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e36 steering issue

Discussion in 'E36 (1992-1999)' started by Moogs, Oct 5, 2009.

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    Hey everyone,
    My 99 323 has developed a steering problem. It was intermittent at first, and of course wouldn't act up when it was in the shop. At times, while driving, the steering gets heavy, as though it's out of fluid. Then, suddenly, it's fine again. It also sometimes feels almost like it's trying to lock. You'll turn the wheel and it momentarily stops. Then it'll free up and you can keep turning. It isn't affected by temperature. Sometimes it works fine when it's cold, sometimes it acts up immediately. In fact, I can't find any commonality to when it starts misbehaving. While it was in the shop, they didn't have time to flush the system, but instead siphoned the old fluid, which the mechanic said was like jello, out and refilled it with new fluid. It worked great for a day or two and now the problem is back. I put it up on jackstands and watched as someone else turned the wheel. It gurgles a lot and when the the wheel is being turned, fluid squirts right out of the little overflow hole in the filler cap on the reservoir. Also, and this may be unrelated, the steering wheel itself makes a scraping sound when you turn it. Any input you guys may have would be most welcome.
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    Sounds like a failing pump. This is more common on the LUK20 pumps in the E46 cars but entirely possible on the E36. I can't remember if the two use similar pumps but regardsless we still replace pumps occaisionally on the E36 for the same reason. The impellar shaft is slipping intermittantly.

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