How to Replace the Power Steering Pump on a BMW


Bavarian Motor Works vehicles have come with an option for power steering since the 1960s. The belt driven pump pressurizes fluid, which assist the front wheels to turn with less force required from the driver. The pump can wear out and leak, and require replacement. An average backyard mechanic can replace a power steering pump in a BMW in about an hour.

Things You'll Need

  • Socket set
  • Wrench set
  • Power steering fluid
  • Pliers
  • Drain pan
  • Turkey baster or syringe
  • Remove the lower splash guard by turning its bolts in a counterclockwise direction. There are four bolts holding it in, and removing it will give bottom access to the power steering pump.

  • Drain the fluid from the pump by uncapping it and siphoning the old fluid out with a turkey baster or similar device. Fluid can be collected in a drain pan.

  • Remove the drive belt by turning the tension pulley in a clockwise direction, as it is threaded opposite of most manufacturer's pulleys. Once this pulley has released its tension, the belt can be slid off of the power steering pump, which is on the bottom right of the motor.

  • Unbolt the power steering pump's bolts in a counterclockwise direction.

  • Uncouple the pump's lines by turning the nuts in a counterclockwise direction with a line wrench. Some models will have disconnects on the pump, and the hardware should be saved for reuse unless the new pump has replacements.

  • Remove the pump from the vehicle by pulling it towards the front and away from the car.

  • Replace the pump with the new one, reconnecting its lines and tightening the mounting bolts.

  • Replace the drive belt and tighten the tension pulley by turning its bolt in a counterclockwise direction. The belt should have about an inch of play.

  • Fill the power steering pump with fresh fluid by cranking the car and moving the steering wheel back and forth while pouring fluid into the pump. Do not overfill the pump, as the pressures inside of it are very high.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a power steering fluid additive to prevent frothing.
  • Use proper safety equipment and precautions when working on a vehicle.

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