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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 07-04-2009, 02:47 PM
wildtangent wildtangent is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW 318ti Sport 1999
P/S fluid on (UK) driver's side R&P boot

I recently purchased a BMW 318ti Sport (Nov 1999) and have a had a few niggles that I wanted to sort out. The last one was the tracking which needed doing, so I dutifully took it to my local garage to get it done.

When they lifted the car up on the ramp, the engineer noticed a damp patch on the (UK) drivers side R&P boots (forgive me if my terminology is a bit wrong, I'm new to cars, and have gleaned as much as I can from reading this and other forums).

The problem looks very much like the one described in the following thread (and other similar ones): http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...highlight=rack, though there is only fluid on the rubber boot not on other parts of the underside of the vehicle. My concern is that while in this case the problem in that thread may have been identified as a P/S hose/clip leak, my damp patch is on the other side of the engine to the PS fluid container.

I cannot back the boot to see what's underneath as it seems to be fixed at both ends. Looking from the engine compartment I can see that there is a darker patch on the right-back quarter of the boot, but this is dried and looks quite old. All around the area looks dry and clean.

From the underneath, the damp patch is again on the right-back quarter of the boot (if looking from the front of the vehicle). I have touched the fluid and it is just a dirty, browny colour, which I can't really discern its origin from. Is there a particular hallmark of engine oil vs P/S oil I can look for?

My question is, given this is a UK vehicle is it likely that I would be lucky and that it is a simple, serviceable part like the hose or clips, or is this signalling a problem with the P/S rack (seals) which sounds like a very expensive job to me. In addition if it is a problem with the rack, is this something that desperately needs changing or can it be lived with for a while? There is no dripping onto the driveway so the leak seems pretty light.

I'm charging up my digital camera now but it may be a bit dark by the time it's done to post some pics tonight, but will do so tomorrow to assist in the diagnosis.

Many thanks for your advice and for this forum which has already been very helpful.
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  #2  
Old 07-04-2009, 03:04 PM
wildtangent wildtangent is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW 318ti Sport 1999
Yep, pics will have to wait till Sunday night or Monday, as my flatmate whose camera it is does not have the adaptor here to plug it into the computer. Damn proprietary interfaces, what's wrong with USB? :-)

From the pics I took I can see that the spread of the fluid is greater than that shown in the aforementioned thread.
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  #3  
Old 07-05-2009, 06:13 PM
wildtangent wildtangent is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW 318ti Sport 1999
here are the pics from the drivers side.
Thanks!
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:33 AM
wildtangent wildtangent is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW 318ti Sport 1999
So my lovely dealer has declined to fix this saying 'there is no leak'. Hmm, funny so what's that fluid on my driveway then?

In another strange turn of events, it turns out a leaky power steering rack would likely fail an MOT, yet it had an MOT 60 miles before I bought it. How does that happen?
Additionally, the so-called warranty cover I have has not yet been registered with the provider, so actually I have no warranty either.

What should I do? Clearly my dealer has the upper hand as it would be very difficult to make him carry out any repairs, and would I trust them anyway?
Should I involve in the VOSA to determine if the MOT garage is dodgy? The trading standards authority for him not supplying the warranty cover?

What does anyone make of the leak stop fluid you can get for reconditioning seals? Does it work? For how long?

Thanks for any tips
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  #5  
Old 07-21-2009, 05:02 PM
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drivinfaster drivinfaster is offline
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here's what i suggest. get a pair of wire snips (side cutters, dikes) and remove the crimp band on the outer portion of the boot. you can use a heavy duty wire tie (zip tie) to re-attatch when finished the following inspection.

with the crimp band removed, wriggle the boot away from the end seal. there should be no fluid at all in this boot (called a bellows -like the fire thingy- boot). if there is fluid in this boot, then the rack and pinion has developed a leaky seal and should be replaced. it is not uncommon for these to develop, and there really is no way to say how long or when it started.

if there is no fluid, then put everything back together (silicon may aid in replacing the boot over the end seal) and clamp it tight together with the zip tie.

clean the exterior of the boot and reinspect after a few days to see where the leak is coming from.


hope this helps.

df
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  #6  
Old 07-21-2009, 07:38 PM
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BMWredneck BMWredneck is offline
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Mein Auto: 96 318is Auto
check your power steering hoses thats are just above and behind the boot, mine was leaking and i thought it was the R&P. But also do what drivin said.
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