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WTF? Smoke from steering column, think it's turn signal

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by TheJackal, August 26, 2007.

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    1. TheJackal

      TheJackal Well-Known Member

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      As I was heading home today, I put on my left side turn signal to signal a turn that I was going to make into an intersection. After a few moments, I stopped hearing the turn signal click. The green arrow was on solid, but dim. My first thought was either a bulb or a flasher, but then suddenly a small stream of white smoke came from the steering column, through the opening for the hazard switch. I turned off the signal quickly and then tried it again a few times. Now, the signal works, but I'm always getting smoke from the column, which I presume is coming from the stalk switch.

      It looks like I need to replace the turn signal/wiper/hi beam stalk. Has anyone else had this problem before? What about tips for dismantling the steering column? Thanks in advance.
       
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    3. Turdle

      Turdle Step-buddy Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    4. TheJackal

      TheJackal Well-Known Member

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    5. Hoppy

      Hoppy Active Member

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      Hmmm, Explorers with smoke signals...Pretty cool!
       
    6. mcpherson

      mcpherson Active Member

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      Just take it apart and slap some grease in there, fixed my problem.
       
    7. aldive

      aldive Elite In Memoriam

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      I would definately replace the multifunction switch.
       
    8. mcpherson

      mcpherson Active Member

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      The problem i had seen once I took switch assembly apart was that the contacts became dry, and in the result was causing sparks which then made the copper contact hot and would melt the closest item "plastic". I carefully took it all apart, cleaned each contact with cleaner, reassemble and rubbed electrical grease over all the moving parts and any contact service. I have not had a problem with this since and also it was an inexpensive fix.
       
    9. Exploderpilot

      Exploderpilot Well-Known Member

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      i don't want to say you're wrong, Mcpherson, but replacement of anything that smokes sounds reasonable to me!
       
    10. Hoppy

      Hoppy Active Member

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      What about things that are supposed to smoke??

      Just kidding. I had a similar issue on my Fathers Windstar a couple of years ago. I regreased it and it was fine again too. I didn't see anything evidently wrong with it though.
       
    11. mcpherson

      mcpherson Active Member

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      I most defiantly agree in with replacing it if it requires it, but there always will be a reason. In this case; for the reason my assembly was smoking was during a turn to the left and also using the turn signal. I used the above method, and all has been good.

      But, please this was only a suggestion and a fix to my problem before it would cause an electrical problem.
       
    12. TheJackal

      TheJackal Well-Known Member

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      I've got the new part on order at Advance. It should be here by tomorrow morning.

      I thought about taking it apart & greasing the terminals, but I figure it's not really worth the trouble. If it's giving me trouble now, then something else in it will go wrong, then I've got to take the time later to deal with something that wouldn't have been an issue if I just replaced it now. Trust me, I've learned this the hard way before with other things... To me, it's worth nipping future problems in the bud.

      BTW, I'll probably keep the old one as a spare & regrease the contacts in case this new one gives me any shit later.
       
      Last edited: August 27, 2007
    13. eddie mischief

      eddie mischief New Member

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      i do know they have a recall on the cruise control because they catch on fire, hmm be careful.
       
    14. TheJackal

      TheJackal Well-Known Member

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      Yeah, but this wasn't related. The cruise control switch is on the brake cylinder, the MFS/turn signal switch is in the steering column.
       
    15. jagarundi

      jagarundi Active Member

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      I get this same symptom also every once in a while. It usually stops after I take my foot off of the brake pedal.
       
    16. fordprobegirl

      fordprobegirl New Member

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      anyone know if this was a problem in the earlier years as well? I have a 94, and the fuse keeps blowing for the turn signal/rear defrost/blower motor. I figure one of those must be causing my issue, and there was a lot of smoke before I shut it off and had it towed home :( Any suggestions? Oh, and also the idiot who had owned it before me must have also had a problem, because they had replaced the 15 amp fuse with a jump wire.....(yeah.......i have NO COMMENT FOR THAT)
       
    17. L4CX

      L4CX Active Member

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      Well, If it's doing that, get prepared for a Buzzing/Hissing noise while signaling. Mine does it too. I haven't had the $$ to replace but I know it's more then the contacts because the Windsheild sprayer "button" Won't work very well. Good luck.
       
    18. 05dink05

      05dink05 New Member

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      I had this problem a few years back with my 1999 Ex. It happened a few times, I never did anything about it. ( Well , I took it to the closest dealer the first time, they were clueless.) It hasn't come back.
       
    19. reserved50

      reserved50 Active Member

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      I had a bad multifunction switch, my turn signals used to freeze till i opened the switch and performed surgery by cleaning the contacts and re-greasing. I would just buy a new switch, so much easier and safer. I also had a bad wiper motor relay at the same time,... oh yea and add to that the bad blend door rmotor. Then you wish you had bought a 98 up truck :D. I think I got every gremlin under control now, sometimes I used to think I'm driving a Dodge :(
       

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