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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 10-11-2017, 09:26 AM
Kwilso25 Kwilso25 is offline
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Is CHF 11s OK for my 2000 BMW 528i

I am going to flush the fluid from the car when I replace the reservoir and I remember a few years ago the mechanic told me to buy this. Now my cap says ATF only, but I have already used a bottle of this which lasted me a while (until the cracked reservoir). So my question is can I flush the system and continue to use CHF 11S or should I replace the fluid with ATF of some kind? What is the difference between CHF 11S and ATF? Thanks!
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Old 10-11-2017, 09:58 AM
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Nyc Dito Nyc Dito is offline
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I would continue to use ATF if that's what you have in the system. You can get it cheaper and replace it on the cheap side as well as often as you like (turkey baster method).

CHF11s is used in cars where the fluid lubricates other components, ie SLS. Our E39's (2000 528 as well) do not require CHF11s, so I would stick to the OE's suggestion of ATF.
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:27 AM
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amancuso amancuso is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyc Dito View Post
I would continue to use ATF if that's what you have in the system. You can get it cheaper and replace it on the cheap side as well as often as you like (turkey baster method).

CHF11s is used in cars where the fluid lubricates other components, ie SLS. Our E39's (2000 528 as well) do not require CHF11s, so I would stick to the OE's suggestion of ATF.


What he said and DO NOT MIX the fluids.


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Old 10-11-2017, 02:45 PM
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Click this link to read a BMW PDF about the various power steering fluids used: http://bimmerboard.com/members/q/ori...0Type-List.pdf

Take note of the text highlighted in yellow + the paragraph below it (taken from the linked PDF above):



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Old 10-11-2017, 04:18 PM
Chedley Chedley is offline
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I would flush out the power steering system, then use "Pentosin Synthetic ATF-1", the same fluid for transmissions and power steering.

As many advised you, do NOT to mix fluid types in power steering: Select one (CHF or ATF) and stick to it.
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:49 PM
Kwilso25 Kwilso25 is offline
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Okay I will change the reservoir over the weekend and put the ATF in there. Hopefully I can get most of the fluid out through the hoses. Then I will flush with the ATF and get a turkey baster? I have read I need to start the car turn the wheel left and right a few times, then remove the fluid from the reservoir. Will this be good enough to flush and get the "other" fluid out? Now that I will only use this specific fluid (Not CHF 11S).
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Old 10-12-2017, 01:50 AM
Chedley Chedley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kwilso25 View Post
Okay I will change the reservoir over the weekend and put the ATF in there. Hopefully I can get most of the fluid out through the hoses. Then I will flush with the ATF and get a turkey baster? I have read I need to start the car turn the wheel left and right a few times, then remove the fluid from the reservoir. Will this be good enough to flush and get the "other" fluid out? Now that I will only use this specific fluid (Not CHF 11S).
Yes, I think it is good enough. That is how I have done it on my car.

Actually, you will not get all the "other" fluid out, but most of it.
And if you really want to be perfectionist about it, you will need to redo the (flush-refill-turn wheels) a few times until the fluid coming off the turkey baster from the reservoir is as clean and clear as the new fluid in. But that is an overkill I think.!!

I am sure expert mechanics may have a different take on this..

Last edited by Chedley; 10-12-2017 at 02:39 AM.
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Old 10-14-2017, 08:37 PM
Kwilso25 Kwilso25 is offline
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Okay so I replaced the reservoir for the ATF, emptying the hoses as much as I could. I bought a hand pump and got about 2 liters of fluid out including 2 flushes turning the wheel after the new reservoir and ATF fluid added. Drove around today and no more leaking, fluid is at correct level. But now turning is much more difficult then before. Do I have to flush the system with more ATF? I am worried that ?other? fluid is still in the system is that making the steering harder? I remember a mechanic I went to used CHF 11s and after the steering was so nice. I would think the proper fluid would return the steering to its proper state. Hope someone can let me know if I need to just order some more fluid and flush it a couple more times. Thanks everyone
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Old 10-15-2017, 02:02 AM
Chedley Chedley is offline
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First, make sure the level of power steering fluid in the reservoir is at the max mark, when cold.

And yes, you probably still have some of the "other fluid" -which is CHF 11s- in the system. And because it does not mix well with the new fluid ATF, you may need couple more flushes.

FYI, I have the opposite problem. Since I flushed and refilled my power steering with "Pentosin Synthetic ATF-1", my turning is much more looser....and would like to go back to the harder turning!!

Last edited by Chedley; 10-15-2017 at 02:08 AM.
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Old 10-15-2017, 07:45 AM
pwgoo1 pwgoo1 is offline
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Sounds like the OP has already done the job, but I'll write down what I did here in case anyone else comes along searching. Maybe it will help them.

When I was doing my cooling system, I also decided to replace power steering reservoir hoses. I had some unknown fluid or mix of fluids in there from the PO. It wasn't green enough to be CHF. It wasn't red enough to be ATF (even used ATF, imo). It was clear (i.e. not cloudy) and brownish-red. After some debate on a thread I made (here), I decided there wasn't any risk going ATF in my 2003 525i since so many people here are using ATF in theirs.

In preparation for all the cooling system disassembly, I sucked the the fluid out of reservoir with a vacuum pump. I then removed the reservoir and stuck the vac pump tube as far down the PS hoses as I could to remove more fluid in an effort to reduce the mess I was likely to make.

After cooling system install, I reattached PS hoses, leaving off the reservoir for the moment. Using various diameters and length of vinyl tubing available at Lowe's (sorry, can't recall exact ID of the hoses I used at the moment, but when I get home I'll see if I can figure it out), I rigged up a funnel on the hose that takes fluid to the PS pump (the rear hose) and attached a length of tubing running from the return PS hose (the short length of hose coming from the cooling "cassette" by the radiator to the front of the reservoir) into a bucket.

You probably need a helper for this next part as I don't know how anyone could man the fluid and start and stop the car at the same time, but....start the car and pour ATF into the funnel at least as fast as the fluid is pouring out into the bucket. Do this for as long as it takes for you to see bright read coming out of the discharge hose and then long enough after that that you are satisfied you have flushed out the old fluid. For me, it didn't take long or very much fluid, but since I bought a gallon jug expecting it to take pretty much all of it to flush, I used the better part of the entire gallon, reserving enough to fill reservoir once I was done.

On the last funnel fill, I let it suck it down just out of the funnel so I wouldn't too much mess when disconnecting my flush contraption. I then reattached the reservoir, filled it just shy of what the cold fill level should be, then drove the car.

I came back later after some driving sessions (and once the car had cooled) to re-check the level and fill to cold fill.

I didn't have any odd symptoms or sounds from the mystery fluid, so changing to ATF, even though everyone else uses it, made me a little nervous. But it has been a good 1000 miles since I switched to the ATF. Everything seems normal so far. At first I thought maybe my steering got heavier, but now I think it was just in my head. I wasn't able to put too many miles on the car myself before shutting it down to do the cooling system and the PS flush, so I'm thinking I just wasn't recalling the steering feel accurately. Pretty sure nothing changed.

Last edited by pwgoo1; 10-15-2017 at 07:56 AM.
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  #11  
Old 10-15-2017, 04:16 PM
Kwilso25 Kwilso25 is offline
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Okay so I have to order some more of this ATF because no one seems to have it (auto stores) in stock and I want to make sure this is the only ATF that goes in. How much more should I get to flush?? I will order 2 more liters but I don?t want to keep spending money on flushes, especially if there is another problem but I don?t think there is. I really would not want to take those hoses off again, if the flushes from the resevoir should do the job then I will continue to do that. My fluid looked pretty close to the ATF fluid color during my last ?flush? of the resevoir, and the smell was consistently that really bad smelling odor I can?t describe. So I just want to be confident the flushes will do the job. Again no other problems, sounds or leaking. Just tough steering/turning.
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Old 10-15-2017, 07:44 PM
Chedley Chedley is offline
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Yep..Do a couple more "flushes from the reservoir". No need to remove the hoses. But most important, stick to the same ATF fluid. And always refill the fluid level to the max mark.
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528i, atf, atf change, atf fluid, bmw 00, chf 11.s


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