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warm steering column '92 Eldo.. white vapor?


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Hello, I need to ask whether it is a normal constant for the underside of the steering column, directly under the hazard light switch(onset area), to be warm during the car operation (barring direct sunlight or car heater). With enough time lapsing and the car on (ignition on) the rest of the column casing gets warm by induction. The ignition key area is not warm or the source of onset warmth.

The other morning, approx. 63 Deg. F outside temp, and with the climate setting at 65 F, I saw what seemed like a veil of white vapor or smoke arise from the column neck just behind the airbag. I immediately stuck my nose into it but did not smell any typical electronic burn odor.

A friend said it might have been freon vapor leak. In fact my condenser has a leak and it is located in the cowl's driver side, I believe.

What I have never bothered to notice is whether the warmth (not hot) is a normal behavior.

Before I try pulling mini fuses in order to disengage the suspected hazard switch or relay, I need to ask relevant questions.

The turn signals work but I have not yet tried the hazard lights. No overt message yet but I have not checked the obd codes for new codes.

BTW the service manual seems to have a discrepancy between identifying the turn signal relay and the hazard light relay. The pictures for each are cross labeled intermittently. Which one looks like a medium sized fat acorn?

Thanks

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That puff of smoke you saw is OK, its grease burning off contacts, we have seen it before.

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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Thank you Bodybyfisher, that is a relief ! one less thing to do on the check list.

I then presume that it is normal for the steering column innards to generate a bit of warmth (NOT hot) , ergo the "grease burn" periodically. (?)

Thanks again !

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There is no freon in there or near there by the way.

I don't recall my 91 steering column getting warm but I might have not noticed it. That is odd however

I would keep an eye on it,

If I recall the smoke comes from contacts that travel on a circular contactor but I cant remember if its from the turnsignals or air bag. That link I provided above does not work. You might try searching the archives for words like steering column, white smoke, smoke or air bag and see if you can find any threads, I know we have discussed this a few times. The white smoke does not bother me, the warming up of the column is odd

Do you smell burning?

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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I had the same smoke issue with my '94 on a few occasions. I was told it was nothing to worry about, and so far there haven't been any negative effects that I have noticed...though after the first time it happened my cornering lights mysteriously started working. I didn't even know they were there until then, thus didn't know they weren't working. blink.gif

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Thanks BodybyFisher and CarlaValentine, so far I do not smell anything close to an electrical burn odor around the area.

Not even any smell directly from that area. Just the general environmental smell of the car interior. (it's hard to get the nose real, real close into that area).

I'll do more sleuthing and report back for the sake of the forum info. archive and do some searches as recommended.

Thanks.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update, after several days and some 40 miles, I noticed a narrower plume of white 'smoke' come up again.

This time it was closer to the right side of steering wheel collar and I was able to wave some into my nose.

It does not smell anything like electrical burn, but did have a slight scent of lubricant, perhaps because I had the idea ready in mind.

The area under the hazard light button still remains warm, not hot, and the hazard lights and turn signals work fine.

fingers crossed

darn SRC came on again... on another thread...

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What do you mean by SRC?

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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