steering hard and will not centre... - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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Old 05-23-2012, 10:03 PM
One28i One28i is offline
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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada, North America, Earth
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 131
Mein Auto: 2002 530i M-pkg manual
Unhappy steering hard and will not centre...

A month ago, on the way to work, my E39 I6 manual trans steering went hard on me. No noise or moans when I turn the wheel, just requires a lot more effort. Also the steering @ quarter turn will not centre. Before quarter turn, it will try to centre, but still sticks to where u leave the wheel, and past quarter, it will try to centre quickly, but as it passes the quarter turn mark on either side, slows down. Speed doesn't make the steering return quicker or slower, which I also found to be odd.

Check fluid, red, and smell like dextrin ATF fluid, that what the BMW parts guy gave me a few years ago to top up.

So I removed the PS tank, to flush, and clean the filter. Have done it twice now, but the steering is still hard. I think it improved a bit when I did the flush, but the flush was whatever was in the tank, and a bit in the rubber lines.

I ran the system with low fluid @ idle no turn to see flow, and I do have flow or pressure in the system.

Is it common that the rack fails? Keep in mind, I keep all the fluid topped up. Mileage on the car is 198,000 km.

Look forward to your input, experience, and guidance.
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