Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-03-2012, 08:46 AM
veteran011's Avatar
veteran011 veteran011 is offline
WARNING: Has Dumb Ideas
Location: Westchester Co, NY
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 612
Mein Auto: 97 328is
Intermittent loss of power steering - questions

Ok my cars starting to make me nervous. I have two questions. First:
- My power steering is acting up. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesnt. Sometimes the hydraulic assist only happens when turning left. Sometimes it doesnt work either direction. I looked at my fluid and its black so it DEF needs changing but i dont know if that would help or not. im hesitant to say its the pump cuz im not hearing any whining sounds and it still works sometimes. is it possible its the sensor in the steering column that's acting up? would replacing the pump help?

- I want to fix this ASAP but i have some other issues i need to address as well. If i let this go for a month or so will it trash my steering rack or anything else? If its the pump then I can do that in a weekend but if i have to spend multiple weekends troubleshooting this then i dont wan't it to fcuk up other parts of the system.

If anyone can help get me started in the right direction on diagnosing this i'd love you long time.
__________________
dab of oppo anyone?



Project List:
Replace coolant temp sensor
Replace starter
Brake and Power Steering Fluid Flush
Front Control Arms, Bushings, and Tie Rods
Replace Passenger Lock Actuator
Reglue Peeling Hedliner
Swirl removal
Reply With Quote
Ads by Google
  #2  
Old 07-03-2012, 09:15 AM
Time2Fly's Avatar
Time2Fly Time2Fly is offline
Sometimes Out To Lunch!!!
Location: Eagle Mountain, Utah
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 873
Mein Auto: 1993 318i 1994 325i 1998
Drain the system a little then fill it back up with sea foam to flush it out, disconnect the return line and let it drain out while it's running. Put more sea foam in it to really get it clean drain all of it out with the return line dis connected let it drain and dry out for a while with out the car running then refill with the correct fluid. oh one thing when you are cycling the sea foam be sure to turn the steering wheel back and forth this will get it into all of the steering system. be sure to drain it good and even run a little power steering fluid through it and drain.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-03-2012, 09:46 AM
veteran011's Avatar
veteran011 veteran011 is offline
WARNING: Has Dumb Ideas
Location: Westchester Co, NY
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 612
Mein Auto: 97 328is
do i really want to run it with the reservoir dry? cant that seriously f things up?
__________________
dab of oppo anyone?



Project List:
Replace coolant temp sensor
Replace starter
Brake and Power Steering Fluid Flush
Front Control Arms, Bushings, and Tie Rods
Replace Passenger Lock Actuator
Reglue Peeling Hedliner
Swirl removal
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-03-2012, 11:58 AM
dc_wright's Avatar
dc_wright dc_wright is online now
bimmerfest Supporting Member
Location: Orlando, Florida
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,792
Send a message via ICQ to dc_wright
Mein Auto: '96 328iC, '04 325Ci
Try lubing your lower steering column bearing first. It's a chronic issue on older E36s. The bearing dries out and starts binding and it feels like you've momentarily lost the power steering. In some cases you feel some "crunchiness" in the steering as part of this too and you might hear a squeaking sound that sounds like it's coming from right behind the steering wheel.
Search on "lower steering column bearing" and you'll get several good DIYs on how to do this.
The maintenance on your power steering fluid still needs to be done but I think the bearing is a more likely culprit for what you're experiencing.

Here's a link to a thread with some info:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...column+bearing
__________________
2006 Z4 3.0si Sport Package (But I'll still hang with my "homies" in the E36 forum)

Last edited by dc_wright; 07-03-2012 at 12:02 PM. Reason: Add link
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-03-2012, 12:04 PM
ZeGerman's Avatar
ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
Warm Leatherette
Location: Seattle, WA
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 18,667
Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 328is
And of course, make sure your belt isn't slipping.
__________________

1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-03-2012, 12:11 PM
Time2Fly's Avatar
Time2Fly Time2Fly is offline
Sometimes Out To Lunch!!!
Location: Eagle Mountain, Utah
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 873
Mein Auto: 1993 318i 1994 325i 1998
Quote:
Originally Posted by veteran011 View Post
do i really want to run it with the reservoir dry? cant that seriously f things up?
You don't run it dry. if you have room in the reservoir then fill it up with sea foam and run it for a bit also turning the steering wheel back and forth, then drain it fill it back up with sea foam and do the same thing again. Drain it let it dry for an hor or so then fill it up with P/S fluid, I used Royal Purple. Good Luck
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-03-2012, 12:25 PM
veteran011's Avatar
veteran011 veteran011 is offline
WARNING: Has Dumb Ideas
Location: Westchester Co, NY
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 612
Mein Auto: 97 328is
Quote:
Originally Posted by Time2Fly View Post
You don't run it dry. if you have room in the reservoir then fill it up with sea foam and run it for a bit also turning the steering wheel back and forth, then drain it fill it back up with sea foam and do the same thing again. Drain it let it dry for an hor or so then fill it up with P/S fluid, I used Royal Purple. Good Luck
OOOOooooh. Now i get it. Thanks. Guess i just found my project for the day off tomorrow. Wish it wasnt gonna be ~100F though.

DC i'll check that too. thanks for the tip.

Here's to hoping this is a cheap fix!
__________________
dab of oppo anyone?



Project List:
Replace coolant temp sensor
Replace starter
Brake and Power Steering Fluid Flush
Front Control Arms, Bushings, and Tie Rods
Replace Passenger Lock Actuator
Reglue Peeling Hedliner
Swirl removal
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-03-2012, 12:29 PM
dc_wright's Avatar
dc_wright dc_wright is online now
bimmerfest Supporting Member
Location: Orlando, Florida
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,792
Send a message via ICQ to dc_wright
Mein Auto: '96 328iC, '04 325Ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by veteran011 View Post
OOOOooooh. Now i get it. Thanks. Guess i just found my project for the day off tomorrow. Wish it wasnt gonna be ~100F though.

DC i'll check that too. thanks for the tip.

Here's to hoping this is a cheap fix!
Got my fingers crossed for ya! I had images of having to replace my PS pump and/or rack and all it took was a couple of good shots of PB Blaster. It's been 3 years and all is still good.
__________________
2006 Z4 3.0si Sport Package (But I'll still hang with my "homies" in the E36 forum)
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-03-2012, 12:42 PM
veteran011's Avatar
veteran011 veteran011 is offline
WARNING: Has Dumb Ideas
Location: Westchester Co, NY
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 612
Mein Auto: 97 328is
Good to hear! PB Blaster is the one thing i have plenty of! Haha.

Sent from my DROID4 using Bimmer App
__________________
dab of oppo anyone?



Project List:
Replace coolant temp sensor
Replace starter
Brake and Power Steering Fluid Flush
Front Control Arms, Bushings, and Tie Rods
Replace Passenger Lock Actuator
Reglue Peeling Hedliner
Swirl removal
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-03-2012, 01:57 PM
Dakota_leWarne Dakota_leWarne is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: oregon
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 163
Mein Auto: 1994 318is
Let me know if anything helps, my problem is a bit different but the pump doesn't make any noise either.
__________________

"if you look close enough... youll see my bumper is being held together with zip ties
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07-05-2012, 07:12 AM
veteran011's Avatar
veteran011 veteran011 is offline
WARNING: Has Dumb Ideas
Location: Westchester Co, NY
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 612
Mein Auto: 97 328is
DC you're a godsend. I spent 5 mins soaking the bearing in PB Blaster (from above, not below) and it worked wonders. I skipped the fluid change cuz it was oppressively hot and i didnt have a helper to make things go quicker. I'll be doing that next cool weekend.

If anyone wants pics of what i did i can take care of that sometime tonight. it really was the easiest thing i've fixed on this car. I also have some silicone lube that i may spray in there later. i wanted to use the PB blaster first to clean out the gunk.
__________________
dab of oppo anyone?



Project List:
Replace coolant temp sensor
Replace starter
Brake and Power Steering Fluid Flush
Front Control Arms, Bushings, and Tie Rods
Replace Passenger Lock Actuator
Reglue Peeling Hedliner
Swirl removal
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 07-05-2012, 10:17 AM
dc_wright's Avatar
dc_wright dc_wright is online now
bimmerfest Supporting Member
Location: Orlando, Florida
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,792
Send a message via ICQ to dc_wright
Mein Auto: '96 328iC, '04 325Ci
Glad it worked out for ya! Much better outcome than having to rebuild the power steering system!
__________________
2006 Z4 3.0si Sport Package (But I'll still hang with my "homies" in the E36 forum)
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:16 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms