My power steering went out two weeks ago, with no warning signs or symptoms. I drove my car. Parked it for 5 minutes, got back in it and the steering was as hard as a rock. No audible noises, just gone. I went to my indi mechanic and they looked the car over. All my belts were in tact, and i had fluid in my reservoir. The best we could come up with was the pump impeller sheared off its shaft. Of course, I was headed out of town the next day on a 700 mile journey. I asked the indi if they could fix it that day and they started making phone calls. Parts were available. It was going to happen. BUT then i was told the price of the parts. $550 pump. $150 reservoir. 2 Hours labor minimum. then tax, etc etc,........holy crap, we were looking at $1000 dollars!~
I asked the mechanic if it was ok to drive with the damaged pump. (i needed to make sure I wasnt going to damage anything else.) I was told, all would be fine. So, now I had some time, and some choices. I ended up looking for parts online. OEM and comparable brands were $350+ for just the pump. I then went to carparts.com (linked through the site, of course) and found a no-name, brand new, one year warranty for $106. The reservoir, also no name but brand new, was $13.50. Now we were in business! (as a side note here, i almost always buy OEM, or better, replacement parts. However, this part is not a crucial part (like a water pump). If this part fails, it will not leave me stranded on the side of the road. I have chosen to go cheap and see how long it lasts. OEM lasted 140,000 miles.
Here they are...
Ok, on to the build.....
The power steering pump is located on the drivers side of the car, and is connected to the pully/belt system. It is accessed from beneath the car. To replace both the reservoir and the pump, you will have to remove a few items to clear access to the area.
1. air filter and housing
2. directional air scoop above radiator
3. Plastic cover under car that protects engine bay (these screws do not screw all the way out, just turn them 1.5 times and they release, but will stay connected to shield.)
4. Fan and shroud. (I have an automatic, so this is a little more of a bear for me. Those of you with manuals will have an easier time, and will not need some of the tools i needed.)
5. Serpentine Belt. I did not remove this completely, but it has to be disengaged from the pulley that is attached to the water pump at least.
Tools that will be needed for the job:
1. jack stands or ramps for under car access
2. Torx bits for a socket wrench. At least up to size 45 or 50. (sorry, forgot what the biggest size i used was)
3. 16mm socket to release the tension on the belt system
4. 32mm wrench. Yup, this is a big boy. It is for removing the fan in an Automatic car. You manual guys might not need this.
5. adjustable wrench
6. Hammer (goes with fan removal)
7. fluid pump or turkey baster for removing the steering fluid from reservoir
First, safety. I used rhino ramps. also, i placed jack stands under the control arms just in case something went incredibly bad with the ramps. There is also a chock behind the back tire. Can never be too careful!
Alright. On to the removal of items. First, Air Filter housing, and air intake scoop. both circled here. Also at this time remove the plastic guard from below the car.
Next, use the turkey baster or fluid pump to remove as much fluid as possible from the reservoir. Before you do this, make sure to cover the alternator with a rag or other protector to keep the fluid from dropping into the alternator.
Place rag over this guy:
Now, disconnect the 2 hoses from the bottom of the Power Steering reservoir. They will still have fluid in them, so have a tupperware or something handy to pour the fluid in. Probably, in hindsight, if one was to disconnect a hose from the pump itself, this system would drain and there would not be much fluid left in the hoses. You should look like this now.
Now, time to remove the fan. This will be different for Automatics vs Manuals. Auto fans are connected to the pulley system, and held in place by a 32mm nut on the fan. This is a REVERSE THREAD nut, so you need to go CLOCKWISE! First, disconnect the electrical connection from the fan on the passenger side. Next, unscrew the screw holding the shroud on the passenger side of the shroud. On the driver side will be a plastic expansion type rivot. If you pull the center pin from this rivot, it will pull right out. This will release the shroud. Now, put the 32mm wrench on the nut and hold it with one hand. with the other hand, using a hammer, strike the wrench with a quick, firm blow in the clockwise direction. It only took one hit for mine to loosen. I then used the fan blades to continue to unscrew the nut. Make sure that when you get close to the end of the threads, hold on tight to both the fan and the shroud. When the fan unscrews, pull both the fan and the shroud out together vertically. Be careful not to damage or nick your radiator when you do this.
The 32mm "Man's Wrench". It will be the largest in your toolbox by far!
Your engine bay will now look like this.
Its easiest if you break loose (just get them started, dont take them out) the three screws that hold the pulley to the Power Steering Pump before you remove the serpentine belt. This is where it was attached.:
And here is what you are going to eventually remove:
Now it is time to remove the serpentine belt. There is a 16mm nut built into one of the pulley mounts. It is located approximately here:
If you turn it clockwise it will raise the pulley guide (someone help me here..there is a technical name for this Is it the tensioner pulley?) and you will be able to slide the belt off the guide and it will release the tension so you can remove it from the pulley connected to the water pump. Now you can remove the pulley from the pump. again, looks like this:
Now its time to remove the pump itself. It is connected by three torx bolts. It is also connected by a bracket attached to the back of the pump. I could not remove the bracket from the pump itself, so i removed it from the other side where it was connected to the car. Then when i got the pump off the car, i removed it from the old pump. Two of the torx bolts are circled here. Also arrows point to the two hoses that carry the fluid to the pump. They must be removed as well.
Now you should have the old pump out of the car. Time to inspect your hoses, etc. I ran into a problem here. I had a hose that was cracked. I went to BMW and bought a new one for $51.00. Then, when i came home and tried to remove this hose, i could not. The hose has a plastic ring that is built in to one end that is used to release the metal clamps inside the hose, so the hose releases from its connection. It looks like this:
It is located here:
The plastic ring on my upper hose cracked into 4 pieces and fell onto the ground when I tried to press it into the hose. After that, i spent an hour trying everything I could think of to get this this off. Unfortunately, it is connected to a plastic piece, so brute force was not an option. well, I did what any good ZHPM member would do and I called in reinforcements. Ryans323 came over with her Boyfriend and her Daughter and they spent a couple hours with me trying to get the hose removed as well. Turns out, we could never get it off....
Luckily, the hose was only cracked through one of its two layers, so I just left the old one on there.
Now, time to install the new pump. Make sure to get everything back together tightly and securely. When putting the fan back on, i used the fan blades to thread the nut. I have read this can be a pain, but it only took me about 5 minutes to get it back on.
Your power steering pump uses Automatic Transmission Fluid. When you get everything reconnected, fill the reservoir with ATF fluid. Start the car, and turn the wheel in one direction until you can turn it no further, then turn it the opposite way until it stops. This should get really easy after the first or second time you do it. Now, go check the reservoir and top it off as needed. If everything went well, you are now finished.