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power steering intermittent fault

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ACarmichael View Drop Down
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    Posted: 09 Feb 2013 at 6:11pm
I don't get to drive the Mrs Z3 2.2 often but took the Z for a spin today and discovered the power steering has a weird fault. Usually on tight turns, but not always, the steering seems to lock and then kick back. I am guessing the power steering is cutting out and then back in again. It isn't all the time but often enough to know I have got to do something about it.
I have checked fluid level, which is OK and tyres, which are worn but pressures are fine. Steering rack seems fine with no play and had a new power belt within the last 15K
Might be nothing but there is also a scraping noise from the steering wheel, which I took to be a worn contact for one of the column controls. Not sure if there is a contact in the column that controls the pump. (doesn't sound likely, but thought I would mention it)
Put this on general forum as thought issue would be common to much of the BMW range. Z is a 2001 by the way.
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Mike Fishwick View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike Fishwick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2013 at 6:26pm
The PAS is just a basic hydraulic system with no electrical gizmos.

The belt tensioner is automatic, with spring loading, but it would do no harm to check the tension - try to twist the belt in its mid point between finger and thumb - it should become more difficult after a 90 degree twist.

Are there any squealing noises, which would indicate a slack belt?
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ACarmichael View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ACarmichael Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2013 at 9:13am
Thanks for getting back to me. No squealing noises, but I will check the belt as you suggest. Thought I would check for any oil leak that might have put oil on the belt as well. I'll let you know.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cabrio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2013 at 10:41pm
Check the spring on the column and oil regardless
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AShah View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AShah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2013 at 12:46pm
If its kicking back, i would suggest wheel alignment.
 
Might sound stupid, but if the alignment is out enough, then the wheels are fighting the anti-roll bar and the tension in that bar causes steering to do unexpected things
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ACarmichael View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ACarmichael Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Feb 2013 at 3:53pm
Hi Cabrio, thanks for the response. Oil changed and belts checked. Don't know what you mean by the column spring, so I've ordered the Haynes 3 series manual - needed one anyway. I'll let you know the outcome.

Andy
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ACarmichael View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ACarmichael Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Feb 2013 at 3:56pm
Hi AShah, a fair point. I had the wheels laser aligned not long ago. The tyres are heavily worn but the wear is even. I have a new set on order, so will see.

Andy
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Mike Fishwick View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike Fishwick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Feb 2013 at 4:28pm
I would bet that the relief valve in the pump is opening under the effort of holding the wheels at around full lock with worn tyres, the load from the tyres them making the steering kick back, so reducing the effort required, and allowing the relief valve to close again.  See what happens when you get your new tyres fitted.



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ACarmichael View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ACarmichael Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 2013 at 6:15pm
And the answer is................. Tyres. Well done guys, yep the power steering didn't like the worn fronts, though there was a few thou' left in them. Had to fit KENDA cheapies sadly as I'm broke. I will just have to see how they last and perform. Money needed for the E30 April 1st re-launchSmile

Edited by ACarmichael - 26 Feb 2013 at 6:17pm
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