Power Steering Loss & Smoke
1989 260E, 160,000 miles.
Whenever I start my car for the first time in the day, or after it's been sitting for along while, I lose partial or total power steering at idle. As soon as I start moving, even slowly, normal behavior returns -- except on lock to lock turns where there is stiffness and resistance.
I thought I had air in the system and turned the wheel lock-to-lock to bleed it, which seems to work and the wheel can be turned easily with one finger. But after the car has been sitting, the problem returns.
Today I briefly noticed some whitish/light gray smoke when forcing the wheel lock-to-lock while parked, but that stopped once the wheel became easy to turn. I also noticed that the engine revs dropped noticeably during the forced turn.
Steering fluid level is normal. Recent work on the car has included a water pump replacement, and replacing a ruptured water hose which leaked a lot of water and coolant into the water pump/power steering pump area.
I will probably stop trying to force it in the future since it seems to correct itself during normal driving with a lot of cornering (and especially after seeing that smoke).
Any other ideas?