Buick Encore Owners & Service Manuals

Buick Encore: Description and operation


The steering wheel and column has 4 primary functions:

  • Vehicle steering
  • Vehicle security
  • Driver convenience
  • Driver safety

Vehicle Steering

The steering wheel is the first link between the driver and the vehicle. The steering wheel is fastened to a steering shaft within the column. At the lower end of the column, the intermediate shaft connects the column to the steering gear.

The steering column can be adjusted vertically and longitudinally

Vehicle Security

Theft deterrent components are mounted and designed into the steering column. The following components allow the column to be locked in order to minimize theft:

  • The ignition switch
  • The steering column lock
  • The ignition cylinder
  • The theft deterrent immobilizer module, if equipped

Driver Convenience

The steering wheel and column may also have driver controls attached for convenience and comfort. The following controls may be mounted on the steering wheel or column.

  • The turn signal switch
  • The headlamp dimmer switch
  • The wiper/washer switch
  • The horn pad
  • The redundant radio/entertainment system controls
  • The tilt functions
  • The telephone system controls
  • The DIC controls
  • The cruise control functions
  • The automatic transmission manual setting function

Heated Steering Wheel

The heated steering wheel system consists of a heated steering wheel, a heated steering wheel switch, and a steering wheel heat module. The heated steering wheel includes a non-serviceable heating element and temperature sensor, which both are located in the rim of the steering wheel. The heated steering wheel on/off switch is located in the instrumentation panel. The steering wheel heat module is located on the front-side of the steering wheel center hub.

When the on/off switch is depressed, a signal is sent to the heat module to command the heated steering wheel to heat up until either the normal operating temperature reaches the limit of 32ºC +/- 2.5ºC (90ºF +/- 4ºF ) or the customer turns it off via the heated steering wheel switch. The built-in temperature sensor provides input to the controller to limit the temperature of the heated wheel to the normal operating temperature. The heated steering wheel system will also cease to operate if the vehicle temperature is at or above 32ºC (89.6ºF). The heated steering wheel takes approximately 3 to 4 minutes to reach the normal operating temperature and will take longer to heat up if the vehicle temperature is below -20ºC (-4ºF).

Driver Safety

The steering wheel and column has safety features to protect the driver. The following components may be mounted on or near the steering column: Energy-Absorbing Steering Column: The energy-absorbing steering column compresses in the event of a front-end collision, which reduces the chance of injury to the driver. The energy-absorbing feature, collapsible steering shaft, and break away mounting features help reduce the injury in the event of an accident.

SIR Coil and Module: For additional information on the operation of the SIR coil and module, refer to Supplemental Inflatable Restraint System Description and Operation .

Electronic Park Lock (EPL)/Ignition Lock Cylinder Control Actuator: If the vehicle is equipped with automatic transmission and a floor mounted console gear shift, it has an ignition lock cylinder control actuator system in the steering column. The ignition lock cylinder control actuator purpose is to prevent the ignition key from being turned to the OFF position when the transmission is in any position other than PARK and the vehicle may still be moving. The column ignition lock system consists of an ignition lock cylinder control actuator, and a park position switch that is located in the automatic transmission shift lock control switch. The ignition lock cylinder control actuator contains a pin that is spring loaded to mechanically prevent the ignition key cylinder from being turned to the lock position when the vehicle transmission is not in the PARK position.

If vehicle power is lost, and/or the transmission is not in the PARK position the operator will not be able to turn the ignition key to the lock position and will not be able to remove the ignition key from the column.

Dependings on the implementation, logic might be inverted: Key can be removed by power off.

Steering Wheel Angle Sensor: The steering wheel angle sensor is located somewhere along the steering shaft assembly. The sensor measures the position of the steering wheel and the speed at which it is rotated. A signal representing this measurement is provided to the vehicle stability enhancement system (VSES) in the ABS module and to the variable effort steering (VES) system.

The theft deterrent immobilizer module: The immobilizer module is mounted in the steering column lock on cars without Passive Entry Passive Start system (PEPS). Refer to Theft Systems Description and Operation



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