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DIY Power Steering
Fluid Change

impee's DIY Power Steering Fluid Change / Flush for BMW 318i e46
How to Change / Flush Power Steering Fluid yourself!

Difficulty Level: Easy

Approximate Time For This Project: 30 mins

Prices: Professional labour costs for Power Steering Fluid Change/ Flush - £55 (private) or £155 (BMW) - per hour X 1 hours

BMW ATF DIII Original BMW (Automatic Transmission Fluid) BMW 1 £15
Castrol Transmax Dex III Multivehicle 1L Alternative to the original BMW fluid Halfords 1 £9
Turkey Baster     1 £2
Empty plastic bottle     1  
Kitchen Roll / Tissues     a couple  

*prices correct at time of publication

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1) Assemble Your Kit + Notes

Below is the total kit I used. As you can see, there aren't many tools required for this job at all. It would be best to use an original fluid from BMW and not any other.

Note: DO NOT use Power Steering Fluid, that is a very different oil for a different purpose. Only use ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid) DIII.

Change Duration: I personally believe that the Power Steering Fluid should be replaced every 3 years.

Kit for Power Steering Fluid Change


2) Engine Cover - Removal

Remove the main big BMW cover (Intake Manifold) at the front of engine using this method:

1) Remove the 2 clips at the front - pull up and then out the small round black pins (expanding rivets) with a flat head screw driver

2) Un-clip the hook on the top left

3) Remove the large hose on the top right

BMW Engine Cover Removal


3) Power Steering Fluid Reservoir

As you can see below, this is the reservoir. It will say only ATF on the top of it.

Power Steering Fluid resevoir


4) Removing Fluid

Use the baster to suck out all the oil possible.

Removing Fluid


5) Old Fluid

As you can see, the old fluid is not transparent light red as the new fluid, meaning it definitely did require a change.

Fluid removed


6) Fluid - Filing

I would suggest taking the car for a drive so the remaining old ATF fluid (in the pipes and the steering wheel mechanism) can mix with the new one.

Then proceed with step 4 & 7 twice again (after taking the car for a drive). The ATF fluid bottle has enough fluid for 2.5 times more changes.

Pouring the Fluid


7) Fluid Level Indicator

Now fill the fluid in the reservoir to the notch as indicated.

Fluid Level Indicator


8) Re-assembly

Once your done, re-fit the engine cover.

When driving the car, you will now definitely notice a smoothness when turning the steering wheel.

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DIY BMW e46 Power Steering Fluid Change by - impee

Any questions please contact me

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