E46 (3 Series) except M3 models
E60 (5 Series) up to March, 2006, except M5 and models with Active Steering (SA 217) and/or Active Roll Stabilization (SA 229)
E61 (5 Series) up to March, 2006
E83 (X3) up to August 2006 without Servotronic (SA 214)
The customer may report a squeaking or squealing noise that occurs when turning the steering wheel from left to right. While there are a number of components that can cause this type of noise, this bulletin is specifically related to those noises that occur directly at the pinion shaft of the steering gear.
The noises could be caused by insufficient lubrication of the steering gear pinion shaft seal.
Prior to performing the procedure described in this bulletin, review Service Information B32 17 08 for noises from the steering column. Locate the source of the noise, using a stethoscope or other listening device. If the noise is coming from the pinion shaft area of the steering gear, proceed as follows:
1. Check the fluid level and condition of the power steering fluid. Correct the fluid level as necessary.
2. Determine whether the power steering reservoir is filled with Pentosin or ATF. Power steering systems with Pentosin will be marked on the outside of the reservoir or the cap. Additionally, Pentosin will be green in color as opposed to ATF, which is red. If the system is filled with Pentosin, contact BMW’s Teile Clearing for additional assistance. If the system is filled with ATF, proceed to step 3.
3. Drain 50 ml of ATF from the power steering reservoir, using a suction bulb or other suitable tool.
4. With the transmission in Park or Neutral and the parking brake engaged, heat the power steering fluid to 60° C by turning the steering wheel left to right repeatedly, with the engine running. The temperature of the power steering fluid can be measured at the power steering reservoir, using an infrared thermometer.
5. Once the fluid has reached 60° C, switch the engine off and add 50 ml Lubrizol (P/N 83 29 0 447 661) to the power steering fluid reservoir.
6. Start the engine and raise the engine speed to 2,500 rpm. Continue to heat the power steering fluid by continually turning the steering wheel from left to right.
7. Once the power steering fluid temperature has reached 100° C, switch off the engine.
8. Using a white paint stick or other suitable marking device, mark the power steering fluid cap or reservoir with an “L” to indicate the addition of the Lubrizol.
9. After a minimum cooling-off time of two hours, check and correct the power steering fluid level as necessary.
Courtesy of ALLDATA.