...there's a guy waiting to see if the smoke problem returns.
I was driving my '91 Chevy Lumina the other day and we're stopped at an intersection. For no discernible reason, smoke starts billowing from the neck of the steering wheel. Okay, so maybe not billowing. Maybe more like that first stream of smoke when one initially touches the hot-knife to the hash.
So, for like 10 seconds, the smoke is hot-kniving out of the neck of the steering wheel. I did not inhale, but I could smell the familiar scent of burning electrical wires. I began to imagine the car bursting into flames and exploding in a fiery ball of flames. Only after we ejected ourselves from our seats, of course. My wife started to ask if there was enough time to make it to a service station. As I watched the smoke plume, I dismissed all kinds of courses of action. In reality, I was only hoping to make it home. Our son sat bemused in the back seat.
Then, as soon as it started, it stopped. The smoke went away. The intersection light turned green, and off we went. I did the official test to see if anything was broken: I tried the directional blinkers and turned the steering wheel back and forth. My rigorous testing showed no difference than before the smoke. So, we drove home and did what, I think, most people do: we ignored the problem.
I am now waiting for the next smoke alarm before I take any serious action like taking it to a mechanic.