Beemer Power Steering Problems

courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man

Dear Bob,
I'm having a problem with the power steering system of my 1985 BMW 735i. It started out as a groaning noise when the wheel was turned to the left fairly far but not into the stops. Then it started with left turns too. The fluid level is OK. I took it to a neighborhood backyard mechanic who thought it was just a bad pump. We replaced it. That didn't stop it, in fact it got worse. So far we've replaced the pump twice, the gear box and a couple of worn linkage parts (tie rod, idler arm). We've also disassembled the steering column looking for rubbing or binding areas with no results. Now when you start the car the steering system sounds like it's pumping nuts & bolts and you can feel a pulsing in the system at low speeds. When we disconnect the drive belt from the pump the sound stops, so we're almost certain it's still something in the power steering system. Would appreciate any diagnostic assistance you can provide.

It sounds like you have a bad pump to me. The ones that you put in, were they new or used from a junk yard or were they rebuilt?? When you put them in, did you flush the steering rack and line before connecting to the new pump? Did you prime the new pump? You see, you just can't slap them in. Whatever caused it to fail needs to be removed. This is usually a little bit of metal from the rack. If changing the pump did not help, then maybe the rack is so badly worn out that the valves are not working correctly and the pump has to work overtime.
Good Luck!
Drive Safely!
Bob, The Auto Answer Man

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