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I had a turn-signal switch failure on my Berlina yesterday that I've never encountered before. When I put on the turn signal, smoke and bad smell started coming out of the steering column cover. I pulled over, shut the car off, and checked it out. As long as I didn't use the signal, the problem did not persist.

When I got home, I pulled off the clamshell and the steering wheel to discover the signal return spring, which is supposed to wrapped around the steering column shaft, had broken on one end, and in flopping around, was intermittently shorting out, burning the grease off the spring. I reattached the spring, put it all together, and it seems fine.

This spring had obviously been monkeyed with before by the budget-minded PO, so the other end may break at some point. I think it didn't help that all the grease had dried up, making it harder for the spring to turn on the column.

I've seen various failures of these switches before (common to all 105/115 Alfas), but this is the first time for this one.

Andrew
 

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I had a turn-signal switch failure on my Berlina yesterday that I've never encountered before. When I put on the turn signal, smoke and bad smell started coming out of the steering column cover. I pulled over, shut the car off, and checked it out. As long as I didn't use the signal, the problem did not persist.

When I got home, I pulled off the clamshell and the steering wheel to discover the signal return spring, which is supposed to wrapped around the steering column shaft, had broken on one end, and in flopping around, was intermittently shorting out, burning the grease off the spring. I reattached the spring, put it all together, and it seems fine.

This spring had obviously been monkeyed with before by the budget-minded PO, so the other end may break at some point. I think it didn't help that all the grease had dried up, making it harder for the spring to turn on the column.

I've seen various failures of these switches before (common to all 105/115 Alfas), but this is the first time for this one.

Andrew
And you leaned the dangerous way that the turn signal switch is not fused! It draws it's power from the hot side of ths fuse box, then feeds the headlights and parking lights back through the fuse box.

bs
 

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Berlina Turn Signal Failure Mode

I had a turn-signal switch failure on my Berlina yesterday that I've never encountered before. When I put on the turn signal, smoke and bad smell started coming out of the steering column cover. I pulled over, shut the car off, and checked it out. As long as I didn't use the signal, the problem did not persist.

When I got home, I pulled off the clamshell and the steering wheel to discover the signal return spring, which is supposed to wrapped around the steering column shaft, had broken on one end, and in flopping around, was intermittently shorting out, burning the grease off the spring. I reattached the spring, put it all together, and it seems fine.

This spring had obviously been monkeyed with before by the budget-minded PO, so the other end may break at some point. I think it didn't help that all the grease had dried up, making it harder for the spring to turn on the column.

I've seen various failures of these switches before (common to all 105/115 Alfas), but this is the first time for this one.

Andrew
Of all the turn signal failures I've had with Alfas, including my Berlina, they have never been in the steering column; they have always been wiring in the dash or at the rear plate that holds the bulbs. I've avoided the smoking syndrome, although, I've experienced several other undesirable Alfa side effects when things went wrong.
 

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And you leaned the dangerous way that the turn signal switch is not fused! It draws it's power from the hot side of ths fuse box, then feeds the headlights and parking lights back through the fuse box.

bs
Do I assume correctly that this is also true with Supers? My turn signals (FT and R) went from working perfectly to not at all. Fuses fine. Thought I smelled that "burning wire smell" but no smoke. What's the next order of diagnosis?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
All the 105/115 cars have the same turn signal switch and wiring, so yes.
Get in there with a flashlight and test light and look at the connections to/from the fuse box, remove the clamshell and look at the switch wiring, etc. The spring can break, the plastic on the switch itself can break, the contacts can snap off, all kinds of things.
Andrew
 

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Thanks for the info Andrew. My turn signal only cancels in one direction, I'll bump that easy fix up the list just in case.
 

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And you leaned the dangerous way that the turn signal switch is not fused! It draws it's power from the hot side of ths fuse box, then feeds the headlights and parking lights back through the fuse box.

bs
All the 105/115 cars have the same turn signal switch and wiring, so yes.
Get in there with a flashlight and test light and look at the connections to/from the fuse box, remove the clamshell and look at the switch wiring, etc. The spring can break, the plastic on the switch itself can break, the contacts can snap off, all kinds of things.
Andrew
So if the turn signals are not fused yet they draw power from the hot side of the fuse box why did Alfa not fuse them? To head off potential future problems, is a retrofit inline fuse advisable or really unnecessary?

All the wires coming in and out of my fuse box look fine and the test light confirms. Do I have to remove my steering wheel in order to remove the clam shell?

I also read somewhere on the ABB that the wires to the turn signal switch run directly behind the ashtray of Supers and can be severed over time from opening and closing the ashtray. Truth or fiction? Would probably help if I had a wiring diagram :eek:.

I hope I don't have to replace the column switch. I searched around today and they are $$$.
 

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Adding fuses in a thoughtful way can only be good, yes.
Do the emergency flashers work ?
If not, the problem can be the flasher box itself also.
If they do work, then yeah you need to look at the turn signal switch in the column.
/Neil
 
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