steering groan

I have an E34, USA. 1994 540i with 82,000 miles. The last couple of weeks I've noticed a deep "groaning" sound in the front end when turning at low speeds. It doesn't happen right away, but usually after
5 minutes of running. It even happens when I am stopped at a light, not moving, and just turn the wheel left and right.
I am not a "car person," but am learning more every day since owning this BMW for a few months now. I suspect it's something with the power steering... Could it be that I just need to fill the fluid, or is it possible that the power steering pump is breaking down? Hard to say?
I know that BMWs require special transmission fluid... how about power steering fluid? What do you recommend? Thanks!
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It sounds like the power steering. If you're lucky, it could just be one of the lousy crimp-clamps leaking or the hose. If its the crimp clamps, replace with regular worm-drive ones. Check the clamps and the hoses to see if there is any leak.
Not all BMWs require "special" fluid for its power steering unit. You'll need to check the power steering reservior, but if its states "ATF Oil Only" then any Dextron III ATF will work. However, if its states Pentosin, then you'll need to get the correct one, which can be expensive.
If you're not a "car person," then I would find a good independent BMW shop. Good Luck!
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sfred wrote on 6 Mar 2007 13:43:24 -0800:

I had a similar problem on my E36 - it was a power steering fluid leak. It ended up being the result of a small bolt having worked loose on the pump, and the fluid was leaking out (I guess a drain valve of some kind), my mechanic tightened it up, refilled the fluid, and bled out the air, and so far the noise hasn't come back (and the fluid level hasn't dropped) in just over 12 months of driving :)
Dan
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