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Power Steering Loss

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Hi all,

I have major power steering issue here. I have a certified pre-owned 2008 BMW 328xi. 6 months ago, I had my power steering pump go. Took it to my guy and he replaced the pump also did a flush. Issue was wrong power steering fluid was put in the car at some point (pre-owned). Was black and burnt. After the fix,the car seemed to drive a little different, but good. A few days ago, I felt the power steering issues again. They seemed to get worse as I drove. In particular, if you try to change lanes, it feels like the steering is almost locked and you have to push through it. The same can be said for low speed full turns. Sometimes the steering wheel returns to center. Sometimes it doesn't. My mechanic flushed the system and checked steering pump valve. He gave me back the car to try, same issues. The mechanic mentioned that it might be the rack, but he knows it expensive and wants to try everything else first. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks is advance.

Also, both instances occurred after the car sat for 8 days and 5 days respectively.
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Why don't you take it to a dealer?
I have major power steering issue here. I have a certified pre-owned 2008 BMW 328xi
COULD be that your lower steering column knuckle is starting to bind up. Just happened to my 2007 328xi at 149k miles. I replaced the column DIY, and now that tight/heavy BMW feeling is BACK!

Before I replaced it, when turning the wheel it would feel like there was no power steering, then move freely, then bind up again as you were rotating the wheel.
Hi all,

I have major power steering issue here. I have a certified pre-owned 2008 BMW 328xi. 6 months ago, I had my power steering pump go. Took it to my guy and he replaced the pump also did a flush. Issue was wrong power steering fluid was put in the car at some point (pre-owned). Was black and burnt. After the fix,the car seemed to drive a little different, but good. A few days ago, I felt the power steering issues again. They seemed to get worse as I drove. In particular, if you try to change lanes, it feels like the steering is almost locked and you have to push through it. Sometimes the steering wheel returns to center. Sometimes it doesn't. My mechanic flushed the system and checked steering pump valve. He gave me back the car to try, same issues. The mechanic mentioned that it might be the rack, but he knows it expensive and wants to try everything else first. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks is advance.
No longer under warranty and I usually avoid dealers.
Why don't you take it to a dealer?
Thanks. Will have my guy look at that. Glad you got that feeling BACK!!!
COULD be that your lower steering column knuckle is starting to bind up. Just happened to my 2007 328xi at 149k miles. I replaced the column DIY, and now that tight/heavy BMW feeling is BACK!

Before I replaced it, when turning the wheel it would feel like there was no power steering, then move freely, then bind up again as you were rotating the wheel.
The car should not have been certified. I would complain to the dealer and tell them the wrong fluid was found in the power steering system and it was purchased from them like that.

If they do not offer any assistance, you can try call BMW NA.
No longer under warranty and I usually avoid dealers.
I wish. Since the no cost maintenance ended, I've brought the car to independent repair shops that I trust.So, I would think BMW would say that they put in the wrong fluid. I know I never asked it to be changed or even looked at until 6 months ago, but I guess that's the risk in pre-owned cars.
The car should not have been certified. I would complain to the dealer and tell them the wrong fluid was found in the power steering system and it was purchased from them like that.

If they do not offer any assistance, you can try call BMW NA.
Recently, the steering wheel started to click/thump when I turn it sometimes. In another thread, some one suggested it could be the sway bar links, but they look OK. My mechanic has tested the ball joints, sway bar links, tie rods, and steering column and all appears fine. Going to try sea foam next. Anybody have an other ideas? Thanks in advance!
Have you jacked the car up and with the steering wheel unlocked moved the steering left to right and vice versa? That should tell you a great deal. From what you post the steering rack seems to be shot. That would make a lot of sense since the wrong fluid will not protect the cylinder and will gaul it up causing fluid bypass. You will know for sure when it gets cold as you will be unable to turn the rack much at all until the fluid warms.

Also end link looseness cannot be determined by looking that them. They require a good torque value and will click if not set to that value. Since this is an xi that makes things much worse because clicking in one direction us usually an indication of a constant velocity joint failing. Has someone messed with this 328xi? What you are talking about is something that a car with 150K miles usually sees not something pre-owned certified.

Please post what you discover so we can all learn. Changing the rack on an xi must be a real pain compared to a regular rack...
My mechanic said he had the car on the lift and "moved the steering left to right and vice versa". That's how he checked the ball joints. He has said all along that it might be the rack, but doesn't want to change the rack unless it absolutely necessary and all other possibilities have been exhausted due to the cost.

This has been such a long process of using the train, borrowing cars, etc. Makes a Honda look really good right about now.
Have you jacked the car up and with the steering wheel unlocked moved the steering left to right and vice versa? That should tell you a great deal. From what you post the steering rack seems to be shot. That would make a lot of sense since the wrong fluid will not protect the cylinder and will gaul it up causing fluid bypass. You will know for sure when it gets cold as you will be unable to turn the rack much at all until the fluid warms.

Also end link looseness cannot be determined by looking that them. They require a good torque value and will click if not set to that value. Since this is an xi that makes things much worse because clicking in one direction us usually an indication of a constant velocity joint failing. Has someone messed with this 328xi? What you are talking about is something that a car with 150K miles usually sees not something pre-owned certified.

Please post what you discover so we can all learn. Changing the rack on an xi must be a real pain compared to a regular rack...
Dude, is it NOT under warranty anymore? That sounds really bad. Your steering wheel angle should NOT change like you describe. That is a deadly hazard. Cange out your PS Fluid. How does it go now? Air in the line? Check Pelican Parts or BavAuto for DIYs then attack your rack. :drive:
Hi all,

I have major power steering issue here. I have a certified pre-owned 2008 BMW 328xi. 6 months ago, I had my power steering pump go. Took it to my guy and he replaced the pump also did a flush. Issue was wrong power steering fluid was put in the car at some point (pre-owned). Was black and burnt. After the fix,the car seemed to drive a little different, but good. A few days ago, I felt the power steering issues again. They seemed to get worse as I drove. In particular, if you try to change lanes, it feels like the steering is almost locked and you have to push through it. The same can be said for low speed full turns. Sometimes the steering wheel returns to center. Sometimes it doesn't. My mechanic flushed the system and checked steering pump valve. He gave me back the car to try, same issues. The mechanic mentioned that it might be the rack, but he knows it expensive and wants to try everything else first. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks is advance.

Also, both instances occurred after the car sat for 8 days and 5 days respectively.
So, my mechanic used an additive in the Power Steering Fluid that would revive the rack seals. (Advice from a BMW friend). The steering is still stiffer than normal, but slightly more consistent. Also, my steering wheel clicks/knocks when you turn it side to side especially when parked. Might have to bite the bullet and bring it to BMW. My mechanic said he thinks its the rack, but wants to try all other things first. I've heard it may be the steering column or lower knuckle or ... Any one have any more advice? Thanks in advance.
Update: Took the car to BMW and got a diagnosis. My car needs a new rack. Also, he mentioned a bent controller arm. Just ordered my replacement Rack and will have it installed tomorrow. We will see.
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