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Old 10-28-2018, 05:57 PM   #1
Chasepinkonsly
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Power Steering Fluid confusion

Okay so I have a 2004 325i with 179,000 miles and I'm going to change the power steering fluid. My lid says "ATF" so do I use any Dex 3 tranny fluid or do I use Pentison CHF 11s?? Or does it really matter that much
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Old 10-28-2018, 06:02 PM   #2
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Dex 3 or Dex 6, whatever is on sale. Check the current fluid in there, it should be a dark reddish color indicating atf.

BMW seems to recommend chf 11s for everything now because that's what the newer cars use, but it is NOT compatible with atf. Do not mix the two and use only atf

Last edited by LeverThis; 10-28-2018 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 10-28-2018, 06:09 PM   #3
Chasepinkonsly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeverThis View Post
Dex 3 or Dex 6, whatever is on sale. Check the current fluid in there, it should be a dark reddish color indicating atf.

BMW seems to recommend chf 11s for everything now because that's what the newer cars use, but it is NOT compatible with atf. Do not mix the two and use only atf
Alright thanks man! Now what tranny fluid should I use like which brand is best? Probably doesn't matter that much but I used Valvoline in my transmission and was thinking about using it for the power steering. And I'm pretty sure my fluid is like a dark brown now.. I need to change it ASAP
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Old 10-28-2018, 06:19 PM   #4
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Valvoline is great, especially if it's on hand already. That's the Dex 6 valvoline? Brand isn't as important for power steering pump as for the transmission, as long as it's a Dex 3 or 6 atf. Many use Redline d4 atf as well.
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Old 10-28-2018, 08:45 PM   #5
Chasepinkonsly
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Originally Posted by LeverThis View Post
Valvoline is great, especially if it's on hand already. That's the Dex 6 valvoline? Brand isn't as important for power steering pump as for the transmission, as long as it's a Dex 3 or 6 atf. Many use Redline d4 atf as well.
Yeah it's the Dex 6 Valvoline max life the same stuff I used in my transmission
Is power steering pump conditioner safe to use also?

Last edited by Chasepinkonsly; 10-28-2018 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 10-28-2018, 10:52 PM   #6
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Lucas power steering stop leak works great as a conditioner. It looks like atf fluid too and really quiets the pump if it makes noise.
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Old 10-29-2018, 07:29 AM   #7
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The reason fir the confusion is that BMW used the same reservoir, made by ZF, in different series of its car’s. Some of those cars used the CHF11 fluid, while others, including the E46, uses Dexron3. The reservoir caps had different labels, with some labels stating that CHF11 fluid is required. The E46 uses Dexron3 or better.
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Old 10-29-2018, 08:18 PM   #8
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The reason fir the confusion is that BMW used the same reservoir, made by ZF, in different series of its car's. Some of those cars used the CHF11 fluid, while others, including the E46, uses Dexron3. The reservoir caps had different labels, with some labels stating that CHF11 fluid is required. The E46 uses Dexron3 or better.
It's worse than just the erroneous fill caps on the replacement zf reservoirs, there have been a number of threads recently where BMW dealerships have recommended chf 11s to e46 owners. Even the op here mentioned an 'atf only' fill cap but was still asking about chf 11s.

Last edited by LeverThis; 10-29-2018 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 10-29-2018, 11:41 PM   #9
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It's worse than just the erroneous fill caps on the replacement zf reservoirs, there have been a number of threads recently where BMW dealerships have recommended chf 11s to e46 owners.
Doesn't surprise me....my dealer has left numerous small parts missing from my car over the years. By the time I realize it, there's not much I can do but replace them myself. Sh1tty service to say the least.



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Old 10-30-2018, 12:48 AM   #10
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In nordic cold countries we do have CHF 11S fluid which is yellow.
My 330ci is imported from Germany, and there is ATF logo in reservoir cap. So i have to use CHF for my sedan ja ATF for coupe.
So based on that i would say that bmw has been putting CHF fluids in cold climate cars.
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Old 10-30-2018, 01:17 AM   #11
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Use ATF.

CHF was spec'd for E46s in cold climates.
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Old 10-30-2018, 08:43 AM   #12
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