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So i first noticed this after my car would sit in direct sunlight at 80 degrees. The first 2 times it happened after i started my car and drove it for a bit, a small stream of smoke (like from a cigarette) would be comming from the top left of my steering colum where the wheel meets. This last time was 15 min into my commute to work this morning. When i touch it, it goes away...what is that??
 
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Re: smoke from the steering wheel column??? (RockerChickMica)

that happened to my car like twice in the past year.
i acted like i didn't see it.. and then it went away.
just like my ABS light and my cruise control. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 

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Re: smoke from the steering wheel column??? (RockerChickMica)

This also happened to me several times before. Last night it did it and the smoke was heavier and stinkier than usual, now my windshield wiper control stalk doesn't do anything. Anyone else had this happen to them?
 
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Re: smoke from the steering wheel column??? (psychoslowmatic)

yeah my windsheild stalk i have to slam upwards to make it work.
 

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Re: smoke from the steering wheel column??? (psychoslowmatic)

do any of you guys have a "for sale" sign or something....thats the only fix i can think of for this
 

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Re: smoke from the steering wheel column??? (RockerChickMica)

i've heard of this problem b4 on the tex, sounds really weird. i have no idea wat it is, haven't seen it on my car.
 

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Re: smoke from the steering wheel column??? (RockerChickMica)

I have the same problem, except my smoke show occurs when the annoying "your not wearing your seat belt a**hole" buzzer thing is going... all of a sudden it'll get all distorted and warbled, then a puff of smoke, and a whiff of ozone.... only thing I can think of as a problem is a faulty wiring job in the steering column... only fix I can think of for that is... more trouble then its worth.. like tracking down the bad connections/wires/whatever and repairing or replacing them..
I just picked up a little fire extinguisher thou, just in case...
 

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Re: smoke from the steering wheel column??? (RockerChickMica)

This just happened to me in a B4 TDI this morning. Anyone figure out what is causing this?

Mk3 content: So I took my mk3 to work.
 

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Re: smoke from the steering wheel column??? (SaucemanVR6)

From what I recall, if you see this you have to replace your wiper stalks. Apparently its one of those common problems which have yet to inflict my car. Phew... http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 

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Re: smoke from the steering wheel column??? (FroOch)

thanks frooch - i did some more searching and that seems to be the consensus: wiper and turn signal stalks need to be replaced.
 

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Re: smoke from the steering wheel column??? (SaucemanVR6)

Seems to be one of those problems that come in waves. Maybe its a weather/heat issue
. Every now and again a ton of people will complain about it out of nowhere, and then not a peep. Replace them though, doesnt sound like healthy livin!
 

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Yeah, I have this same problem. Usually only happens randomly when I either turn the turn signal on, or something. Also my winshield wipers short out all the time, and will just stop when they are on. Kinda sucks when its raining hard to keep flicking that damn thing to turn them back on.
 

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Re: smoke from the steering wheel column??? (FroOch)

Has happened to me, and now I have trouble getting my wipers on.
So I have new staulks waiting.
I remember reading that it can happen when you get lots of dust and gunk in there, and it smokes from the heat/electric current, then it can start to melt the plastic pieces in there and cause the problems with the staulk, like wipers not going on, or being hard to put on, etc...
I'd say replace the staulk, and then try to keep it as clean as possible.
That is what I am going to do.
http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
When ever I saw it smoking I would get paranoid that the air bag was going to go off.
 

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Re: smoke from the steering wheel column??? (vwgtipowr)

This is an example of the popular misconception that electricity is simply the flow of electrons through a wire. It's not.
Electricity also takes the form of smoke under pressure inside the wire insulation.
That's why when an electrical component fails, it ceases to work correctly when the smoke escapes into the atmosphere.
Don't you guys know anything..?
 

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Re: smoke from the steering wheel column??? (RockerChickMica)

Mine did that before when the turn signal flasher burnt out. Funny thing, it happened when I was broken down on the side of the road with the emergency flashers on. POS
 

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Re: smoke from the steering wheel column??? (houstonspeedfreek)

That is exactly your problem, your blinker/winshield stalk is probably toasted, mine was and it did that smoking thing, then I had no blinker or anything, just replace the stalk from a junk yard or whatever really easy, just watch out with the air bag when you take the steering wheel off.
 

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Re: smoke from the steering wheel column??? (DonL)

What I meant by electric current, is you can get a short, which causes heat which causes things to melt/smoke.
 

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Well, there are mixed opinions - wiper/turn stalk or just dust/hair/crap built up back there.
My MkIII does it too... usually when I first start the car or shortly after. I've spoken with a VW mechanic (30 years - from German) and he says it happens all the time, standard fair with VW's... he also claims it's just crap that heats up and burns and he solves it with a blast from the air gun.
Mine has been doing it for months and both stalks are still fully functional - no problems at all so i'm going with the crap behind the wheel cause for now.
If you have some compressed air give it a shot and see if it improves, otherwise, you could try replacing the stalks... or you could just ignore it.



Modified by rsfnatik at 12:53 PM 6-11-2004
 

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Re: (rsfnatik)

Ha! This may have come up before, but this is the first time I've seen a thread about it. Glad I am not the only one with an occasionally smoking steering wheel column.

Used to be, if there was an instance where I needed the wipers to just come on for one pass, I used to puch the stalk up just enough to activate them, but not enough to 'click' the stalk into the upper position. After this caused smoke a few times, I learned not to do that any more. It still smokes now and then though.
 
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