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Power Steering Noise

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    Power Steering Noise

    Looking for thoughts on the following that's been going on with my 318ti.

    A steering noise, similar to applying full lock, would occur with minor steering input, most notable during slow speed maneuvers. A constant noise would occur and increase with RPM, although this was not overly loud.

    Checked level, checked serpentine belt/tensioner, exchanged fluid. ATF for ATF, back-flow cleaned the reservoir filter and bled the system last week and got no real change in behavior. No noted metal flakes or debris in the fluid, but it was somewhat discolored.

    Went to change the pump today, started with removing all lines and pouring reclaimed fluid through them to make sure there was no blockage, all okay. Removed PS pump only to discover that the late M42 uses an ever so slightly different design than any other PS pump I had on hand, so I decided to split and inspect the pump itself. Did so, some light wear noted on the rotor housing, all vanes, springs, seals and passages looked good, so reassembled the pump with the existing seals. Reassembled system without changing any parts, refilled, bled and the noise was gone.

    Cannot imaging what could have been the culprit beyond a really stubborn air pocket in the pump or lines, but also don't see how that would have lasted through an exchange/bleed prior to removing the pump.

    Ideas on the real problem?