2002-2006 Mini Cooper S (R53)
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Power Steering Pump Woes....very frustrated

  #1  
Old 12-18-2008, 09:11 PM
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Default Power Steering Pump Woes....very frustrated

Hi All,

I have a 2005 Mini S that had the power steering pump just 'stop' working. There was nothing leading up to this - it just died during a hard left hand turn. That said, I pulled the pump and sent it to BBA Remanufacturing up in MA to have them rebuild it (thinking this was the problem). Well, come to find out it's working FINE! Well, the hydraulic lines were a little leaky anyway, so pulling it out wasn't a complete lost cause.

So, if the pump is fine, then fuses possibly? After speaking with the engineer there, there are three lines (thin wires) running in on the one plug with the other two heavier gauge wires power the motor. The heavier gauge should have 12V at all times. Well, they do. Then the (3) wires on the other plug; one should have 12V at all times, another should have 12V with the key in ON position while the other is a diagnostics line. All of this checked out fine with the voltmeter.

So now...I have the pump supported underneath the car with the wires plugged in....I turn the key to the ON position (just quickly to see if I get a response. NOTHING!

After all this work, I really don't want to have to break down and donate a kidney to afford having BMW troubleshoot this. Can anybody lend some ideas?

Thanks much.

-Chris
 
  #2  
Old 12-18-2008, 11:56 PM
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Default RE: Power Steering Pump Woes....very frustrated

I think I may have found the problem. One of the 3 pins on the pump was folded over. For $#@ts and giggles, I pulled the fusible link and set up my own test stand with a spare battery - one test without a fuse and one with (just in case the link wasn't passing 'high' current but still conducting enough to measure a voltage). In both cases the pump started up..so it (the original problem) isn't related to the link.

Oh, and I killed the battery too [:'(], so now I'm waiting for a re-charge before testing to see if the straightened pin results in a running pump. If so, great. But that still doesn't answer why the pump ever stopped to begin with.[sm=imsmilin.gif]
 
  #3  
Old 12-19-2008, 09:50 AM
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Default RE: Power Steering Pump Woes....very frustrated

I have heard several have troubles with corrosion on the pins causing similar troubles ... be sure to clean out the connectors well and use die electric grease on the pins at reassembly ... I used some heavy duty silicone tape ( for sealing underground connections) to wrap the connections to prevent water infiltration ....
 
  #4  
Old 12-19-2008, 11:39 AM
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Default RE: Power Steering Pump Woes....very frustrated

Yes, I read (and heard) the same thing. But the pins on these connectors are very clean.

This morning (after giving time for the battery to charge) I gave it another go - still nothing.

Now, with the main power lead connector attached, I pulled the signal plug and ran the 12V (straight from the battery) to the proper pins on the pump-end of the connector. Still nothing. So this is either a finicky pump or there's something wrong at that main power connector. But there's ~no~ corrosion and still plenty of that white grease.

This time I thought I would re-attach the signal plug and run a 8 gauge line from the battery (basically bypassing the connector). But (do to my wonderful luck I've been having working on this thing) one of those pins folded over again and this time snapped. So now, because this pump is so buttoned up, even it if was working properly I can't do anything with it now.

Guess I'm on my way to dump $750 on something I'm not even sure I need......[:@]
 
  #5  
Old 12-19-2008, 12:57 PM
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Default RE: Power Steering Pump Woes....very frustrated

Could the motor have a dead spot ??? Give it a bump and see if it takes off ...
 
  #6  
Old 12-19-2008, 01:21 PM
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Default RE: Power Steering Pump Woes....very frustrated

Oh yeh, bumped it, tapped it, ran over it with the truck (well, didn't run it over yet).....

Let me tell you, BBA Remanufacturing is a great little outfit. They tried everything short of rebuilding this pump to see if they could uncover anything odd. They even cleaned it all up before shipping it back and all I was charged was $10 for return shipping. On top of that, I've been on and off the phone with their lead engineer as he still continues to help me troubleshoot this thing.

I'm going to crack open this thing and run my own signal leads before throwing in the towel. I was so close to narrowing this down before that damn little pin snapped. BBA says it's not too hard to open up. I figure it's worth $750 of my time at this point.

Do you know by chance if there's a junction in that power lead between the fuse box and the pump connector? Or is it just one straight line (I'm assuming it is).

Thanks!
 
  #7  
Old 12-19-2008, 02:08 PM
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Default RE: Power Steering Pump Woes....very frustrated

Here's a question,

Will a broken pump cooling fan prevent the pump from turning on? I'm being told by a number of people that it indeed can interfere with pump performance. I'm trying like hell to find a schematic or description of the system as a whole and how these components interact with one another....
 
  #8  
Old 12-19-2008, 03:19 PM
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Default RE: Power Steering Pump Woes....very frustrated

I'd doubt a busted fan would keep it from running ...it would effect performance as things heat up ...
I don't have the manual with me , I don't think there's a junction block
 
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