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Old 04-10-2006, 02:38 PM   #1
jbeattie

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97 e39- groaning in front end

Hello, I have a 97 e39 and it's making a really loud groaning/squeaking sound in the front end when I turn or hit a bump or anything. Basically anytime there's body roll or the shocks/struts move. By the way, first thought was power steering, but the reservoir was full. Any suggestions??
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Old 04-10-2006, 02:59 PM   #2
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Is the noise there when the car is stationary and you turn the wheel?
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Old 04-10-2006, 03:42 PM   #3
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just b/c ur reservoir is full, doesnt mean it aint ur power steering,but if your going straight, and not steering, and hit a bump, will it do it?
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Old 04-10-2006, 05:52 PM   #4
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Yup, just checked and it does make the sound when sitting still. And when I go over a speed bump or anything, when the car rocks it makes the sound. Any ideas?
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Old 04-10-2006, 05:58 PM   #5
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something to do w/ur suspension prolly, maybe balljoints(even though i can justify why)

take it to an inspection shop and ask them to do an inspection(part of the inspection is testing ur balljoints and tie rods)
or, if you wanna do it urself, lift up the car, take the wheel and push up on it, like a bump, and if there is any play, ur balljoints are bad, then take the wheel and twist it(liek ur steering the car) except very slightly(have someone hold the steering wheel if you dont know how to do it) and if there is any play, tis ur tie rods.. do this for both front wheels
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Old 04-10-2006, 07:13 PM   #6
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If it happens when sitting still I don't think it would be the ball joints. Check your power steering fluid -- it should be a clear red. Chances are it's a murky brown coffee like substance.

Does it make the sound going both ways?
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Old 04-11-2006, 03:43 PM   #7
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Hmmmm.... hope it's not the ball joints, i hear that's an expensive repair and not something i can do myself. What do you guys think? And yes, it does make the sound turning both ways but when it first started i remember it only made the noise turning right. And the noise is not nearly as loud when the car is sitting still, don't know if that tells you anything?? Thanks for the help, Jamie
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Old 04-11-2006, 03:47 PM   #8
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And yes, the ps fluid is pretty clear. I just got done looking around under the car and I have a leak coming from my steering rack. Drops are formed but not dripping to the ground, so it doesn't look too bad, plus my fluid level stays full. Think that could have something to do with it?
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Old 04-11-2006, 04:25 PM   #9
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sry, i didnt see the part where it said it happens when sititng still.. it probably is ur power steering, check ur power steering pump/assembly, there might be something wrong there, you say you are leaking fluid even though your level is good?
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Old 04-11-2006, 05:44 PM   #10
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e36's are notorious for leaking PS fluid... that's not really anything worry about if it is just seeping out slightly. I'm going to go out on a limb and say the e39's have the same problem. Honestly, I think you'd be best replacing the fluid and see if that fixes the problem. If it doesn't it could be numerous things. The steering rack, the PS pump are prime suspects and neither of them is cheap.

When I was at the track between one of my sessions I got a noise like yours. It went away almost immediately and came back on the first very cold day as a horrible groaning that went away immediately. I changed all the hoses and the reservoir and the problem never came back (they were leaking rather badly).

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Old 04-11-2006, 10:00 PM   #11
jbeattie

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Yup xsperf, I see drops on the steering rack and I can tell it's [HTML]coming from the seal but the ps fluid level is good. Seems weird, huh? I asked my dad and he said that if there's a leak in the system it loses pressure and that can cause the noise even if the level is full. Just having air in the system could cause the steering rack to not get fluid and make noise. But he's quick to say that he really doesn't know and that's just a guess, so what do you guys think?
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Old 04-11-2006, 10:50 PM   #12
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Easy way to bleed steering system of air is - while parked & idling turn wheel slowly from one side to the other. Going from one stop to the other. NOTE: DO NOT HOLD AGAINST THE STOPS ANY LONGER THAN 10 secs or so. After about 4 full cycles, air will be forced to the top of reservoir then check level.
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Old 04-12-2006, 06:20 AM   #13
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If not the steering, could this be a case of bad upper strut bearings?
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Old 04-12-2006, 03:58 PM   #14
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I had my power steering pump and hoses replaced about 5 months ago. I have an e39 also. Mine did not make any groaning except when I turned the wheel completely to one side, say during a 3 point turn. After replacing those parts, I haven't had an issue.
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Old 04-12-2006, 04:01 PM   #15
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It was expensive to replace them because I had the stealership do it.
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