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2003 330i 68,000 miles
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50 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my car (2003 330i) has been making a whirring/ whining noise that I can hear at idle and low rpm.the noise changes in pitch relative to rpm.
it sounds exactly like this for reference. The car groans when accelerating out of slow turns and growls/groans when turning wheel in park. Additionally, the power steering fluid that was in it(CHF11) smelt extremely burnt and nasty. Im quite certain that e46s use ATF not CHF but see so much ambiguity on this question so im not positive. I believe my resovoir has been replaced too making it more unclear, because it says neither “ATF only” or “CHF11 only”. Tonight I flushed the fluid 3 times and filled with Dex/Merc ATF. Will this fix it or is this just a cut and dry power steering pump failure ? Also for helpful background info, the car only has 63,000 miles, PO did all belts and pullies 2 years ago, steering rack too, which obviously rules quite a few things out. Also the power steering system has absolutely no leaks and has never gone low. So if the car is running the wrong fluid it has been for 2 years and probably 12,000 miles. Thank you very much for any insight, obviously want to be sure before replacing a pump as they are damn expensive.
 

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Premium Member
2003 330cic, 2003 325iT
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7,366 Posts
I would remove the drive and accessory belts with the engine cold and run it for a moment to isolate the sound. Better odds that it is a pulley.

And just get a used pump. They are not high failure rate items like fuel pumps or water pumps. I have a used one if yours is LF30.
 

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Registered
2003 330i 68,000 miles
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50 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would remove the drive and accessory belts with the engine cold and run it for a moment to isolate the sound. Better odds that it is a pulley.

And just get a used pump. They are not high failure rate items like fuel pumps or water pumps. I have a used one if yours is LF30.
[ Do you use ATF or CHF11?
 

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Registered
2003 330i 68,000 miles
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50 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ATF

ATF. It will say what you should use on the steering reservoir cap.
Thanks for your replies. Im going to see if the change from CHF to ATF helps at all, if not time to do some digging.
 

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Premium Member
2003 330cic, 2003 325iT
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7,366 Posts
If you can get a look at the front mounting bracket, the LF20 has a cast aluminum one and the LF30 is bent sheet metal. The pressure lines have different bends in them as well, so if you look them up on ECS tuning you can compare to the shape of yours.
 

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OEM ///PLUS
2003 M3 6MT Slicktop
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23,526 Posts
it will say on the cap the fluid it takes. if you want to use what type was in there again the ATF is red color and the CH is gold iirc.

personally I would not put an unknown history junk yard pump in. anything that has seals that are fluid drained can dry. not to mention front impact accidents are hard on pump internals. FCP sells oem remanufactured pumps with Lifetime warranty cheap enough. but option for used is an owners choice. could be plenty fine. I don’t really put used mechanical parts on my cars. learned that lesson decades ago.
 

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874 Posts
OP said...
"Im quite certain that e46s use ATF not CHF but see so much ambiguity on this question so im not positive. I believe my resovoir has been replaced too making it more unclear, because it says neither “ATF only” or “CHF11 only”.

Sent from my SM-A115U using Tapatalk
 

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Premium Member
E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
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7,802 Posts
Once again, the producer of the reservoir only makes one cap now. Since all the newer cars use CHF, that's what's printed.

Your car left the factory filled with Dexron 3 made by Fuchs.
 
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