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Eric, Automotive Repair Shop Manager
Category: Saturn
Satisfied Customers: 31929
Experience:  20+ yrs. experience as repair shop manager and technician.
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We have a 2003 Saturn L200 with over 110, 000 miles. today

Customer Question

We have a 2003 Saturn L200 with over 110, 000 miles. today in coming home we noticed smoke coming the steering column again. The last time we saw and smelt the smoke it wasn't long and key would not longer work to open the doors and this was about a year ago. We not saw smoke again in the same area. Do we need to replace the steering column or take to a mechanic to see what is happening. It looks like people have had this before and it effected the turn signals and switch. Would it be dangerous to leave it parked in the garage? Is this a fire waiting to happen.
LaRoy Heltenberg
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Saturn
Expert:  Eric replied 1 year ago.
Ok, there is a short in the steering column, either from a broken wire, a chafed wire that is intermittently grounding on metal inside the column, or possibly short in either the combination switch or ignition switch.
This definitely needs to be addressed and I would recommend an automotive electrical specialist to find the short and repair it.
This is a definite fire hazard when the ignition switch is turn on, and depending upon the circuit the short is on, could be a fire hazard with ignition off as some wires do have constant power to them even when key is out of ignition.
Which brings up the question of being safe inside a garage. Since I obviously cannot tell you which circuit the short is on without hands on inspection, then we have to assume worst case scenario - short in wire with constant power even with key out of ignition, which makes it a potential for fire when sitting in a garage or outside, so being a garage has definite worst potential fire scenarios. Park it outside on side of street or driveway until you can get it into a shop.
Please remember to rate service using the rating page so that I may receive credit. Thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. I will give to my husband and see if he agrees with you. It does bother me greatly since I work in the property & Casualty field. I will get with you if he has any more questions. He is a good old farm boy and has drives an 18 for the pass 40 years. So he does know his way around a vehicle. This is wonderful to know we have a site like this to get answers. We no longer have any Saturn shops In town and his nephew is a certified mechanic but is on vacation. ou are wonderful
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please send us your phone number so he can talk, he is not a techy person
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
our phone(###) ###-####
Expert:  Eric replied 1 year ago.
Phone service is an additional fee if you want to still do that, but honestly I can handle any questions in this format
Expert:  Eric replied 1 year ago.
I noticed we have not yet resolved your concern you asked about. I would sure appreciate it if you would reply so I can offer my skills and knowledge and repair guide access to help as best I can.
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If you have new questions now or in the future please do not hesitate to ask them. If you would like me to assist you. Just bookmark this page so you can access my profile easy and post a new question from the question box on my profile page. Please remember to rate service using the rating page so that I may receive credit. Thanks