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Electronics Need help wiring something up? Thinking of adding an electrical component to your car? Need help troubleshooting that wiring glitch?

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Old 11-29-2002, 04:20 PM   #1
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SMOKE from steering column! Turn signal??

ok i was in a turn lane...turn signal on, and i start seeing a little bit of smoke coming from where the steering wheel meets the steering column. well i notice that the turn signal was not blinking (was lit though) and then when i turned off the turn signal the smoke stopped. the exact same thing happenned one more time, turn signal lit, but not blinking, and smoke, then when turn signal turned off, all is good.

so what gives? is it a fuse or wiring or something?? please help, i dont want any fires.

P.S. its a 91 w/ tilt column and airbag
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Old 11-30-2002, 10:37 AM   #2
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You know I saw your post, read it and thought I have no idea about those air bags, except if they do go off while you are driving it can hurt.

I would not signal if I were you. But some useful advice after the comments. It sounds as if you could have either a short downstream of the switch, like a shorted out bulb or wire, a faulty switch or flasher unit.

You need to measure the resistance in the flasher circuit. The easiest way to start is take a flasher bulb out and measure the resistance to ground. One terminal will be nearly 0 ohms the other should be about 5 to 10 ohms with one bulb out or about 5 to 6 ohms with all the bulbs in.

Any different especially 0 both sides and you have a potential shorted wire.

Actually does it smoke when you indicate both directions or just one?

If it is one, then it may be a wiring fault to the bulbs, both then it is likely either the flasher or the switch.

To be honest if you are not familiar with checking wiring, you ought to get it checked out. If you get a fire, and you plus the rest of the 3rd gen world now, already know you have smoke, the insurance will be invalidated if you don't get it fixed asap.
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Old 12-02-2002, 12:08 AM   #3
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well it hasnt happened again. but it seems like it wasnt just when i used the turn signal....more specifically, i put the left turn signal on, and then when i turned the wheel back to the right (the signal disengages) but instead of the signal disengaging, it got "stuck" on (not blinking, just lit) and THAT is when the smoke came. i messed with it until it wasnt lit/stuck, and the smoke stopped.
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Old 12-02-2002, 09:06 PM   #4
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It sounds like you wont have much choice other than open up the column and look inside
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Old 12-03-2002, 10:38 PM   #5
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We had a 92 Grand Prix that after about 6 or 7 years started doing the exact same thing, smoking from the column during turns and then mysteriously not smoking for the next few months, then it'd do it again once or twice, then not at all for another period, and so on.

Never did figure out why though, just thought I'd let you know you aren't alone.
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Old 12-03-2002, 10:38 PM
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