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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 Mon, Apr-22-2013, 10:33:35 AM   #1
ctf85
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Default What is the best "Power Steering fluid" for E46 M3

Hi guys,

I need to replace my power steering fluid on my 04 E46 M3 however am baffled as to which fluid is the best to use.

Also roughly how much is required?

Can anybody shed some light?

Thanks in advance )
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Old Mon, Apr-22-2013, 11:22:06 AM   #2
terraphantm
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Default Re: What is the best "Power Steering fluid" for E46 M3

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Originally Posted by ctf85 View Post
Hi guys,

I need to replace my power steering fluid on my 04 E46 M3 however am baffled as to which fluid is the best to use.

Also roughly how much is required?

Can anybody shed some light?

Thanks in advance )
My car took just about 1L when I swapped steering racks.

I used castrol dexron vi. I wanted to use Valvoline's (it's full synthetic unlike all the other ones), but I couldn't find it anywhere.
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Old Mon, Apr-22-2013, 11:27:05 AM   #3
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Default Re: What is the best "Power Steering fluid" for E46 M3

Best power steering fluid? Seriously?

Just get some ATF fluid.. 1L should be good!
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Old Mon, Apr-22-2013, 11:58:12 AM   #4
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This.
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Old Mon, Apr-22-2013, 12:04:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: What is the best "Power Steering fluid" for E46 M3

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This.
Please do NOT put this in your P/S reservoir!
This is the hydraulic fluid for the SMG system.
The P/S system in the E46 uses ATF. If you put CHF fluid, you will harm the rubber parts of the system!
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Old Mon, Apr-22-2013, 12:07:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Please do NOT put this in your P/S reservoir!
This is the hydraulic fluid for the SMG system.
The P/S system in the E46 uses ATF. If you put CHF fluid, you will harm the rubber parts of the system!
NEWS TO ME. I'VE HAD IT STORED FOR A WHILE, planning a flush.
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Old Mon, Apr-22-2013, 01:00:57 PM   #7
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NEWS TO ME. I'VE HAD IT STORED FOR A WHILE, planning a flush.
It is written on your P/S reservoir cap
Flush it next time you can. Not sure of the exact consequences..
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Old Mon, Apr-22-2013, 01:51:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: What is the best "Power Steering fluid" for E46 M3

I just did a drain and refill of the fluid with an ordinary Dexron III ATF fluid.

I drained by removing a banjo bolt in the line at the steering rack (needed replacement sealing crush washers). This method drains more fluid than simply siphoning the reservoir, refilling with new, running the engine and letting fluid cycle, repeat (and it is difficult to reach the reservoir on the M3 with the airbox attached as it must be to run the engine and the steering fluid pump).

I did not entirely use even one quart (bought three) and I was a bit wasteful with it. I though it was going to take more than one quart and didn't care to spend $20 per liter for the CHS so went with a $5 per quart option instead. The CHF 11S fluid comes up on ECS Tuning as the appropriate fluid and it does say "power steering" on it. The Bentley manual lists "Dexron III ATF" as the power steering fluid and I went with the fluid recommended to me by the auto part store where I purchased it.
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Old Mon, Apr-22-2013, 01:59:19 PM   #9
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Default Re: What is the best "Power Steering fluid" for E46 M3

Newer BMWs use CHF11s. Ours use ATF (BMW says dexron III -- dexron VI is supposed to be compatible with III). You may be able to use CHF if you flush the whole system well... But I see no reason to fix something that isn't broken.

For the record, I don't think the fluid degrades very quickly. Mine was never changed before the rack swap as far as I know, and the fluid was still bright red.
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Old Mon, Apr-22-2013, 03:26:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: What is the best "Power Steering fluid" for E46 M3

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Originally Posted by terraphantm View Post
For the record, I don't think the fluid degrades very quickly. Mine was never changed before the rack swap as far as I know, and the fluid was still bright red.
I would have to reiterate his thoughts.

I swapped steering racks in December on a March 2002 build car and my fluid was in excellent shape with the deep red color (no burned orange). I have owned it since 2008 and never swapped PS fluid.

BTW, I used Mobil-1 ATF.
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Discussing What is the best "Power Steering fluid" for E46 M3 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)