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Dodge Repair/Durango: short circuit in parking/hazard light system?

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Question
Every time I turn my headlights on it starts smoking right behind the steering wheel right by the hazard light button

Answer
Hi James,
What is the year model of the truck?
I may need to look at the wiring diagrams to suggest where/how you should look to solve this. It would appear to be related to the wiring of the "parking' or turn signal light bulbs, which of course are the same bulbs used by the hazard light function.
So the smoke is coming from the steering column and not the dash?
And does it do this when you just have the parking lignts "on", or only when you then try the headlights? And does it smoke when you activate just the hazard light switch?
To diagnose the situation: turn on the parking lights and then go around the outside of the vehicle to see is any of the bulbs that should be "on" is not. Similarly, try the turn signal on left and right and go around to see whether any of those bulbs are not functioning. It may well be that one of the bulbs or the bulb's socket is shorted to ground (rather than being burned out) which then draws too much current in the wiring which is then causing the smoke in the steering column. Ideally a fuse would blow to prevent this, but it may not do so.
So try that first and then let me know what you find.
Please read the PS (below) and respond to it.
Thanks,
Roland

Dodge Repair

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Roland Finston

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Get a Free Fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

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I have do-it-yourself experience (50+ years) and a library of 100 1982-2012 Chrysler factory shop manuals and 20 multi-manual Chrysler Corp. CD's.

I was voted "Top expert" from 2010-2015 here at AllExperts, and have answered 20,000+ questions.

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Five decades as a 'do-it-yourselfer' on domestic and imported cars

Organizations
Yahoo Autos Group called The Chrysler Lebaron Club (co-moderator)

Education/Credentials
Degrees in Physics/bruised knuckles.

Awards and Honors
"Top expert" of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 here at Allexperts. Quickest "average response time" at Allexperts (currently no. 1).

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