How to Fill Up the Power Steering on a BMW 323i

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The BMW 323i was made during the E36 and E46 generation of the entry level 3 Series lineup. The 323i is a well engineered car with the typically high level of driving dynamics demanded by BMW’s customers. The power steering fluid on the 323i should be checked periodically to ensure that it does not drop below the minimum level. If there is insufficient fluid in the reservoir, the pump can become damaged and will eventually need to be replaced.

Things You'll Need

  • Rag
  • Park the car on a flat surface. Open the hood. Locate the power steering pump reservoir. This is on the driver’s side at the front of the engine bay, next to the oil filter canister.

  • Remove the lid for the power steering reservoir by turning it counterclockwise. Pull the lid off.

  • Inspect the dip stick attached to the bottom of the reservoir lid. The dip stick will have a low and a full mark on it. Wipe off the dip stick with a rag. Determine where the level of the fluid is at by reinstalling the lid, removing it and inspecting the dip stick.

  • Pour in the appropriate amount of hydraulic fluid. BMW recommends Dextron III Automatic Transmission Fluid for the 323i.

  • Reinstall the lid. Start the car and let it idle for a second to get the power steering fluid into the system. Turn the wheel as far as it will go in both directions several times, but don't hold the wheel at the extreme limit of travel.

  • Remove the lid for the power steering reservoir. Check the level of the fluid. Add more fluid is necessary. Close the hood.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't get the fluid on your 323i's painted surfaces. The fluid can damage the car's finish.

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