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I took my key out it was very warm. steering column is also warm. I also smelled burning wires.

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The ignition switch connector is likely the source of the heat.

Posted on Jan 02, 2017


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I have an intermittent starting issue. Every now and then the car (2006 GMC Yukon Denali) will appear to have a completely dead battery. NO activity at all when you put the key in and turn it. No...

I would first suspect the mechanical ignition switch, mounted on top of the steering column by your feet. First remove the splash panel under the steering column.Mark the position with a marker or scribe - it's very important that you re - install that switch in the EXACT position it came from ! Remove the retaining nuts ( or bolts ) securing the steering column to the dash. Carefully lower the steering column - on the top side you'll see a rectangular plastic component with a wire harness on the left ( driver ) side and a metal rod out the back side coming toward the steering wheel. Dismount that ( it's the mech. ign. switch ) and unplug that harness. Inspect the plug for corrosion, burnt blades or rust. clean up any dirt and put dielectric grease on all blades / connections . SMELL the switch - if it smells kinda burned, replace it. If it's not stinky it may still be going bad. When you re - install, check operation of the switch before you remount the column. That metal bar activates the starter, and if the switch is too low your starter won't engage. Also be VERY careful with that airbag - a shock or hard bump to the steering column with the key on could deploy the airbag, potentially causing a serious injury.
Maybe take it to a shop and let THEM have the fun,heh?
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If there is an aftermarket alarm installed - it may be done improperly, and you have a bare wire in the steering column.
Does the smell fade, and only evident at start?
You'll need to disassemble (or at least closely investigate further) to locate the source of the smell.
Leaving it go is a potential fire hazard, and may do more damage later.

Thanks for using FixYA - a 4 THUMBS rating is appreciated for answering your FREE question.

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