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'90 reatta steering column smoke

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my friends wife recently saw a puff of smoke from the steering column..obviously an electrical pinch..any advice how to dis connect airbag and remove steering wheel to gain axcess to the column and find the problem..have you guys seen this happen before..thanks much..<BR>david

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The book says.... pull SIR fuse #14 in the fuse panel. Remove (all you need to do is remove the front screws) the panel under the steering column, where you will see a YELLOW connector at the base of the steering column. Disconnect the YELLOW connector.<BR>Now proceed to remove the airbag. There are four TORX screws on the back side of the air bag that hold it in place. You will find another YELLOW connector under the air bag plus the horn connection. <P>------------------<BR>Barney Eaton Reatta technical advisor for BCA and keeper of the Reatta database.

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I had this problem last year...it happened once (enough to be disconcerting) and then didn't happen again until about a week ago. See post:<BR> <A HREF="http://www.aaca.org/ubb/Forum3/HTML/000818.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.aaca.org/ubb/Forum3/HTML/000818.html</A> <P>This past time I got out of the car and noticed that the turning light (if that's what it's called...not the yellow blinker in front but the white light that stays on/illuminates to the side while the blinker flashes) was stuck "on" even though the blinker was no longer on. Perhaps further evidence of a bad turn signal?

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I seen a number of cruise control/turn signal levers go up in smoke. The wires going thru the column for this are many times smaller (maybe 26 gauge) the the feed wires at the column (maybe 18 gauge). The switch it's self can't handle much current before the contacts melt. Try moving the switch to see if it feels normal and inspect the wires for burning. If it is melted there might be something elce wrong like a short and a over sized fuse. If so the same will happen to the new. <P>I also seen the multi fuction switch smoke and arc from grease (probibly the wrong kind) getting between the contacts. Look at this turn signal switch for signs of burning. Check to make sure all the signals, corner lights, and hazards work. <P><BR>Lastly I seen Ignition switches burn up in smoke a few times. It was from accesories or shorts overloading the switch contacts. It could be just from loose fitting/dirty contacts I guess too. Check to see if everything works in all the key positions like it should.<P>Check for any blown fuses or something not working for clues on where to focous on.<P>As fo the air bag removal these are my recomendations from what I got in GM SIR classes.<P>1. Remember the air bag is self powered in the air bag controller. Unhooking the battery does not disable the system.<P>2. Static electricity can deploy the bag. To help prevent this the bag side of the connecters are self shorting when onhooked. To be safe do not touch these terminals.<P>3. By rmoving the connector lock and unhooking the connector under the column you are unhooked from the system.<P>4. Don't put any tools between you and the bag. I herd some horror stories but I can't say if they are true. I do know the bag has enough force to jamb a screw driver down your throat.<P>5. After unbolting the bag unplug it at the top of the column. Place it away from you finished side facing up. <P>6. Under the bag is a part called a clockspring. Look in the manual on how to remove and reinstal. If the wheel is turned or the clockspring moves the clockspring can break on the first full wheel turn.<P>7. When reinstalling the bag make sure the 4 bolts are tight but don't strip them.<P>8. Try to avoid turning the key on with the airbag removed but the battery still conected. This will cause a code to be set. Some cars the light won't go out until the code is cleared. Removing airbag fuses with the key on and battery hooked up may also do this.<P>Airbags are nothing to be scared of. Just treat them with respect and think about what your doing.<P>Tom<P>Good luck,<P>Tom

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I had this happen to me twice in the past 3 years. I never smelled evidence of a fire. Everything worked fine prior to and has worked fine since these incidences. However, (recently) my left indicator lamp sometimes gets stuck on or will not work altogether. Maybe a connection...maybe not. <BR>CTR<P>

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I had this same thing happen while driving from FL to SC a couple of years ago. It has happened 3X since. Took it to the local dealer who removed the steering column and said he found nothing.

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