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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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I flush the system every 35000 miles. And yes, your power steering uses Automatic Transmission Fluid, NOT power steering fluid.
Here is what I have done to save me the hassle of doing the flush, yet not having to pay to get it done:
1. Open the reservoir, pump out all the ATF (I use a turkey baster).
2. Refill with fresh fluid.
3. Put cap back on.
4. Turn car on. Turn the wheel from lock to lock several times. Drive around the block if you feel like it.
5. Turn car off.
6. Repeat steps 1 through 5 three to five times until fluid in reservoir is clean.
The idea is that you dilute the old fluid from the P/S lines with the new fluid and eventually have pretty much all new fluid in the system. You probably get about 85-90% of the benefits of a full flush (depending on how thorough you are) and you're only out a few bucks and 20 minutes to an hour of your time. You can probably even extend this process over an entire week (you'd change the fluid in the reservoir once or twice every day and use your regular driving as the "mixing" action).
With regards to intervals, doing a flush every third year or anywhere from 30k to 40k miles should be fine. There really isn't much to it.
Oh yeah. DO NOT put power steering fluid in your car.
Why can't you use power steering fluid? I had that put in when the guy flushed my powerstering pump.
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