My 330i is only 2 1/2 years old with 37,000 km (23,000 miles) on it. The car was a demo model purchased from a BMW dealer so the warranty period was rreduced to 2 years and since expired.
Last week I noticed vibration in the steering wheel when turning at low speed. Yesterday the vibration (grinding) included noise from engine compartment. I found the source of the noise coming from the power steering pump. The pulley wheel wiggles when I apply pressure with a screw driver so it appears to be the bearing however:
At idle (7-800 RPM) - Turning steering wheel produces vibration (grinding) and noise
Throttling at 3,500 RPM - Turning steering wheel is normal, smooth with no noise.
Even though the car is out of warranty I expect the BMW dealer to fix this problem at no cost. I have never had a power steering pump fail before and don't know anyone who has. A water pump or compressor maybe. Not the power steering pump.
I'd like to hear comments from other BMW owners so that I know where I stand when I confront the dealer.