On or off, that’s what a switch does, right? Wrong, especially when it comes to switches in vehicles. Diesel Technic explains more.
To understand the importance of the steering column switch, let’s look at the Road Vehicles construction and use) Regulations 1986 that states: ‘All steering gear fitted to a motor vehicle shall at all times, while the vehicle is used on a road, be maintained in good and efficient working order and properly adjusted.’
This law highlights the importance of thoroughly checking all steering components when conducting a service and one area that is often overlooked is a vehicle’s steering column switch gear. The process of an indicator returning to its neutral position is completed using a tappet on the steering column which triggers a lever on the indicator switch and causes it to return using spring force. When this happens, another switch is opened and the connection to the electronic control device (indicator unit) is interrupted and the process is ended.
Further to its role with signalling, the steering column switch is also responsible for warning light functions, windscreen wiper functions, horn and cruise control. “If there is an issue with a vehicles indicator, the first thing you might do is check the bulbs, but it’s not always as simple as that,” explains Mark Boden, Diesel Technic, General Manager UK & Ireland.
“A steering column switch can often be overlooked as the cause of a signalling problem and as a safety critical component, this shouldn’t be the case. Whenever performing a routine service, it’s important to check the steering column switch due to the important functions it operates throughout the vehicle.”
Built to last
Durability is important in a safety critical component, such as steering column switches, they need to be built to last and be reliable to ensure optimum safety. Diesel Technic brand DT Spare Parts claims to offer a range of replacement steering components, including switches, to the commercial vehicle aftermarket that are made from high quality materials to guarantee longer life.
Comprised of an aluminium lever, steel tube or durable plastic bearing, they are built to last and also include micro-switches that are suitable for switching both high and very low currents, due to its use of silver-plated contacts. The component is also fitted with professionally crimpled plastic base plug connecters that are nickel or silverplated for low contact resistance and protection from oxidisation.
Highly flexible halogen-free cables are used to guarantee optimum safety, while the components glass-fibre, reinforced epoxy resin circuit board helps to improve reliability. DT Spare Parts offers a two-year warrantee across all its steering components, extended to its entire 35,000+ aftermarket portfolio, covering spare parts suitable for popular makes, such as Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, MAN and Scania.