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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 01-27-2004, 04:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I've noticed my engine idle drops substantially when I turn my wheels all the way (right or left). What's up? Is this normal? The drop is more than subtle, to the point where engine seems like its going to die, but then idle returns after a few seconds.
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Old 01-27-2004, 04:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Power steering is on its way out by the sound of it
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Old 01-27-2004, 04:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That's normal. If you hold you're wheel at full lock, the power steering unit tries to help you out, but obviously since your wheels are as far as they can go, it struggles and the engine speed drops slightly as the Power Steering uses more energy - It's not really noticable with bigger engines, but on the 316/318 its quite noticable.

Try this, let your car idle for a bit, and then put on your lights and your brights - the engine note should dip just a little. Or even better, when your car is idling and you switch on the air conditioner, the same thing happens - it is all the same principle.

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Old 01-27-2004, 05:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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yep, its just the power steering pump going nuts. Just dont hold it at lock for more than a few seconds and nothing will be hurt.
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Old 01-27-2004, 06:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The power steering pump is working as hard as it can when the wheels are at the lock. It takes power from the engine. You'll also hear more noise from the pump as it bleeds pressure.
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Old 01-27-2004, 06:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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interesting. i was wondering if something is wrong with mine too... and you can hear the noises and stuff with a bigger engine as well !
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Old 01-27-2004, 08:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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yeah it's normal, it happens on every car i've driven
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Old 01-27-2004, 09:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My M3 does it too. I wouldn't worry about it. I've heard that it's really bad to have your wheel at full turn anyway, I always pull back just a bit before it does that.
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Old 01-29-2004, 06:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I wouldnt worry at all!!! We have a 523 and a 323. Both do the same. The 5 series obviously makes a deeper angry sounding hum compared to the 3!

Basically its because the car typically doesnt have its wheels locked in either direction - therefore it hasnt fully "driven in" if u know what i mean. I wouldnt keep doing it though - just in case.
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Old 01-29-2004, 10:00 AM   #10 (permalink)
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AS so THAT'S what it was...

I'll keep in mind not to full turn. Thanks.
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