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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 10-29-2012, 01:53 AM
ahindigo ahindigo is offline
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Location: sydney
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Mein Auto: 330i e46 04
330i e46 2004 low power steering fluid level ATF

my steering feels heavy, so i looked at the p/steering reservoir and the fluid level is just above the first lower mark. (first out of two level marks)
the reservoir cover showing ATF, so i plan to add / fill ATF.
the color seems to be quite bright pink so is it ok if i just add ATF instead of doing the whole flush?

and what ATF should i use?
i m thinking CASTROL ATF DEX III.
what does bmw recommend using?

pls help me
cheers
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  #2  
Old 10-29-2012, 05:03 AM
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elhombre elhombre is offline
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Location: Severna Park MD
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Mein Auto: 2003 325i, '99 e36 328is
Dex III will be fine. Before you add fluid though, elevate the front end, pull the (plastic) splash shield and check for leaks. You said the fluid looked pink- normally it's red. A leak on the suction side of the pump can introduce air into the system creating tiny bubbles and causing the fluid to appear pink (foam). The aerated fluid would also explain the reduced performance of the system. This type of leak can be tough to locate because its not on the pressure side of the pump and won't appear as a big messy fluid leak and it may be the size of a pin hole. Clean everything up good before you check it and pay particular attention to the hose and clamps connecting the reservoir to the pump. This would be the ideal time for a fluid flush and change-
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  #3  
Old 10-29-2012, 05:29 AM
ahindigo ahindigo is offline
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Location: sydney
 
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Mein Auto: 330i e46 04
thanks for the reply
so the pink color is no good right?
for the meantime, is it ok to add new atf on top of the remaining old atf in reservoir?
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  #4  
Old 10-29-2012, 08:48 AM
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elhombre elhombre is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 325i, '99 e36 328is
Yes.
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  #5  
Old 11-03-2012, 06:42 AM
ahindigo ahindigo is offline
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Mein Auto: 330i e46 04
could it be power steering pump failure?
pls let me know symptoms of the pump failure.
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  #6  
Old 11-03-2012, 10:42 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Mein Auto: '04 330Ci 6-speed
Pump failure would make for really hard steering.
The shaft shears off from the pump internally. To test for this, remove the belt, and see if you can grab the pulley and pull the shaft out of the housing.
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