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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Fri, Oct-07-2016, 07:46:59 PM   #1
nascar_acj
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Exclamation Urgent - Power Steering Leak, Need Advice

Alright guys, so here's the deal. I'm on a trip with my 05 M3 (108k miles) and it was going fine when suddenly there was no power steering when I turned onto the road and a horrible grinding noise and vibration with a bit of a whirring noise while idling. The car accelerated through the gears fine, no issue. I pull into a parking lot to figure out whats going on and there was a puddle on the ground of rain and all the water was rainbow (so I knew fluid was leaking)... pulled into the Firestone location (yeesh) to see if someone could jack it up and look at it and figure it out. Of course the first guys say its a broken hub and I'm like "no, it's power steering" so the tech then gets in it and goes "yep, power steering" and when he took the underbody panel off, fluid was everywhere and the pump was dry. The PUMP WORKS. It is a major leak in the pressure hose.

Here's the issue: I'm about 200 miles from home on a trip this weekend. Not much winding roads and I can take the interstate. No one in this city can get the hose until next week and I need to get home. They told me to just keep adding fluid so it doesn't go dry, but I'll be okay to drive. Problem is, I got a mile up the road and it was back to grinding. I cannot afford to have my car towed across the state and no one has this part. I'd like to order the part and do it myself once I'm home.

What would you guys do if you were me? How long can this go with it grinding before breaking the pump? I don't want to do more damage, but if I can stay going straight on an interstate, I think it'd be fine. Any suggestions?
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Old Fri, Oct-07-2016, 08:02:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: Urgent - Power Steering Leak, Need Advice

I wouldn't drive with it leaking. You'll do more harm than good. Worst case, if you really have to get home, leave the car somewhere safe and rent a car to get home. Once you have the part available, fix the issue.

I had the same issue happen to me 2 months ago, luckily I was only 2 minutes from home. I left a big pool of PS fluid all over my driveway though. Once you remove you're PS line, I'm sure you'll see 2 holes in it. There are many other threads that indicate the same issue and same spot with the holes. It's due to the PS hose making contact with the hot engine and wearing it away slowly until a tiny hole develops.
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Old Fri, Oct-07-2016, 08:24:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: Urgent - Power Steering Leak, Need Advice

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I wouldn't drive with it leaking. You'll do more harm than good. Worst case, if you really have to get home, leave the car somewhere safe and rent a car to get home. Once you have the part available, fix the issue.
+1 - or rent a UHaul truck with a car trailer. Driving it this way will get very expensive, plus it's just not safe.
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Old Fri, Oct-07-2016, 10:18:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: Urgent - Power Steering Leak, Need Advice

If you dont have AAA towing service, the next best thing is to rent a uhaul and tow yourself home. GL OP
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Old Sat, Oct-08-2016, 12:22:58 AM   #5
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Default Re: Urgent - Power Steering Leak, Need Advice

Sucked up my pride and called the tow truck (free through my insurance) and got it towed to the dealership I go to in this area. They did me a solid and gave me a loaner and said around $500 w/tax, $150 cheaper than what the Firestone hell hole was going to charge (they admitted to never even seeing an M in their shop before, thankfully this was a simple diagnosis)I could have gotten the part for around $200 and done it myself, but I was in a bind and these folks I trust. The part will take a few days to get (no one in the area has it AT ALL) but they said I could have the loaner until it's ready and I can drive home and come back later in the week if I need to for no extra charge. Not a big dealership fan, but these guys do good work. If you're ever stranded in the Charlotte, NC area, get with Hendrick BMW Northlake. YES, some things are higher priced since it's a dealer and I do a lot of work myself when I go home, but they go out of their way to make sure you aren't in a bad situation. I could have limped it in awful traffic and stopped every few miles to fill back up, but just not worth ruining the pump over a tiny leak(that sprayed like hell)... Thanks again everyone. Car won this time!��
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Old Sat, Oct-08-2016, 04:02:45 AM   #6
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Default Re: Urgent - Power Steering Leak, Need Advice

Thank goodness you used some common sense & didn't put ATF in it and rev the sh!t out of it.
Sorry, no offense to anyone; I couldn't help myself.
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Old Sat, Oct-08-2016, 04:20:51 AM   #7
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Default Re: Urgent - Power Steering Leak, Need Advice

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Originally Posted by nascar_acj View Post
Sucked up my pride and called the tow truck (free through my insurance) and got it towed to the dealership I go to in this area. They did me a solid and gave me a loaner and said around $500 w/tax, $150 cheaper than what the Firestone hell hole was going to charge (they admitted to never even seeing an M in their shop before, thankfully this was a simple diagnosis)I could have gotten the part for around $200 and done it myself, but I was in a bind and these folks I trust. The part will take a few days to get (no one in the area has it AT ALL) but they said I could have the loaner until it's ready and I can drive home and come back later in the week if I need to for no extra charge. Not a big dealership fan, but these guys do good work. If you're ever stranded in the Charlotte, NC area, get with Hendrick BMW Northlake. YES, some things are higher priced since it's a dealer and I do a lot of work myself when I go home, but they go out of their way to make sure you aren't in a bad situation. I could have limped it in awful traffic and stopped every few miles to fill back up, but just not worth ruining the pump over a tiny leak(that sprayed like hell)... Thanks again everyone. Car won this time!��

That's really not a bad price when you factor in the free loaner. Glad it worked out, somewhat, for you.
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Old Sat, Oct-08-2016, 05:09:53 AM   #8
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Default Re: Urgent - Power Steering Leak, Need Advice

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That's really not a bad price when you factor in the free loaner. Glad it worked out, somewhat, for you.
Definitely. I'll know the final amount when I pick it up and pay, but these guys always do me fair and don't drop surprises on me. They gave me a X3 that's up for sale for $53k with 7k miles on it, so I'd say I lucked out! Also told me if I needed to go home and then come back to get the car later in the week, no mileage charge. I know I'm paying more for something I could do myself if I was home, but you can't pass up customer service like this.
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Old Sat, Oct-08-2016, 05:19:47 AM   #9
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Default Re: Urgent - Power Steering Leak, Need Advice

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Originally Posted by Speed Monkey View Post
Thank goodness you used some common sense & didn't put ATF in it and rev the sh!t out of it.
Sorry, no offense to anyone; I couldn't help myself.
The wise ones at Firestone saw it spewing out and said I should just keep adding fluid until it stopped working, then add more. I made it a whole mile before the damn thing turned into a brick again. Pulled over, shit spewing everywhere over by the LF (The leak was spraying at a sideways angle) and trails of rainbow puddles all under the LF. Glad I gave in and used that roadside service I paid for.
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Old Sat, Oct-08-2016, 06:20:21 AM   #10
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Default Re: Urgent - Power Steering Leak, Need Advice

Pic of the location of the leak. Right where those pieces meet, there's a tiny hole that sprays like a fountain the second the wheel is turned, and it shoots at a sideways angle, spraying out towards the left front.

Anyone know what causes these leaks? No symptoms at all and I've been driving a ton the last couple days. No heavy feeling or sounds. Hit something super hard (unavoidable) on the highway yesterday but no damage to the underbody panel. Just seems like it popped up out of nowhere and was suddenly dry. Pump did still run when fluid was filled back up to find the leak.

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Discussing Urgent - Power Steering Leak, Need Advice in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)