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  #1  
Old 07-07-2013, 02:21 PM
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Non Mercedes fire related question

My wife's 2005 Saturn Vue has a bizarre problem. I was inserting a thermometer in the sir vent this morning when I thought I was having a stroke or something. There was a strange visual impairment like a thread of hair or thin spider web floating in front of my eyes. I had trouble focussing on it and couldn't get it to go away. I was starting to think it was some vision or medical issue when I realized it was an incredibly thin diffuse almost invisible thread of smoke. It was emanating from the steering column where the indicator stalk joins it. I had not turned anything on. It was so diffuse that you would never notice it if there was any kind of airflow in the vehicle whatsoever. It was 110 inside the car this morning so could it be that the extreme heat is melting something in there causing it to smoke or maybe a short? I've searched online and not found anything specific to a Vue doing this particular thing. Any thoughts?

- Peter.
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81 240D stick. 316000 miles at purchase. 342000 now
2000 GMC Sonoma
Formerly...
2002 Kia Rio. Worst crap on four wheels
1981 240D 4spd stick. 389000 miles. Deceased Jan 08
1984 123 200
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1972 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1971 108 280S
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  #2  
Old 07-07-2013, 02:24 PM
A Talent for Obfuscation
 
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Ignition switch? Multifunction switch? Don't park the car in or near a building until you find out what is going on.
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  #3  
Old 07-07-2013, 02:24 PM
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Light a match, collect insurance, buy a real car. Problem solved Or just move to Flagstaff where carbecues are less common. Neither a Saturn Vue not Phoenix weather are meant for humans!
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  #4  
Old 07-07-2013, 02:33 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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Perhaps condensation from the ac in the heat? My truck was doing that today.
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  #5  
Old 07-07-2013, 02:33 PM
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Could it be freon, an ex girlfriend had something similar with a VW Golf she just bought. I looked like smoke coming out of the vents without the smell.
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  #6  
Old 07-07-2013, 04:02 PM
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Car was sitting from overnight and nothing was switched on. It was definitely from the area where the stalk joins the steering column. I discovered the procedure to remove the plastic cover is simple so I might just do that and see I can find anything obvious in the innards.

- Peter.
__________________
81 240D stick. 316000 miles at purchase. 342000 now
2000 GMC Sonoma
Formerly...
2002 Kia Rio. Worst crap on four wheels
1981 240D 4spd stick. 389000 miles. Deceased Jan 08
1984 123 200
1979 116 280S
1972 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1971 108 280S
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  #7  
Old 07-07-2013, 04:12 PM
Inna-propriate-da-vida
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pj67coll View Post
My wife's 2005 Saturn Vue has a bizarre problem. I was inserting a thermometer in the sir vent this morning when I thought I was having a stroke or something. There was a strange visual impairment like a thread of hair or thin spider web floating in front of my eyes. I had trouble focussing on it and couldn't get it to go away. I was starting to think it was some vision or medical issue when I realized it was an incredibly thin diffuse almost invisible thread of smoke. It was emanating from the steering column where the indicator stalk joins it. I had not turned anything on. It was so diffuse that you would never notice it if there was any kind of airflow in the vehicle whatsoever. It was 110 inside the car this morning so could it be that the extreme heat is melting something in there causing it to smoke or maybe a short? I've searched online and not found anything specific to a Vue doing this particular thing. Any thoughts?

- Peter.
wake and bake at 110 can be hazardous....
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  #8  
Old 07-07-2013, 04:36 PM
Pooka
 
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Did you smell anything burning? Plastic and/or wiring cannot burn without giving off a smell.
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  #9  
Old 07-07-2013, 04:41 PM
Pooka
 
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Something about this rang a bell in my head, so I did a bit of checking around.

It turns out that the wiper switch in these cars is considered a weak spot and other Saturn owners have had this same problem. There is quite a bit about this if you just Google 'smoke coming out of saturn steering column'.
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  #10  
Old 07-07-2013, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pj67coll View Post
My wife's 2005 Saturn Vue has a bizarre problem. I was inserting a thermometer in the sir vent this morning when I thought I was having a stroke or something. There was a strange visual impairment like a thread of hair or thin spider web floating in front of my eyes. I had trouble focussing on it and couldn't get it to go away. I was starting to think it was some vision or medical issue when I realized it was an incredibly thin diffuse almost invisible thread of smoke. It was emanating from the steering column where the indicator stalk joins it. I had not turned anything on. It was so diffuse that you would never notice it if there was any kind of airflow in the vehicle whatsoever. It was 110 inside the car this morning so could it be that the extreme heat is melting something in there causing it to smoke or maybe a short? I've searched online and not found anything specific to a Vue doing this particular thing. Any thoughts?

- Peter.
Did it smell like smoke? Burnt something? If so, you've got something hot melting in there.

Not that it helps, but a similar event happened while driving my 1980 Lincoln Town Car when it was 3-5 years old. Wisp of smoke rising out of the center of the steering wheel assembly while under way. Nothing became of it ever again on the car, but yes, it concerned me too. Albeit a given here - keep an eye and ear out for any negative symptoms going forward.
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  #11  
Old 07-07-2013, 06:12 PM
A Talent for Obfuscation
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skid Row Joe View Post
Did it smell like smoke? Burnt something? If so, you've got something hot melting in there.

Not that it helps, but a similar event happened while driving my 1980 Lincoln Town Car when it was 3-5 years old. Wisp of smoke rising out of the center of the steering wheel assembly while under way. Nothing became of it ever again on the car, but yes, it concerned me too. Albeit a given here - keep an eye and ear out for any negative symptoms going forward.
Big Fords of that era had defective ignition switches that caused more than a few examples to turn to toast.
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  #12  
Old 07-08-2013, 02:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooka View Post
Something about this rang a bell in my head, so I did a bit of checking around.

It turns out that the wiper switch in these cars is considered a weak spot and other Saturn owners have had this same problem. There is quite a bit about this if you just Google 'smoke coming out of saturn steering column'.
Interesting. I did a similar search and tuned up nothing. I'll do it again using your parameters and see what comes up.

- Peter.
__________________
81 240D stick. 316000 miles at purchase. 342000 now
2000 GMC Sonoma
Formerly...
2002 Kia Rio. Worst crap on four wheels
1981 240D 4spd stick. 389000 miles. Deceased Jan 08
1984 123 200
1979 116 280S
1972 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1971 108 280S
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  #13  
Old 07-08-2013, 02:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooka View Post
Did you smell anything burning? Plastic and/or wiring cannot burn without giving off a smell.
I thought I did but it was so slight I might have been deceiving myself. It might have been psychological being a symptom of seeing the smoke.

- Peter.
__________________
81 240D stick. 316000 miles at purchase. 342000 now
2000 GMC Sonoma
Formerly...
2002 Kia Rio. Worst crap on four wheels
1981 240D 4spd stick. 389000 miles. Deceased Jan 08
1984 123 200
1979 116 280S
1972 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1971 108 280S
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 07-08-2013, 11:58 AM
Inna-propriate-da-vida
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pj67coll View Post
Interesting. I did a similar search and tuned up nothing. I'll do it again using your parameters and see what comes up.

- Peter.
https://www.google.com/search?q=smoke+coming+out+of+saturn+steering+column&oq=smoke+coming+out+of+saturn+steering+column&aqs=chrome.0.57&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
__________________
On some nights I still believe that a car with the fuel gauge on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio. - HST

1983 300SD - 305000
1984 Toyota Landcruiser - 190000
1994 GMC Jimmy - 203000

https://media.giphy.com/media/X3nnss8PAj5aU/giphy.gif
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  #15  
Old 07-08-2013, 12:36 PM
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Yes I found it finally thanks. I'm really starting to hate modern cars and all their electronic bs.

- Peter.
__________________
81 240D stick. 316000 miles at purchase. 342000 now
2000 GMC Sonoma
Formerly...
2002 Kia Rio. Worst crap on four wheels
1981 240D 4spd stick. 389000 miles. Deceased Jan 08
1984 123 200
1979 116 280S
1972 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1971 108 280S
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