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Power steering pump 2004 325Ci


Bought my daugther a 325Ci about three years ago and have replaced the power steering pump 3 times so far. That’s four pumps including original which went out two years ago with about 60k miles. Car has 95k miles now and changing pumps faster than tires. Dealership said original had known defect and would be replaced with newer improved model. I fail to see the improvement… I had to pay for first but last two under two year warranty. Can anyone tell me what is going on here (the dealership can’t). No help from BMW customer service. Thought I was buying a safe and dependable car for my daughter but so much for that.

More Information, Please. What Goes Wrong With Each Pump ? Do They Leak Or Make Noise, Particularly A Groaning Sound ? Does The Problem Change The Way The Car Steers ? Please Explain What Goes Wrong And Is It The Same Thing Each Time ?

Does the failure cause an increased amount of effort to turn the steering wheel at low speeds ? Is that it ?


Was The Pressure Hose And O-ring Replaced Along With A Pump At Any Time, Particularly The First Replacement Pump ?

Was the power steering system flushed and refilled each time ?


Other than small amount of fluid around cap, which I was told not to worry about, I have not noticed any fluid on carport or low level. Definitely makes groaning noise when you turn the wheel and car gets harder to steer. Starts out with groan and can notice change in steering which increases shortly to point of no power steering - hard to turn steering wheel.

There Exists A TSB (Technical Service Bulletin), Written For BMW Technicians, For Some 2004 3-Series BMWs Regarding Power Steering Pump Replacement.

The bulletin is listed under “groans” and discusses pump replacement because of an increased amount of effort to turn the steering wheel at low speeds.

The technicians are instructed to replace a pressure hose and o-ring along with a new pump. I also read that the culprit seems to be “debris” in the pump / fluid that causes the problem.

I don’t know if the hose is just different for the new pump or if it’s the source of the debris.

That’s why I asked about whether the hose was being replaced and wondered if the power steering fluid was flushed from the power steering system. I would think (my opinion) that at the very least, the whole system would need to be thoroughly flushed when the pump and hose are replaced in order to prevent debris from contaminating the new pump and causing it to fail, too, and continuing the failure cycle you are asking about here.


sorry, I had outlined details from each service ticket on thread and thought I posted but don’t see it so will do so again. Appears they are doing as you suggest…at least first time. Car goes back to shop for another pump tomorrow.
12/09 - ticket states: power stering pump broke. replaced pump and pressure hose.
parts: pressure hose assy, gasket ring, vane pump, gasket ring, fluid
6/10 - ticket states: check fluid level and condition. test output of pump - was jumping from low to high pressure output when turning. replaced pump, R&R reservoir and clean filter. flushed system and refill.
parts: vane pump, fluid
11/10 - ticket states: check fluid level, contamination, aeration, erc–ok. test power steering output to ensure proper flow, no obstructions. remove and inspect pump, would not turn freely, jamming. pump replacement required.
parts: vane pump, fluid

Thanks For The Additional Details. I’m Just About Out Of Ideas. There Is A Former BMW Mechanic Who Frequents This Site. I’ll Put Out A Page And Hope He Will Chimes In.


Paging Dr. Oldschool . . . Dr. Oldschool Are You In The Building ? Code BMW ! Please Respond !


CSA, I appreciate your help. Guess I didn’t do my homework on this one. I thought I was buying something that would safely get my daughter anywhere she needed to go and last through college. She graduates high school this year so I’m thinking this car will have done all it can do just to get her through high school. Funny she is driving my 99 Yukon while her car is in shop and it has 220m miles yet never gives me any problems. Pretty sure the Yukon will still be around when she gets out of college. GJ