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Power Steering Flush

Old 06-20-2011, 10:11 PM
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While the car is up on jack stands I figure I'll do a quick power steering flush (not a 100% flush, I only use a can of Pentosin CH-11S).
Here's how I did it.
Power Steering Flush-2011_0618_124455.jpg
Open power steering reservoir and leave cap off.
Put a pail to catch fluid. The quick disconnect is right next to the radiator drain petcock.

Power Steering Flush-2011_0620_144230.jpg
To disconnect line push to release (red) and pull hose off (blue).
With engine off, work steering wheel full clockwise and counterclockwise to evacuate old fluid from the system.

Power Steering Flush-2011_0620_143540.jpg

Power Steering Flush-2011_0620_143720.jpg
Add fluid to proper level. With cap on, start the engine to circulate fluid by working steering wheel clockwise and counterclockwise a few times.
Turn engine off and check reservoir for proper fluid level.

Power Steering Flush-2011_0620_144024.jpg
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:59 PM
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What makes you decide to do this anyway? This is one of those thing where I have to agree with BMW, lifetime fluid (100K miles) unless something goes wrong where repair is required.
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:25 AM
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"Power Steering Fluid: Every 30,000 miles

This is a very neglected operating fluid and changing it at a reasonable interval can easily
make the power steering pump, rack or box last a great deal longer.

I just open a line down by the pump, and, with the engine off, work the steering wheel
back and forth to evacuate the old power steering fluid from the system.

Almost all older BMWs use automatic transmission fluid in the power steering system,
except for a select few that require special Pentosin hydraulic oil. Nothing will balls up
the works faster than using one when you should be using the other. Check the sticker on
the reservoir, check the owner?s manual, and if you are still confused, take the car to a
pro or e-mail me. The rule of thumb is, if the car has a self-leveling rear suspension, then
it uses Pentosin. Problem is, people tend to remove the self-leveling rear suspension
because it?s too expensive to repair or they want high performance shocks and springs.
This can trap future owners into putting ATF into the power steering system when they
should have used Pentosin.

All 2006-on BMWs except the 2006 E46 require Pentosin CHF 11.S special hydraulic oil
in the power steering system. These cars all have a sticker on the top of the power
steering fluid reservoir cap setting forth whether they require Pentosin CHF 11.S.

Do not screw this up, or you will be in a world of hurt. Pentosin CHF 11.S is not
compatible with ATF or any other lubricant or hydraulic oil!

If your car uses ATF in the power steering system, Red Line D4 ATF is fine if you want
to use a premium product. I don?t recommend Red Line Synthetic Power Steering Fluid
for use in BMWs." -Mike Miller Old School Maintenance Schedule v02.11

Originally Posted by rctmthouse View Post
What makes you decide to do this anyway? This is one of those thing where I have to agree with BMW, lifetime fluid (100K miles) unless something goes wrong where repair is required.
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:52 PM
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i've done the same thing....several times....whenever i have the car in the air for anything. i feel its cheap insurance, and i dont like having dark and dirty power steering fluid, particularly since i have the active roll system, and that operates off the power steering fluid and pump.
this is super easy to do. if you really want to get most of the fluid out, you can also unbolt the lines going into the pump, but i dont feel its worth the risk.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:21 PM
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That explains why there are four different types of power steering pump (regular PS, PS with active steering, PS with dynamic drive, and PS with dynamic drive and active steering).
Good thing to know since I have active roll and active steering. Thanks for the info .

Originally Posted by turboawd View Post
... the active roll system, and that operates off the power steering fluid and pump...
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Old 09-04-2011, 03:52 PM
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You lucky dawgs, having the AS and ARS options. I had a thread discussing how great these features are.

I should have seen your thread Joe: "Power Steering Fluid: Every 30,000 miles". I just had anual oil change and new front pads and sensors replaced by dealer. Car has 32K. Dealer did not mention PS fluid flush required/recommended every 30K. I have been noticing the need to top up CHF 11S once in a while though. Is it slow leak? Any suggestions where I can check for this?

Thanks guys!
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Old 09-04-2011, 04:56 PM
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Thanks Joe! I had no idea this was this easy. Been wanting to do it but was dreading doing it myself and was watching out for dealer service deals.


but... I just went to look at mine and decided to actually look at the oil. Seems pretty clear to me and my car has 60,000 + miles. Maybe it was changed before I got it as a CPO? Or would I not really be able to tell much only by the color?


Next question is about the size of the power steering resevoir. My 2008 535 has a tank much larger than others I see pics of and it is much larger than 530xi. Anyone know what thats all about? My 530 has the small tank with green label and my 535 has a large tank with no label. Neither has Active Steering as far as I know and I don't have Active suspension of any kind.


Edit: I just looked at the pumps on realOEM and this on is mine
My link

So I do have Active Steering? How could I not know this? It drives just like my 2007 530.


Another edit: I started the car, turned the wheel left to full lock, turned it right to full lock and it took almost 3 full turns. So this shows I don't have AS. So... why do I have the larger reservoir but not have AS.
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Old 09-25-2011, 02:45 PM
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When you did this how man liters did your AS system take to fill back up? And where did you get that funnel adapter for your can. My past cans have never come with that. LOL
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by AchtungE60 View Post
When you did this how man liters did your AS system take to fill back up? And where did you get that funnel adapter for your can. My past cans have never come with that. LOL

That funnel is attached and comes as part of the can. It is inside the can and when you pull open the cap the funnel comes out with it. I used almost three of those cans by the time I flushed everything and refilled. No AS but I do have the large reservoir and PS cooler.
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by NoQuarter View Post
That funnel is attached and comes as part of the can. It is inside the can and when you pull open the cap the funnel comes out with it. I used almost three of those cans by the time I flushed everything and refilled. No AS but I do have the large reservoir and PS cooler.
I have AS and it takes the pentosin. I just topped mine off one day maybe took 1/2 cup of fluid. Perhaps I didn't look had enough to see the funnel LOL. I didnt spill but the funnel looks promising.
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