Yeah, so I did this today. The old fluid looked like black motor oil and it smelled bad. I also wanted to see if I could fix the slight vibrations/growling when the car was hot, idling, and I turn the wheels (like when I am backing into a spot).
I jacked the front of the car up and put it on jack stands. Then I pulled the RF wheel off, brake caliper, rotor, and left mud shield. The pump return line was the inner-most line held on by a hose clamp. But it was not easy to access! You really have to strain to get up there. The best way to access the hose clamp is with a socket/screwdriver on a spring or a long socket/screwdriver with one of those u-joints on it.
Once I got the hose clamp off, I put the tube into a pan. By this point, power steering fluid was squirting everywhere. You have to plug the suction spicket on the power steering pump. I used an old cap that fit just right. I'm not sure what else to recommend for that.
Then I followed the procedures in the service manual.
Problem: As soon as you turn on the engine - the return line squirts power steering fluid everywhere, and sucks the reservoir dry. I filled the reservoir and turned on the engine for a few seconds, and then more power steering fluid squirting out way too fast. I refilled the reservoir, and tried just turning the wheels all of the way back and forth without turning the engine on. This seemed to work better (slower). I kept turning and filling until I had clear fluid coming out of the return line.
Then I sealed everything up and followed the bleed procedure. I must have turned the wheels back and forth 25 times, but you could still observe a bubble every so often in the remote reservoir. Finally, I decided to quit, hoping that all of the air was out of the system.
OK, so now my steering feels a more precise. But the pump seems to make more of a buzzing noise than it used to, when the RPMs are up above 1500 and I am turning. Not sure if that is normal, or if I still have air in the system. I'll keep you posted.
I am not used to being so long-winded.
1999 540iA Sport
Former 93 SSEi Owner
Former 89 SE Owner