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Smoke from steering column! 

 

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 Post subject: Smoke from steering column!
Posted: Mon May 23, 2011 12:59 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Hi guys

I have a Ford EF fairmont and as I was driving to Uni today, i notice smoke coming out from the steering column. I have NO idea what this could be. The only things I can tell you that I have done to anything with the steering wheel is that I changed the steering wheel to a new one about 2 months ago. In doing this, i kind of messed up the cover of the air bag where I can actually see the airbag if i lift the cover a little bit. I was told this hasn't activated it in anyway and im fine to drive like this, the only problem is that it looks a little silly. The other thing I noticed was that my cruise control on off button broke and you are able to move the actual chip board up and down, as well as the back plastic surrounding. Also, while pressing on and off, it activates the horn which is very unusual.
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 Post subject: Re: Smoke from steering column!
Posted: Mon May 23, 2011 1:03 pm 
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dude what the hell, why even drive the thing if you didn't do it properly. Id take the wheel off make sure everything is perfect get new cruise control buttons and see how you go. I would probably get rid of that airbag and get another one.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Smoke from steering column!
Posted: Mon May 23, 2011 1:15 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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nah like the only thing that was wrong with the air bag was a miss communication with my brother where I thought the two bolts holding the airbag in, were meant to be taken out, but werent. So a little bit of pulling with little force on the plastic, pulled it off a little bit.

With getting a new airbag, how much would the wreckers charge for one?
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 Post subject: Re: Smoke from steering column!
Posted: Mon May 23, 2011 1:48 pm 
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...and here I thought changing the steering wheel was one of the easiest things not to f**k up.

Trust me, you will know when you have activated the airbag.

Since you said that when you push the on button on the cruise control, then obviously you have wired something up wrong or you managed to cross wires, crush them and now have fused together shorting something out hence the smoke.

Pull the wheel off and check all the wiring.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Smoke from steering column!
Posted: Mon May 23, 2011 1:56 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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thanks phongus, you have helped me on previous things and I appreciate your post.

I just got the airbag out, and as I thought before I didnt screw anything up. It was just the plastic that surrounds the airbag that has come lose on one end which is fine, i can live with that.

With the wiring with the airbag, as you would know its just two connectors and they are fine. With the cruise control though, there doesnt seem to be any obvious fraying or burning on the wires. It just confuses me though, that the cruise control and the horn wires go into the one connector. I dont know if try and disconnect one end or not. Also, because all this looks OK is there a hazard light switch that could have blown? as i do recall the smoke looking like it was coming out around the hazard switch
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 Post subject: Re: Smoke from steering column!
Posted: Mon May 23, 2011 4:01 pm 
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daniel000 wrote:
Smoke from steering column!


STOP STEERING SO FAST!!!
:lol:

 

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 Post subject: Re: Smoke from steering column!
Posted: Mon May 23, 2011 5:00 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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guys im just wondering how to remove the plastic that covers the whole column ? I want to try and get to the hazard light switch and see if anything has been burnt there?
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 Post subject: Re: Smoke from steering column!
Posted: Mon May 23, 2011 5:48 pm 
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daniel000 wrote:
guys im just wondering how to remove the plastic that covers the whole column ? I want to try and get to the hazard light switch and see if anything has been burnt there?


There are 2 screws on the underside. Remove those screws and either the top or the bottom (can't remember which one) comes off with ease. However the other half is a bit of a pain since the barrel gets in the way, so you have to gently bend the plastic to get it over the barrel. It is more of a pain to put back in, because you have line the barrel hole in the plastic, while lining up the 2 plastic studs that the screws screw into through a frame.

Be genlte and patient and everything will go back to the way it was.

 

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phongus = Post whore 2006
EL XR6 motor, EL ECU + J3 chip, WADE 1673 Camshaft, 3" S/S intake, Pacy 4480, 2.5" Hi flow cat, 2.5" Lukey exhaust.
Max Power = 144.6 rwkw (03/05/2008)

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 Post subject: Re: Smoke from steering column!
Posted: Mon May 23, 2011 8:56 pm 
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To clarify with phong...

The bottom will remove... 4 screws hold the top cover to the column...

When i put it back in I release the ignition barrel and slide it out... clip the cover on... slide the barrel back into the switch... Thousand times easier... Only tools needed it the key (to turn to accy position) and an allen key to press the release button...

Believe it or not but if you managed to press on and off at the same time your horn should go off... Usually with the plastic buttons on the there it pivots and makes it physically impossible to press both on and off together... You would also notice if you have cruise on and pressed both buttons together it should turn off... Other cruise coincidence with only EF & EL buttons is if you hold down the on button you will get the light on the dash say "cruise" whilst holding it press the horn and the cruise will turn off... This doesn't happen on the EA-ED though... They got lazy with the EF/EL buttons and left something out...

OK... The smoke... To get smoke your cooking the insulation... To cook the insulation your drawing huge amps... Normally this blows a fuse... So I'm thinking a circuit with big wires and a big fuse (to allow them to get so hot)... I'm leaning towards a ignition barrel issue because these a main wires and a fuse under the bonnet at probable 40 amps or so... This would definitely heat the wires up... Does mean the short is in the column... Just means this is the insulation that is melting first... Short could be anywhere in the circuit... Could has rubbed through on something under the dash... Could have been eaten by mice under the bonnet... You best start looking around...

Cheers,
Tim

 

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 Post subject: Re: Smoke from steering column!
Posted: Mon May 23, 2011 9:57 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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this may or may not help, but I'll just mention it... a while ago I got a puff of smoke out my steering column so straight away i'm thinking wiring... what it turned out to be, was the cover had come loose on the clutch master cyl and a bit of fluid was dripping onto the exhaust manifold, and the smoke was travelling up the column....mind you, this was on an XB, probably has no bearing to this case, but I suppose the point is it may not be what you initially think...having said all that, I think by the sounds this one IS wiring related and that should be the first thing to check, but if that comes up with nothing keep looking....
One other thing, be VERY careful with airbags - you do NOT want your face on top of that if you accidentally cross the wrong wire...

 

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 Post subject: Re: Smoke from steering column!
Posted: Mon May 23, 2011 10:02 pm 
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airbags are fairly safe... when you unplug them they short before the pins break as to prevent static setting the detonator off... In saying that do handle them like their a ticking time bomb for your own safety... Always sit them face up, etc etc...

You should be able to tell by the smell what is burning... If it smells like plastic/rubber you'd guess insulation... If it smells like a fluid (oil/water/etc) you'd be looking elsewhere...

Cheers,
Tim

 

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93 Red ED 5spd Manual Build Thread

Performance: Complete AUII VCT Wiring & Power Train, Pacey Headers, 2.5" Exhaust, Exedy Clutch, DBA Rotors
Visuals: FG XR Wheel, XR Front, 17's, BA 5 Spd Shifter, BA Ghia Window Switches, NL Cluster
Tunes: 8" Pioneer Sub, JBL Speakers, Clarion Double DIN Headunit

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 Post subject: Re: Smoke from steering column!
Posted: Mon May 23, 2011 11:24 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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TimmyA wrote:
airbags are fairly safe... when you unplug them they short before the pins break as to prevent static setting the detonator off... In saying that do handle them like their a ticking time bomb for your own safety... Always sit them face up, etc etc...

You should be able to tell by the smell what is burning... If it smells like plastic/rubber you'd guess insulation... If it smells like a fluid (oil/water/etc) you'd be looking elsewhere...

Cheers,
Tim

agreed on both counts! its just in my instance when i DID see smoke, the window was down, so didn't really get a whiff of it and assumed it would be wiring - only in this case it wasn't.... :lol:

 

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 Post subject: Re: Smoke from steering column!
Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 12:09 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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There seems to be so many possibilities on what this could be. It does smell like wiring though but in saying that I did get my brake booster and brake cylinder changed 2 weeks ago but i dont think this has any bearing on what this problem could be because of the following.

While I was driving and with it been so cold in Melbourne the last couple days, I needed the demister on. I have had problems with the climate control for a long time and have also found that there is a leak on the heater tap/hose. So I go to put it on, but it has completely stopped working, there is light but it does not function. Also, when driving even though the climate control is not on, there is heat coming from the vents
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 Post subject: Re: Smoke from steering column!
Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 6:04 pm 
Technical Contributor
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That'd be because you have it set to fresh air and not recycle and the nature airflow into the car is passing through the heater core into the car...

You can get error codes out the climate module and there is a listing on here somewhere to identify what the codes mean... Try resources -> tech docs in the navi bar up the top...

Cheers,
Tim

 

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93 Red ED 5spd Manual Build Thread

Performance: Complete AUII VCT Wiring & Power Train, Pacey Headers, 2.5" Exhaust, Exedy Clutch, DBA Rotors
Visuals: FG XR Wheel, XR Front, 17's, BA 5 Spd Shifter, BA Ghia Window Switches, NL Cluster
Tunes: 8" Pioneer Sub, JBL Speakers, Clarion Double DIN Headunit

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 Post subject: Re: Smoke from steering column!
Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 6:09 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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So even though it seems that the climate control has died, I can still get a error code to appear?
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