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Old 11-04-2001, 01:35 PM
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EricSilver EricSilver is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Fairfax, VA
Posts: 1,210
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?

Eric Silver
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