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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 04-29-2006, 12:20 PM
acoustic acoustic is offline
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Squeaky Steering Wheel - Quick & Easy Fix!

Hi All,

I read the article about fixing steering wheel squeak and decidied to take it another step so I could fix it from the top of the engine rather than underneath. I purchased some of the heavy wall, curvy "Crazy Straws" at Wal*Mart for the task. I decided to use my oven to heat the straw so I could make it longer and straight. I heated the oven to 350 and put the straw in until it was getting soft to the touch but not melting. It took under two minutes. I then removed it and while still hot pulled it straight but with a small J bend in one end. The J bend lets you aim the lube spray at the bearing opening. Once it cooled I let it go and it held its shape. I then taped the red lubricant spray tip to the straw with electrical tape. Using my shop light for guidance I inserted the straw and put the tip right on the top of the engine compartment steering bearing and gave it a good squirt of PB Blaster. It worked perfectly and took a total of five minutes including the time it took to heat and bend the straw. Although I was sure it was the bearing at he top closer to the steering wheel it was not. The lower bearing is the culprit! This fix is easy, easy, easy!!

No jacking
No jack stands
No flimsy straws
No crawling on the floor
No dripping lubricant falls into your eyes
No need for safety glasses

Just one squirt form the top side of the engine!

-Acoustic
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Last edited by acoustic; 04-29-2006 at 12:22 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-29-2006, 03:47 PM
MN325iSedan MN325iSedan is offline
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I'll have to try this, been bugging the crap outta me...

thanks!
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  #3  
Old 04-29-2006, 04:31 PM
JasonI JasonI is offline
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Sounds like I have another project to tackle.
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  #4  
Old 01-30-2010, 08:43 PM
dcloes dcloes is offline
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I opted to forgo the multi-straw route as well. I bought 3 feet of clear hose from ACE hardware - the hose is the size that they use for oxygen under your nose that you see people using. I used a straw from starbucks over the straw that came with the TriFlow and insert that inside the oxygen hose. I removed the air filter housing and the boot to the throttle body had a easy shot at the bearing. I held the end of the hose on the bearing and sprayed it and sprayed it.

Thanks to all that led me to this fix. Sanity again.
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  #5  
Old 01-30-2010, 09:16 PM
Tom Nguyen Tom Nguyen is offline
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Okay I'm a n00b....where do you spray the lubricant? lol.
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  #6  
Old 01-31-2010, 08:23 AM
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dc_wright dc_wright is offline
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I did mine from the top also. Much easier than fighting gravity from underneath the car. The lower steering colunm bearing is about 6" below the brake master cylinder between the firewall and the steering U-joint. You can see it using a flash light looking down below the power brake booster housing.
Any kind of small gage tubing you can rig to a can of penetrating or other light oil will do the trick. Don't use WD-40, it evaporates pretty quickly compared to other oils like 3 in 1 or similar.
Be sure to put something down under the car to catch the excess oil if you don't want an oil stain on your garage floor or driveway. You'll need to really squirt a lot of oil to ensure you get the bearing really well lubed so there will be a lot of excess run off.
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  #7  
Old 01-31-2010, 10:09 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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Fantastic. My steering wheels is just a little squeaky and doesn't bother me much yet, but I know it will get louder and louder with time. Time to buy some straws. Thanks for the writeup!
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  #8  
Old 01-31-2010, 12:06 PM
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merlin310 merlin310 is offline
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What a great write-up. I've got a couple days off coming this week. I will give it a shot. The wheel squeak is seriously annoying me.
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  #9  
Old 02-01-2010, 02:56 PM
ilovemybimmer95 ilovemybimmer95 is offline
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glad i stumbled on this. just bought my bimmer and that's one thing that's driving me insane already
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  #10  
Old 02-11-2010, 02:16 PM
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merlin310 merlin310 is offline
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Just bought the crazy straws, and went at it today. Amazing write-up. I did it, and it worked great. No more squeaky wheel, and the steering seems more free in its movement. Thanks again.
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  #11  
Old 02-11-2010, 06:34 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlin310 View Post
Just bought the crazy straws, and went at it today. Amazing write-up. I did it, and it worked great. No more squeaky wheel, and the steering seems more free in its movement. Thanks again.
Score!
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  #12  
Old 07-14-2011, 07:20 AM
oze36coupe oze36coupe is offline
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yes there is a god just bought one only had the car for a week already annoying me especially parking i was going to pull the steering wheel off already sprayed behind the steering wheel shroud so should of checked you guys thank u !
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  #13  
Old 07-14-2011, 08:24 AM
PaceBMW of Mamaroneck PaceBMW of Mamaroneck is offline
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i definiteily need to try this as well. i hate the sound of steering wheel squeak....well pretty much any squeak or rattle lol
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  #14  
Old 10-07-2013, 05:10 PM
greyson greyson is offline
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I know this is a really old thread, but can someone post a picture of the bearing I'm supposed to be looking for? Or at least the general location under the hood?

Or find me a boyfriend who knows cars.... lol
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  #15  
Old 10-07-2013, 05:39 PM
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dc_wright dc_wright is offline
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My wife would probably have an issue with me being your boy friend so here's a photo that shows where the lower steering column bearing is. There's a tube that comes out of the firewall right below the brake cylinder. You want to spray the lube into the end of the tube.
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  #16  
Old 10-07-2013, 05:45 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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You're looking for a u-joint of sorts, where two separate parts of the steering column connect. Just imagine where the steering column passes through the firewall on it's way to the steering wheel. Like DC said, it's located just below the brake master cylinder (on the driver's side of the engine bay). Good luck with this. I sprayed mine yesterday in an attempt to quiet a squeak, and it didn't have any meaningful impact.
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For sale: OEM E36 328 catback

Last edited by ZeGerman; 10-07-2013 at 05:55 PM.
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  #17  
Old 10-07-2013, 05:54 PM
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dc_wright dc_wright is offline
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First time I did mine it didn't do anything either. The second time I put a rag under the car to catch the run off and sprayed for about 30 seconds. I used PB Blaster and haven't had to retreat it in almost 4 years...
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  #18  
Old 10-07-2013, 05:57 PM
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Yeah, I used Liquid Wrench and followed that up with some lock lubricant with graphite. I rotated the wheel and sprayed all sides, but I didn't hose it down for 30 seconds, though.
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  #19  
Old 10-07-2013, 06:17 PM
greyson greyson is offline
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ok, great, thanks! Will try it out in the next day or so. The pic will be a great reference, I'm sure
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  #20  
Old 04-08-2014, 10:11 AM
rogerdiaz rogerdiaz is offline
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This seems fairly simple that someone non technical can do,like me. any close up shots of what i am spraying? Do i remove parts to get to the source?

How would an indy mechanic go about doing this without bendy straws?

Last edited by rogerdiaz; 04-08-2014 at 10:16 AM.
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  #21  
Old 04-11-2014, 08:48 PM
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MikeInValdosta MikeInValdosta is offline
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Filed away. Thanks!
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  #22  
Old 07-01-2014, 06:48 PM
Lead Shoes Lead Shoes is offline
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I used the hose off an old can of aerosol seafoam and straightened it out then used a lighter to make a j hook at the end and fixed my squeak in less than 5 mins, that solved most of my interior noises... now to figure out why the passenger seat belt clip rattles like hell.

(Super ancient thread bump but good DIY here)

Last edited by Lead Shoes; 07-01-2014 at 07:06 PM.
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