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Steering Column Problems[740-760/88] posted by Gary DiFrancesco on
Tuesday, 12 May 1998, at 2:04 p.m.
Last week I posted my problem with the horn and the rear wiper getting confused. I would hit the horn button, and the rear wiper would start up without the horn sounding off.
After spending several evenings of trouble shooting, I gave up and took the car to an independent Volvo mechanic. It became obvious the steering wheel had to come off in order to investigate further. I did not have the tools and knowledge to deal with the air bag system, and did not want it going off in my face and doing severe damage to my budget. So I thought it prudent to have an experienced and equiped tech. do the work.
It turned out that a poor ground existed in the steering column due to an improperly performed service bulletin update. According my mechanic (a former Volvo dealer mechanic who went out on his own), the steering column was origionally built with a nylon bushing at the bottom, and a metal bushing at the top. A while back Volvo issued a bulletin to replace the bushings with a nylon one on top and a metal one on the bottom. Don't know why the bulletin was issued. Anyway, my mechanic said that some dealers only replaced the top bushing with the nylon, but did not bother with putting the metal bushing on the bottom. To replace the bottom bushing required removing the column and that is a lot of work. As a result, there are two nylon bushings supporting the column. This means that the only ground left is through the universal joints in the steering link and the steering rack. This not a reliable ground. While the horn may work with two nylon bushings, it may not work for long.
Keep this in mind if you have some wierd problems with the horn or any of the other stuff hanging on the steering column.--