Steering column issues

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  #1  
Old 05-10-04, 10:31 AM
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Steering column issues

Hello all,

I'm having yet another problem with my steering column. Here's the history: two summers ago, when I put the steering column down, the headlights would shut off. I took it to the dodge dealership service department (big mistake), and they fix what they called a 'loose connection' for about $80 (labor). Less than a year later, it's doing the same thing again. I take it back where the original work was done. I'm informed they "didn't fix it right last time, it needs a new electrical harness (or something along those lines) in the steering column." After some arguing about them not warrantying their work, they say they'll roll the cost of the previous year's work off the cost of the new harness (which ends up being around $300 for parts/labor). Fast forward 6 months to now, and the other day when I pull in the garage and put the steering column up, the radio shuts off. For a couple days, it worked at all times except for when the column was completely up. Today, it's working ONLY when the column is fully up... This is crazy!!!!!

I'm guessing this is another 'loose connection' in the hookups somewhere. Since the steering column is once again related, do you think Dodge should cut me any breaks in getting it fixed, or will they say it's not related, and want my remaining arm and leg? Any tips on dealing with them would be very helpful.

Thanks, as always, for your input, comments and opinions.

Scott
 
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  #2  
Old 05-10-04, 11:04 AM
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I would check with the dealer to see what they say, but unless they're willing to give you a big break on the repair (and I'm guessing there's a connection to previous work) I would find a good independent garage with a knowldgable electrical systems technician. You didn't say how old the vehicle was, but I'm having a hard time swallowing that the vehicle needed $300 worth of harness repair to fix the problems you describe, although they did cover the original $80 you coughted up which a lot of places wouldn't have without a lot of yelling and screaming.

My $.02 worth.

P.S. I would bypass the service writer and politely ask to speak to the service manager, but that's just me.
 
  #3  
Old 05-10-04, 12:14 PM
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ah, sorry... I put the make/model/year in my post about AC but not the harness. It is a 1997 Dodge Ram 1500, 318, 112k miles.

I'll try what you suggest here... ask to speak to the service manager and tell them how tired I am of having an issue with the electrical/steering column.

Maybe I could find a decent service shop out there that could get the AC leak fixed at the same time....

Thanks for your advice,

Scott
 
  #4  
Old 05-10-04, 02:49 PM
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I've never had one of those truck columns apart but be advised that many vehicles have more than one harness in the column.So if it's a different harness you should pay.You must have steering wheel controls.Do you always move your tilt every time you enter and exit the vehicle?It sounds like you do,everytime you move that tilt wheel you flex a wire and a connection somewhere eventually something has to give.I put my wheel where I like it and leave it there.You should also hold the wheel while adjusting the tilt instead of pulling the lever and letting it slam.
 
  #5  
Old 05-10-04, 03:35 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I noticed it's not just the radio, but also the windshield wipers and turn signals. The lights seem to be the only thing that is working, and that control isn't even on the steering column. If it is a different harness, I guess you do have a point there, it could have nothing to do with the previous issues... but since it's related to moving the steering column, I'm still suspect. That's a good bit of information I'll need to find out.

As far as not moving the column, I tend to like it lower and that means I have to move it. I've been driving it like a bus with the wheel fully up today so I'd have signals, etc., and that stinks! And as far as the constant flexing, I can see your point there too. 3 times in the span of two years though, doesn't that seem a little odd? And you're right about not slamming it when moving it, that's one thing I don't do.

Guess I'll talk to the dealer first, see what they have to say. Otherwise, I'm going to do elsewhere to get the truck's other issue (the AC) addressed with the column.

Thanks for your input, guys. I appreciate your opinions.
Scott
 
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