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3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

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Old 01-14-2005, 02:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I went to add some power steering fluid to my car and on the refill cap it says "ATF" oil only????? I just went ahead and added regular power steering fluid because I started hearing a moaning sound when turning the wheel so I checked the PS fluid and it was low. After adding the fluid the noise went away but I'm still wondering why the cap says ATF oil only????
Did I goof??? ghead
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Old 01-14-2005, 06:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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In a lot of cars, auto trans fluid is used for the power steering fluid. No biggie
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Old 01-14-2005, 06:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Forgot to add.....just make sure to always use what is specified in the books.
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Old 01-15-2005, 12:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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using the power steering fluid (mineral oil) "can" lead to swelling of the rubber hoses and o-rings. that's what i've found.. and the ATF is a little thicker and better for the pump itself. It's really hard to flush the system so i wouldn't really worry about it.. just next time use ATF oil.
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Old 01-16-2005, 01:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by mosyslack+Jan 14 2005, 07:56 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(mosyslack @ Jan 14 2005, 07:56 PM)</div><div class='quotemain'>In a lot of cars, auto trans fluid is used for the power steering fluid. No biggie
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It is a biggie, and it could turn into leakage later on.


<!--QuoteBegin-Slowered318
@Jan 15 2005, 01:06 AM
using the power steering fluid (mineral oil) "can" lead to swelling of the rubber hoses and o-rings. that's what i've found.. and the ATF is a little thicker and better for the pump itself. It's really hard to flush the system so i wouldn't really worry about it.. just next time use ATF oil.
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[/quote]

I would only use Dexron ATF III or IV in the future.
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Old 01-16-2005, 01:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Use Dextron ATF III ONLY ...

Reason being... the boiling point for ATF is a lot higher than regular power steering fluid... thus if you use power steering fluid it will end up boiling over and cause lots of problems..

I've seen this happen three times in the past three years or so... with my stupidity at fault once and two other people's cars..

Good Luck,

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Old 01-16-2005, 07:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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no its not a big deal. ATF is thicker, and longer lasting, but they wouldnt call it power steering fluid if it wasnt made to be that. you and your buddies prolly over-filled the resevoir
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Old 01-16-2005, 10:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by e30fanm3@Jan 16 2005, 08:40 PM
no its not a big deal. ATF is thicker, and longer lasting, but they wouldnt call it power steering fluid if it wasnt made to be that. you and your buddies prolly over-filled the resevoir
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I'm not looking to argue with you, but it is a big deal. You're not supposed to use "regular power steering fluid" in E30s - end of story. Don't spread misinformation.
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Old 01-16-2005, 11:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by detour54+Jan 17 2005, 12:56 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(detour54 @ Jan 17 2005, 12:56 AM)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteBegin-e30fanm3@Jan 16 2005, 08:40 PM
no its not a big deal. ATF is thicker, and longer lasting, but they wouldnt call it power steering fluid if it wasnt made to be that. you and your buddies prolly over-filled the resevoir
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I'm not looking to argue with you, but it is a big deal. You're not supposed to use "regular power steering fluid" in E30s - end of story. Don't spread misinformation.
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Yeah, but he just added a bit, and I don't think it's going to lead to any problems.

They also tell you that you are supposed to use BMW coolant, and I've seen BMWs with 250+ thousand miles and they never saw one drop of any coolant other than normal green one.... and they never head any coroded radiators, etc.
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Old 01-17-2005, 12:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Torque@Jan 17 2005, 12:23 AM
Yeah, but he just added a bit, and I don't think it's going to lead to any problems.
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That might be the case, but I wouldn't keep adding it.
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Old 01-17-2005, 08:47 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by mysticguy04@Jan 14 2005, 02:52 PM
I went to add some power steering fluid to my car and on the refill cap it says "ATF" oil only????? I just went ahead and added regular power steering fluid because I started hearing a moaning sound when turning the wheel so I checked the PS fluid and it was low. After adding the fluid the noise went away but I'm still wondering why the cap says ATF oil only????
Did I goof??? ghead
[snapback]271654[/snapback]
Hey guys!
Thx for your opinions and advise I appreciate it.
I only added less than 8oz so I'm thinking it shouldn't be that bad. Now I know for future reference to use the ATF oil. B)
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Old 01-18-2005, 02:28 PM   #12 (permalink)
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theres a difference between adding bmw coolan and normal coolant, and automatic tranny oil and brake fluid. like a guy up there said one wont swell the lines, which could turn out to be a pain in the ass down the road...
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Old 01-18-2005, 03:27 PM   #13 (permalink)
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