jkanedrew (Post 5395664)
Same problem with my 2002 540i cost 2500 to repair. Mine happened suddenly, no warning. Fortunately I was not at speed. I reported the problem here

I suggest other do the same- this appears to be a manufacture defect. I would like to see BMW fix the problem so there are no injuries in the future.

Very good idea. Each of you that has had this power steering pump failure should report it. If this is that common, NHTSA may require a fix, as losing power steering is definitely a safety issue. It may also mean reimbursement for those that have already paid for a repair, so save those receipts! ;)

abanjableu 12-07-2010 07:16 PM

lost mine last friday at 102K miles. The dealership is replacing the valley pan gasket at the same time. I should have DIY'd this one

KILLAB73 01-17-2011 05:38 PM

power steering pump breakage
this just happened to me. all of a sudden in the middle of a turn my power steering went out. it through the belt (no damage).....the lower bracket bolt completely unthreaded and the upper bracket snapped......a little thread lock and this would not have happened.

thanks for the post....guess what ill be doing this weekend? lol

Brandon540/6M 07-31-2012 07:52 PM

Great, same thing happened to me at exactly 150K miles lol.. on the dot. This is unacceptable really.

mi-matt 11-25-2012 06:06 AM

power steering update
I had mine go out in the parking lot. threw the belt first. got the belt back on w/o removing any parts started up and worked for 1 min and then threw the belt completely off!. Then I notice pump just completely broke and was way out of alignment. I pulled it to a local mechanic and I got the bad news that there are VERY few OEM of these available and they are up to $800. He recommended considering an after market which in this case might make perfect sense. I bought a used one for $35 and it performs much better than my original did. I also found a spare one online!

It looks to me like paying attention to the back threaded adjuster because my guess is it was loose causing the break as mine was bent badly. I also filed all the flashing before having it installed hoping it might help on my used unit.

Nice pictures and weld btw but on a side not I would check the back side of the alignment for flatness because I believe that is the surface that touches block and front side would not matter???

Tomcat05 03-06-2013 04:39 AM

Power Steering ears busted off
5 Attachment(s)
Just did mine at 168k. It tore up the tensioner, too. TIG welded it back together - you need to square up the backside of the mounting ears after welding. I used a hand file and then a pedestal belt sander. Turned out real nice. Also, a new tensioner (O'Reilley stocks a Gates replacement for $66), belt and a spare pump off eBay just in case. It is a pretty ridiculous problem. Like my buddy said, "you don't see Chevys and Fords snapping off power steering pumps!" :tsk:

mi-matt 03-06-2013 03:55 PM

powersteering breaks
I know where the guy is coming from because I have been a GM person all my life and this was my first BMW experience. I look back on this experiment in hind site I think there are a lot of thing that are myths and not true about BMW or german cars for that matter. Same goes for JAPAN cars. I could take some abuse here but I have a 99 pickup w/ 200k on it and have had so little trouble with it. I read about the newer coolant tubes and a potential 10k bill to fix, WOW! I have to admit I love my 540i and I would likely do it again or a M5! My water pump is out now. I read that you need to replace all the hoses, gaskets, sensors etc. If we did that for all the other brands they would likely be problem free because it is the right way to do it! The same goes for a GM motor replacement/rebuilds, replace all the sensor, hoses, belts etc so you have a 100k no issue car. It does make a difference. I notice the biggest difference in other area like the doors, trunks, seats, etc. A 10 year old car that feels like new. The doors shut better than the bulk of any new cars out there. :)

- Mover - 06-15-2014 02:26 PM

Add me to the growing list.

Tensioner slightly damaged as well.

After all these years, who would have thought one of the the bolts would back out now ?

If anyone knows a good source for rebuilds, please post.

$500 for a new one is nuts.

bluebee 11-02-2014 08:02 PM

13 Attachment(s)
I found this thread by searching for reference material for this thread:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Why are v8 E39 power steering pump brackets cracking & what should owners inspect now

So that the pictures here aren't lost, over time, I took the liberty of attaching them, in sequence, below.

Brandon540/6M 11-14-2014 11:50 AM

WTF, i just had ANOTHER power steering pump go out on me! I only have 175k nowl!! GRRR Only 25k miles on the last one..

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